Despite ongoing political uncertainty in Zimbabwe, safari companies continue to invest and seem to be taking a generally optimistic view of the future. In part, this is because some of the country’s wildlife areas are so exceptional and, as yet, unspoiled. The Mana Pools region of the Zambezi valley is one of the most scenically beautiful areas of Africa, as well as one having a cornucopia of animal- and birdlife.
Great Plains Conservation is a particularly interesting company — founded by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, award-winning filmmakers and National Geographic explorers-in-residence — which practices what it describes as “sustainable conservation tourism.”
Some of their existing camps number among the continent’s most distinguished. (Mara Plains in Kenya and Zarafa and Duba Plains in Botswana are all Hideaway Report-recommended.) In 2016, the firm acquired a lease on a 465-square-mile former hunting concession close to Mana Pools National Park. The land has been rehabilitated, and the confidence of the animals is growing.
Two camps have now opened: Sapi Explorers Camp is located on the banks of the Zambezi river and comprises just five large comfortable tents with en suite showers, while Sapi Springs Camp has been established deep in the reserve next to the seasonal Sapi River. This has just three tented rooms with raised sleeping platforms. Great Plains now plans to start work on a high-end camp, similar to its lavish properties in Botswana.