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Atravelynn

Innovative 64-km Natureways Mana Pools Shoreline Canoe Camping Safari

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Atravelynn

Doug Macdonald worked with Natureways to create a unique itinerary, per my request, that I believe has not been undertaken before by Natureways. Their 3-night Shoreline canoe trip was combined with island camping. The result: maximum wildlife at camping costs, plus the beauty and privacy of island camping. It was a spectacular river trip packed with wildlife and shoreline scenic beauty.

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“spectacular river” and the hippos agree

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some of the “maximum wildlife,” which included 150-ish elephants and 3 colonies of carmine bee eaters during the 3 night canoe safari

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“shoreline scenic beauty” near Ruckomechi, the launching point

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“island camping” that kept costs in check -- Ilala Isand, the 3rd and final night

Sept 26 Arrive Harare, 15 minute transfer to Guinea Fowl B&B.

Sept 27 Transfer back to Harare and Fly Altair to Mana Pools Main Airstrip, 1 hour & 20 minutes.

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Aerial view on flight to Mana Pools

 

Afternoon guided outing in Mana Pools and o/nt Natureways Mobile Camp (Mucheni #4).

 

Sept 28 Morning guided Mana Pools outing and begin 3-night shoreline camping canoe trip. O/nt Vundu Island.

Sept 29 Canoe trip. O/nt Buffalo Island

Sept 30 Canoe trip. O/nt Ilala Island.

Oct 01 Off the river by 8:00 am at Chikwenya. The Natureways staff was there to greet us and load up the canoes and half an hour later we were ready to drive off.

 

After this canoe safari I did an additional 10 nights in Mana Pools, all but 1 with Doug Macdonald.

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Acacia Point

Daily details and temps during the canoe safari follow below. No adrenaline producing or heart stopping incidents, nothing scary, no close calls, etc are contained in the details. Just how I like it.

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Acacia Point

In Sept 2015, I did the Natureways Mopane trip with Norman and Takesure.

http://safaritalk.net/topic/15504-natureways-70-km-mopane-canoe-trip-sept-4-7-mana-pools-sapi-chewore/

 

I had such a nice time that I thought I’d do it again while these guys are still river guides. (Not that they are planning to leave or anything.) I made what I think were a couple of improvements from the first trip. Most of those improvements also increased the cost from the Mopane trip.

 

- This was a private trip. In 2015 I was lucky that no one else signed up and that Natureways kept their end of the bargain for just one person. This time it was private by design. I had tried to get one other person to join me, but no luck. One other person would mean each of us could sit in the front of a canoe and have a pro in the back, where the heavy paddling and steering is done. Two canoes and two staff are used for either a one-person or two-person trip.

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Even Guide Norman is taking a short, momentary break in this photo. I sat up front. Supply canoe with Manu. Another guest could have sat up front in this canoe.

 

- The 2015 Mopane itinerary was great, but I wanted more time in the heart of Mana Pools. This trip went from Ruckomechi to Chikwenya, which is the Natureways Shoreline canoe itinerary that normally stays in established camps supported by a complete staff. Instead I stayed on the sand islands in (very nice) pup tents.

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- August is known as the windy month. Sometimes high winds creep into September, as they did on my Sept 4-7 2015 trip. The problem with wind is (1) it is harder to canoe because it always blows upriver in your face (2) wind whipped whitecaps can reduce stability and make tipping easier meaning we get off the river and (3) the hippos head to shore to avoid the waves, so canoes cannot hug the more interesting shoreline and must travel mid-river. To help avoid a windy trip, I pushed the trip dates much later to Sept 28-Oct 1. [unusually late and heavy winds in 2016 still plagued us at times, though less than 2015.]

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Lunch stop at Acacia Point

- The Kariba dam controls water flow on the Zambezi. Weekends are low flow; weekdays have more water. I planned this trip for the weekdays of Wed, Thurs, Fri, and off the river on Sat so I’d have higher water levels and the ability to canoe into the channels. [Work/repairs on the dam or some other unusual water flow procedures resulted in water flow similar to the weekend and not the weekdays.]

