Safari Area 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 and Chewore Safari Areas.

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 exclusively tourism and conservation area. It 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 already 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

ZimParks - Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority

Self-catering lodges/cottages, public and exclusive campsites & picnic sites within the Zambezi Valley's major National Parks and Protected Areas.

River God Adventures

All-inclusive 5-day floating safaris along the Zambezi River in fully-staffed & equipped 4-8-sleeper pontoon boats.

Tafika & Shamashanga, Zambezi

One fully-catered lodge and one self-catering fishing camp on the Zambezi River downstream of Mana Pools in the Sapi Safari Area.

Pesha Safaris

Transfers and tours throughout Zimbabwe, especially Kariba, and a road transfer service connecting Kariba with Harare, Lusaka and Mana Pools

Altair Charters

Personalised private air charters throughout Zimbabwe including remote areas

Central Air Transport Services (CATS)

Air charter services to Zimbabwe destinations (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.

Executive Air (& Life Flight)

Private, professional air charters throughout Zimbabwe and the Africa region, including remote areas. Medical Air Ambulance Rescue service.

View all

Loading map...

Browse listings

Enter your details below to subscribe to the Wild Zambezi newsletter.