Mana Pool Canoeing

Mana Pools Shoreline

4 days / 3 nights

The Mana Shoreline Canoe Safari is a luxurious mobile camp with leisurely canoeing to each camp, lasting 3 nights and 4 days that follows Zambezi River through the Mana Pool National Park, all tailor made to suite you. View game in a unique way as you glide up to elephants crossing the Zambezi or game coming down to the river to drink.

The adventure begins near the confluence of the Ruckomechi River and Zambezi River and continues along the Mana Pools shoreline to Illala Camp across from Chikwenya Island in the Mana Pools ‘Wilderness Area.’

You will be accompanied by a fully qualified professional guide that can guide your canoeing expedition, take you on guided walks and game drives through the National Parks.

You will be awakened early; warm water will be placed in a basin outside your tent, while freshly brewed coffee awaits you on the campfire. Enjoy freshly made breakfast before setting out on a safari. There is the option of going for an early morning walk, game drive or fishing before breakfast.

Day 1 – Mana Pools and Vundu

After being collected by the guide, take a leisurely game drive through the spectacular Mana Pools floodplain to the first night’s campsite. On arrival at “Vundu”, the first camp, met by the welcome smiles of our support staff, lunch will be served.

After lunch, take a short drive to the canoe launch-spot near the confluence of the Ruckomechi and Zambezi Rivers. Here, the guide will give a full safety briefing, pointing out where all equipment - such as the first aid kit - is kept, as well as explaining what to do in an emergency. The briefing also covers the basic techniques of steering and controlling the Canadian-style 5.5m (18 ft.) canoes. Then it’s time to start paddling downstream back to Vundu camp which allows you to practice your new canoeing skills.

Day 2 - Chessa

After breakfast, pack up your personal kit while the support staff load the canoes with all required for the day ahead.

The aim is to be in the canoes and on the water in time to watch the sunrise. As one of the most magical times of day, you will be enchanted as you drift along quietly, listening to the sounds of the African wild wakening to a new day.

While heading downstream to an area renowned for its huge, old elephant bulls, the guide will try to time the trip to catch them swimming or wading out to the grass islands, where the canoes will be able to glide quietly alongside these awesome giants. Their age makes them placid enough that they tend to ignore the canoes.

This night’s camp, Chessa, overlooks a small channel, with a large grass plain separating it from the main Zambezi, 500 metres away. Frequently the plain hosts buffalo, waterbuck, elephant and hippo in the evenings.

Day 3 – Mana Pools National Park, Mbera River floodplain and Illala Camp

Drifting down the Zambezi and enter the “Wilderness Area” of Mana Pools National Park where there is limited access to people and vehicles. Enjoy breakfast on the Mbera River floodplain with the day spent paddling through a maze of small channels before once again joining the main Zambezi.

Dependant on the water levels, there may be an opportunity to explore Chikwenya Island on foot. This unique island and is host to prolific bird life as well as a number of interesting mammal species. In the afternoon you will paddle into Illala Camp to spend the last night in the rustic luxury of the Odyssey Camp.

Day 4 - Nyamepi

Enjoy an early morning walk before breakfast or a well-deserved lie in! After, there will be a short game drive to the airstrip or Nyamepi main camp where we will bid you farewell!


What to Bring:

  • Swimming/bathing costume
  • Shorts and T-shirts
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Canvas shoes or rafting sandals, a comfortable pair of hiking shoes for those on a walking safari
  • Hat with a wide brim
  • Jacket or sweater for the evenings
  • Shirts (including a long sleeved one for sun protection)
  • A kikoi (or sarong) to cover your legs to protect them from the sun
  • Torch or flashlight and extra batteries
  • Film and spare camera batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Socks for winter nights
  • Warm clothes to sleep in on winter nights
  • Waterproof bags for personal items
  • Money for National Parks Fees as well as identification documents where relevant


  • All transfers from Main Camp - Nyamepi or airstrips are in open 4x4 vehicles (roads can be dusty and bumpy)
  • All meals - We do cater for dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or diabetic however we require advance warning - at least 14 days
  • Drinks - Including local beers, spirits, imported wines, minerals, cordials, mineral water, tea and coffee. Guests are free to bring their own drinks
  • All canoeing equipment - Canoes are two-man, Canadian-style canoes, and the paddles are American Carlisle paddles
  • All camping equipment
  • Professional guide

Not Included:

  • National Parks Fees