Zimbabwe's Mana Pools Walking & Star Beds Adventure

7 days

Zimbabwe's Mana Pools Walking & Star Beds Adventure

Highlights

  • Explore Mana Pools National Park - considered the 'golden child' of the Zambezi Valley
  • Discover the pristine Sapi Concession, a private photographic reserve
  • Sensational guided nature walks in a World Heritage Site
  • Spend two nights in the extraordinary Sapi Star Beds
  • Prime bird-watching territory in a Ramsar site with 380 recorded species
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Overview

Explore two of the finest protected wilderness areas in Africa on this sensational safari. The magnificent Mana Pools National Park and the neighbouring Sapi Concession form part of a World Heritage Site, with around 85% of this area only negotiable on foot. This is the ideal safari for active travellers who prefer getting really close to nature and the environment’s smaller details. Sapi is a private photographic reserve and Mana Pools is a designated Ramsar Site – an area of international importance for the conservation of wetlands and their resources, especially waterfowl habitats.

Start your adventure on the Sapi riverbank, discovering the Mana Pools wilderness area on guided nature walks and game drives. Revel in up-close encounters with some of Africa’s largest animals like elephant, lion, leopard, and buffalo – hopefully you will capture exceptional photographic moments! The area is also home to hyena, endangered wild dog, eland (the biggest of all Africa’s antelopes), zebra and various other ungulates.

Then head inland to the area’s highlight, the Sapi Star Beds. These wooden platforms are positioned over a natural spring, shaded by beautiful indigenous trees like cluster figs, jackalberries and leadwoods. The Star Beds have two levels: the lower houses your bathroom with flush toilet and open-air bucket shower, while the top is equipped with a large bed that is elegantly draped with a mosquito net. Fall asleep under the magical African starlit sky to the gentle sounds of a bush lullaby… the cooing of owls, the far-off chuckling of hyenas and perhaps even the distant contact calling of lions.

Spend your last few days exploring the diverse terrain of the Sapi Concession on game drives and nature walks. Discover the final resting place of the legendary Chief Chikwenya’s various personal equipment: a 1 200-year-old baobab tree with a huge hollow inside its bark walls. If you are feeling more adventurous, hop in a canoe and go for a gentle paddle down the Sapi River, enjoying unique sightings of wildlife from water level.

The concession is also a prime bird-watching territory, with an estimated 380 recorded species including Shelly’s sunbird, rock pratincole, African skimmer, Arnott’s chat, broad-tailed paradise-wydah and the ginger-feathered Pel’s fishing owl. Early mornings and late afternoons are fantastic times for avid birders. At night, look out for slit-faced bats, which eats frogs and fish!

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Let’s Go

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 7 Days

  • Start: Zimbabwe
  • End: Zimbabwe

Destinations Visited

Accommodations Visited

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Mana Expedition Mobile Tent

2 Nights
Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Sapi Star Beds

2 Nights
Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Mana Expedition Mobile Tent

2 Nights
Day to day

Itinerary

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Days 1-3: Explore Mana Pools

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Detailed breakdown

Days 1-3: Explore Mana Pools | 2 Nights

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Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

After your charter flight from Harare (the capital of Zimbabwe) or Victoria Falls International Airport to Chikwenya Airstrip, you'll be transferred to a luxury mobile camp overlooking the beautiful Sapi River. Settle into your elegant tented suite, your comfortable retreat for the next two nights. Your bathroom is en suite with a flush toilet and open-air safari bucket shower. Spend your days exploring the tranquil riverbed and Mana Pools National Park, a photographer's paradise. You will go on guided nature walks and game drives to encounter animals like elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, hyena and wild dog. Savour delicious meals from the camp's à la carte menu, served in the elegant dining area.

Days 3-5: Experience the Sapi Star Beds | 2 Nights

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Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Imagine sleeping in a comfortable bed on a wooden platform, high off the ground with no roof to obstruct your unbelievable view of our endless galaxy. Imagine looking down onto a natural spring where wild animals come to drink throughout the day, and drifting off to sleep every night to the serenading sounds of the African bush. This might sound unimaginable now but once you have completed your short journey inland to a beautiful indigenous forest and made your way up to your Sapi Star Bed, you will realise that there might be no other way to get any closer to nature. The lower level of the platform houses your 'en suite' bathroom equipped with a flush toilet and safari bucket shower, and the top section showcases a spacious bed romantically draped with a frothy mosquito net.

By day, explore the surrounding area and dry riverbeds on foot or in a safari vehicle. Discover Sapi's hidden gems, mammals and rich birdlife. End your exhilarating days with romantic dining experiences under the wings of an ancient strangler fig tree, gazing at the surreal Zimbabwean blood-red sunsets - a photographer's delight.

Days 5-7: Soak up Zambezi River vistas | 2 Nights

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Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Spend your last two days at another luxury mobile tented camp featuring an elegant lounge and dining area that overlooks the Zambezi, one of the biggest rivers in Africa. Traverse the Sapi Concession on foot or by vehicle to discover the area's large animals like elephant, buffalo, eland, lion, and over 380 recorded bird species. If you are lucky, you might spot the large slit-faced bat that lives along the Zambezi River - the only bat in Africa that eats fish and frogs. These bats have unusually excellent eyesight and can torpedo down onto their prey from tree branches hanging over the water. Explore an ancient forest of baobab trees, one of which is a 1 200-year-old resting place for legendary Chief Chikwenya's prized bows, arrows, spears and other personal paraphernalia. Grab a paddle and go on a fascinating canoe safari, learning even more about Sapi's wonderful wildlife and rehabilitation processes within this incredible ecosystem.

On your final morning, you will make your way back to Harare or Victoria Falls Town for your onward arrangements home, the sights and sounds of Africa permanently embedded in your memory.

Exclusions tick icon

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Rates

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Dates Price
2018-05-01 — 2018-11-17 $4,930
2019-05-01 — 2019-11-17 $5,040
Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently. Please treat all pricing as a guide only:
  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Departure Dates

  • 2019 Departures
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