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Guided walks in Mana/Hwange for self-drivers?


KaliCA
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Hello Zim experts, starting to plan a self-drive to Mana Pools and Hwange for August and September 2016.

Here is my question: we will be camping, but do you know of any lodges that offer guided walks for non-guests? We think it would be nice to join a walk and experience wildlife from that angle.

Also, if that's not possible, do you know of a simply budget to mid-range tented camp that would accept guests for a maximum of two nights? Then we could participate in guided walks as guests.

 

I have started to read some trip reports in the Zim dorum and I'm very impressed with the breadth of knowledge and experience of many members. Very valuable to those of us planning a trip. Thanks.

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@@KaliCA,

 

I thought I read somewhere that you can hire the Zim rangers in Mana pools for a walk. A member here, @ Whyone? goes yearly on self drives and may be able to help you out. If you are going in high season, August and Sept. you may want to book in advance.

 

Not sure about Hwange; though the public campsite near the airport (which looked quite nice) has guides (I believe, don't quote me) that you can also hire.

We stopped there for tea and I strolled around. It would be inexpensive, and the office was very helpful with questions I asked; so you might want to get in touch through the parks website.

 

Not much help; but a start I hope!

 

Hope someone else chimes in for you. No matter, you'll love both. We saw self drivers in both parks last Sept, and they all shared sightings along the way!

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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I hope you are right about hiring a park ranger to do guided walks. Would not trust myself to run after a pack of hunting dogs like @whyone is doing!

I was hoping that maybe some lodges would not mind taking on non-guests, but maybe not because of liability? Ha, liability in Africa? Don't know. So I got my Bradt guidebook today and it may have some answers.

Do you know of a reasonably-priced lodge we could stay at?

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Hello @@KaliCA, one suggestion I could make if you want to be a guest at a camp at a reasonable price is Mwinilunga Safaris - they offer reasonable prices (compared to others) and Tess and Dave who run the camp are really wonderful people. They set up mobile camps at some of the exclusive campsites in Mana Pools. Contact them and see what they can offer you.

 

There are of course many other operators - google them and drop them an email for pricing. It can't hurt :-)

 

Don't worry too much if you are not up to walking by yourselves - if you stay at the exclusive sites or even at the main camp animals will just come to you! In BBC camp we had lions in camp for a couple of days - one time observing us in the darkness while we opened our roof top tent just 10m away :-) And nowadays in Mana Pools almost all sightings of lions and wild dogs in high season will have people walking around them, so you can just discretely follow their cue. The animals are very used to people - however you do need your wits around you and you do need to be a bit knowledgeable about animal behaviour and what to do in case of hairy situations. You can also see plenty just by driving around and sticking close to your car.

 

About Park Rangers - this option is simply someone with you with a weapon. Most of them will just take you walking around avoiding predators and elephants on purpose :) It is nice to just have a walk around outside of the confines of a vehicle - but that will be all it is. Worthwhile for a few hours, but don't expect you will be rushing around after the wild dogs like the real professional guides do in the trip reports here :-)

Edited by cheetah80
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ooh Status uplift @Whyone :)... professional guide........

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ooh Status uplift @Whyone :)... professional guide........

Oooooo...look at me! :D

 

I imagine it will only be a matter of time before @@Game Warden is beating a path to my door for an exclusive interview.

 

Or maybe not!

Edited by Whyone?
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ooh Status uplift @Whyone :)... professional guide........

Oooooo...look at me! :D

 

I imagine it will only be a matter of time before @@Game Warden is beating a path to my door for an exclusive interview.

 

Or maybe not!

 

 

 

And there are going to be some serious questions asked; in particular on how you keep all those "pop" cans so cold (beer to you in UK) and exactly how do you get by a sleeping buff outside the tent?

 

And how fast do you think you were "actually" running with the dogs? Are your friends really returning with you in 2015? Who will watch for crocs as YOU bathe in the Zambezi?

 

How do you regard your celebrity on Safaritalk? Do you think a movie will be made out of your life in Mana Pools? Who would you have play the role of Whyone?

and why? one..

 

All the above important to those who choose to follow in your very dusty footprints :blink:

 

You certainly keep us entertained :D

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