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Acacia Point

 

- I brought my own more comfortable life jacket this time. Much better than the chunky orange ones provided. Most people don’t even wear a life jacket, so fit is a moot point for the majority. But I promised my husband I would always wear it on the water. And I always did.

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modeling my own life jacket – usually I was in the front of the canoe.

 

- I requested less bologna and in fact there was none. We had a big ring of it that lasted for days in 2015. But overall food on the 2015 and the 2016 trip was great and plentiful and the guides are also talented chefs.

 

- The Natureways prep list suggests a kikoi or sarong to drape over your legs/feet in the canoe. I did not bring one last time but I certainly did bring and use one this time.

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My red kikoi is visible – I wore shorts every day in the canoe and it covered my legs and feet when the sun was hot.

 

- I also brought a book this time, especially for the midday stops and rests. I left my shoes/boots behind this time and wore just Keens. Instead of bringing only my small Canon Powershot SX280 with no viewfinder, I also brought the larger Canon Powershot SX50 with a viewfinder. The SX50 often worked better because I held it up, pressed against my face to see through the viewfinder, and that offered more stability.

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SX50 pressed against my face at Acacia Point

 

But the smaller SX280 did a decent job.

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Sacred Ibis and African Skimmer - taken with compact SX280 from canoe

 

Speaking of cameras, there is no charging of batteries on the river. I went into the second battery for both the SX280 and the SX50.

 

Despite more wind and lower water levels than anticipated, the trip was superb. Those couple of negatives only reinforce what a tremendous job Guides Norman and Manu (short for Emanual) did and what a fantastic environment we had for canoeing.

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In addition to be skilled canoeists, excellent spotters, knowledgeable guides, talented chefs,

and fun guys, Norman and Manu stopped to pick up litter along the way!

Next is the day at Natureways Camp before departing on the

canoe safari and the 3 days canoeing the Zambezi in Mana Pools

Edited by Atravelynn

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xelas

@@Atravelynn

 

I am quite sure many readers will be sorry for not grabbing this opportunity! Darn those retirement days are still so faaaar away ....

Edited by xelas

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn

 

I am quite sure many readers will be sorry for not grabbing this opportunity! Darn those retirement days are still so faaaar away ....

Maybe they can grab it on their schedule.

 

 

Day up front at Natureways camp before the canoe trip

This one night stay was booked as group activities, but two of the three outings turned out to be solo. I wanted one buffer day before hitting the water and that day proved highly productive with sightings unique to the entire trip.

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Blackwinged Stilt—Elijah, the Natureways camp manager, told us the red legs of the

Blackwinged Stilt look like the color of worms to attract fish.

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In front of Natureways camp

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Seen during the one day at Natureways camp before the canoe trip

Arrival at Mana Pools Main Airstrip at 8:10 am, 88° F & 31°C. Craig was my Natureways guide. Wasting no time, another couple who were leaving that day and I departed the airstrip for the floodplains for a couple of hours exploration by vehicle. Then back to the airstrip at 10:45 am for the couple’s plane. During our wait for their plane, jetlag caught up with me and I fell asleep, stretching out on the back seat. Two hours later I awoke and we were still at the airstrip and it was 94° F & 34°C. Some kind of mixup. Back to camp for lunch.

 

Guide Craig and Norman the canoe guide and I departed for an afternoon walk at 4:10 pm, 100° F & 38°C. By 5:40 pm at the conclusion of the walk, temps had cooled to 95° F & 35°C.

 

At 9 pm bedtime it was 85° F & 29°C and all the way down to 82° F & 28°C inside the tent, which retains body heat, at the 5:00 am wakeup. Outside at 5:50 am when we departed it was 78° F & 26°C .

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Mucheni #4 Natureways campsite, inside the tent The elephant prefers leaves to the buffet, as it should be.

One particularly impressive outing had us chasing elusive reports of a lion in the area. After a few other vehicles left when no lion merialized, Craig and Norman persevered. I stayed back at the vehicle and stretched my legs alongside it. They were gone about 20 minutes and when they returned, they guided me back toward where they had left the lion. But it had moved. A little more tracking, which made us work for our reward, and there he was. An initial slight, distant charge and chuff gave way to a relaxing nap in the shady brush.

