Upper Zambezi Canoeing
The Island Trail
Kariba Gorge Trail
The Adventure Options
Lodges and Bushcamps
Safari Par Excellence conducts canoeing safaris on the
northern banks of the Zambezi River between the Kafue confluence and the
Chakwenga River (approximately 50 km down river from Nyamepi - Mana Pools
H.Q.). This area is known as the Lower Zambezi.
This is one of the least known and amongst the best three trips on the
The Great Zambezi Trail is a three night / four day
trip from the Kafue River to Mwambashi River Lodge in Zambia.
Departures from Kariba are every Tuesday, Thursday and
Saturday from 1st April to 15 November.
DEPARTURE TIMES AND MEETING PLACE
Safari Par Excellence strongly recommends that guests
arrive in Kariba the night prior to the start of the safari to attend
a pre-departure meeting at the Cutty Sark
Hotel at 19h00. The preferred meeting place and time in Kariba is
the Cutty Sark Hotel at 10h00. However, clients requiring pick-ups
from other hotels in Kariba will be collected at approximately 09h30.
All clients then congregate at the Safari Par Excellence offices to
complete customs and immigration formalities before setting off for
the start of the canoe trip.
On the last day of the safari guests are advised to
make reservations in a Kariba/Lusaka Hotel, where clients will be
dropped off at approximately 15h30.
Zambian clients requiring transfers to and from the
start of the canoe safari, are on request.
Transfers from Kariba to the Kafue River are by
vehicle. Customs and immigration formalities are necessary if
transfers are from Kariba. Facilitation at both border posts has been
organised and the procedure is relatively quick with the transfer
across the Dam Wall being enjoyed by all clients. The vehicle transfer
from the border to the Kafue River is approximately 2 hours.
From here you are transported to the start of your
canoe trip by power boat (approximately 45 minutes). We do not conduct
endurance trips and prefer to adopt a very relaxed and leisurely pace.
Due to the fact that camps and pick-up points are only 20 - 30kms
apart, time is plentiful and hence crack-of-dawn departures are not
Generally guests are ready for breakfast at
approximately 08h00 to 08h30. After breakfast, guests pack their
luggage which is transferred to the next camp by banana boat or
At the guides discretion, the safari will make stops
during the day for walking, fishing, swimming or game and bird
watching. Most of the day is spent in narrow channels which separate
from the main river and are prolific in bird and animal life.
Lunch is taken on the banks or on islands in the
middle of the river. A cold buffet (which has been prepared by the
chef and kitchen staff) and drinks are carried in cooler boxes in the
The next camp or pick-up comes into sight late
afternoon depending on the time spent game viewing, fishing etc. Tea,
coffee, cold drinks and biscuits are ready to welcome you while the
camp staff unload and clean the canoes.
Guests are shown to their accommodation and after a
refreshing shower, gather around the fire for early evening sundowners
Three course dinners are normally served at around
20h00 by experienced and uniformed waiters. Vegetarians and other
dietary requirements can be catered for providing Safari Par
Excellence has been notified well in advance.
NB: On day four, after breakfast, clients enjoy a
drive through the National Park to the Chongwe River and onward boat
transfer to the Kafue River. Clients are then transferred by road to
NO canoeing takes place on the last day.
MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM PAX
Minimum: 2 Pax
Maximum: 9 Pax
EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS
CAMPS, FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED
Safari Par Excellence prides itself in being one of the
few operators on the Zambezi River to offer a unique style of canoe safari
with three fully serviced camps on the river banks between which our canoe
safaris are conducted.
NIGHT ONE: Is spent at Mtondo Camp which enjoys ensuite
NIGHT TWO: Is spent at Chongwe Camp, this being reed and
thatch chalet with ensuite flush toilets and hot/cold showers.
NIGHT THREE: Is spent at Mwambashi River Lodge in the
Zambezi National Park.
Each camp is equipped with the following:
beds with mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows and
flush toilets and hot and cold showers.
bar facilities, fridges and deep freezes
camp staff to attend to your every need
radio communication with each canoe, vehicle, boat,
camp and head office in Lusaka, Kariba and Harare
comprehensive medical kit
4 x 4 vehicles for game drives and transferring
clients and canoes at the end of each safari.
Comprehensive medical aid box and VHF radio in a
watertight floatable pelican case are carried by the professional
NOTE: There are two airstrips:
1) At Mtondo at the start of the safari (Kayila airstrip)
2) Near Mwambashi at the end of the safari (Jeki " )
CO-ORDINATES OF THE AIRSTRIPS ARE AS FOLLOWS:-
KAYILA: 15 DEGREES 47 MINUTES SOUTH
29 DEGREES 12 MINUTES EAST
(500 M GOOD AIRSTRIP)
JEKI: 15 DEGREES 38 MINUTES SOUTH
29 DEGREES 36 MINUTES EAST
(1000 M GOOD AIRSTRIP)
Fly in / fly out canoe safaris can be arranged on request.
FOOD AND DRINKS SUPPLIED
All food is of a high standard served to you by
experienced uniformed waiters. All food, meat, fruit and vegetables
are fresh and prepared by an experienced chef assisted by kitchen
Dinner: chosen from a selection of soups, fruit,
roast, stews, barbecues and deserts.
Whilst in camp, an assortment of pre-dinner snacks are
prepared and enjoyed around the fire during sundowner time. Drinks
supplied on your safari include:
Beer, vodka, cane spirit, gin, brandy and whiskey.
Guests are asked to please keep luggage down to a minimum
- +- 10 kg. Excess baggage and valuables can be kept safely at our office
in Kariba/Lusaka to collect on your return.
If travelling from Zimbabwe return air tickets if not
a resident of Zimbabwe
Valid travel and health documents
Double entry visas for people requiring visas for
re-entry into Zimbabwe. It is advisable for all clients to check with
the Zambian authorities whether or not they need visas for Zambia, and
if necessary obtain their visas prior to departure.
Passport holders which DO NOT NEED VISAS are:
Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and just about all African
countries, including South Africa.
MOST OTHER countries therefore need visas.
The following passport holders need to obtain Zambian
visas from a Zambian Embassy BEFORE entering, and CANNOT obtain one
from the border post like other travellers: DANISH, SWEDISH AND
All canoe safari guides carry VHF hand held radios. Each
camp has an HF and VHF base set which allows us to communicate between our
base camps, various offices in Lusaka, Kariba, Harare, National Parks and
MARS (Medical Air Rescue Service).
01 April to 15 November (subject to rains)