Lower Zambezi – Island Trail Canoe Safari


Lower Zambezi – Island Trail Canoe Safari
Three night, island-hopping canoe safari through the floodplain of the Lower Zambezi River, camping on islands


This popular canoeing safari is spent camping on selected islands along the
Lower Zambezi River as it makes its way through the floodplains of the Mana-pools region.

This unique river experience encompasses much of what the best of the Zambezi
River has to offer
Style of safari: Participatory

Duration: 3 nights / 4 days

Area:  Chirundu to the Chongwe confluence  | Lower Zambezi map

Distance: approx. 72 kms
These canoeing safaris are self contained with all the safari equipment being
carried in the canoes for the duration of the trip. Guides prepare meals while
the guests participate in erecting their tents, sorting out their bedding and general
loading and offloading of their canoes.
Daily routine

During the hot summer months, early morning departures are encouraged to make
the most of the cooler time and also to cover a reasonable distance before the wind
may pick up. Deep shade is sought

in the hottest part of the day for lunch breaks and rest. Canoeing continues to
overnight stops as it becomes cooler again in the late afternoons


Unless otherwise arranged the trips depart from the canoe launch site at
Zambezi Breezes 10h30 on the morning of departure.
After the clients have had their briefing by their guide.

After an hour of canoeing there is a riverbank stop for lunch before paddling
on to the first evenings campsite on Kakomalala Island.
This is a total canoeing distance of approximately 15km, with an

average of 3-4km/hour river flow rate.

Arrival at the island is around 17h15 and camp is then set up.


The full day of canoeing, approx 25km

Approx. 06h30 tea/coffee and biscuits then depart 07h30 downstream

Stop for Breakfast 08h30 – 09h00

Stop / lunch approx 12h30 – 14h30 in shade out of mid day sun

Proceed to Mtondo Island campsite to arrive early evening as in Day 1


Canoe through lower Zambezi flood plain region

Daily routine as Day 2

Overnight at Nyamangwe Island

Breakfast is on the island on this morning before a leisurely 5km paddle to the
take out point where the support vehicles are met.
Canoes and equipment are loaded onto the vehicle and trailer before

departing for the return journey to the Zambezi camp site in Chirundu arriving
at approximately 1400hrs. This allows adequate time to transfer to Lusaka or
alternatively to spend an additional night at Zambezi Breezes camp on the banks
of the Zambezi.

Equipment Supplied

Fiber glass 18ft two man Canadian style Canoes are used for their robust structure,

with single bladed paddles. Each canoe has five buoyancy chambers with fixed bucket
seats allowing for a reasonable level of comfort. All canoes are fitted with containment
nets to ensure both safari and personal belongings are secure at all times.

Two-man industrial mosquito net bow tents are used, which allows for a full view of
the night sky and maximum aeration. Sleeping bags, sheet liners and airline pillows
are also provided along with fold out mattresses.

Other equipment includes: cooler boxes, tables, chairs, gas cookers, melamine crockery,
cutlery along with a variety of other items to ensure a reasonable level of comfort is
maintained for the duration of your canoeing safari.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are used as support vehicles for the return transfers.
Depending on the weather and time of year boat transfers may be arranged while these trips may also end in a flight out from the valley or as a continuation onto other safari camps in the area.


Three meals a day, cordial soft drinks and treated water are supplied on every safari.
However those wishing to bring their own bottled water may do so.
Cooler boxes are provided for should clients wish to bring their own selection of beverages for the duration of the safari.


No previous canoeing experience is necessary. This short Island hopping canoe safari is generally relaxing with little physical exertion required. However, at certain times of the year strong winds may occur which makes paddling more difficult.
Should this occur the guide will decide whether it is feasible to carry on canoeing or wait until it is safe to proceed. Guides have ultimate jurisdiction when

determining the course of action required for the safety and welfare of the guests.


The meals will follow the program below, should there be any notifications.
Please note that prior warning of at least 2 weeks is needed to cater for special diets or
allergies to certain ingredients etc. The main dinners are in most cases part pre-cooked and deep frozen prior to the safari, so it is important to have sufficient notice of what is required.

