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Ruwesi Canoe Trail

If you are a new traveller to Africa and are looking for an amazing adventure with wildlife experiences second to none, then this is the perfect safari for you. The Ruwesi Canoe Trail is located within Mana National Park, covering a section of the middle Zambezi Valley. Each day you canoe through the most scenic parts of the Zambezi River, and then camp at a different spot in the wild along the Zambezi River every evening.


  • Canoe safaris run from the beginning of April and end in November each year and minimum three-night experience is recommended.
  • Maximum of two people per canoe and no previous canoe experience is required
  • Paddlers are available on request
  • A game drive vehicle will follow with your luggage/personal belongings
  • Accommodation is in spacious 3m x 3m walk-in mobile Meru Tents with ensuite open-air bush bathrooms with bucket showers and flush toilets. The camps are set up before guests arrive each evening.
  • Each tent is furnished with large proper beds on steel frames with a comfortable mattress on a wooden base and a bedside table.
  • Paraffin lamps are used throughout the camp.
Ruwesi canoe trail

It’s Time for a Zambezi Adventure!

Join us for the experience of a lifetime as you spend 2 nights at our traditional tented camp Little Vundu and 2 nights adventuring down the mighty Zambezi River on a mobile canoe safari.

  • Day 1

    Little Vundu ZambeziYour adventure begins as you land at Mana Main airstrip, where your guide will be waiting to take you to Little Vundu. Your arrival time will determine your immediate activity.  The drive to Little Vundu takes about 1.5 hours, but it will be combined with a game drive.  You will arrive in camp in time for lunch/sundowners.  After a siesta your afternoon activity will be game driving and walking.  After sundowners, you will return back to Little Vundu for dinner.

  • Day 2

    ruwesi canoe 1After a light breakfast, you will go on your morning activity of game drives and walking, before returning to camp for lunch.  Your afternoon activity will be canoeing, and the very first leg of your Ruwesi Canoe trail.  You will paddle from the Ruckomechi River to Little Vundu which is about 12km.  You will arrive back at Little Vundu by sunset in time for sundowners and snacks.  Dinner is served under the bright African stars.

  • Day 3

    ele bulls islandsThis morning you will have an early start as you depart after a light breakfast and begin the paddle to your next night’s accommodation  – camping in the wild at the picturesque and exclusive-use Chessa campsite which is 25km downstream.  Normally, you canoe for a few hours before pulling up to the bank and enjoy a morning walk.  After the walk, you will have a full brunch and continue on your canoe safari in the early afternoon, usually, around the time the elephants are moving out onto the islands, which makes for a great afternoon on the Zambezi, gently drifting up to these bulls in your canoe.  You will arrive at your mobile tented camp in the late afternoon where, if time allows, you will be taken on an evening game drive before dinner.

  • Day 4

    Game drive VunduAfter another light breakfast, you set off for your last night’s accommodation at Ilala campsite which is 24km downstream near the Sapi River.  Similar to your previous day, you will stop along the way to enjoy a walk or game drive before continuing to Ilala, where your mobile tented camp awaits you, arriving between 4-6 pm.  This is the final night’s accommodation and one of the most spectacular locations you will find anywhere.

  • Day 5

    Zambezi AdventureDepending on your time of departure, you will either have time for a morning walk before returning for a light breakfast.  Alternatively, you will leave directly after having a light breakfast and begin your drive back to Mana Pools Airstrip in time for your departure.

Paddle Perfect

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