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Lion seen on foot with Guide Craig from Natureways

 

Walking back to the vehicle at 8:30 am after our lion it was 90° F & 32°C .

 

Canoe safari – Day 1, 16 km

Lunch at Natureways before embarking on the canoe adventure was at noon when it was 98° F & 37°C.

 

1:00 pm -- 2:15 pm drive from Mucheni #4 to Ruckomechi canoe launch point.

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Unloading the canoes at Ruckomechi

3:00 pm -- Launch! Guides Norman and Manu and I were off.

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Right near the Ruckomechi launch point are usually several pods of hippos.

 

We tried to canoe the Vundu Channel, but there was too little water in it. Norman and Manu said they had tried it a week ago also with no luck. But we did have luck with a colony of carmine bee eaters, the first of three.

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Carmine bee eaters

4:10 - 4:20 pm We stopped for a short break.

4:40 - 4:50 pm Stopped at an island to watch some elephants.

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Pulled up onto one of the islands and exited the canoes to watch some elephants.

5:25 pm We landed at Vundu Island, our first camping stop. 92° F & 33°C.

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Vundu Island, the first of 3 island campsites

Canoe safari – Day 2, 25 km

4:00 am 75° F & 24°C.

After coffee or tea and biscuits we departed at 6:45 am. 78° F & 26°C. There was some morning haze.

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All the "water" is not in the river.

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Open billed storks with waterbuck

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I am afraid we were the cause of the speedy departures.

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An unintimidated waterbuck

We canoed the Acacia Channel and saw a second carmine bee eater colony.

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lower left bird has a bee or something in its beak -- could not

approach the bee eaters too closely in the canoe

 

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Acacia Channel ended at Acacia Point, where there was a lot of elephant activity.

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approaching Acacia Point

Next is the elephant activity at Acacia Point,

a birthday toast and the remainder of the canoe safari

Edited by Atravelynn

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Kitsafari

Zembezi river looks beautiful from your vantage point. I can never seriously do a canoe trip so im happy to ride virtually with you.

That life vest looks like it was made just for you.

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Africalover

@@Atravelynn - That's the way to do it. I have often thought about doing a similar trip as yours. Your trip report did not change that - great stuff and pics.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn - That's the way to do it. I have often thought about doing a similar trip as yours. Your trip report did not change that - great stuff and pics.

I urge to go for it. Maybe you'd even like something longer than 3 nights. For optimal wildlife viewing and photo ops, I agree that a private trip is best. Going with 2 people would be optimal for the costs and would not detract from the optimal viewing because each person could sit in front in one of the 2 canoes that go on every trip (and concentrate on looking through binos or photography) and have a professional paddling/steering in the back On the other hand, Natureways' group camping trips with a little participation offer a similar experience at an excellent value.

Zembezi river looks beautiful from your vantage point. I can never seriously do a canoe trip so im happy to ride virtually with you. That is like me for bungee jumpers, parachute jumpers and microlights. Love to read about the experience of others, never will do it myself.

That life vest looks like it was made just for you. I bought an old one from the local place that I canoed to get in shape for the trip. I adjusted the straps for a stylish, tailored fit. ;) Glad you liked it! It took up a lot of room in my luggage, though. I suppose I could have worn it on the plane, but that might have caused concern as the first leg of the flight was over the ocean. :o Just kidding, of course.

Edited by Atravelynn

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optig

@@Atravelynn I'm now remembering my own three day canoe three day safari down the Zambezi River,unfortunately it was before I started writing trip or carrying a camera. If nothing else one can capture great photos with just their I-pad or even their phone. I now have my guides take photos for me, Eventually, i'll learn to take photos myself and have the self confidence to take photos and videos.

 

I have to say that it's wonderful that there are still so many elephants in Mana Pools National Park. The wild dog sightings continue to improve. The only really sad things are that Mana Pools National Park's hitherto abundant population of black rhinos was poached out in he 1980s and the big tuskers which Mana Pools used to be famous for have largely fallen victim to poachers. The famed guide and resident elephant expert Lewis "Stretch" Ferreira told me that well over 50% of the big tuskers have been the victims. I believe that it's more like 80%.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn I'm now remembering my own three day canoe three day safari down the Zambezi River,unfortunately it was before I started writing trip or carrying a camera. If nothing else one can capture great photos with just their I-pad or even their phone. I now have my guides take photos for me,--Really??!! That's an innovative approach! It frees you from devices and lets you concentrate on what is out there. Guides may capture things that we do not, based on their intimate knowledge and interaction with the environment. One guide in India that I have used always asks to take the client's extra camera for shots and the photos that result really depict his intimate knowledge and love of the jungle. I'm sure you end up with some fantastic shots that a visitor, even one with good photography skills, might miss. Have you stated this approach in your reports? I think it would be of interest to many. Maybe you did in this last report that I am only 1/4 the way through. Eventually, i'll learn to take photos myself and have the self confidence to take photos and videos.

 

I have to say that it's wonderful that there are still so many elephants in Mana Pools National Park. The wild dog sightings continue to improve. The only really sad things are that Mana Pools National Park's hitherto abundant population of black rhinos was poached out in he 1980s (yes, a tragedy) and the big tuskers which Mana Pools used to be famous for have largely fallen victim to poachers.(or even legal hunting if they leave the protected areas) The famed guide and resident elephant expert Lewis "Stretch" Ferreira told me that well over 50% of the big tuskers have been the victims. I believe that it's more like 80%.

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Peter Connan

Stunning trip!

 

I love the perspective you get from being so close to the water!

 

Unfortunately, it is also one of two things that make such a trip impossible for me. After a series of operations to fix a bone infection after a broken femur many years ago, I just can't sit in a low seat like that for any length of time anymore.

 

The other is that I just can't see myself taking my camera equipment in a canoe...

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Atravelynn

Stunning trip!

 

I love the perspective you get from being so close to the water! Yes, that is one of the advantages of a canoe.

 

Unfortunately, it is also one of two things that make such a trip impossible for me. After a series of operations to fix a bone infection after a broken femur many years ago, (I am sorry, that sounds serious and painful) I just can't sit in a low seat like that for any length of time anymore. These next 2 comments may seem like a hard sell, countering your objections: If you did a private trip, you could specify the length of paddling time between breaks at the outset, and it could be limited to whatever suits you.

 

The other is that I just can't see myself taking my camera equipment in a canoe...You could take a smaller camera such as the compact Canon SX280 that I took last time. It fits in a pocket. Even the larger bridge Canon SX50 was easily carried and stowed. But I agree a big lens could pose problems. Unless you have a special setup with a camera clamped to the side of the canoe, photos are always a bit compromised by the movement of the canoe in the current.

 

 

On Day 2 of the canoe safari from about 8:15-8:45 am we watched these elephants at Acacia Point.

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has to be large sized photo for the water drips to show.

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This was a young bull running to join the family, but the matriarch pushed him away

numerous times. Eventually he joined the herd after they all crossed the river.

The matriarch must have thought it was time for this guy to be venturing out on his own.

This was a brief, but poignant vignette on the shoreline of Mana Pools.

9:45 am breakfast time on Acacia Point 92° F & 33°C. There was a lot of elephant activity during our breakfast stop.

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Nursing next to the canoe!

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There was hardly time for breakfast from 9:45 – 11:15 am at Acacia Point with all this ele activity.

11:15 pm 98° F & 37°C. Time to leave Acacia Point and enter the Nyamangwe Channel. It is not an official channel but that is what it is called. It gets the name from the nearby island, which is across from the Mucheni camps.

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Wire-tailed Swallows - Nyamangwe Channel Goliath Heron and I accidentally also got the much smaller Pied Kingfisher - Nyamangwe Channel

 

At 12:15 pm we took an afternoon break when temps hit 102° F & 39°C.

 

At 2:15 pm we set out to canoe the Nyamepi and Trichilia Channels.

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Nice to see two species together (above)

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Nyamepi Channel and Trichilia Channel – lots of mammal and bird activity

5:30 pm Arrive Buffalo Island (one of the islands in the group of Buffalo Islands) 92° F & 33°C.

