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6 Day Zambia Safari (Zambezi 5 in 1 Canoe Trail)

OUR SAFARIS6 Day Zambia Safari (Zambezi 5 in 1 Canoe Trail)

06 Days

From $On Request

Places Covered

Lusaka - Lower Zambezi ,Zambia


  •     Canoeing Safari Activity
  •     Community Visit
  •     Walking - Semi Participatory
  •     Night Game Drive


  • Area: Chirundu to the Chongwe River
  • Activities: Canoeing, Game Drive, Walks, Community - Semi Participatory
  • Duration: 4 nights 5 days
  • Distance: Approx 72 km on water, followed by land activities
  • Season: April - Mid November

This safari incorporates several activities along the Zambezi River as it passes through the flood plains of the Mana Pools region. The additional activities on this safari offer a wider variety of game viewing options and a chance to meet and interact with the local community. This may include a visit to a local orphanage/school/village as well as game drives and walks.

These canoeing safaris are self-contained in that all equipment/supplies are carried in the canoes for the duration of the canoeing trip. Guides prepare meals while the guests participate in erecting their tents, sorting out their bedding and helping with general loading and offloading of their canoes. The first two nights are spent wild camping on islands with the last two nights being spent in a pre-established fly camp on the banks of the river with walk-in tents, beds, and shared ablution amenities.

Day 1 – 2: Pioneer Safari Lodge & Camp – Lusaka

We have a variety of accommodation ranging from our highest standard of miombo chalets to our mid-range safari chalets and our more basic pioneer chalets and pioneer tents as well as a beautiful two-bedroom cottage, all set within our 25 acres of miombo woodland. All chalets are designed to be in-keeping with your African safari. All miombo chalets have ensuite facilities, with private verandas and lovely woodland views. There is an incredibly relaxed feel to the whole property. You can safely walk around the grounds, which are surprisingly good for birding. There is a recreation area with a swimming pool and darts board. In the bar area, there is a library with lots of travel books, wildlife books and novels.

We’re located just 14 km (20 mins) from the international airport and just about 30 minutes from Lusaka’s shopping centres, so Pioneer is the last oasis stopover. It’s the ideal place to be if you need to be near Lusaka but don’t want to be in it.

Day 2 – 6: Zambezi 5 in 1 Canoe Trail (Wild Camping)

These canoeing safaris are self-contained in that all equipment/supplies are carried in the canoes for the duration of the canoeing trip. Guides prepare meals while the guests participate in erecting their tents, sorting out their bedding and helping with general loading and offloading of their canoes. The first two nights are spent wild camping on islands with the last two night being spent in a pre-established fly camp on the banks of the river with walk-in tents, beds, and shared ablution amenities.


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

Daily Meal Plan:

Unless notified, meals will follow the program below. Please note that we require a prior warning of at least 2 weeks to cater for special diets or allergies to certain ingredients etc. The main dinners are in most cases pre-cooked and deep-frozen before the safari, so it is important to have sufficient notice of what is required.

Early mornings:

Start with tea/coffee biscuits before setting off downstream after packing up canoes and clearing the camp.

Breakfast: Generally, after several hours of canoeing, the trip will stop for everyone to stretch their legs while the guide prepares an English breakfast of tinned fruit; eggs, bacon, sausages and toast with marmalade or jam. Tea and coffee are served before starting 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: Assortments of snacks are served followed by a full dinner consisting of beef, chicken or muttonas main course options with two green vegetables and a carbohydrate of potatoes, rice or pasta

Day 1: Transfer to Pioneer Lodge & Camp – Lusaka

Upon arrival at Lusaka International airport, you will be welcomed by our presentative after immigration paperwork and then he will transfer you to Pioneer Lodge and Camp where you will overnight before your adventure Canoe Safari the next day.

Check-in and then relax and enjoy the amazing closer to nature experience around the lodge with some sounds of birds etc. Later in the evening you will be served dinner and let bedtime.

Day 2: Transfer to Zambezi Breezer/ Canoe Safari

Today, you will start your morning with some breakfast early in the morning and you will depart immediately after for your 2.5hrs transfer to Zambezi Breezer arriving before 10 am. Our driver will take you to a super Market in Chirundu town where you can buy some of the suppliers such as drinks that are not included in the safari (Beers, Soft drinks), we recommend canned drinks.

Canoe Safari 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


Meet the guides after breakfast for trip briefing before setting off at approx. 10.00hrs from Zambezi Breezes. Canoe through approx. 2hrs before stopping for lunch on the banks of the Zambezi under the shade of a tree. Lunch stops and brief rest for approx 2hrs out of the hottest time of day. Today we canoe approx. 15km through offshoot channels of the main river system before reaching our first overnight island campsite Kakomarara island nestled below two hills.

Day 3: Depart Kakomarara island


Canoeing starts early after morning tea/coffee and biscuits. Depart island camp for a downstream breakfast stop at approx. 2 hours after setting off downstream. Continue though to shaded lunch stop from approx 1230hrs -1430hrs out of midday sun. Afternoon paddle through to Island Camp for the 2nd-night wild camping.

Day 4: More Canoe Safari /Night Game Drive


Early tea/coffee followed by canoeing through our fixed fly camp late breakfast 0900hrs. After breakfast, we depart for a village tour after driving through a game management area. Return for late lunch 1400hrs followed by afternoon break from activities. After an early dinner, we then proceed on a 2hr night game drive. Retire for the night after coffee around the campfire.

