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Goliath Safaris

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

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You'll probably never have a more intimate wildlife experience

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.

The walking was great. It’s rare to be able to just generally walk amongst game like that without it crashing off into the undergrowth and we had some fabulous sightings as well as the ”up close and personal” experiences with elephants, lion and dogs. Even night time was full of entertainment with so much game in and around the camp every night. I also hadn’t realised the short time that the carmine bee-eaters are there so to see them in abundance was very lucky too.

RH & GH, USA, Oct 2011

Wow! Best way of describing our trip to Mana. We can now see why everyone in the business rates it so highly. What a beautiful place and what a good decision it was to spend 5 nights at Goliath. Quite simply one of the best, if not the best, safari experiences we have ever had. Absolutely loved it.

RH & GH, USA, Oct 2011

Ruckomechi was lovely. They have done a very good job with the camp in a beautiful location. We had a very relaxing time there. The game was great, with good lion and dog sightings and also good night drive sightings and the birds were excellent too.

RH & GH, USA, Oct 2011

Accommodation:

En-suite, furnished Meru-style tents

Experience:

You'll probably never have a more intimate wildlife experience

Inclusions / Exclusions:

About Mana Pools National Park and Zimbabwe

See all areas & places to stay in Zimbabwe
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Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools is arguably one of the best game areas in Zimbabwe, and even Southern Africa. Low-key tented camps, excellent guiding and walking defines the experience here. Read more?

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2/5 Elephant often feed along the rich shoreline of Lake Kariba
Elephant often feed along the rich shoreline of Lake Kariba
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4/5 An inviting waterhole
An inviting waterhole
5/5 The Chilocho Cliffs of sandstone are a unique feature to Gonarezhou
The Chilocho Cliffs of sandstone are a unique feature to Gonarezhou

Zimbabwe

Once a hallowed safari destination, Zimbabwe has emerged from a few troubled years and remains a safari destination to be reckoned with.  Although travel around the country is not as easy as it once was, there are some real gems here that are definitely worth considering. Read more?

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Who to talk to

Catherine Ronan

Rumour has it that Catherine Ronan used to be a spy. We find this slightly hard to believe as she loves nothing more than to divulge her travel secrets and infect other people with her enthusiasm.

How we can help you

At Natural High, we've had long experience putting together trips in Africa that really work. Whether it's intimate bushcamps in out of the way places, or a private lodge in one of Africa's top-billing wildlife areas, light mobile camping or remote island escapes, we know there is a lot to choose from. We're absolutely confident that we can recommend the right places for you.

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