Wilderness Safaris is set to return to Chikwenya in Zimbabwe’s majestic 1.7 million hectare (4.2 million acre) Mana Pools National Park after more than a decade’s absense. The elegant new Chikwenya Camp, situated at the confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi Rivers on the eastern boundary of the Park, will be opening for guests from 1 October 2018.
“Wilderness last operated Chikwenya in 2006 and we are thrilled to be back. In this way, we not only demonstrate our unwavering commitment to driving authentic and sustainable ecotourism in Zimbabwe, but can reveal the wonders of this extraordinary wilderness area to our guests”, said Wilderness Safaris CEO Keith Vincent.
“Our Chikwenya site is one of the most beautiful places for a camp in southern Africa and we can’t wait to introduce the new camp to our guests, even if it’s just for a short period of time before the end of the season on 15 November 2018”.
Overlooking the Zambezi River and the spectacular Rift Valley escarpment in the distance, Chikwenya will open as a six-tented camp. The canvas tents are erected on low wooden decks and pine walkways link them to the raised main area. A lounge, dining and bar area offer a place of hospitality and relaxation, and a pool with deck and fire place offer alternate spaces to enjoy the scenery and passing wildlife.
The camp is situated on a private concession, offering guests exclusive access to the lower reaches and mouth of the Sapi River as well as Chikwenya Island. The varied habitat, from verdant riverine forest to floodplain grasslands, attracts a range of wildlife in considerable numbers. Key mammals seen include buffalo, elephant, kudu, zebra, waterbuck, hippo, lion, wild dog, leopard and occasionally nyala; while species such as black-throated wattle-eye, red-necked falcon, eastern nicator, Narina trogon and Livingstone flycatcher make this a birder’s paradise.
All safari activities at Chikwenya will be led by highly skilled guides, and include interpretive day and night game drives, guided nature walks, boating and catch-and-release fishing (canoeing will be available for the 2019 season, which will run from 1 April to 15 November).
“With Chikwenya back in our fold, we are truly able to offer our guests a multitude of incredible safari options in Zimbabwe’s best wilderness concessions. Our life-changing journeys are all about purpose, ultimately ensuring that authentic and sustainable ecotourism continues to make a positive contribution to the conservation of Zimbabwe’s wilderness and wildlife and the empowerment of its people,” Vincent added.
Lead image – Rendering of Chikwenya tent interior.