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Adventure Safaris

Canoe Safaris
There are a number of different canoe trips down the many exciting rivers of Africa. I have been spoilt with 20 years of guiding on the Lower Zambezi River along the shores of one of Africa’s most beautiful National Parks; Mana Pools. It is here that I will outline some of the activities that a canoe trip may involve. I have enjoyed the company of many people in their 70s and 80s on canoe safaris down this stretch of river.

Sue Blakely at 85 enjoys a canoe trip down the Zambezi' Last year I had the great companionship of Sue Blakey, an 85 year old woman from Vancouver. Sue had no famous sporting accolades to her name, she was a normal great grand mother who chose to join a group whose itinerary included a four day river trip. So if you are just a regular kind of person, you can do this safari.
Sue Blakely at 85 enjoys a canoe trip down the Zambezi'  

While canoeing down the Zambezi you will encounter many families of hippo, they are seldom any trouble. In the 80km stretch that encompasses the Mana Pools shoreline there are over a thousand hippo to pass. To be nervous and apprehensive is normal, but this soon wears off to photography and fascination of these huge amphibious pigs.

There is little to beat floating along with a steady current of three to four kms an hour, as a dawn sky explodes in dynamic colour on glass like water, shortly followed by the rise of a commanding African sun over this easterly flowing river.

During this time the dawn chorus screams out a greeting of joy to a new day from the huge riverine forests on the Zambian and Zimbabwean banks. A multitude of colorful birds are seen throughout the day, along with numerous sightings of waterbuck, buffalo, elephant, impala, eland, zebra and kudu. Leopard and lion are occasionally sighted from the canoes as they come down to quench their thirst or maybe found feeding on a dead buffalo at the waters edge.

The magic channels that branch off from the main river are the most scenic and productive. They are lined with delicate aquatic flowers, wading birds and grazing animals. The canoe trips are not a race to see how fast you can get down the river, rather an opportunity to silently float and paddle past as much wildlife in the most unobtrusive way possible. Normally the highlights to the day are when bull elephants are encountered swimming in front of the canoes across the Zambezi to feed off reed lined islands or ripping up the grasses and hyacinth in shallow water as you quietly float past.

Father and daughter enjoying a canoe safari together One of the attractions of a canoe trip is that you are master of your own destiny, paddling your vessel for the duration of the safari. You feel healthy at the exercise from thousands of paddle strokes each day. Your body soaks up the life giving sun as it beats down on your urban skin. Amateur bird watchers can expect to tally about 100 species over a four day canoe trip.
Father and daughter enjoying a canoe safari together  

Each day, you carry in your canoe all your daily requirements including meals, drinks, tables and chairs to ensure you have all the creature comforts as well as comprehensive medical equipment, life jackets, spare paddles and VHF radios.

There are three different types of canoe trips on the Lower Zambezi.
>Mobile Canoe Safaris
>Lodge to Lodge Canoe Safaris
>Participatory Canoe Safaris