Africa > Zimbabwe > Call of the Wild Adventure Canoe Trails

Call of the Wild Adventure Canoe Trails



 per person

4-7 Days, from £1,090pp excl. flights Come on the adventure of a lifetime. Canoe down the mighty Zambezi River, the 4th largest river in Africa on this canoe, walk and drive holiday.

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3 nights canoe mobile safari from £1,090

5 nights mobile canoe safari from £1,595

Combine 1 night Ruckomechi Camp & 3 nights Mobile Canoe safari inclusive of return flights from Victoria Falls from £2,290pp

Mana Pools National park is a World Heritage site for its beauty and the animals which live here.

It is situated in the North of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River and has a diverse population of wild life and vegetation, together with a spectacular back drop of the Zambezi Escarpment, makes for stunning scenery. Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Wild dog, Eland, Kudu, Waterbuck are but a few of the animals which roam the park, it is also home to over 350 species of birds.

Canoeing is a unique experience unlike any other. Easy paddling, no canoe experience is necessary. We will be covering an average of 20km a day in a 3 km current exploring the narrow channels and open water game viewing along the way.

Paddling up to Elephants, Buffalo, hippos and numerous birds’ that live on the banks and feed in the water. We carry VHF radio so we have communications with the main camp and back up vehicles, we also carry satellite phones on each canoe trip.

Day 1

On the 3 night trip we like guests to fly into the Mana West strip so we can launch at the Rukomechi River and have lunch a short distance downstream. Arriving at Little Vundu at Sunset, after having canoed about 12km. That evening after settling in there will be snacks and drinks before dinner.

Day 2

The next morning after a light breakfast , launch from Little Vundu and start off for Chessa, 22 km downstream. We normally canoe for a couple of hours before getting out for a walk. Sometimes you will see vultures and walk into them to find lions or wild dogs.

After the morning walk we have a full breakfast of bacon and egg , tomatoes, salads and fresh camp bread. We leave the lunch spot early afternoon, normally the time when the elephants are moving out onto the islands, which is a great way to spend an afternoon on the Zambezi, gently drifting up the these bulls quietly in your canoe.

Whilst we are canoeing down the river we have a team of men setting up our camp for the night at the next camp site, Chesa. Our tents on the Ruwesi Canoe Trail are 3mx3m and are walk in tents. The beds are large on steel frames with a comfortable mattress on a wooden base.

Each mobile tent has an ensuite bucket shower and ensuite flush loo so people do not need to walk around in the dark to go to the loo. We leave a parafin lamp burning all night in the bathroom area and out side the front of the tent so people can see what they are doing at all times. We will arrive at camp any where between 4-6 in the afternoon.

If time allows we have some tea and take a game drive so people get to see a little of the inside of the Park, and the evening drives are good for spotting predators. Dinner is under the stars on the banks of the river, where you will hear hippos snorting and bellowing and lions calling in the distance.

Day 3

In the morning we set off after a light breakfast, again canoeing for an hour before setting off on foot for another adventure. This area is called the Nyamatusi Wilderness, in the heart of Mana, where there is a resident pride of lions, whose tracks we often find and track down the pride.

The area also abounds with buffalo and elephant. This is a really wild section of river, and one of our favorite as you get that feeling that you are the only people on this the most wild of continents. There are many channels to explore, where you will encounter buffalo and elephant and occasionally lions from the canoe, or just soak up the splendor of the valley (there is some excellent tiger fishing along this stretch!).

After 26km of canoeing we arrive at Ilala campsite near the Sapi River. This is the final night and is one of the most spectacular sites you will find anywhere.

On the morning of departure, we have a full breakfast, and most often take a slow walk to the Sapi River through wonderful woodland thickly shaded and full of birds and animals. We visit a Tonga burial site in a hollow baobab, visit one of the largest baobabs in the country and then take you to your plane as it comes in for landing over head to a near by strip.


LITTLE VUNDU CAMP is situated in the heart of Mana Pools National Park along the banks of the great Zambezi River.The tents are nestled amongst a grove of riverine forest, including trees such as ebony’s, raintrees, sausage trees and acacias.

The surrounding woodland and floodplain areas abound with wildlife, including notable species such as wild dogs, lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and a wide variety of other animals.

Activities from camp include game drives along the flood plain, or into the woodlands, looking for game or tracks of lion to follow. The walking in Mana is exceptional with opportunities to track lions, and buffalo, and to getup close and personal with the elephant bulls and wild dogs.

Afternoon canoeing safaris on the Zambezi River is a highlight with the impressive Zambezi escarpment in the north. One gets to enter the territory of the hippos and crocs , and often the big elephant bulls, buffalo and waterbuck are feeding on the many grassy islands of the river.

The bird life along the water is incredible. The tiger fish are a great challenge to the angler, being one of the best fresh water fighters. Fishing can be done whilst drifting down the river, or from the banks of the mainland or on the islands.

The dining room and fireplace area is located on a thick patch of clean white river sand overlooking the river.

One can stay at Little Vundu for the entire visit to Mana Pools, or as we often do, use Little Vundu as a launching spot for the canoe trail, ideally staying 1- 2 nights at Little Vundu and then going down to Chesa and Ilala.

We also offer a 5-night trip where people stay 2 nights at Ilala at the end of the trip and canoe the Chikwenya Channel, through the famous Chikwenya Island. We often get out and walk on the island and catch bream in the channel to cook up and have fresh with lunch under a shady tree along the waters edge.

Chitake Springs Mobile Tented Camp

Chitake Spring is located at the foot of the Southern Zambezi escarpment , where the Valley floor climbs the mountains to join the plateau of the highveld.

This place is particularly active in the months of July through to November, when all the water dries up on the Valley floor and the animals congregate around the spring as the only source of water. The lions are prolific as this is where they catch their prey.

The huge herds of buffalo pour in late in the afternoon together with herds of elephant. Leopard are heard everynight, everything is around the water. We use the same tents as on the Ruwesi Canoe Trail, but the tents stay under the shade of a baobab for the duration of the stay, on average 3 nights.

The mornings are spent walking the foot hills searching for game, and afternoons at the spring provide some spectacular game viewing. We also take day packs and head into the mountains for the day, returning to camp in the late afternoon. This is another truly wilderness experience.

Rhino Camp Matusadona National Park

Rhino is situated on the Lake Shore in the center of the Park, on Muuyu Island, near the place called Elephant Point. There are 7 chalets on stilts under thatch, with a main dining and meeting area.

There is a semi-resident rhino with 2 year old calf in the area, there are several other rhinos in the nearby area. Elephant are numerous, there are leopard that live on the island and the lions move through at least once a week. The island is connected to the mainland most of the time, only when the Lake is full does the island become cut off from the mainland.