Great Plains Tembo Plains Camp - Mana Pools National Park


Tembo means Elephant and Tembo Plains Camp is built into the thick riverine forest located on the Zambezi River’s edge in the private 118,000 hectare Sapi Private Reserve east of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park.  

The camp fits into Great Plains highest level brand - the Réserve Collection of camps -alongside their other camps Zarafa Camp, Selinda Camp, Duba Plains in Botswana.  It is also the only camp in Zimbabwe to be a member of Relais & Châteaux.

The Sapi Private Reserve is now a beautiful private photographic reserve that borders the Mana Pools National Park. This fantastic wildlife sanctuary and the Mana Pools National Park offer a combined range of prime, protected wilderness and is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and a core area of the middle-Zambezi biosphere reserve. 

Activities include day and night wildlife viewing drives, boating and canoeing, and walking safaris and wildlife you might encounter include painted dogs (wild dogs), lions and leopards, buffalo, and elephants are seen up and down the river, sometimes swimming the river itself.


Tembo Plains Camp is set in the Sapi Private Reserve bordering Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.  Access is via light aircraft flight from Harare or Victoria Falls where you are met at the airstrip and transferred the short distance to camp.


The design of Tembo Plains references the famous Zimbabwe Ruins and adventure – and the focus of the camp is a unique combination of canvas and stone walls. The semi-circular walls inside each tent isolate the bath and shower from the bedroom and indoor lounge areas bringing that architectural reference inside as well. Outside this pack-stone wall design continues along the back of the guest bedroom and the front has uninterrupted views of Zambezi river flowing just meters away from the canvas tent.

In the main area the wine cellar and interactive 5-star kitchen feature this stone design, including the spa and curio store which are hidden discreetly behind beautifully weathered Zanzibar doors.  There is a long history of exploration from the coast into this area as traders came in search of gold, and the Arab influenced doors reflect this history.

Tembo Plains has just four double or twin tents each with its own private indoor lounge area, outdoor swimming pool, exercise bikes on a wide veranda and outdoor dining area. The ensuite bathrooms feature stunning handmade bathtubs and indoor and outside showers.  

The beautiful 2-bedroomed family Tembo Suite has two tents with shared lounge and dining area and pool and is ideal for two couples, a family or a couple looking for the ultimate private safari. All rooms enjoy expansive ensuite bathroom facilities as in the other tents, with indoor baths, showers and double vanities.    

The Wi-Fi and working areas also provide space for you to catch up on business or just manage the images from the day. In each tent you will find a Canon professional camera and lenses, plus Leica binoculars for your use whilst in camp.


The 118,000 hectares private Sapi Concession was awarded to Great Plains Conservation to manage and look after in 2016. Immediately the concession was converted to operating as a private photographic reserve and steps were implemented to minimise the various impacts humans had had on the area prior to this conversion. This amazing wildlife sanctuary along with the neighbouring Mana Pools National Park now comprise over 337,000 hectares of prime protected wilderness with the Sapi Reserve today being recognised as one of the finest destinations in Africa. Collectively they form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a core area of the middle-Zambezi biosphere reserve.

The focus of your stay is exploring one of Africa’s remote wilderness areas on foot and on specially designed vehicles, but the camp also offers canoeing and boating on the Zambezi River. You have the opportunity to experience encounters with elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, buffalo, eland, zebra and plenty of other species. This is also prime bird-watching country and opportunities abound to spot resident and migrant species especially in the early morning and late afternoons.

For guests staying 3 nights or more, the opportunity to visit the Mana Pools National Park is included.

Day and night game drives - traverse the diverse terrain of the Sapi Reserve, discover the legendary Mtawatawa pan, encounter some of Africa’s largest wildlife species by vehicle whilst continually learning more about this incredible ecosystem. 

Walking Safaris – discover the smaller wildlife whilst experiencing the bush on foot with your guide. 

Canoeing – on the Zambezi with your guide and experience wildlife viewing from a different perspective.

Young Explorers Programme - Sapi Explorers Camp offers a full syllabus of bush craft skills for young explorers. This is a complimentary programme and children will receive an extensive pack on arrival so they can learn about animal calls, how to track wildlife, and other facts and figures about the wild. At the end of a child’s stay they will become a Young Explorer and Conservation Ambassador - ready to go out and tell the world about what they have learned and what they too can do to help protect this beautiful environment.


Great plains conservation is committed to responsible travel; from conservation and community initiatives spearheaded by our foundation, to integrating green technology and a light-footprint into every aspect of our safari camps. 

Great Plains Conservation exists to conserve and expand natural habitats; using sustainable eco-tourism protect and restore critical habitats, conserve wildlife, and benefit local communities.  They have conserved nearly one million acres of land for Africa’s wildlife across community conservancies, former hunting concessions, and key wildlife migratory corridors. In addition, they have founded the Great Plains Foundation to lead innovative initiatives with a long-term commitment to the environment, wildlife, and local communities in Botswana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

Great Plains Conservation supports the Foundation’s administrative costs and provides in-kind contributions such as transportation, supplies, and staff time so that more resources can be directed to the communities and protected areas they serve. By staying at Great Plains Conservation’s camps, you are directly helping to protect Africa’s wild spaces.

A Conservation and Community Levy is added to each stay with Great Plains Conservation as a contribution to the Great Plains Foundation. Through this levy, every traveller who stays with them is not only helping to conserve and expand natural habitats, but also contributing to conservation and community development through projects such as conservation education and Rhinos Without Borders.



Call +44 1386 830264 or Email [email protected]

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