Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
At a Glance
Right on the river bank with wonderful Zambezi views
Ruckomechi are permitted to operate motorized boats, enabling guests to experience river safaris on the camp pontoons
Watch hippo and crocodile in the river below from the cool water of the camp swimming pool
Paddle downstream in your Canadian canoe accompanied by your professional guide
Enjoy a romantic bath on the banks of the Zambezi River
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Mana Pools has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to April is the rainy season. Ruckomechi is shut over these months. May to July is Zimbabwe's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game viewing, the dryer months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb birdwatching at the end of the rains.
To start planning your vacation to Ruckomechi Camp
Ruckomechi Camp lies on the Zimbabwean bank of the Zambezi River, 100 kilometers downstream from Lake Kariba, in the heart of Mana Pools National Park. The ten-tented camp sits under the shade of an acacia grove and enjoys dramatic views towards Zambia.
Ruckomechi Camp is located at the heart of one of the most iconic wilderness areas in Africa: Mana Pools National Park. The camp itself is set along the Zimbabwean bank of the mighty Zambezi River as it makes its slow and steady progress down from Lake Kariba, through the Lower Zambezi Valley on its way to Lake Cabora Bassa and ultimately the Indian Ocean. Ruckomechi is managed by the highly acclaimed Wilderness Safaris, the quality of guiding, service and accommodation here are of the high standard expected from a Wilderness camp.
The camp is set in a particularly dramatic location with fantastic views across the river to The Lower Zambezi National Park of Zambia, and the high escarpment of this section of Africa's Great Rift Valley. Ruckomechi enjoys shade from the mature acacia albida and mahogany trees that are ever present and an iconic sight within Mana Pools.
There are just ten tented rooms set meters from the river bank. All tents are en-suite and have private outdoor showers and game viewing decks.
Game viewing along the river and further into the national park is some of the best in Southern Africa. The acacia attract herds of elephant to their rich and nutritious seedpods. It is common to see large bull elephants standing under the shade of the trees in camp during the heat of the day. A particularly impressive sighting comes as the elephants rear up on their hind legs to pluck the hard to reach pods.
As the dry season progresses, and the inland pools begin to dry, game begins to concentrate close to the river. It is common to see large herds of buffalo moving along the river bank, the area is rich in antelope species: eland, kudu, impala and waterbuck are common. The Zambezi itself is home to thousands of hippo and crocodile. Mana Pools is perhaps most famous for its predator population. Each night you can hear the cough of a leopard and the roar of lion around camp, wild dog are also commonly seen in the park.
With the proximity of the river and the variety of habitats in the area, the birding is unsurprisingly diverse all year round.
The camp is closed during the rainy season between mid November and May each year.
Ruckomechi Camp has ten spacious en-suite tented rooms, including a honeymoon suite, and a two- bedroom family suite, all of which overlook the Zambezi River. Each large tent has a spacious bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers.
Two double tents
Seven twin tents.
One two-bedroom family tent with adjoining double and twin tent each with en suite bathroom.
Ruckomechi cannot accommodate children under the age of 16 years old.
At the main lodge there is a bar, dining and library area, as well as an infinity pool surrounded by comfortable sun-loungers and hammocks.
The camp have set up an open air bath on the river bank, an incredible experience at the end of the day before dinner.
Wilderness Safaris have aimed to be as environmentally friendly as possible in the design and operation of Ruckomechi Camp. All hot water and lighting in the tents is provided by solar power.
Ruckomechi Camp focuses on providing visitors with a varied safari experience through a wide range of activities. Game drives in the early morning and afternoon are taken in 4x4 safari vehicles. Mana Pools is known to be one of the best, and safest, locations to walk with big game in Africa. Guests are accompanied by professional armed guides and expert trackers, this is an incredible way to experience the area. On the water: canoeing and motorized boating are offered, both a great way to experience the Zambezi River.
A fantastic way to end the day is to stop on a mid-stream sand bank for a sundowner. The Zambezi is also home to great fishing: the hard fighting tiger fish is commonly caught, as well as good sized bream. Please note that fishing at Ruckomechi is at an additional cost and guests will need to organize their own equipment. Fishing is catch and release.
Weve just come back from staying at Wilderness Safaris Ruckomechi Camp in Mana Pools National Park. We were on safari as a family with our two sons aged 14 and 12. Right on the banks of the Zambezi, Ruckomechi was a stunning camp and beautifully designed. Our family room with two separate en suite bedrooms was wonderfully styled. We loved being there, the boat trips, canoeing, walking, excellent game and guides and the beauty of Mana Pools is something to behold.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Ruckomechi Camp is in the most beautiful spot on the banks of the Zambezi River. The ten very comfortable tented rooms all have lovely vistas and are horizontal to the river so whether you are in the indoor or the outdoor shower or lying on your bed you can see the Zambezi River and the Zambezi Escarpment rising beyond.
While at Ruckomechi there is so much to do beyond game drives - float down the river in a canoe, take a relaxing boat cruise or take walk with an experienced guide. Mana Pools is renowned for being one of the best places to walk in Africa, with relaxed herds of elephant and buffalo and highly qualified and superb guiding it is an incredible way to experience safari on foot.
Canoeing on the Zambezi
Join an experienced and qualified river-guide for a canoe safari on the Zambezi River, this is a fantastic way to experience the northern safari areas of Zimbabwe and get a feel for the power of the Zambezi.
Fishing in Zimbabwe
Visitors travel from across the globe to Northern Zimbabwe to try their hand at catching one of the most iconic of fresh water game fish: the Tiger Fish. Ten-pound plus tigers are a common catch on the waters of Kariba and the wider Zambezi.
Zimbabwe is one of the best places in Africa to experience walking in the bush. The guides are of the highest quality, the game is fantastic and the different environments, throughout the country, are well suited for exploring on foot.
Location & directions
Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Ruckomechi Camp is situated on the western boundary of Mana Pools National Park, on the Zimbabwean bank of the Zambezi River, approximately 100km downstream of Lake Kariba.
How to get there
Ruckomechi can be reached by light aircraft from the Zimbabwean capital Harare. It is also possible to charter from Victoria Falls or from any of the other safari areas in the country. The camp can also be accessed by road and boat transfer from Lusaka or Victoria Falls. The nearest airstrip to Ruckomechi is Mana West, a 20 minutes’ drive from camp.