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
Chirundu to Kanyemba – Departs Mon/Tues/Thurs 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.
Transfers are by open 4x4 vehicles to Chirundu, arriving at approximately 11:30am at which time canoes and kit are unloaded. Following this, a safety talk and demonstration of paddling a canoe will be given. A packed lunch will be taken on the river. At approximately 5pm you will establish camp on an island named Kakomarara, after a brief safety talk on camping, there is then time to relax and have dinner.
DAY TWO (27 KM)
Up at sunrise for tea, coffee and biscuits before paddling for a couple of hours to the breakfast stop. Afterwards canoeing will resume until midday and a well-earned lunch and siesta, time to catch up on reference books until mid afternoon (depending on the weather). Canoeing will continue until about 5pm until camp setup on Lone Acacia Island.
DAY THREE (23 KM)
The programme is as per day two. With the night’s camp stop on Trichelia Island.
DAY FOUR (27 KM)
A similar programme to day three. Lunch will be around midday after which there is a chance to relax, take in your surroundings or possibly siesta. The group will then paddle until the early evening where the night’s camp is made at Chikwenya Island.
DAY FIVE (25 KM)
You will be woken early for tea, coffee and biscuits before a short morning’s paddle. Breakfast will be served either on the banks of the river or on an island. After which the group will resume canoeing until around midday. After lunch and a brief siesta, taken on the banks to avoid the midday heat, canoeing will continue until early evening where camp will be set up at False Gorge.
DAY SIX (20 KM)
The programme is as per day five. The day will be spent exploring the shoreline of the Chewore area (home of the Great Elephant). Camp will be set up at the top end of Mupata Gorge.
DAY SEVEN (35 KM)
This day is planned much as per days five and six and spent mainly in the austere Mupata Gorge. Time to take in its many endemic species of wildlife and its spectacular geographical features. The night’s campsite will be established at the base of the towering Red Cliffs.
DAY EIGHT (7 KM)
After an early wake-up call and breakfast, the group will paddle down to the takeout point at Kanyemba. The equipment will be loaded onto the vehicle and you will be 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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