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Kruger’s far north is tranquil wilderness, ideal to explore on foot, but mind large ellie and buff herds on the floodplains. Unique flora includes baobab groves and fever tree forest. The gorges and springs are stunning, birding the best in the Park.

Three nights, four day  mobile tented camp exploring a game-rich wilderness with spectacular scenery by traditional mokoro, boat and on foot.

Zambezi Walking Safaris run an extremely comfortable mobile camp exploring Zimbabwe's spectacular Mana Pools National Park. These fully supported tented Safaris follow the course of the Zambezi River. Your small party leaves camp each day with only day-packs, cameras, binos and the rising sun for company, and takes the day for an unhurried meander along and around the river-bank and its game-rich surrounds to the next camping spot.

Your three-night, four day walking safari odyssey begins near the confluence of the Ruckomechi and Zambezi rivers and continues along the shoreline to Illala Camp by Chikwenya Island in the Mana Pools Wilderness Area. The leisurely pace allows you to experience the wonders of nature from the tiniest insect to the mighty elephants that roam the valley. An extremely high standard of guiding provides a rich interpretative experience of the bush.

Elephant, buffalo, hippos and crocodile abound. There is a wide variety of antelope species. Wild dogs are very active in this area and are a frequent treat to see. Other predators particularly favour the adrenaline-grass of the Mbera River floodplain which you will explore on day three.

Arriving at your magically transported tent you will find an ice cold drink and "donkey"-powered hot shower at the ready, with dinner being prepared. All of the personal belongings you did not need for your day on foot will be here for you.

The camp offers a rustic sort of comfort – no electricity, permanent structures or plumbing, and certainly no cellphone signal or internet. You get a taste of the way safaris used to be, a truly authentic African bush experience. The camps are eco-friendly, erected and dismantled within hours, and leave minimal traces on the environment.


The Walking Safari starts before midday and we strongly recommend that you arrive a day early and spend the night at the affiliated, slightly more luxurious (and permanent!) base camp to ensure that you are well rested before the trail. It is also a good idea to wind down here overnight at the end of the trail in order to re-adjust from the "hothouse" intensity of the walking experience.

The base camp has wonderful views across the Zambezi at its full width. Game drives from here take you further inland than the trail. Excellent canoeing is on offer too and is a wonderful way to glide past herds of animals and through pods of hippos (watch out for crocodiles) in 18ft Canadian-style boats with comfortable seats and cushions.

Minimum age for this trail is 14 years old. A reasonable level of fitness is required. Bring your swimming costume and a kikoi or sarong to cover your legs in the the heat of the day. Trails depart with two to eight participants, and leave on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Arrangements can be made for larger groups - a great option is for a group of six to walk and six to canoe simultaneously and to meet at the end of each day to share camp-sites and tall tales. A back-up vehicle is within radio range to pick you up and take you to the next camp if you feel the need for a break from walking during the day.



An intense, totally immersive Safari with the potential to open your mind in unexpected ways.

This particular Safari and operator are single-handedly responsible for getting me hooked on the bush some twenty years ago. Highlights are still strongly emblazoned on my memory and include a relaxing evening around the fire discussing the elephant encounters we had enjoyed on foot that day, enlivened by my desire to visit the long drop toilet (dug some distance away) being rudely interrupted by walking into a leopard in the pitch blackness. All other ideas were abandoned and I skedaddled back to the camp sharpish. The (exceptional) Guide immediately gathered up both his rifle and his side-arm and we tracked that leopard along the bank until we got a clear view. It was a life-transforming experience.

These unexpected moments underwrite the magic of spending time in the beautiful wilderness areas exemplified by Mana Pools, immersed in your surroundings and at the beck and call of the wonders of nature surrounding you.

David M

This particular area remains a stand-out one to me for its remoteness, tranquility, and the simplicity of the camp and its tempo of days immersing yourself in the richness of the environment, reacting to whatever wonders turning the next corner throws up. Mana Pools is understandably fiercely in demand in the local market amongst those who are "in the know" but little traipsed by foreign visitors. This Safari destination is pristine and strikingly different in the directness of the bush experience on offer.

David Manttan founded largely because of this trail

Highly recommended

  • Part of this trail traverses the controlled, limited access Wilderness Area of the National Park where you are highly unlikely to see any other people or vehicles (if you have seen any at all already!)
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