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Private Reserve in the extreme north of Zimbabwe east of Mana Pools and part of the World Heritage Site. Now converted from hunting to tourism/conservation.

For a long stretch of its middle reaches, the Zambezi River separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. Downstream of Lake Kariba and Chirundu, on the southern (Zimbabwean) side of the great river, lies a vast wilderness complex that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its outstanding natural beauty and its magnificent ecological and cultural qualities.

Three separate state-protected areas together make up this huge wilderness complex and front onto the Zambezi River: Mana Pools National Park and its downstream neighbours, the Sapi Private Reserve and the Chewore Safari Area.

Wildlife populations and wilderness landscapes here are second to none in Africa. Healthy populations of many large Africa mammals are present, except for giraffe and wildebeeste (which are not found anywhere in the Zambezi valley), and the black rhinoceros which is endangered and now restricted to a few specially protected areas like the Matusadona and Hwange National Parks.

Mana Pools is a fully protected National Park where only photo-safari and limited fishing activities are allowed (no motorboats).  

Sapi has been recently converted from hunting use into an exclusive tourism and conservation Private Reserve, operated by Great Plains ConservationIt is hoped that, with the change of use, wildlife populations will gradually recover and increase, offering another extraordinary wildlife and wilderness area to rival Mana Pools.  There are also some fishing camps along the Zambezi River in the Sapi area, and new photo-safari camps and activities are being developed during the coming years.   

Chewore remains a hunting area, with some fishing and photo-safari activities. 

Fishing is excellent in deep waters of the Zambezi River here. Apart from Tigerfish and Bream, there are excellent specimens of catfish to be caught, including giant Vundu, as well as Bottlenose, Cornish Jack, Chessa and Nkupe. Many excellent fishing spots on the Zambezi River can be accessed by boat, including the spectacular Mupata Gorge, where the river narrows considerably and the flow is deep and swift.

Fossil remains
In the Sapi and Chewore areas, west of Mupata Gorge, there are extensive "forests" of fossil wood.


Related stories:

Latest ZimParks Fees   (Travel Advice)

Middle-Lower Zambezi - River Lodges & Camps along the Zambezi River   September 2015

UNESCO declares Zambezi Valley a Biosphere Reserve - June 2010

Travel listings for this area

Altair Charters

Personalised private air charters throughout Zimbabwe including remote areas

Chikwenya Camp (Wilderness Safaris)

Luxury, seasonal, 7-tent, decked camp situated on the Zambezi River at the eastern end of Mana Pools National Park

Central Air Transport Services (CATS)

Air charter services to Zimbabwe destinations (including remote areas)

ZimParks - Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority

Self-catering lodges/chalets, tented camp, campsites & picnic sites within the Zambezi Valley's major National Parks and Protected Areas.

Executive Air

Private, professional air charters throughout Zimbabwe and the Africa region, including remote areas.

HAC (Halsteds Aviation Corporation)

High quality air charter service throughout Southern Africa, including remote areas of the Zambezi region. Medical Air Rescue evacuations.

Sapi Explorers Camp & Sapi Springs Camp, Sapi Private Reserve (Great Plains Conservation)

Luxury 12-bed tented camp set on the banks of the Zambezi River, within the Sapi Private Reserve, downstream from Mana Pools.

River God Adventures

All-inclusive 5-day floating safaris along the Zambezi River in fully-staffed & equipped 2 or 8-sleeper pontoon boats.

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