WPCS 2.1.3
WPCS 2.1.3

Camp Chitake

“Not for the faint hearted, but for those that like their wildlife wild….”

Budget level: Affordable
When to Go
Apr to Nov
Property Type
Camp Temporary
Mana Pools
Kids Min Age

This is not a “lodge”, this is not a game drive. Chitake is for people who understand the Africa away from the standard brochure. For the “Africaphile” who like their wildlife wild!

Camp Chitake is a fairly basic temporary camp located near the famous Chitake Spring. The Spring is a hidden gem nestled deep in Mana Pools National Park and is an area of crucial importance to a great variety of wildlife occurring in this southern part of the Park. Experience the closeness and excitement of Chitake by camping right on the edge of the river and exploring on foot its mini sandstone gorge and wild woodlands, brimming with nature.

The tented camp is specifically setup for a group of guests by camp staff and removed again upon their departure. There are only three campsites at Chitake and the Camp will occupy one of them, making for an exclusive experience.  The camp comprises of walk-in mosquito-proofed tents with an en-suite chemical toilet, external long-drop toilets, external hot showers and a dining area next to the fire, where iced drinks and sumptuous bush-prepared meals are served. The tents have gauze netting as part of the canvas roof, allowing guests to ‘sleep under the stars’. Sleeping is on a comfortable ‘stretcher’ with warm and cosy bed linen.

Normally water flows strongly from the Spring and for up to a kilometre along the otherwise dry riverbed of the Chitake River. The Chitake River rises in the Zambezi Escarpment about 8 km away on the very southern boundary of the Park, and connects with the Ruckomechi River, which in turn snakes across the valley floor to the mighty Zambezi, 70 kilometres away. Once the real rains begin there is a torrent of water flowing in these river systems, but it generally dries up by April. As more of the surrounding waterholes dry, the spring becomes the focus of survival to hundreds, even thousands of animals….

With such a diverse array of wildlife on the menu, this is the ideal spot for predators – lion, leopard, hyena, painted wolves, mongoose, snakes and a plethora of birds of prey congregate here. Vultures are often seen in large numbers waiting for their next meal.

Of course, the greatest shows are put on by the grey herds of thirsty elephant and huge black masses of buffalo. Long walks are taken out from the spring area to go up into the different habitats of the hills, or when it is very dry, one can make a hide in the bushes near the water, blend into the environment and let everything come to you. Just an exhilarating experience second to none!

Chitake can be an extremely intense experience for the true naturalist and someone who likes to feel the challenge of nature. When walking you have to concentrate particularly carefully on your surroundings, often remaining silent for hours to let the game close in. Sounds are amplified at night in the narrow riverbed, the bushes around one threatening to release some bundle of tooth and claw!

For the avid birder there is no disappointment, as with the combination of dry and wet, woodland and open scrub, mountain and plain, there are well over 300 bird species to be seen.

Due to the structure of the environment, a naturalist will discover bats, rodents, porcupine, honey badgers, bugs, beetles, butterflies, moths, hissing ants, spiders, scorpions, beautiful plants, giant baobabs, tracks and spoor…

Why we like it

  • In the dry season one of the best spots in Africa for predator action!
  • Intense wildlife competition for the only water source in a vast area.
  • Fantastic large walking safari experience in a REAL wilderness area.
  • Comfortable intimate mobile camp right in the thick of it!
  • A favourite spot but not recommended for first timers….

Ready for an adventure? Lets Talk!

Let us know if you want this to be a part of your next life changing journey with us!

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