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Rugged and mountainous Safari Area in the extreme north of Zimbabwe (east of Mana Pools and Sapi). Part of the World Heritage Site and including the Mupata Gorge on the Zambezi River.

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 bring developed during the coming years.  

Chewore remains a hunting area in the interior, with some fishing and photo-safari activities along the river. 

Fishing is excellent in deep waters of the Zambezi River here. Apart from Tigerfish and Bream, other species to be caught including giant Vundu, as well as Bottlenose, Cornish Jack, Chessa and Nkupe. Catch and release is encouraged, especially for Tigerfish and Vundu.  Many productive 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 Chewore and Sapi areas, west of Mupata Gorge, there are extensive "forests" of fossil wood. Inland, in the remote, wild southern section of the South Chewore Safari Area, several spectacular trackways of fossil footprints of "Theropod" carnivorous dinosaurs of the mid-late Jurassic period have been discovered in a river bed. These remains are millions of years old and seldom visited except by small parties of visitors in the company of an experienced and armed professional guide.

Related stories:

Latest ZimParks Fees (Travel Advice)

Big game: hunting for dinosaurs in Zimbabwe's wilderness  - Nov 2015

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

Premier Travel and Tours/Holidays and Destination Management

Zimbabwe's Top Travel Agency, providing hassle free travel & holiday service all along the Zambezi and to other areas.

Chewore Lodge, Tented Camp & Campsite

Prime fishing & wildlife destination at the confluence of the Chewore & Zambezi Rivers - lodge, tented camp, campsite & boat launching facilities.

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 Zimbabwe and the region, including remote areas, with Emergency Medical Response packages available.

Off 2 Africa Travel

Experienced Destination Management Company offering a complete travel planning service for trips within Zimbabwe and Southern Africa

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.

Central Air Transport Services (CATS)

Air charter services to Zimbabwe destinations (including remote areas)

Grand Air Charters

Personalized air charter flight service from Charles Prince Airport, Harare to all airstrips in Southern Africa, including remote safari areas.

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