Zimbabwe Canoeing and Tracking Expedition
Here’s your chance to paddle down one of Africa’s great rivers, the Zambezi, all the while gazing at the amazing scenery and wildlife that lines its shores. You will frequently disembark to look for footprints on its banks while marveling at the incredible scenery that surrounds you. Additionally, you will walk inland and explore the African terrain on foot, following the trails of elephants, buffalo, leopards, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and observing many other iconic mammals. Your knowledgeable guides will teach you how to recognize the tracks and sign of dozens of species, as well as the bird alarms that announce their predator movements
Zimbabwe Canoe and Tracking Expedition
May - September
Experience & Activity Level:
Previous tracking experience helpful but not required.
Participants should be in good physical condition.
Starting at $6,990 per person ($385 single supplement)
- Zambezi River
- Mana Pools National Park
This is a rare chance to get to experience the best of southern Africa both by boat and on foot. The Zambezi River makes its way across Zimbabwe carving Victoria Falls along the way, and then passing through some of the best wildlife habitat the continent has to offer. Paddling your own canoe through this wilderness affords the traveler the opportunity to see wildlife from a completely different vantage point, often times seeing animals that otherwise are hard to glimpse and getting closer access to them than they would normally allow.
This trip will be divided into two parts. For the first part of the journey, you will board a canoe and float 46 miles downstream for four days on the Zambezi. On the last day of the float trip, the support team will pick you up and take you into the heart of Mana Pools National Park for the second part of your journey. Here you will spend the following four days at two different bush camps deep in the park where wildlife abounds, tracking and trailing animals and listening to bird language for clues as to what animals are moving about on the landscape.
Upon your initial arrival in Zimbabwe, you will spend the first night in Harare and then head the next morning to Chirundu, where you begin your four day river adventure. It will be a slow paddle downstream, giving you the time to take in the peace and tranquility of the untouched African wilderness. Surrounding both sides of the Zambezi, an extraordinary diversity of wildlife thrives in the flood plain and will be easily visible from your boat. As you travel down the river, we will stop frequently to look for animal tracks and sign on the shore and take some short walks inland, investigating whatever we find as we move through the bush.
While traveling the river, the daily routine will start with tea/coffee and a snack at sunrise. Camp is then packed up and we will set off early, as mornings make for easy paddling since the wind is calm and the air is still cool. After a couple hours of paddling, a stop will be made for breakfast, and then we will embark again and float until breaking for lunch and a siesta at midday to avoid the heat. We will board our boats again mid-afternoon dinner time, when we will stop for the evening and setup camp on an island where you can relax from your long day’s journey.
After the conclusion of the canoe trip, our staff will take you by vehicle to the Nkupe Campsite inside Mana Pools National Park, an area synonymous with elephants, lions, other large mammals, and remote wilderness. This unique park is a world heritage site based on its wildness and beauty, and it is known as one of the continent’s premier game-viewing regions. Our expert trackers will lead you on guided walks, a great way to explore the pristine riverside forests and observe the wide range of large animals, aquatic wildlife, and over 350 bird species that call this magnificent park their home.
After two days at Nkupe we will move our camp for the final two days of the trip to Chitake Springs, an essential water source for wildlife during the dry season leading to a high concentration of game in the area, with fantastic sightings of predators such as lions, leopard, hyena and painted dogs. You will get to explore its mini sandstone gorge and its wild forests that are a combination of dry/wet woodlands and open scrub, an area teeming with bird life estimated at over 300 different species.
Throughout the excursion, our knowledgeable instructors will teach you how to recognize animal tracks and sign of all the large mammal species as well as many other smaller species just as the early humans did. Additionally, just like them you will learn the basics of bird language and how to interpret avian behavior and the messages they are sending about predator movements, their intentions, and other dangers on the landscape. Hence, when you depart you will leave with a great sense of satisfaction in your newfound knowledge of these ancient skills. And you will feel satiated in having traversed the waterways and landscapes of this awe-inspiring place, and viewing the majestic creatures that call this place home!