Our Trip To Ruckomechi Camp

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Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools area is truly a photographer’s paradise and is also ideal for travellers looking for some wildlife adventure or just relax. We took a trip out to this impressive National Park recently. It was a much-needed family break, and we chose to stay at Wilderness Safaris property, Ruckomechi Camp. The luxury safari camp is just over 400 kilometres from Harare. The trip by road can be quite bumpy as you get closer to the Park and will definitely be arduous in the summer months, so we flew out by charter plane.

We flew out in the morning and we were received at the airstrip by one of the camp’s guides, who transferred us to the camp. On our way into camp, we were pleased to see four Lionesses. Upon arrival at the camp, we received such a warm welcome from the staff.  After settling into our suite, we embarked on an informative orientation tour with Eddie, one of the staff members.

The camp sits right on the banks of the Zambezi River, offering stunning river views and many wildlife sightings right from the door of your tent. It comprises ten luxurious tented camps, including two larger units which are family suites. The guest tents are spaced apart so that there is privacy. Ruckomechi is an open Camp that is frequented by elephants who love to snack on the acacia pods in the surrounding trees. We were advised to be vigilant when walking to our tent or alternatively request an escort in the camp vehicle. The main area consists of a substantial viewing deck with a swimming pool and fire pit. There is comfortable seating in the main; area where you can relax with a gin and tonic and take in the gorgeous scenery by the day. In the evenings the guests can sit by the fire pit and unwind. 

We then had brunch at 11 am; a delicious spread of sweet and savoury bites including delicious beetroot salad, stuffed sweet potatoes crumbed pork schnitzel, bacon, eggs etc. After the lovely meal, we rested. During the heat of the day, we cooled off in the pool. Then we went fishing in the afternoon. The camp has a catch and releases policy but the activity is just as rewarding. Unfortunately, we did not catch any tiger fish. Being on the water was very refreshing and on the river, we spotted quite a number of animals, such as Elephants, Crocodiles, Hippos, and Buffalo. The Riverbanks were teeming with Carmine Bee-Eaters.

As sunset fell, it was so good to take in the beautiful colours of the sky. We returned to camp tired but grateful for the relaxing afternoon.  Dinner was another tasty meal of steak salad, creamy chicken and a decadent white chocolate mousse to round off the meal. Two of our party spent the night in the treehouse under the stars. They were fortunate enough to see a leopard from the lofty spot. In the tent we found our bedding to be of the highest quality and conveniently fitted with mosquito nets

The following morning, we got up at the crack of dawn and we had a light breakfast (choice of tea/ coffee or fruit). We proceeded to our game drive with guide Albion, Alby for short. We had luck on our side and there was much to see, including Waterbuck, Buffalo, Elephants, and Zebra. The highlight of the drive was a Leopard feasting on his Impala kill up in a tree. Clearly enjoying the fruit of his nocturnal hunt.  We viewed the adult cat from a safe distance and then saw her come down and saunter off after taking her fill. We had a recess on the banks of the Zambezi where we gladly got outstretch our feet a bit. Coffee and biscuits were served then we returned to camp for brunch.

The eventful morning took the wind out of us and after the scrumptious meal, we paused for a siesta in the tents.  Later in the day, we took a dip in the sparkling pool and some afternoon tea was served at 3.30 pm.
We decided to give fishing another try, but after a couple of runs, we, unfortunately, landed nothing. Before returning to camp that evening the staff had prepared surprise sundowners by the river.  We loved the spread of cool refreshments and tasty snacks and they had carefully laid out some chairs on the banks of the river at a strategic location where we could enjoy the stunning sunset.

On the last day of our vacation, we were up early again assembling for breakfast around 530am. This was followed by a transfer out of camp which also doubles as an early morning game drive en-route to the airstrip. We were chuffed to spot the same four lionesses we had seen on our first day. They were relaxing in a dry river bed enjoying the warmth of the sand. We also saw a lone Civet, some Warthogs, Zebra, Buffalo, Impala and Baboons. Thus ended our Ruckomechi adventure as we flew back home. The camp, the experience, the setting, were absolutely amazing and we highly recommend Ruckomechi for your next safari.