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Mana Pools is a wildlife reserve in Zimbabwe, and quite possibly the least developed national park in Africa. Enjoy a wild six-day canoe safari paddling from Kariba to Mana Pools, helping to set up your own camp along the way.
Situated in the Lower Zambezi Valley, Mana Pools is named after the four gigantic lakes encompassed within its 2,000 km confines and is completely unspoilt by human hands. The land here is about as untamed as it was when modern man first appeared on the scene, and travelling through the rugged wilderness by canoe is an excellent way to see the stunning array of wildlife on offer, including elephants, buffalo, lions, cheetahs, hippos and rhinos (all at a safe distance from the river, of course!) In fact, thanks to the hydro-electric planning which occurred in the region in the 80s (subsequently saving the park from irreversible flooding) the park is one of the best game reserves in Africa as animals travel from far and wide to take advantage of its lake water.
On this canoe safari, you will spend six days paddling from Kariba to Mana Pools. Over the course of your six days, you will explore the area by canoe, covering a distance of between 18km – 27km each day. You will generally paddle fora couple of hours at a time; first thing in the morning before breakfast, then a late morning paddle followed by lunch and then a late afternoon trip. The pace will be leisurely, to ensure you have the chance to take in the wildlife and the beautiful scenery. This is a semi participatory safari, which means that each evening, when you come to shore, you will all help to set up camp.. It's not all work, though, there is plenty of time to enjoy a sundowner and to enjoy wildlife spotting on dry land as well.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, be under no illusions – this is a hardcore adventure tour for serious outdoors and wildlife enthusiasts. You’ll be roughing it in some of the wildest landscapes in Africa, which is of course the whole point of the tour!
The minimum age is 15 (there is no maximum age limit, just use common sense) and no previous canoe experience is required since there is plenty of training and the tour is fully guided, but be prepared to spend a lot of time under a hot African sun. A small degree of fitness and health is required, as for all adventure tours.
It’s advised to take check out visa restrictions before travelling – at the time of writing a compulsory 30-day visa is required at a small fee (£20.) Currently no injections are required before entering the country, but it is necessary to undertake a course of anti malaria tablets before, during and after your tour.
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