CAMP CHITAKE – MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

Camp Chitake is a comfortable stationary camp located near the Chitake Spring deep in Mana Pools National Park. The Chitake Spring is an area of crucial importance to a great variety of wildlife occurring in this southern part of Mana Pools National Park as more of the surrounding waterholes dry, the spring becomes the focus of survival to hundreds of thousands of creatures.

Chitake can be an extremely intense experience for the true naturalist and someone who likes to feel the challenge of nature. When walking you have to concentrate particularly carefully on your surroundings, often remaining silent for hours to let the game close in. Sounds are amplified at night in the narrow riverbed; the bushes around one threatening to release some bundle of tooth and claw!

For the avid birder there is no disappointment, as with the combination of dry and wet, woodland and open scrub, mountain and plain, there are well over 300 possible bird species to be seen. Due to the structure of the environment, a naturalist will discover bats, rodents, porcupine, honey badgers, bugs, beetles, butterflies, moths, hissing ants, spiders, scorpions, beautiful plants, giant baobabs, tracks and spoor.

LOCATION

The camp is located near Chitake Spring in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. Access is via light aircraft flight from Harare or Victoria Falls.

CAMP

Your mobile tented camp will have been set up by the camp staff by the time you arrive – walk-in mosquito-proofed tents with ensuite chemical toilet, external long-drop toilets, hot showers and a dining area next to the fire where iced drinks and sumptuous bush-prepared meals will be served.

In the mornings you will be awakened early, warm water will be placed in a basin outside your tent while tea, freshly brewed coffee and muffins or home-made biscuits are already waiting by the campfire. The camp chef prepares delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners and bucket showers are provided every day.

All produce is brought in fresh, and meals are prepared in camp by an experienced bush cook. All breads and pastries are freshly baked on open campfires. Vegetarian or other dietary preferences can be catered for providing warning is given 4 weeks prior to the safari.

Natureways Odyssey Safari Camps have no permanent ablution facilities, however camps are served by the luxury of long drop toilets and for night-use all tents have ensuite chemical toilets. You can also enjoy a luxurious hot shower underneath the star-studded expanse of the African sky. Your safari is fully backed up with a Natureways team and 4×4 vehicle. The team will take care of all your needs and camp chores.

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ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

The Chitake River rises in the Zambezi Escarpment on the very southern boundary of the Park, and connects with the Ruckomechi River, which in turn snakes across the valley floor to the mighty Zambezi, 70 kilometres away. Once the rains have begun properly, there is a torrent of water flowing in these systems but that generally dries up by April.

The high and rugged escarpment is only 8 km away but game has to come down from the hills for water. The mixed mopane, combretum and acacia woodlands of the vast valley floor are home to many thirsty animals. As the dry season progresses the concentrations of wildlife increase, accompanied by huge flocks of doves, starlings, lovebirds, sparrows, finches, hornbills and sand grouse.

With such a diverse array of wildlife on the menu, this is the ideal spot for predators – lion, leopard, hyena, painted hunting dog, mongoose, snakes and a plethora of birds of prey enjoy the fine dining. Vultures are often seen in large numbers waiting for their next meal.

Of course, the greatest shows are put on by the grey herds of thirsty elephant and huge black masses of buffalo. Experience the closeness and excitement of Chitake by camping right on the edge of the river and exploring its mini sandstone gorge and wild woodlands, brimming with nature. Long walks are taken out from the spring area to go up into the different habitats of the hills or, when it is very dry, one can make a hide in the bushes near the water, blend into the environment and let everything come to you.

Camp Chitake is predominantly a walking camp but you can also enjoy game drives with your qualified professional guide.

GIVING BACK

CAMP CHITAKE IS CLOSED FROM

THE CAMP WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AGED AND OLDER
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Call +44 1386 830264 or Email [email protected]

Our expert staff are on-hand, happy to assist with any enquiry you have.

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