Chikwenya Lodge, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

An hour’s plane ride north of Harare, seven luxury canvas tents provide a base from which to experience Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park's diverse wildlife.

An hour's plane ride north of Harare, Chikwenya is ensconced within its own private concession at the eastern edge of Zimbabwe's Mana Pools National Park, right on the border with Zambia.

More precisely situated at the confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi Rivers, the camp's provides a base from which to experience the region's diverse wildlife through game drives, bush walks, birdwatching and fishing. Beyond that, there is happily nothing much more to do here other than nap, read a book or eat, all while indulging in the glorious views of the surrounding plains - particularly at sunset, when the sky turns a deep orange and the animals come out to play.


Part of Wilderness Safaris' Classic Camp collection, Chikwenya comprises just seven luxury canvas tents that are generously spread along a wooden boardwalk which runs the length of the floodplains and river. Timber, canvas and mesh screens provide the structure of the tents, which open onto private decks - two with their own pools - with sunken seating and views of the surrounding grasslands. Inside, a sleeping area with a four-poster king-size bed and a sofa lead to an open-plan bathroom with a stand-alone tub and an indoor and outdoor shower. The company has sustainability at its core, so there are no hairdryers, in-room fridges, air conditioning or heating, but if you leave the mesh screen uncovered, the breeze that flows through the tent will be more than enough to keep you cool. Of course, there is no television or WiFi either, but the entertainment is in the spectacular wildlife-filled views.

What's for breakfast?

Pre-game drive, a light continental breakfast with tea and coffee is served under the trees as the sun rises. An impressive brunch spread - that includes options from a full English breakfast to homemade hamburgers or delicious spinach and feta filo pies - is served after the morning drive, either back at the camp or on Chikwenya Island.

How about lunch and dinner?

Dinner is a communal affair served promptly once all the guests have returned from their activities. The menu changes daily but expect a variety of dishes from roast duck to hearty stews, made with local ingredients. Afternoon tea, snack sessions and sundowners with canapés mean you certainly won't go hungry between meals.

Is there a bar?

Everything at Chikwenya Camp is customised to meet your needs. Sundowner by the campfire? Sure. Cocktail while lounging by the pool? Why not. Evening game drives end with an aperitif in the bush, followed by more drinks on your private deck as you watch the sunset behind the Rift Valley escarpment. End your evening with a nightcap under a blanket of stars.


Take advantage of Wilderness Safaris' "disconnect to reconnect" philosophy and laze poolside or on your deck, watching elephants meander along the floodplains as you listen to the sounds of Africa.

Things you should know

Chikwenya is a seasonal camp that is only open between April and mid-late November. There is only one rate, which includes accommodation, all meals (including local alcohol), twice daily scheduled camp activities, park fees and laundry.

Within a short walk you can find…

A glorious flora and fauna-rich landscape peppered with varying wildlife from antelopes to crocodiles, hippos, and - if you're lucky - a lion or two.

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