Day 5: Game Walk/Canoe Safari


Early morning rise tea/coffee & biscuits followed by a game walk lasting approx.2 hrs. Return camp for breakfast and a short break before setting off downstream again by canoe. We travel light on this canoeing section with a picnic lunch and suitable provisions packed for the day. This section of the river is one of the best in terms of wildlife which takes up the remainder of the day on the water. After loading the canoes onto our trailer, we return to our fly camp after an hour’s in the back of a game viewing vehicle. After showers and dinner, we offer a night drive for those left with the energy to do so.

Day 6: Return transfer to Zambezi Breezes


Early morning tea/coffee & biscuits followed by an English breakfast. Pack belongings for the return transfer to Zambezi Breezes approx 3hrs by road. Cross the Kafue river pontoon approx 1200hrs before arriving at Zambezi Breezes 1300hrs for lunch.

Depending on your flight departure time or onward arrangement, you will either Relax at Zambezi Breezes or return transfer to Lusaka International airport or you will overnight in Lusaka.

EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS: No previous canoeing experience is necessary although we recommend a reasonable level of fitness. At certain times of the year, strong winds may occur which makes paddling more difficult. Should this happen, the guide will wait for the wind to drop off before carrying on where ever possible. Guides have ultimate jurisdiction when determining the course of action required for the safety and welfare of the guests.

EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED: Fibreglass 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. Containment nets to ensure safari and personal belongings are secure at all times. Life jackets are supplied but all clients must be able to swim. Two-man industrial mosquito netted bow tents are used. These allow for a full view of the night sky and give maximum aeration. Fold-out mattresses, sleeping bags, sheet liners and airline pillows are also provided, but guests may bring their sleeping bags if desired. Other equipment includes cooler boxes, tables, chairs, gas cookers, melamine crockery, and cutlery plus other practical items to ensure a reasonable level of comfort on safari. Four-wheel drive vehicles are generally used as support vehicles for return transfers while boats and aircraft may be useful options when required.


As a guideline on what to bring on your safari, clients are asked to keep luggage to a minimum of +/- 7kgs. Excess baggage may be kept for safekeeping at our office for collection at the end of the safari.

  • Neutral coloured shorts and T-shirts, swimming costume for summer months.
  • Personal Toiletries and a small towel
  • 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. Recharging facilities at River Horse
  • Binoculars, sunglasses
  • Sunscreen, Insect repellent
  • Warm clothes to sleep in for winter nights/light waterproof clothing for the wet season
  • Personnel drinking flask for your canoe along with a dry bag for personal items if available



  • All guides are qualified through the governing bodies of both the Zambian & Zimbabwe wildlife and National Parks authorities qualifying them to lead canoeing and walking safaris having passed both practical and written exams.
  • Also, all guides have a minimum practical training period of two years with the company before becoming a trip leader.
  • H20 proof Pelican cases are carried as first aid boxes with the essentials.


  • On the shorter canoeing trips, we operate local cellular networks while satellite phones are used in the more remote regions of the Lower Zambezi.
  • All clients are briefed on the safety aspects of a canoeing safari before the trips departure while we always ensure everyone has time to familiarize themselves with their canoes and paddling techniques early on in 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 before the start of the safari.
  • Nuisance Insects - We recommend the use of insect repellents especially from dusk onwards, together with trousers / long-sleeved shirts to cover arms and legs.
  • Sun Protection - The use of wide-brimmed hats and plenty of sunscreens are strongly advised on all trips, bit in the 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 the guides are trained in first aid.

Individual Health Issues

Any health concerns or medical conditions such as allergies, epilepsy etc should be brought to the attention of the management before the start of the safari. Two weeks’ notice about allergies to certain food ingredients is required for us to make suitable arrangements for meals.



The canoeing season runs year-round with temperatures are at their highest in September and October. With the onset of the rains from December through to April where light weight, waterproof clothing is required. Winter runs from May to August where warm clothing is necessary for the evenings. For those choosing to come during the rains, the airstrip may be closed and then the drive out is the only option. June to November is generally the best time of the year to canoe in terms of wildlife concentrations. Much of the inland water has dried up, and the game tends to move onto the riverfront for water. However, in the wet summer months, there is the added attraction of very high concentrations of nesting migratory birdlife along the river, as well as the normal resident game.


Geographically, the section of Zambezi River between Kariba and the lowest take-out point is also known as the Middle Zambezi. In particular, the section of the river in the Mana Pools region has the highest recorded numbers of game and birdlife on the entire Zambezi - on both sides of the river.

INSURANCE - Travel and medical insurance are compulsory for all clients. All clients must have pre-arranged insurance in their own country before leaving to cover any unexpected medical expenses and loss/theft of personal effects.

VISAS - Please check visa requirements with your agent or River Horse Safaris before departure. Most visas can be obtained at the point of entry into Zambia and Zimbabwe on arrival.

AGE RESTRICTIONS - 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. By prior arrangement, children under the age of 15 may be allowed on certain safaris provided each child is separately under the control of a parent/guardian. This does not apply to school or family trips.

GROUP SIZE - On most trips, we limit group sizes to 5 canoes or 9 guests. However, this does not apply to youth groups or students with their special arrangements.


  • 1 Night Half-Board in Lusaka at Pioneer Lodge & Camp
  • 4-night Canoe (Transfers to and from the immediate safari area, Meals, cordials, treated water, equipment and qualified guides)
  • Activities (Canoeing, Community Visit, Game Drive, Walking - Semi Participatory)
  • All Return Road Transfers

Excluded is:

  • Visa Fee/ Flights
  • Personal Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • National Parks Fees to be paid directly on arrival where applicable (Approx US$ 75.00 Per Person)
  • Any Accommodation After Canoe Safari
  • Lunch at Pioneer Lodge in Lusaka
  • Laundry Services

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