At a Glance
This tented camp on the banks of the Zambezi River offers some of the most diverse wildlife opportunities in Zimbabwe.** **
- The walking and boating safaris
- The “bathtub in the bush” experience
- The treehouse sleeping platform, which can be reserved for a night under the stars
Many consider Mana Pools, a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site, to be the best national park in Zimbabwe because of its diverse wildlife and range of activities from walking safaris to fishing, canoeing and nighttime game drives. Travelers who want to experience this area can stay at the lovely Ruckomechi, a wonderful tented camp that is run by the Wilderness Safaris group.
The main guest areas and the lodge’s nine tents (including one two-bedroom family one) have views of the floodplains, the majestic Zambezi river and the Zambian hills. Hippos and elephants live in and around the banks of the river, so guests can spend their nights listening to a chorus of chortling and chomping from hippos, and observe elephants as they wander through camp. The dining and lounge tents and the small pool and firepit face the river, as does the country’s only open-air bathtub, which can be booked for a soak screened by reeds on three sides and facing the river on one. Each tent has indoor and outdoor lounging areas and a modern safari aesthetic with sisal carpeting, leather benches and a focus on the river views.
In addition to the daily morning and afternoon game drives (which never have more than six guests per vehicle), activities include canoeing, fishing, river cruises and safari walks as well as the option to spend time in a treehouse platform built over a waterhole and furnished with a double-bed hung with mosquito netting, club chairs and a small toilet. (Note: Those who choose to book this overnight option will have a ranger sleeping nearby in a fly tent in case they find the wild night too wild.)
Who Should Stay
Anyone who loves the wilderness and appreciates being in a remote area with incredible land and water activities, but not those who need to see the Big Five, as Mana Pools has elephant, hippo and lions, but no rhino, giraffe or cheetah. It is very popular with photographers because of the incredible backdrop of the Zambian hills behind the silver of the Zambezi.
Who Should Not Stay
Those who need a gym, spa, WiFi or air conditioning.
Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley