12 - 22 October 2019
Join wildlife photographer Carole Deschuymere for a 11-day photographic tour of Zimbabwe’s magnificent Zambezi Valley.
Camp in our luxury mobile safari set up with large twin bed tents with En-suite facilities. Be amazed at the African night sky with no light pollution you feel truly secluded looking up at the trillions of stars, which line the sky. Enjoy our talented chiefs 3 course meals daily. All meals are from a custom menu meaning we can cater for all dietary requirements. Camps are open to nature and have no boundaries so be prepared to share your space with a host of wildlife, which call the riverbanks home.
Be surprised during this photography trip to Zimbabwe by all the wildlife, attracted by a unique ecosystem of numerous habitats. From different types of forests, to waterholes and open savannas. During the dry season, Mana Pools is one of the richest natural areas of Zimbabwe. Besides the Big Five, there will be many other wild animals such as wild dogs and hyenas if you’re lucky even cheetahs. Not to mention all the colourful birds!
Mana Pools: a magical place
Mana Pools National Park bathes in a special atmosphere. You can often hear grunting and hissing of Hippopotami in the water. From the camp, you look out on the grasslands where you can admire the Cape buffalos and families of Warthogs. African elephants walk by quietly and you can enjoy the chirping of Cicadas and the scream of the African fish eagle.
Guided walk in a World Heritage Site
Only in Mana Pools National Park can you experience African nature in its full glory. The park has been declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations! Walking safaris allow you to get so much closer to the animals and you will come back home with the best photo results. You smell the elephants, you hear the purr of leopards. The park also has an immense diversity of flora. From large mahogany trees to the magical atmosphere of the forest with Acacia Albida where light seeps through. The wood has a special blue hue which we try to capture with preferably an elephant in the foreground.
Unprecedented photographic opportunities
The fact that you can get out of the car, makes Mana Pools so special for photographers! You step closer towards the animals, you can take lower positions by lying on your stomach or you can follow tracks leading to hunting wild dogs. As a photographer, this is the closest you will ever get to African nature ... Register now for this unique experience!
The Kavinga concession is situated inland.
The camp has 5 luxury rooms with glorious views over the dry Ruckomechi riverbed and set against the extraordinary backdrop of the Zambezi Escarpment. Every evening herds of elephant, buffalo and antelope gather in the riverbed, providing a wonderful wildlife spectacle. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of an elusive leopard. From the hide you can take pictures from a low perspective.
Experienced travel guide
This photo trip is guided by nature and wildlife photographer Carole Deschuymere. Carole knows Mana Pools like no other and will take you to the best spots at the right time and in the best light. Our small group will also be accompanied by a top local guide. The local guides in Zimbabwe are among the best in Africa!
We stay in large "canvas tents” in a private camp, called Mwinilunga, located along the Zambezi. The supplement is for the single option in the hotels. Each tent has an en suite bush toilet. The showers are separate. We will have very tasty meals served at a long table in the bush. Do not be scared when an elephant comes along to take a look ...
During our stay in the Kavinga concession, we stay in a beautiful lodge, overlooking the waterhole.
The international flight is not included in the price, but we can recommend which flight to book that best meets up with the trip, and if you like, we can book it for you. Transport from and to Mana Pools will be done in a bus. We drive from Harare to Chirundu, where we take a boat to go into the park. In the Mana Pools park we use a safari jeep, which is spacious but which we will leave at regular intervals to go and take photographs on foot.
Climate, clothing and equipment
This time of year can be very hot. Appropriate clothing is recommended. Sturdy walking shoes are a must, because we will walk a lot in the park. A light pair of trousers is essential because we often sit on the floor or lie down, which is not always so comfortable. Light shirts or tops, and a light sweater for the evenings, or at least a shirt with long sleeves! Be sure to bring your DSLR camera, wide angle and telephoto zoom lens, tripod or monopod with you. A beanbag is always useful when taking pictures at ground level. More information will follow one month before departure.
We arrive in Harare on 12 October, and we will stay in the comfortable York Lodge. The next morning we will leave early for Mana Pools. The drive through Zimbabwe will be quite the adventure. In Chirundu we will board a boat to bring us into the park. On the Zambezi we will see our first wildlife! Hippo's, elephants... We will arrive at the camp just in time for our first lunch in the bush!
We will be sleeping in a comfortable tented camp along the Zambezi river for the next 7 nights. We will get up early every morning and after some coffee and a biscuit we will head out to try and find something to photograph in the beautiful morning light. And this is when the fun begins! We get out of the car, and head into the landscape on foot to capture the best images. This way we can choose our own point of view, according to the light. Our guide will safely take us to get closer to the animals. We will return to the camp for brunch at about 10 – 11 am . Afterwards there will be time to discuss our photographs and to rest. At about 4 pm we will head out again in search of new adventures. After sundown we will drink a sundowner around the camp fire while the cook prepares our evening meal.
On 20 October we will drive to Kavinga after a morning game drive. The rooms have air conditioning and ensuite bathrooms. This is where we will sleep for the next 2 nights. The lodge became famous after hyenas killed a kudu in the lounge! There is a hide at the waterhole where we can photograph from a low angle. The dry riverbed of the Rucomechi River provides a stunning landscape. The guides know the area so well, they make the most of every game drive. This will give us completely different images from what we did in Mana Pools.
On 22 October, after a short game drive and breakfast at 8, we will drive out of the park, back to Harare for our evening flight. If you wish you can add another night in York lodge, before flying home.