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Wonderful Safari in Zimbabwe

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.

Key information

  • Group and private safari possible, rates will vary depending on this.
  • Group size: Minimum of 2 and maximum of 8
  • Children from the age of 14 years are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • Starting from Kariba Dam wall and ends in Mana Pools National Park
  • English speaking guide
  • National Parks Fees of USD 175.00 per person are not included (rate is subject to change without notice) and paid directly to National Parks in cash


  • Canoe safari
  • All canoeing equipment
  • Fully qualified canoe guide
  • Road transfers from Kariba town in open 4 x 4 vehicles
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Daily meals


8 activity days
Group size: 2-8 participants
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:

During this safari, you will be accommodated in various campsites along the Lower Zambezi River, on Kakomarara Island (first night), Lone Acacia Island (second night), and Trichelia Island (third night), Chikwenya Island (fourth night), False Gorge (fifth night), Mupata Gorge (sixth night) and Red Cliffs (seventh night). Accommodation is in small dome tents.

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.

All camping equipment is supplied. This includes gas stoves, kitchen utensils, pots, pans, plastic plates, mugs, tables, stools, camping mattresses, sleeping bags, liners, candles, matches, cooler boxes, and two-man dome tents. You can bring your own sleeping bags if preferred. Fishing equipment is not supplied but you may bring your own.

There will be no ablution facilities on this safari. You will be provided with a spade, toilet paper, and matches 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.

Daily routines

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.


Day 1 (18 kilometers)

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.

Day 2 (27 kilometers)

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.

Day 3 (23 kilometers)

The programme is as per day two. With the night’s camp stop on Trichelia Island.

Day 4 (27 kilometers)

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.

Day 5 (25 kilometers)

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.

Day 6 (20 kilometers)

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.

Day 7 (35 kilometers)

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.

Day 8 (7 kilometers)

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.


The safari begins in Kariba Town where you are collected from your lodge/hotel the morning of your trip. you will be driven to Chirundu where you will start the canoe safari. You will canoeing along the Lower Zambezi River to enjoy the wildlife and make stops on Kakomarara Island, Lone Acacia Island, Trichelia Island, Chikwenya Island, False Gorge, Mupata Gorge and Red Cliffs.



  • Fishing


All meals will be supplied and are of a good standard. The meat and poultry dishes are precooked, frozen, and stored in a cooler box during the safari. Some fresh fruit and vegetables will also be supplied on the safari. The meals will consist of:

  • Breakfast usually consists of fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans or tomato relish, toast, and jams.
  • Lunch consists of cold meats, salads, cheese, and bread.
  • Dinner consists of a variety of meat and vegetable dishes, such as chicken curry, beef stroganoff, fish and chips, etc.

Tea, coffee, cordials, and imported wine will be provided on during this safari. You will also be provided with 2 liters of bottled mineral water per person per day. You are advised to bring your own minerals (soft drinks), beer, and spirits. You will be able to purchase these in the shops prior to departure. Minerals and beers must be bought in cans to reduce the weight and space.

A cooler box is set aside for keeping drinks cold. There are no opportunities to replenish stocks on the river. Natureways Safaris caters for dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or diabetic. However, Natureways Safaris requires advance warning at least 14 days before the trip.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

During this safari, you may go fishing in your spare time.

What's included

  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Basic drinks (water, tea, coffee, cordials and imported wine with dinner)
  • Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners.
  • Canoeing and Camping Equipment.
  • Fully qualified Canoe Guide.
  • Road transfers in open 4x4 vehicles to and from Kariba town at the start and end of your trip.
  • 2% Tourism levy and 15% VAT

What's not included

  • Additional drinks (soft drinks, beers and alcohol).
  • Parks fees of USD 241.00 per person subject to change without prior notice and paid directly to the National Parks in cash.
  • Costs of a Personal Nature.
  • Anything else not mentioned in the whats included section

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Harare

  • The drive from Harare to Kariba is approximately 4 hours. Drive along the main Harare - Chirundu road and turn left at the Kariba signpost just before the Makuti Garage and Hotel. This is approximately 295 kilometers from Harare, about 3 hours travel time.
  • Once you have turned left, drive down the escarpment towards Kariba. This section takes approximately 1 hour.
  • You will pass the Kariba Airport (KAB) and Nyamunga Township on your left, continue towards the Kariba Dam Wall.
  • Once you reach a ‘T’ junction, turn left (right takes you to the Kariba Heights) and travel 1.4 kilometers, passing a Zuva fuel station on your right.
  • Turn left on to Sable Drive (ZESA Offices are opposite the turning).
  • Take the second left turning after approximately 400 meters (the swift depot is on the corner).
  • Travel 1.1 kilometers and turn right on Mhembwe Close.
  • Natureways Safaris' sign is on the left side.

Driving directions from Kariba Dam Wall

  • The drive from the Kariba Dam Wall is approximately 10 minutes. Continue straight on the road from the Dam Wall, take the second road on the right hand side onto Sable Drive. ZESA offices are directly opposite the turning on the left hand side.
  • Take the second left turning after approximately 400 meters (the swift depot is on the corner).
  • Travel 1.1 kilometers and turn right on Mhembwe Close.
  • Natureways Safaris' sign is on the left side.

Arrival by airplane

Natureways Safaris can provide transfers from the Kariba Airport (KAB) to lodges and harbors. Please send Natureways Safaris an inquiry for costs and availability.

Arrival by bus

There are coaches that travel between Harare and Kariba town but these cannot be arranged by Natureways Safaris as departure times are not set.

Arrival by ferry / boat

The Kariba Ferry is a convenient and fun way to get to and from Kariba town and Victoria Falls or Hwange. The ferry runs on scheduled departure days to and from Mlibizi and Kariba town. It’s a 22 hour journey departing at 10:30 and arriving at 08:00. The ferry takes both vehicles and passengers.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --

This vacation is available from April to November, with arrival on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, please select an arrival date below.


Green season
  • November 1 - May 31
High season
  • June 1 - October 31
Booking information

Private safaris can be arranged if you book a package with minimum 4 people.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Select your package:

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