Mana Pools National Park camps - Goliath Safaris
Stretch Ferreira is a diminutive, shy retiring little petal who you might easily overlook in a crowded room. Ok, ok...nice try. At least 17 hands high at the shoulder, with a great deal to say for himself and a boisterous personality to boot, you would need to be lacking most of your senses if you didn’t notice him straight away. I met Stretch in his office in Harare (it’s unusual to find him in an office and he looked quite uncomfortable). He was having tea and milk tart with his team and was a most gracious host...
For the last 30 odd years, Stretch (probably not his real name) has made his real home in the wild parts of the Lower Zambezi in the Mana Pools National Park. Over this period, he has understandably got pretty well acquainted with the neighbours. He knows the resident elephant and lion as individuals and earned their trust to such an extent that he can safely get within several metres of them (don’t try this at home).
His camp is his home and actually doesn’t have a name...it’s just “the camp". Laid out on a small lagoon just off the wide Zambezi, the camp is the base from which you explore the area on foot or by canoe. The camp is only one of a couple allowed to remain throughout the season, but even then, the entire thing is packed up and taken away each year. However, it remains a simple but comfortable bush camp with large en-suite tents, proper beds, flush loo and nice outdoor shower. The ground around camp is covered by a thick layer of river sand so you can kick your shoes off and feel it between your toes.
Your time in Stretch’s camp will be spent out and about on 3-4 hours walks in the morning and late afternoon, interspersed with the odd drive, time in camp chilling or canoe trip. You will get up close to wild animals which will always be thrilling and a tad scary but if the very idea simple roots you to the ground in petrified fear, you might want to think about whether you would actually find this enjoyable. Stretch is a very experienced and professionally licensed guide so you are in the safest hands.
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