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Natureways 70 km Mopane Canoe Trip, Sept 4-7: Mana Pools, Sapi, Chewore


Atravelynn
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What a lovely short trip report, thank you!

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Classic outtakes and stories. I particularly like the toe shot for some reason. It must have seemed like a very good idea to someone at the time.

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madaboutcheetah

Sounds a lot of fun, Lynn ..... What are your thoughts wrt hippos - I read somewhere that there are some very fiesty ones in certain sections.

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@@Atravelynn laughing here in my living room about you dying your white socks beige - sounds like something I might have done too! Where'sthe report from that first safari? Would love to see it!

 

Loved reading about this canoe trip. I don't think it would be for me, but it sure is fun reading about you doing it!

First safari is linked.

 

http://safaritalk.net/topic/1969-your-first-safari/

Posts #6-17. The sock reference is in there.

Edited by Atravelynn
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What a great departure from the standard land-based safari. Having been on the water in South America, I know it can really change your perspective and make you feel so much more a part of the environment.

Agree. It burns some energy too, unlike the vehicle safari. Paddling is more strenuous than walk, IMO.

Truly delightful and I loved all the stories at the end.

All of them true to the best of my knowledge! I'd much rather recount second hand about going for an unanticipated swim in the Zambezi. Not interested in that experience.

 

TR for Lake Kyle and Goners in progress but slow @@Atravelynn. Life has been a bit full on recently

Full is good. We'll have to wait for Lake Kyle and Goners.

 

 

Glad you could enjoy this vicariously @Safari Chick and @@Tom Kellie. Canoeing is not for everyone, but it is probably for more people than might think so at first glance. I read the reports with an areolite flight or a bungee jump or a Kili climb with interest but no desire to do anything like that.

 

Very lucky overall, @@Zim Girl. The biggest bit of luck was a private trip.

Edited by Atravelynn
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What, already over? Too short, give us more more more! For my encore, I'll mention the handy SealLine Storm Sack 2.5-Liter Dry Bag that a carried my pocket sized camera in. Very handy, small, and I noticed 28 reviews on Amazon gave it an avg of 5 stars. Thank you for the opportunity to bring this up and sell a Storm Sack.

Oh, and about those "youthful rockclimbers and bodybuilders" you were nervous about? You would totally have paddled them into the dust. ;)Well, I would not have shared my secret granulated bee pollen with them.

 

 

The only bit missing was details of the adapters (because there was no electicity :) ) Right, I thought of that. Makes it easy. No odes to compose.

 

 

 

Sounds a lot of fun, Lynn ..... What are your thoughts wrt hippos - I read somewhere that there are some very fiesty ones in certain sections.

Nothing fiesty in the the sections where I was. No trouble at all with hippos. But the guide was very cautious and conservative, which avoided any provocation. Also we missed the Mana Pools shoreline due to wind; the and Nyamatusi Channels were rather shallow so probably not enough water for hippos; Sapi and Chewore have large hunting areas which made hippos more scarce. For all those reasons we had less exposure to hippos.

 

When I compare this canoe trip with the day long Chifungulu Channel canoe trip I did on the Zambia side from Sausage Tree to Old Mondoro, there were several closer hippo encounters/incidents on the Chifungulu. But that Zambian guide was more daring and less patient than these guys. I prefer Natureway's approach of hippo avoidance, admiring the hippos from afar and using some of the 20x zoom power on my little camera for photos.

 

The cautious and avoidance approach was used for crocs too. When we saw one, the guides would slam their paddles on the water, making a loud sound to discourage the crocs from investigating us. Then we'd speed up our paddling to get out of the area. Norman said, "We don't give them a chance to think." No croc problems at all, just like no hippo problems.

Edited by Atravelynn
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I particularly like the toe shot for some reason. It must have seemed like a very good idea to someone at the time.

I thought I'd have it handy in case there is ever a "Show us your toe shots" forum.

 

What a lovely short trip report, thank you!

One page for the "meat" of it.

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Great report. I like the way you've edited your photos to look like a scrapbook or collage.

Whether shucking beans or canoeing, it looks like you had a blast!

 

Loved the stories at the end, too...from briefcases to blindfolds. I'll have to keep these people in mind next time that I think I'm being weird on safari.

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Loved the stories at the end, too...from briefcases to blindfolds.

That should have been the title! A perfect summary.

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For my encore, I'll mention the handy SealLine Storm Sack 2.5-Liter Dry Bag that a carried my pocket sized camera in. Very handy, small, and I noticed 28 reviews on Amazon gave it an avg of 5 stars. Thank you for the opportunity to bring this up and sell a Storm Sack.

 

You´re welcome, Lynn, and thank you too - finally I can tick helping selling Storm Sacks off my "Things to do before I die"-list. :)

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For my encore, I'll mention the handy SealLine Storm Sack 2.5-Liter Dry Bag that a carried my pocket sized camera in. Very handy, small, and I noticed 28 reviews on Amazon gave it an avg of 5 stars. Thank you for the opportunity to bring this up and sell a Storm Sack.

