Kanga Camp is set on the busy Kanga Pan.

Kanga Camp | Mana Pools National Park Luxury Zimbabwe Safari Lodge

Most of the luxury Zimbabwean safari lodges in Mana Pools are on the banks of the Zambezi River, but Kanga Camp is different. An inland gem, it’s situated by a remote permanent water source, with busy game-viewing from the lodge as well as opportunities to explore the surrounding forests.

The place

Even the beauty of the drive from the airstrip, through groves of mahogany and ebony trees, can’t prepare us for the scene in front of Kanga Camp. We’ve intentionally planned our trip to be here in the dry season, which means that Kanga Pan has all but dried up. Only a small pool remains, and our guide explains that this is the only reliable source of water for 10km in any direction. Dried mud rutted with animal tracks stretches as far as the raised decks of our luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge. Our guide indicates the extent of the waterhole after the rains and tells us that in summer, everything is green – not just the leaves, but the water also. We attempt to count the number of elephant jostling for position around the small pool. There are at least thirty, and more animals wait to one side. We learn that different herds of elephant often meet here, with a lot of social sorting taking place. Through my binoculars, I can see a pair of armchairs drawn up on the deck of the lodge, as though awaiting our arrival.

Even the beauty of the drive from the airstrip, through groves of mahogany and ebony trees, can’t prepare us for the scene in front of Kanga Camp. We’ve intentionally planned our trip to be here in the dry season, which means that Kanga Pan has all but dried up. Only a small pool remains, and our guide explains that this is the only reliable source of water for 10km in any direction.

Dried mud rutted with animal tracks stretches as far as the raised decks of our luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge. Our guide indicates the extent of the waterhole after the rains and tells us that in summer, everything is green – not just the leaves, but the water also.

We attempt to count the number of elephant jostling for position around the small pool. There are at least thirty, and more animals wait to one side. We learn that different herds of elephant often meet here, with a lot of social sorting taking place.

Through my binoculars, I can see a pair of armchairs drawn up on the deck of the lodge, as though awaiting our arrival.

The room

We tear ourselves away from our two new favourite chairs, and follow the lodge manager to our tent. Along the way, he tells us about the sleep-out deck at the camp, suggesting we spend a night sleeping out under the stars.Only when we arrive and step up onto our raised wooden deck do I realise that my partner has managed to book one of the two honeymoon tents – and keep this a secret from me. I’m immediately intrigued by the outdoor bath, which is shielded by a wooden screen. I love the idea of bathing at the same time as the elephant we can see from here, coming down to drink, even though they’ll have to settle for using dust while I’ll be opting for hot water and bubbles. My partner explores the inside of our tent, and is delighted with the two daybeds, where we can enjoy cheeky siestas. Going into the bathroom, we see these are matched with twin sinks, and two colourful bath robes. As the gentle breeze tugs at the their folds I realise they’re made from the same traditional printed fabrics we saw women wearing at Victoria Falls airport this morning. As my partner starts unpacking, I say, ‘Shower first, then a quick nap.’ We’re on holiday after all.

We tear ourselves away from our two new favourite chairs, and follow the lodge manager to our tent. Along the way, he tells us about the sleep-out deck at the camp, suggesting we spend a night sleeping out under the stars.

Only when we arrive and step up onto our raised wooden deck do I realise that my partner has managed to book one of the two honeymoon tents – and keep this a secret from me. I’m immediately intrigued by the outdoor bath, which is shielded by a wooden screen. I love the idea of bathing at the same time as the elephant we can see from here, coming down to drink, even though they’ll have to settle for using dust while I’ll be opting for hot water and bubbles.

My partner explores the inside of our tent, and is delighted with the two daybeds, where we can enjoy cheeky siestas. Going into the bathroom, we see these are matched with twin sinks, and two colourful bath robes. As the gentle breeze tugs at the their folds I realise they’re made from the same traditional printed fabrics we saw women wearing at Victoria Falls airport this morning.

As my partner starts unpacking, I say, ‘Shower first, then a quick nap.’ We’re on holiday after all.

What sets it apart

Kanga Camp’s location quite literally sets it apart. Its distance from the Zambezi River, some 15km, means that a more diverse range of habitats can be explored during game drives. We will explore the river too though, having already booked a canoeing excursion.The greatest draw though – for us and for the wildlife – is Kanga Pan, a reliable year-round source of water right in front of this luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge. It’s no wonder the camp promotes the concept of the ‘armchair safari’ – the perfect combination of vacation laziness, and incredible game-viewing. At the same time, we know we’ll enjoy stretching our legs on walking safaris in this remote, pristine, and tranquil part of Mana Pools National Park, far from hustle and bustle of every kind – except thirsty animals!

Kanga Camp’s location quite literally sets it apart. Its distance from the Zambezi River, some 15km, means that a more diverse range of habitats can be explored during game drives. We will explore the river too though, having already booked a canoeing excursion.

The greatest draw though – for us and for the wildlife – is Kanga Pan, a reliable year-round source of water right in front of this luxury Zimbabwean safari lodge. It’s no wonder the camp promotes the concept of the ‘armchair safari’ – the perfect combination of vacation laziness, and incredible game-viewing.

At the same time, we know we’ll enjoy stretching our legs on walking safaris in this remote, pristine, and tranquil part of Mana Pools National Park, far from hustle and bustle of every kind – except thirsty animals!

At a glance

  • A small, six-tented camp (including two family/honeymoon tents) immediately overlooking the busy Kanga Pan waterhole, with a splash pool.
  • Remote region of Mana Pools, Kanga Pan setting enables an armchair safari, individual dining available and private vehicles available (additional cost).
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, armchair safari, sleep-out deck, swimming, and canoeing and fishing excursions (additional costs and must be pre-arranged).
  • The two honeymoon tents can be converted into family units (with two additional twin beds) on request. Kanga Camp is not recommended for under-7s. Minimum age is 16 for walking safaris and canoeing; younger children can go on guided nature walks close to the lodge.

  • A small, six-tented camp (including two family/honeymoon tents) immediately overlooking the busy Kanga Pan waterhole, with a splash pool.
  • Remote region of Mana Pools, Kanga Pan setting enables an armchair safari, individual dining available and private vehicles available (additional cost).
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, armchair safari, sleep-out deck, swimming, and canoeing and fishing excursions (additional costs and must be pre-arranged).
  • The two honeymoon tents can be converted into family units (with two additional twin beds) on request. Kanga Camp is not recommended for under-7s. Minimum age is 16 for walking safaris and canoeing; younger children can go on guided nature walks close to the lodge.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

As the winter dry season progresses, the swollen rain-fed lakes of the Lower Zambezi recede, and game is attracted to these shrinking pools in ever-increasing numbers. This period can therefore be incredibly rewarding for wildlife viewing and is the most popular time to visit Mana Pools (the moderate temperatures also play a part). The tamer water makes this the ideal time to explore the Zambezi River here by canoe.

The summer rains transform Mana Pools. Sandbanks, islands and floodplains are subsumed by a contiguous expanse of lakes. With so much water available, wildlife tends to disperse to an extent; while concentrations like those seen in winter are rarely encountered, the animals are still around. Less predictable weather and higher temperatures have a predictable effect on tourist numbers, making Mana Pools feel even wilder than usual.

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