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Mana Pools by Canadian Canoe

Paddle a stretch of the Zambezi and journey into our wilderness, an area which we hold very close to our hearts. Our Mopane Canoe Safari follows the mighty Zambezi from Mana Pools to Chewore.

Escape for 4 days of mobile island camps, hurricane lamps and campfires in game rich Mana Pools. Home to 380 species of bird, buffalo, elephant, antelope and lion.

Canoeing is easy as we travel along 70 km of the shoreline through the National Park stopping off for picnics, siestas and game viewing along the way. If you haven’t canoed before, it’s not a problem but you should have a reasonable level of fitness.

  • Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
  • Lower Zambezi
  • 4 days

Highlights of the Mopane Canoe Safari

  • great for wildlife viewing at close quarters. Wildlife seen on the Mopane Canoe Safari usually includes buffalo, elephant, impala, hippo, croccodile, African wild dog, waterbuck, lion and leopard. (Although we can’t guarantee game especially in the green season.
  • birding is brilliant! If you;re a keen birder, this is the spot for you
  • our Canadian canoes are stable, comfortable and build for adventure.
  • We use only knowledgeable and experienced guides who will accompany you throughout the trip. They’re passionate about wildlife, canoeing and Mana Pools and are an invaluable resource
  • experience nature and get a feel for what it’s like to be right in the very heart of Africa
  • Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River in two man dome tents are easy to set up
  • Mopane Canoe Safari is semi-participatory - this means that the tents are not set up beforehand. Guests will lend a helping hand with setting up camp and other chores
  • Mopane Canoe Safari is self-contained - this means that there isn’t a back up vehicle. All food and equipment is carried in the canoes

Best time to do the Mopane Canoe Safari

  • April to November: pleasant weather with sunny days and cools nights
  • September and October: its very hot, just before the rains but the best time to see concentrations of game

Follow this link to read More about canoeing in Africa and other canoe safaris on this website. On our sister website find a section on Upper Zambezi Canoeing options.

ItineraryFrom $773

Day 1 - Kariba to Mana Pools National Park 18 km

The all important safety talk, lunch, then we're on our way. Canoes packed, paddles in hand as we launch into the Zambezi for our canoeing adventure. Paddling until we reach Nyamatusi Island

Day 2 - Canoeing the Lower Zambezi 25 km

Paddle in the early mornings when it's not too hot, stopping for a well earned breakfast, lunch and siesta. Pull up the canoes and set up our island camp around 5 - time to relax and reflect

Day 3 - Lower Zambezi - Chewore High Sand Bank 20 km

Tea/coffee biscuits before a short morning paddle. Continue canoeing with stops for lunch before setting up camp at the confluence of the Chewore and Zambezi Rivers, a wilderness haven for wildlife

Day 4 - Chewore to Kariba 7 km

A leisurely start to the day, we'll pack up camp and paddle for a couple of hours to Chewore where we're met for our road transfers to Kariba. Enjoy a final picnic en route arriving at around 3pm

View full digital itinerary here
Useful info Tips and notesHow to get thereWildlife

Tips and notes

There are two canoeing seasons - green season and high season.

Green season - November to May
High season - June to October

No single supplement applies unless clients request a private safari.


CHILD POLICY: As a general rule we do not recommend children under 15 years of age on canoe safaris for safety reasons.
15 years of age and above full adult rate.

Note: Your luggage for the safari should not exceed 10 kilos per person. We recommend using a soft duffel bag and not a suitcase

Canoeing equipment

The canoes are two-man Canadian-style canoes, and the paddles are American Carlisle paddles.

Camping equipment

Two-man dome tents, sleeping bags, liners, mattress, flysheet.

How to get there

Our canoe trips are semi participatory, and you’ll carry everything in your canoe in the same manner as the Zambezi River’s first explorers. A  fully qualified canoe guide will navigate you down the river and take care of the cooking, washing up and other camp tasks. Each safari we offer covers a different section on the Zambezi River each offering a unique experience.  All our safaris are eco friendly, we believe in leaving each campsite as nature made it.

Road transfers are including to and from Kariba Town. This is a three hour transfer each way, in the back of an open vehicle, towing your canoes on a trailer behind you. Air transfers may be arranged at an extra cost.

We recommend staying in Kariba the night before the trip starts. Please speak to your consultant if you’d like us to arrange this for you.


Animals seen on the trip usually include elephant, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, hippo, crocodile and plentiful birdlife. Lion, leopard, painted hunting dog etc. are more rarely seen but are certainly in the area. We cannot guarantee plenty of game while on safari, particularly during the green (rainy) season.

Best Locations

Mana Pools National Park Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is best known for Zambezi canoeing and walking safaris

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