 

You´re welcome, Lynn, and thank you too - finally I can tick helping selling Storm Sacks off my "Things to do before I die"-list. :)

 

Mission accomplished!

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Great report. Absolutely great.

 

I am a huge fan of canoeing, so really enjoyed this report. I am very impressed by the guides attitude towards crocs.

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screentraveller

i loved the humour of your ele pics, you with ele AND eles without you.

 

and the different perspective, of course. canoeing seems even closer to nature than walking. to me it looks a little bit more dangerous, although Michael on eye level with the lioness was dangerous enough for someone not infected by the safari bug.

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My wife and I did a 4 day canoe trip down the Zambezi a number of years ago with Nature Ways led by James Varden. My wife is not a swimmer and has a fear of the water. We had a bull hippo come out to our canoe and surface next to it brushing the front of it where she was sitting. Needless to say she was terrified. She will never canoe in Africa again. That has not stopped us from enjoying other means of safaris, although it took some convincing to get her on a pontoon boat on the Rufugi River. Just saying, there is a real chance of danger, although as far as I know James has not lost a client.

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madaboutcheetah

Ouch! I'd be terrified too ........

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Scary stuff, @@mapumbo. I'll take James' odds of not losing a client. I wonder if James recalls that incident. My guides, who had been on the river something like 18 years each had never tipped. Nothing terrifying on my trip @@madaboutcheetah.

 

@Screentraveler, I have asked guides about what is the most dangerous safari activity and the consensus seems to be walking.

 

 

Thank you @KainguU Lodge, both sides of the Zambezi offer great canoeing and wildlife. The guides were respectful of all the animals along with the crocs, which probably contributes to why they've always remained upright with their clients.

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@@Atravelynn

 

Glad you had a good time, I really think I prefer you're guides style better than the very aggressive guide I had at Kariba/Matusadona. After getting a little to close to several hippos we had an odd number in our group and canoed on our own the second day. Its much more relaxing leaving some space between me and a hippo.

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@@Atravelynn

 

Glad you had a good time, I really think I prefer you're guides style better than the very aggressive guide I had at Kariba/Matusadona. After getting a little to close to several hippos we had an odd number in our group and canoed on our own the second day. Its much more relaxing leaving some space between me and a hippo.

Right, let them be a thrill seeker on their own time!

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  • 2 weeks later...
screentraveller

thanks @Atravellyn for giving me your guides' evaluation of safari dangers. Michael would probably argue that walking on a street is statistically more dangerous. the safari bug has got him and nothing can be done about it. There is no cure.He is adamant. But he is happy.

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thanks @Atravellyn for giving me your guides' evaluation of safari dangers. Michael would probably argue that walking on a street is statistically more dangerous. the safari bug has got him and nothing can be done about it. There is no cure.He is adamant. But he is happy.

Your words are good warning to anyone contemplating the plunge.

 

Nothing can be done about the safari bug.

There is no cure.

But if you can manage to go every now and then (and enjoy the experience of others) through a site like this, you'll be happy.

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thanks @Atravellyn for giving me your guides' evaluation of safari dangers. Michael would probably argue that walking on a street is statistically more dangerous. the safari bug has got him and nothing can be done about it. There is no cure.He is adamant. But he is happy.

I don't know about walking down a street, but last month while walking on a path in the park next to my home I watched a 30 meter tree fall down. It uprooted and just fell over with no warning about 20 meters from me. BOOM! Had it hit me, I'd be one of those statistics. It's not the first time a big tree fell not far from me while I was in my own state and not on a far flung adventure. In fact the last time was just a couple of meters away and it would have taken out my husband too!

Edited by Atravelynn
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For anyone who hasn't done a canoe safari in Mana it is one of the ultimate ways of seeing the bush and wildlife and I can heartily recommend it. Mana Pools is, without doubt, one of the the best national parks in Africa. (And I say that living on top of Chobe National Park.)

 

If you can combine the canoe with walking you are going to have the most complete "original" safari experience that I can think of. Throw in some game drives for good measure to cover some more ground and you really have the complete adventure experience. It's probably not for someone who values flush toilets and gold taps but if you want a true wildlife experience this is about as good as it gets.

 

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post-17765-0-88900600-1450163565_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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For anyone who hasn't done a canoe safari in Mana it is one of the ultimate ways of seeing the bush and wildlife and I can heartily recommend it. Mana Pools is, without doubt, one of the the best national parks in Africa. (And I say that living on top of Chobe National Park.)

 

If you can combine the canoe with walking you are going to have the most complete "original" safari experience that I can think of. Throw in some game drives for good measure to cover some more ground and you really have the complete adventure experience. It's probably not for someone who values flush toilets Flush toilets are overrated anyway. and gold taps but if you want a true wildlife experience this is about as good as it gets. As good as it gets!

 

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  • 2 months later...

Oh yes @@Game Warden you must do it.

 

I have canoed on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides on the Zambezi and whilst both experiences were fabulous, the Zimbabwean side is much quieter with many fewer encounters with motorboats.

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