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Arriving Buffalo Island and sunset on Buffalo Island, our second island camp of three. Last year I stayed on a different Buffalo Island camp in the "chain" of Buffalo Islands.

It was my birthday so we toasted the occasion (and our productive day) with some wine in tin cups. There was supposed to be chocolate to add to the festive occasion (meticulously arranged by Doug), but the chocolates were temporarily misplaced by Natureways, which lead to a comical exchange that is the quote of the trip at the end. It ended up being far more entertaining than if I had eaten chocolate on my birthday, as planned.

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Top Right—tarp over tent for bathing privacy and Top Left—river water for bath. Middle Left—paddle to dig and toilet paper provided

Bottom Right—my additions to the paddle including wet wipes, various plastic bags, and hand sanitizer. A garbage bag accompanied us throughout the trip in the supply canoe.

Bedtime, 7:40 pm. 90° F & 32°C. 10:30 pm 85° F & 29°C.

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Buffalo Island – sunrise

Edited by Atravelynn

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Atravelynn

somehow I deleted most of the report. I'll have to fix it up later. What's hilarious is that only a small canoe appears.

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Edited by Atravelynn

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optig

@@Atravelynn I just loved the story that Norman told you. Looking back on my own experience three years ago,I'm amazed that I took it. My guide Alistair was armed with a pistol,and my fellow canoeist kept the hippos away by constantly hitting his paddle on the side of the canoe. I have to say that the wildlife photographer who tried to put his canoe in front of a hippo just to take a photo are a disgrace to their profession. Your'e right he should have thanked Emanuel for saving his life,and his girlfriend's.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn I just loved the story that Norman told you. Looking back on my own experience three years ago,I'm amazed that I took it. My guide Alistair was armed with a pistol,and my fellow canoeist kept the hippos away by constantly hitting his paddle on the side of the canoe. I have to say that the wildlife photographer who tried to put his canoe in front of a hippo just to take a photo are a disgrace to their profession. Your'e right he should have thanked Emanuel for saving his life,and his girlfriend's.

I'm not sure that "photographer" was really in the profession or just trying to break into it. Really stupid. I see you were able to read my post before I accidentally wiped it all out. I'll repost it.

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Atravelynn

Canoe Safari — Day 3, 16 kms

6:00 am 80° F & 27°C. Coffee or tea and biscuits were served.

6:55 am Left our Buffalo Island and saw buffalo on the nearby Buffalo Islands.

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Buffalos on Buffalo Island

Tried the Nyamatusi Channel, which provided nice wildlife the previous year, but we could not get very far into it this year because the water was too low.

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Great White Egret in Nyamatusi Channel

9:15 am 95° F & 35 °C. High winds caused us to stop in the Nyamatusi area and wait them out. While ducking the winds we had lunch at noon when it was 100° F & 38 °C. During our rest on some mats in the shade, a huge coincidence occurred. I was reading The Miracle at Speedy Motors, in the Ladies No 1 Detective Series. One of the clients gave her birthday as Sept 30, the current date!

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Top—Norman checking out the area where we planned to stop for the wind. We laid on mats in the shade.

Bottom—wind and waves that lasted 5 hours.

2:25 pm it was calm enough to proceed in the canoes.

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Goliath Heron with a fish dinner - our final evening

meal would also be a fish dinner

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It was very exciting to see hippo, buffalo, and elephant all in one view.

3:40-4:20 pm We canoed into the bay that starts the Ilala section of Mana Pools and got out of the canoes to walk around. It was easy walking so Keens were adequate.

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Bay that signals the start of Ilala and dry riverbed

I was just thinking that we had not seen many crocs this trip when two crocs came into view as we approached Ilala Island. One was sunning itself right where we planned to land.

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Bottom Left shows the tracks/path of the croc as it went into the water.

5:15 pm Arrive Ilala Island. 95° F & 35 °C.

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Looking at Chikwenya from Ilala Island Poor quality photo but it shows 3 of the 4 eles on the island. One came within 10 meters at dinner.

