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The Zambezi Classic Short will get you into the spirit of an exploring pioneer. This canoe safari covers 182 kilometers of the river all the way from the border town of Chirundu and past the shoreline of Mana Pools National Park. This safari passes through many different ecosystems allowing guests to encounter all the different species of flora and fauna the lower Zambezi has to offer. The safari allows guests the opportunity to really ‘experience the real flow of Africa.
During this safari, you will be accommodated in various campsites along the Zambezi River, including Kakomarara Island (first night), Lone Acacia Island (second night), Trichelia Island (third night), Chikwenya Island (fourth night), False Gorge (fifth night), Mupata Gorge (sixth night), and at the base of Red Cliffs (seventh night). This safari is a semi-participatory - meaning the camps are not already set up for your arrival and that everyone helps to put up tents, cooking, and washing up each evening. Tents supplied are very easy to set up, two-man, dome tents.
All camping equipment is supplied. This includes gas stoves, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, plastic plates, mugs, tables, stools, camping mattresses, sleeping bags and liners, candles, matches, cooler boxes, and dome tents. Clients can bring their own sleeping bags if preferred.
There are no ablution facilities on these safaris. Clients are provided with a spade, toilet paper, and matches - with which to burn the toilet paper. Bathing is done from a bucket using water scooped out of the river.
This semi-participatory explorer canoe safari begins and ends in Kariba (unless by other arrangements) and it is recommended that clients spend the night prior to their safari’s departure in Kariba town. Natureways Safaris can assist with booking this accommodation. Your safari departs from Natureways Safaris' offices in Kariba. Clients can self-drive there or be picked up from their various hotels at 07:30. Once at the office, clients may arrange for excess luggage and valuables to be locked away safely until their return (it is not recommended to take passports or valuables onto the river).
A short briefing will then be given to help clients understand what the trip entails and any questions will be answered. A shopping trip follows to allow the purchase of any additional groceries or personal items required, as well to purchase particular drinks clients may want. Clients will then be driven to the starting point of their safari.
Animals that can be seen on the trip usually include elephant, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, hippo, crocodile, and plentiful birdlife. Lion, leopard, painted hunting dog etc. are more rarely seen but are certainly in the area. Natureways Safaris cannot guarantee plenty of game while on safari, particularly during the green (rainy) season.
The canoes used in this safari are two-man Canadian-style canoes, and the paddles are American Carlisle paddles. No previous canoeing experience is necessary but guests are required to be reasonably fit and healthy.
The maximum luggage limit per client to take on the river is 10 kilograms, packed in a soft duffel bag, not a suitcase. A luggage room and safe facilities are provided for any extra luggage at the Kariba office. This safari is self-contained. All equipment and food are carried in the canoes and there is no vehicle back-up apart from drop-off and pick-up.
Generally, the day starts with tea / coffee and biscuits at sunrise. The camp is then packed up and the party sets off. Early mornings make for easy paddling as the wind is calm and it is not yet too hot. A stop will be made for breakfast, usually after a couple of hours. The trip continues after breakfast, until breaking for a light lunch and siesta to avoid the midday heat. The night stop is reached at approximately 17:00 and the camp are unpacked and setup. Campsites are typically set up on islands and all sites are designated by national parks.
Natureways Safaris will collect you on the morning of your safari at 07:30, in good time for a check-in at Natureways' office, handing in extra luggage and valuables. Please do not take your passport on the river. There will be a short briefing to summarise what the safari entails and questions may be asked. Guests will be required to sign an indemnity form before leaving on the safari.
After the briefing, a visit to the shops will be made, purchasing any extra drinks wanted for the trip before setting off for the river. Please note that credit cards are not a recommended payment option in Zimbabwe.
Transfers are by open 4 x 4 vehicles to Chirundu, arriving at approximately 11:30 at which time canoes and kit are unloaded. Following this, a safety talk and
demonstration of paddling a canoe will be given. A packed lunch will be taken on the river. At approximately 17:00 you will establish camp on an island named
Kakomarara, after a brief safety talk on camping, you'll have time to relax and have dinner.
Up at sunrise for tea, coffee and biscuits before paddling for a couple of hours to the breakfast stop. Afterwards, canoeing will resume until midday and a well-earned lunch and siesta, time to catch up on reference books until mid-afternoon (depending on the weather). Canoeing will continue until about 17:00 to set up camp on Lone Acacia Island.
A similar programme to day three. Lunch will be around midday after which there is a chance to relax, take in your surroundings or possibly siesta. The group will then paddle until the early evening where the night’s camp is made at Chikwenya Island.
You will be woken early for tea, coffee, and biscuits before a short morning’s paddle. Breakfast will be served either on the banks of the river or on an island. After that, the group will resume canoeing until around midday. After lunch and a brief siesta taken on the banks to avoid the midday heat, canoeing will continue until early evening where camp will be set up at False Gorge.
The programme is as per day five. The day will be spent exploring the shoreline of the Chewore area (home of the great elephant). The camp will be set up at the top end of Mupata Gorge.
This day is planned much as per days five and six and spent mainly in the austere Mupata Gorge. Time to take in its many endemic species of wildlife and its spectacular geographical features. The night’s campsite will be established at the base of the towering Red Cliffs.
After an early wake-up call and breakfast, the group will paddle down to the takeout point at Kanyemba. The equipment will be loaded onto the vehicle and you will be transferred back to Kariba. Arrival time in Kariba is approximately at 16:00.
Elijah or E.G. as he likes to be called as has been with Natureways Safaris for 5 years and has embarked on his career as a canoe guide with the company. Recognizing his enthusiasm for the bush and wildlife Natureways Safaris is nurturing his passion and assisting him to achieve his goal of one day becoming a professional guide. Until then, E.G. works as the team leader in Mana Pools while trying to achieve his 1,000 hours of canoeing necessary to become a qualified canoe guide.
James is Zimbabwean born and raised. From a very young age, he showed a keen interest in the outdoors, preferring to play with skeletons and birds nests rather than toys. This love of nature was developed at school and upon leaving, he started his safari career in Hwange National Park with Touch the Wild safaris. James joined Natureways in 1991 under the tutelage of Garth Thompson. He attained his canoe license in 1992 and his full professional guide status in early 1993. James has been in Mana Pools for 13 years and countless guests have benefited from his knowledge and passion for the bush.
This safari will take place on the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe, starting and ends in Kariba.
All food is supplied and meals are of a good standard. Meat and poultry dishes are precooked, frozen and stored in a cooler box during the safari. Some fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) are provided on the safari.
Natureways Safaris do cater for dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or diabetic, however, they require advance warning - at least 14 days before the safari starts.
Tea, coffee, cordials, and imported wine with dinner are provided on this safari. Processed water is provided this trip. However, Natureways Safaris also provide two liters of bottled mineral water per person per day. Clients are therefore advised to bring their own minerals (soft drinks), beer, and spirits.
Clients will be able to purchase these before the trip when taken shopping prior to departure. Drinks must be bought in cans to reduce weight and space. A cooler box is set aside for keeping drinks cold. There are no opportunities to replenish stocks on the river.
During this safari, you may go fishing in your spare time.
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