Professional Safari Guide
All Natureways Safaris guides have passed the rigorous examination set by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management and hold either a valid Canoe or Professional Guides’ License. All guides carry a licensed weapon on the River. They have all studied and passed a MARS (Medical Air Rescue Services) first aid course and take a refresher course annually. If any problems should occur during the Safari there are various contact points along the River, these will be covered in safety briefings conducted before and during the Safari. Each guide also carries an ‘Emergency Safety Manual’ with a map and comprehensive instructions of what to do if a situation arises.
Odyssey Safaris have the benefit of a Professional Guide who is able to conduct canoeing safaris as well as walking safaris. Explorer Safaris are lead by a fully qualified Canoe Guide who is usually accompanied by a Learner guide. A learner guide must have at least 1000 hours of canoeing experience just to be able to site the Canoe Guides exam!
About the Safari
Kariba to Kanyemba – Departs Tues/Sat/Sun April to November
DAY ONE (18 KM)
The operator will collect you on the morning of your safari at 7:30am, in good time for a check-in at their office, handing in extra luggage and valuables. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR PASSPORT ON THE RIVER. There will be a short briefing to summarise what the safari entails and questions may be asked. Guests will be required to sign an indemnity form before leaving on the safari.
After the briefing, a visit to the shops will be made, purchasing any extra drinks
wanted for the trip before setting off for the river. Please note that credit cards are not a recommended payment option in Zimbabwe.
After arriving at the start point, luggage will be portered into the gorge and your group will walk the 1.5kms down to the river - quite a long, steep descent. All canoes and camping equipment will have already been carried into the gorge and packed. A safety talk and demonstration on how to paddle a canoe will be given after which you will be launched, then paddling until a stop is made for lunch.
After a picnic-style lunch, there will be time for a siesta to avoid the worst heat of the day, then paddling recommences. At approximately 5pm the group reaches Crocodile Rocks Island and sets up camp. There will be time to have a bucket bath, relax and have dinner after a brief safety talk on camping.
DAY TWO (27 KM)
Waking at sunrise for tea, coffee and biscuits, followed by a couple of hours‘ canoeing and a stop for a leisurely breakfast. After breakfast, you will set off once again, enjoying the incredible scenery of the Zambezi Valley. A lunch stop will be made at the first suitable spot – with time once again, for a siesta. In the early evening you will reach your second campsite at Twin Logs Island.
DAY THREE (28 KM)
The group will be woken at sunrise for tea, coffee and biscuits and breakfast before canoeing starts. Between 10:30 and 11am you will reach the re-supply point at Chirundu where fresh supplies of fruit and vegetables for the second leg of the journey are obtained. Paddling resumes after a light packed lunch, continuing to the night stop at Kakomarara Island.
DAY FOUR (27 KM)
Up at sunrise for tea, coffee and biscuits and breakfast before you start canoeing. Canoeing continues until midday and a well-earned lunch and siesta, time to catch up on reference books until mid-afternoon (depending on the weather). The group will continue to paddle until approximately 5pm, spending the night camped on Lone Acacia Island.
DAY FIVE (23 KM)
The programme is as per day four. The night’s campsite will be at Trichelia Island.
DAY SIX (20 KM)
Again, today’s programme is very similar to days four and five. Lunch will be at about midday after which there is a chance to relax, take in your surroundings or siesta. The group will paddle until early evening where camp will be made on Chikwenya Island.
DAY SEVEN (25 KM)
Up at dawn for tea, coffee and biscuits before a short early morning paddle. Breakfast will be served either on the banks of the river or on an island. Afterwards you will resume canoeing until lunchtime after which a brief siesta can be taken on the banks of the river. Once the heat subsides, canoeing will continue to False Gorge.
DAY EIGHT (20 KM)
The programme is as per day seven. The day will be spent exploring the shoreline of Chewore (home of the Great Elephant). Camp will be made at Mupata Gorge.
DAY NINE (35 KM)
The schedule for this day will be as per day six and seven with the day spent mainly in the austere Mupata Gorge, viewing its many endemic species of wildlife and taking in its spectacular geographical features. This night’s campsite will be established at the base of the towering Red Cliffs.
DAY TEN (7 KM)
After an early wake-up and breakfast, you will paddle down to the take-out point at Kanyemba. Equipment will then be loaded onto the vehicle and the group transferred back to Kariba. Arrival time in Kariba is approximately 4pm.
Semi-participatory Explorer Canoe Safari options begin and end in Kariba (unless by other arrangement) and we recommend you spend the night prior to their safari’s departure in Kariba town. We can assist with booking this accommodation. Safaris depart from our offices in Kariba, clients can self-drive there or, be picked up by us from their various hotels at 7:30am. Once at the office, clients may arrange for excess luggage and valuables to be locked away safely until their return. (We do not recommend taking passports or valuables on the river). A short briefing will then be given to help clients understand what the trip entails and any questions will be answered. A shopping trip follows to allow the purchase of any additional groceries or personal items required, as well to purchase particular drinks clients may want. Clients will then be driven to the starting point of their safari.
Generally the day starts with tea/coffee and biscuits at sunrise. Camp is then packed up and the party sets off. Early mornings make for easy paddling as the wind is calm and it is not yet too hot. A stop will be made for breakfast, usually after a couple of hours. The trip continues after breakfast, until breaking for a light lunch and siesta to avoid the midday heat. The night stop is reached at approximately 5pm and the camp is unpacked and setup. Campsites are typically set up on islands and all sites are designated by National Parks.
There are no ablution facilities on these safaris. Clients are provided with a spade, toilet paper and matches - with which to burn the toilet paper. Bathing is done from a bucket using water scooped out of the river.
Explorer Safaris are self-contained. All equipment and food is carried in the canoes and there is no vehicle back-up apart from drop-off and pick-up. As these safaris are semi-participatory, clients are required to help up setup tents and to assist the guide with the cooking and washing up.
All camping equipment is supplied. This includes gas stoves, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, plastic plates, mugs, tables, stools, camping mattresses, sleeping bags and liners, candles, matches, cooler boxes and dome tents. Clients can bring their own sleeping bags if preferred. Fishing equipment is not supplied but clients may bring their own.
All food is supplied and meals are of a good standard. Meat and poultry dishes are precooked, frozen and stored in a cooler box during the safari. Some fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) are provided on the safari. Long safaris such as the Zambezi Classic Long are re-supplied in either Chirundu or Mana Pools.
• Breakfast usually consists of fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans or tomato relish, toast and jams.
• Lunch consists of cold meats, salads, cheese and bread.
• Dinner consist of a variety of meat and vegetable dishes.
Tea, coffee, cordials and imported wine with dinner are provided on Explorer Safaris. Processed water is provided on all our trips however we also provide 2 litres of bottled mineral water per person per day. Clients are therefore advised to bring their own minerals (soft drinks), beer and spirits. Clients will be able to purchase these before the trip when taken shopping prior to departure. Drinks must be bought in cans to reduce weight and space. A cooler box is set aside for keeping drinks cold. There are no opportunities to replenish stocks on the river.
The wildlife in Zimbabwe's National Parks is hugely abundant and below is a taster of what you might see on these Mobile Canoe Safaris. The full list would be far too numerous and why ruin the surprise? Join us on safari and find out for yourself as every day is different.
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