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Looking at Chikwenya from Ilala Island: A hippo chased another hippo and her calf into the water and stood dominantly where they jumped in.

This aggression riled up the other animals so that eland and impala were running and elephants were trumpeting and stampeding.

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sunset seen from Ilala Island

2:00 am and 4:00 am both 76° F & 24 °C.

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Manu (Emanual) on the left & Norman on the right

Canoe Safari — Day 4, 5 kms

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sunrise seen from Ilala Island

We started the day with a full cooked breakfast.

 

I took no photos on this 7:05-7:50 am final leg of the trip but we saw a third distant and unapproachable colony of carmine bee eaters and the last dozen of the approximately 150 elephants seen during this trip.

 

Clever was waiting for us and had been at the pickup point since the previous night. Just like last year, the Natureways pickup crew does not arrive the morning of the pickup but instead gets there the night before in case of any delays or problems. Clever cheerfully greeted us when we landed at Chikwenya.

 

By 8:25 am we were loaded and driving off. The magical time on the river was now a cherished memory.

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Driving through Sapi after departing Chikwenya, canoes in tow

 

It was during our drive that Clever suggested I open the cooler box next to me in the back of the truck. “The bag on top is for you. The chocolates were sent somewhere else,” he explained. To my delight the plastic bag inside the cooler box contained a decorative bag of Lindor Chocolate Truffles. My belated birthday gift had turned up! I also noted four mini quiches in the bag. What a nice surprise!

 

“Wonderful!” I exclaimed. “Thank you for getting these birthday chocolates to me!” Though I found the four bonus mini quiches a little odd, I wanted to acknowledge those too so I added, “And I love quiche. I know I’ll enjoy these as well.”

 

Clever seemed puzzled for a moment up in the driver’s seat then urgently corrected me, “The quiche is not for you.”

 

“Of course,” I replied as the birthday gift and its presentation just became more peculiar and absurd to the point of a comedy sketch. And to the Quote of the Trip.

 

Outtakes

tn_gallery_108_1609_495338.jpgtn_gallery_108_1609_225818.jpgtn_gallery_108_1609_1420044.jpgtn_gallery_108_1609_806448.jpg

You’re supposed to wait till I’m in Checking what I look like upon waking Post canoe accidental snap. Where's the hippo?

before snapping the photo! at 5:00 am with no mirrors. Feet in need of a washing.

Toenails in need of a polish touch up.

 

 

River Tale

post-108-0-04869100-1479704142_thumb.jpgI asked Norman if he had experienced any harrowing or funny tales since our last trip. Only one, and it was the week before I arrived. He had a client who wanted to become famous by taking a photo of a hippo attacking a canoe for National Geographic’s magazine cover. Norman cautioned against such a goal. But the guy was insistent and when hippos were around he pursued them, his girlfriend in front with him in the back of the canoe, paddling, camera at the ready.

 

Several days into the trip and there were no harrowing hippo encounters. But then they entered the territory of a particularly grumpy hippo that Norman knew about and warned the group to avoid. The grumpy hippo began acting aggressively and thedeath-wish photographer paddled toward it. The hippo was not backing down and grew more agitated. Norman was able to maneuver his canoe between the hippo and the photographer and crack his paddle on the water to sound like a gunshot. That diverted the grumpy hippo but enraged the photographer who was certain his claim to fame, which had been so near, had been ruined by Norman. More likely Norman saved the life of his girlfriend, his camera, and maybe his life too!

 

The End

Edited by Atravelynn

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SafariChick

@@Atravelynn loved this report - and I just laughed out loud so hard when I read the quote of the trip "The quiche is not for you"!!! I had forgotten that part of the story - too funny! You had some super sightings and got some great shots! That story from Norman is quite amusing - but really it's a difficult job being a guide, is it not?

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xelas

Lynn, thanks for sharing your adventure(s) with the rest of us, less adventure inclined travellers! Like when reading good book, the "movie" of paddling alongside was very entertaining. As for the death-wish phoron (photographer moron), most probably Norman also saved the life of that hippo. But he "killed" his chances of a fat tip ...