Early mornings: These start with tea/coffee biscuits before setting off down stream after packing up canoes and clearing camp.

Breakfast:  Generally after several hours of canoeing, the trip will stop for everyone to stretch their legs while the guide prepares an hearty breakfast of tinned fruit, eggs, bacon or sausages, and Fried Tomatoes, and toast with marmalade or jam. Tea and coffee is served before starting off again.

Lunch: An assortment of cold meats, green salads, rolls and cheeses are served,
along with a variety of sauces and pickled vegetables to complete the meal.

Dinner: Assortment of Crisps or Popcorn is served followed by a full dinner consisting of beef, chicken or Pork as main course options with two green vegetables and a carbohydrate of potatoes, rice or pasta.

Cordial and Water are always available throughout the day with fresh fruit for mid morning and afternoon snacks.


As a guide line on what to bring on your safari, clients are asked to keep luggage to
minimum of +/ – 7kgs. Excess baggage may be kept for safe keeping at our office for
the duration of the canoeing safari.

•  Neutral colored shorts and T-shirts, swimming costume for summer months.

•  Personal Toiletries and small towel or Optional personal pillow.

•  Canvas shoes or rafting sandals, a comfortable pair of hiking shoes where walks are involved

•  Hat with a wide brim

•  Jacket or sweater for the evenings

•  Shirts (including a long sleeved one for sun protection)

•  A kikoi (or sarong) to cover your legs to protect them from the sun

•  Torch or flashlight and extra batteries

•  Camera and accessories

•  Binoculars, sun glasses

•  Sunscreen,  Insect repellent

•  Warm clothes to sleep in for winter nights/light waterproof clothing for wet season

•  Dry bags for personal items.

Luggage on Safari should be kept to a maximum of 7kgs p/person where possible. Excess luggage may be stored safely at our base for collection at the end of the safari


Malaria: The Zambezi Valley is a malarial area, but your doctor can advise you on the appropriate prophylactics to protect you.
Any health concerns or medical conditions such as allergies, epilepsy etc should be

brought to the attention of the management prior to the start of the safari.

Nuisance Insects: We recommend the use of insect repellents especially from dusk onwards, together with wearing trousers and long sleeved tops.

Sun Protection : The use of wide brimmed hats and plenty of sunscreen are strongly advised on all trips, bit in summer and winter months. Long sleeved shirts and kikois/towels also protect arms and legs from sunburn during canoeing.

First Aid : All safaris carry medical supplies and guides are trained in first aid.


On these semi participatory safaris, there are no fixed ablution facilities.

Clients are provided with a trowel, toilet paper and matches.

For bathing, clients use a bucket of water from the river.


The minimum age of clients is 15 years. There is however no maximum age,
although the client must be reasonably fit.
The age limit may be flexible for a specific group booking with prior consent.


All guides have had extensive and lengthy training on the river and have undergone
examinations before leading these expeditions.
Guides are able to communicate with base camp via cellular

connections. Life jackets are supplied but all clients must be able to swim.


Travel and medical insurance is compulsory for all clients. All clients must have
pre arranged insurance in their own country prior to leaving so as to cover any
unexpected medical expenses and loss / theft of personal effects.
Clients bring the details of these insurance policies with them as they will need

to provide proof of insurance should they wish to claim for any losses or medical expenses.


Please check visa requirements with your agent to departure. Most visas

can be obtained at the point of entry into Zambia.


Year round – however, for those chartering flights in, we suggest pre flight checks on runway conditions to ensure the strip is serviceable.

Temperatures are at their highest in September and October with the onset of the rains from December through to April where light weight, water proof clothing is required. Winter runs from May to August where warm clothing is necessary in the evenings.
On line quote / booking for Lower Zambezi – Island Trail Canoe Safari
the afrisafari group

afrizim.com  |   afrisafaris.com

Skype – africa.travel
Email: [email protected]



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