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Wilderness Ruckomechi

When To Visit Mana Pools:
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"An all-round great camp. It has a stunning river location, a huge variety of activities, and a location on an exceptional private concession so guests are away from the crowds."


Supremely positioned on the banks of the Zambezi, with river views and set to the stunning backdrop of the Zambezi escarpment, Wilderness Ruckomechi is one of the finest camps in this region of Zimbabwe. As it’s located in its own private reserve just to the west of Mana Pools National Park, you have all the benefits of being away from the busier areas, while enjoying the wealth of activities that come from being outside the park boundaries. Mana pools (‘mana’ meaning simply four, referring to the number of pools created by the river long ago) has a reputation for being one of most exhilarating parks in Africa.

The wealth of wildlife in the area is staggering, with large herds of buffalo and elephant arriving to drink here in the dry season, as well as zebra, waterbuck, eland, baboon, wild dog, hyena, leopard, and lion. Fantastic boating and canoeing on the Zambezi also allow you to witness some of the largest populations of hippo and crocodile in Zimbabwe! Another reason people visit Mana Pools is because some of the most famous guides in the business operate here. Zimbabwe has notoriously difficult guiding exam standards, so if you opt to walk with predators here you’ll be in truly fantastic hands. The lodge itself is beautiful, with magnificent views both from your spacious suite and the wide decking where delightful meals are served. With its impressive list of activities, and the exclusivity of being in your own private reserve, Ruckomechi always delivers fantastic safari.


Wilderness Ruckomechi is situated in the western region of Mana Pools, within a private concession and along the banks of the Zambezi river in northern Zimbabwe. The meandering bends of the Zambezi slow the river here, forming the famous pools and also depositing rich nutrients into the soil to create the grassy floodplains and beautiful forests of ebony and mahogany. The location of the camp sets it apart from most properties within the Mana Pools National Park, thanks to its immediate access to water-based activities and the exclusivity of the private reserve.

The camp is usually accessed by scheduled light aircraft into the local Ruckomechi West airstrip, and from here it’s a very short drive to camp. It is also possible to drive from Harare, which takes about 5 hours. As the camp is situated just a 2-hour flight from Hwange NP, which is itself less than a 2-hour flight from Victoria Falls, an itinerary finishing with Ruckomechi can be a very efficient way to see Zimbabwe’s highlights.


The main areas of camp are positioned among an ancient riverine forest of acacia, albida, and mahogany trees, with superb views of the river and escarpment. A comfortable lounge, dining room with large table, library, and bar are housed within a building constructed from natural, earthy, local materials. Outside, a wooden deck leads onto a wonderful platform overlooking the river, where guests can sit and watch the sunset and the impressive African night sky. The camp also boasts an infinity pool (although its infinity status only just manages to pass the test!), which is surrounded by sunloungers for relaxing in between safari activities. Also, there is an open-air bathtub on the river bank – perfect for some serious relaxation in these wonderful surroundings.

The guest accommodation at Wilderness Ruckomechi consists of ten tents in total – seven twins, two doubles, and a two-bedroom family tent. All are made from canvas, with fine-mesh windows to protect against insects while letting the breeze circulate nicely. Interior décor features local art and some pleasant rustic touches, while furniture includes bedside tables, a writing table, a wardrobe, and a sumptuous leather chair. En-suite bathrooms are open plan and consist of flush toilet, mokoro-shaped washbasin, and both indoor and outdoor showers. All tents have a veranda overlooking the river, complete with comfy chairs, perfect for early morning coffee or an afternoon read. You can also spend a romantic night under the stars at the camp’s ‘star bed’, which lies close to a busy waterhole. This is best to book in advance, so please chat with one of our consultants if you’d like to include this in your stay.


Boasting the finest guides and plenty of game, Mana Pools is famous for its up-close encounters with the wildlife. Ruckomechi is well placed to offer the full range of classic safari activities, being located in its own private concession.

  • Expertly guided game drives

    - There are two drives daily, during the morning and the late afternoon. Among the potential highlight sightings are lion, leopard, elephant, hyena, and buffalo. You can look out for smaller predators too, such as jackal, serval, civet, honey badger, and even wild dog! The large herbivore collection features giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and an assortment of antelopes.
  • Walking safaris

    - You can also head out into the bush with an armed guide. As mentioned, the up-close encounters in Mana Pools can be spectacular. As well as enjoying animal tracking and the area’s phenomenal birdlife (380 recorded species, including big hitters like Lillian’s lovebird, Pel’s fishing owl, and the blue-cheeked bee-eater), you’ll take a closer look at the reserve’s insects and plant life. Different levels and distances are possible, depending on the ages of your group. Please note, classic walking safari has a minimum age requirement of 12 years.
  • Night drives

    - Why not head out at night, when all the big predators come alive? It’s always an unforgettable experience, watching what goes on in the dark of the night! You might see porcupines, spring-hares, genets, civets, bush-babies, and occasionally a larger predator with its prey.
  • Boating and fishing

    - The boating safaris here are wonderful, especially with the substantial bee-eater colony just along the riverbank. You’ll see huge pods of hippo, loads of crocs, and a plethora of birdlife. Afternoon cruises can include sunset drinks on remote islands in the Zambezi. Fishing is also an option and can be seasonal – and though it’s not for everyone, plucking a tigerfish from the Zambezi can be quite a thrill. Naturally the camp operates a catch-and-release policy.
  • Canoes

    - Canoeing is very much the walking safari of the water! You’ll be able to hear and see so much more as you silently glide through the waterways. It’s a great chance to meet some of the smaller animals like frogs and birds, and get a closer look at the flora. The canoes can accommodate three people, including a guide. This part of the Zambezi is famous for this activity, with all sorts of things to see both in the water and along its banks!

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

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