I have just returned from an amazing time in Mana Pools and thought I would share some highlights of my trip.

Out of all the properties I have been fortunate enough to visit in Africa, Ruckomechi and Little Ruckomechi’s setting and scenery has to be the most serene, peaceful and magical place. It tops Mombo, and for me to say that is something!

For those of you who have visited Mana Pools, you will be saying ‘but of course!’ and for those of you who haven’t, do yourselves a favour and make it happen. Both camps are stunning, the staff is friendly and service is great, all without being over the top.



Ruckomechi has managed to maintain a truly authentic bush feel. Little Ruckomechi is exquisite.

Nestled under ana trees and a frog’s hop from the Zambezi River, it exudes relaxation. Not having boardwalks connecting the rooms makes it feel very ‘original safari’, yet when you get to your room, the comfort, attention to detail and quality leave you wanting for nothing.

Little Ruckomechi is very much a stand-alone or sole-use camp, ensuring that our guest experience ‘on the ground’ is amplified by having just one vehicle and one top-notch professional guide in Honest Siyawareva. graham-pic-4-min

At both camps the new clear-view shade netting for the rooms has been used. This means that whilst in your room you have shade and privacy but also uninterrupted views from wherever you are situated. I had to keep walking up to check if the shade netting was in fact still there it is so clear. At night, it is impossible to see the shade netting – and when the elephant, which are constantly in camp at this time of year picking up ana pods – amble past slowly, it’s like having your own HD TV set to Nat Geo Wild all night!

The extended deck at Ruckomechi is brilliant and makes the camp feel much larger. Even with a full camp, there is ample space all around.

To recap on the wildlife (although it not just about them!), I saw lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, vervet, baboon, bushbuck, hippo, crocodile, zebra, kudu amongst many other species.

Incidentally, these are the largest herds of waterbuck I have ever encountered, while the lion sightings of the two males, three lionesses and all their cubs were just extraordinary.

Elephant were naturally ever-present.

Graham Simmonds