Ruckomechi Camp: Mana Magic

When half of the Southern African guiding fraternity view a destination as their own version of Mecca, you know something special must be happening there.

Mana Pools National Park in north Zimbabwe draws people in fo many reasons, but the main attraction is most certainly one’s ability to have close encounters with wildlife on foot. Walking safaris have been conducted in the park since 1963, and as a result of decades of being exposed to people on foot, a large proportion of the local wildlife has become used to people out of the vehicles, and ignore them completely.

Tag along behind African Wild Dogs as they go on the hunt or watch spellbound as an enormous elephant bull stretches up to snack on the pods of an Ana tree, barely thirty metres from you… the experiences one can have here are almost impossible to replicate anywhere else in Africa.

On the western fringes of Mana Pools NP one finds Ruckomechi Camp, nestled into a corner of a huge expanse of private conservation land.
The might Zambezi River flows in front of the camp, the surrounding woodlands are constantly alive with birdsong, and the Zambezi escarpment provides an amazing backdrop to your evening sundowners.

Ruckomechi was one Mana Pools’ pioneer camps, having entertained guests for over two decades.

Ten spacious and beautifully decorated en-suite rooms, including two family units, are unobtrusively placed beneath the spreading Ana trees, the seeds of which are heavily sought after by the local elephant population.
Interiors are peacefully earth-toned, with hints of blue, reflecting the flowing river. The camp’s main area include a fire-pit, for evening chats, delicious glasses of red wine and the awe-struck contemplation of the infinite stars above you. A pool overlooking a broad sweep of river invites swimmers during the heat of summer, as the river itself, with its countless hippos and crocs, is not recommended for bathing!

Ultimately though it’s the wildlife that draws people to Mana Pools and on that front Ruckomechi delivers in spades. The local pack of wild dogs are regular visitors to the camp area, the roar of a lion reverberates almost nightly through and past the guest suites, and huge herds of buffalo flock to the river more and more as the dry season sets in and they seek life-sustaining water.

Ruckomechi is a seasonal camp, only open between mid/late November. Long grass and sodden terrain during the wet season of December-March makes most land-based activities difficult.
As soon as the rains have stopped though, and animals become more and more dependent on the river as the ephemeral pans dry up one after the other, Ruckomechi and the rest of the Zambezi riverfront come alive.

With a more limited window during which guests can visit this slice of heaven, bookings at Ruckomechi are in demand, but don’t worry, as there are a number of other Mana Pools options for those wanting to experience this ultimate of parks.

Email us on info@iconicafcia.com to find out more and to start planning your safari…

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