When should I travel? New, easy-to-read guide

Planning Your Tour

Best of Both Worlds
World Heritage Safari

Fly in, fly out
Tour Leaders
Our World

Mana Pools
Lake Kariba

Eastern Zambezi Valley

Other activities

Code of Conduct


Photo Album



Spend some time at Mana Pools; and

Get onto Lake Kariba and explore the beautiful Matusadona shoreline.

There are two things that any visitor to our part of the world simply has to do, and we've combined them into our 'Best of Both Worlds' safari. They are -



We'll take you into two utterly beautiful, totally different worlds. At Mana Pools, the natural Zambezi, its magnificent floodplain woodlands and great wildlife spectacles; on Kariba, the vast horizons of the open lake and the intimacy of the wild and secluded bays and inlets that lie hidden behind the shoreline ramparts of drowned trees.

You can enjoy these two 'must-do's' as a stand-alone tour with ZIM4x4. Mana Pools is driving and walking country. Matusadona's shoreline is the loveliest part of the Park, with amazing opportunities for gameviewing, birdwatching and photography - but the best places of all are inaccessible by road. We'll take you there by boat.

But, if you are keen to drive into the Matusadona as part of your broader self-drive visit to Zimbabwe or southern Africa, we can also arrange to uplift you by boat from the Changa Cheriyere or Sanyati West camps, leaving your car securely parked, and return you there after a few days exploring the Park shoreline.

Mana Pools is famous for its spectacular wildlife, awe-inspiring scenery, variety of habitats, and of course for the magnificent views across the Zambezi itself, here a wide, gentle river dotted with islands and sandbars.

We'll provide you with all the background you need, and then introduce you to some of Mana's loveliest, and sometimes little-known, places. We'll have four days to explore the Park, and even that's not long enough.

Sometimes, you'll be driving slowly through the magnificant Acacia and mahogany woodlands, stopping for photographs, and - in suitable places - you can even get out of your car and walk a little. Mana is unique in permitting visitors to walk unaccompanied.

Sometimes, too, you'll be sitting quietly, beside one of the Mana Pools - or even in camp, if you like - just watching and waiting as the birds and animals come to you.

Mana is, quite simply, unforgettable. Sally and I have gone there for 30 years now, and it never, ever, palls.

You'll work a bit harder on our sailing option - you've got to sail the boat (we'll teach you how!) and there aren't any staff to attend to your needs. It's all do-it-yourself, camping on the water; but it's a fabulous experience. We can get to places the houseboats can't - and it's a lot cheaper, as well!

The boats have two double beds (not all that wide, but comfy enough) and deck bunks and a trampoline; there's a toilet on board, and we'll rig up showers as required.

The houseboat is the 'luxury' option, with comfortable cabins and deck beds, splash pool, and crew to serve your drinks and cook your meals. There are fishing boats and pontoon game-viewing boats to explore with, and tackle for hire if you want to try your hand at fishing.

This is the way to go if you want a break from camping. We'll be your on-board hosts, to ensure it all goes smoothly and to explain the flora, fauns, birdlife and all the other features of the bays and inlets we moor in.

From Mana, we'll drive the 170-odd kilometres to Kariba Town, near the Kariba dam wall itself - the 'great divide' between man-made lake and natural river. We'll visit the dam wall, resupply as necessary, overnight at a pleasant lakeside campsite or self-catering lodge, and then embark for our next adventure: Lake Kariba and the Matusadona National Park, either by houseboat or by sailboat, whichever you'd prefer.

Lake Kariba is a totally different experience. Really an inland sea, 280km long and over 30km wide in places, it is amazingly lovely, and just being on the lake itself is a wonderful experience, with cool breezes, immense skies, wide horizons, mountain backdrops and enticing islets.

We'll spend a little time on the open lake, as we cross to the Matusadona National Park. Many of its shores are protected by great ramparts of 'drowned trees' that have a strange beauty of their own, their steel-grey skeletal branches faithfully reflecting their original identities as mopanes, leadwoods, tamarinds, raintrees, and many others.

Penetrate these ramparts by boat, and a whole new world of secluded bays, inlets and river-mouths opens up, teeming with birdlife and populated with hippo and crocodiles. The Kanjedza, Nyamuni, Bonde, Kakongwe rivers - these are names to conjure with. Moor up and wait for an hour or two, and you'll see elephant, impala and many other species coming to drink and bathe at the water's edge. Meanwhile the surrounding bush is alive with birdsong, while fish-eagles - Kariba's iconic bird - call overhead as they soar in thermals, or stoop to catch an unsuspecting fish.

We can take you elsewhere, as well - to the isolated SampaKaruma islands, or into the spectacular Sanyati Gorge. On Kariba, the sky - literally - is the limit!

WildIdeas (Pvt) Ltd t/a ZIM4X4