Mana Pools National Park – Zimbabwe

Canoeing the Zambezi River

A canoe safari on the mighty Zambezi River, through ancient floodplains toward the Indian Ocean, is a trip through primeval Africa and some of its most remote and beautiful riverine scenery.

Leaving the heart-stopping white-water rapids upriver at Victoria Falls, all is serene as canoers glide along channels and pools and past countless islands. Hippos and Cape buffalo wallow beneath the low-hanging branches of trees full of bird life. The Ruwesi Canoe Safari, a four-day trip, covers the most interesting stretch of the Middle Zambezi, and beautifully sited camps are set up as you progress downstream. Guides make sure you’re canoe-bound just before sunrise, the river’s most bewitching hour.

For the less peripatetic, the permanently sited Chikwenya Safari Lodge is beautifully situated at the confluence of the Sapi and Zam­bezi rivers, facing one of the Zambezi’s largest islands. The Chikwenya’s guides strike off on bush walks with guests in tow – an activity allowed in very few of the national reserves. You’ll get back to camp in time for the obligatory sunset river ride along the Zambezi, an end to another perfect day in the bush.

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