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn loved this report - and I just laughed out loud so hard when I read the quote of the trip "The quiche is not for you"!!! I had forgotten that part of the story - too funny! I remember you saying, "That should be a Quote of the Trip," when I told you.You had some super sightings and got some great shots! That story from Norman is quite amusing - but really it's a difficult job being a guide, is it not? With clients like the two of us, I am sure it is pure joy! :rolleyes:

 

None of the missing chocolates or reclaimed quiche stuff is meant to detract from the outstanding job Natureways did. These are some of the funny pratfalls of safari and not true complaints.

 

Lynn, thanks for sharing your adventure(s) with the rest of us, less adventure inclined travellers! The truth is this is not scary or high drama or adrenaline producing with outstanding, experienced guides like Norman and Manu who want zero problems. They err on the side of caution even if it means fewer sightings. The trip is much more serene and peaceful than adventurous. when reading good book, the "movie" of paddling alongside was very entertaining. As for the death-wish phoron (photographer moron), That's great, did you make that up???most probably Norman also saved the life of that hippo. Very insightful! You are so right! But he "killed" his chances of a fat tip ...And very clever too.

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twaffle

Wonderful as always, but those temperatures are daunting to say the least.

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pault

And we don't know who the quiche was for?

 

Sounds great and your reporting is as thorough and superb as ever. Nobody has to imagine too much what a Natureways canoe safari in October would be like now. There is no way to communiocate those night time temperattures though.

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PT123

@@Atravelynn

 

 

River camping and some up close animal sightings - such a great idea for a trip! I'm glad that the water seemed clam and no whitecaps in sight. It looks like you may have seen a (greater?) kudu along the river bank (post 4) - did you see many? Also, what was it like sleeping in the tents on the islands - did any animals (hippo) come trapesing through camp?

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dlo

Great report as usual @@Atravelynn. This was the original plan for us as well this year but those temps are just impossible for me to deal with and we were confined to a late October trip.Having canoed at Matusadona it really is a great time.

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Davesg

@@Atravelynn

 

Excellent report and photographs. Mana is such a special place but the canoe trip certainly seems to add something extra.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn

 

 

River camping and some up close animal sightings - such a great idea for a trip! I'm glad that the water seemed clam and no whitecaps in sight. It looks like you may have seen a (greater?) kudu along the river bank (post 4) - did you see many? Yes, several along the river. Also, what was it like sleeping in the tents on the islands - did any animals (hippo) come trapesing through camp? Not that I know of and tracks did not show any. We camp in open sandy areas where there is nothing to entice hippos or eles to feed. We did have one ele about 10 meters from us during our evening meal.

 

 

Wonderful as always, but those temperatures are daunting to say the least. Thanks. Like they always say, "But it's a dry heat."

 

 

And we don't know who the quiche was for? The plot thickens. I do know who it was for. A report on a Doug Macdonald safari will follow the destiny of the quiche.

 

Sounds great and your reporting is as thorough and superb as ever. Nobody has to imagine too much what a Natureways canoe safari in October would be like now. There is no way to communiocate those night time temperattures though. Fortunately I like it warm enough that I don't need socks at night.

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Atravelynn

Great report as usual @@Atravelynn. This was the original plan for us as well this year but those temps are just impossible for me to deal with and we were confined to a late October trip.Having canoed at Matusadona it really is a great time. The second half of Oct is tougher than the first I believe because things heat up even more and it gets closer to the rains so humidity becomes a factor. We could feel the difference in the air between the start and the end of the trip, when we started noticing a little humidity.

 

 

@@Atravelynn

 

Excellent report and photographs. Mana is such a special place but the canoe trip certainly seems to add something extra. Thanks! Even an outing from camp, which Natureways offers along with some other companies, is a nice option if a several-day canoe trip is not possible.

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Caracal

Thanks for this excellent and intriguing report @@Atravelynn packed with useful info about the trip and lovely photos.

 

Interesting about the red legs of the Blackwinged stilt - hope they stick to attracting the worms rather than the nearby crocs!

 

Like @@pault I'm now awaiting the lowdown on the final destiny of the mini quiches!

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