Ruckomechi, elegantly refurbished in 2016, is ideally located for an unforgettable safari experience, extending over a kilometre of river frontage with breathtaking views of the broad river and the Zambezi escarpment beyond. There are large concentrations of game along the river and on the wide floodplain behind the camp, which is located in the large, private Ruckomechi Concession in the north-west of Mana Pools, the only concession in the park.
Ten spacious en-suite tented chalets overlook the river and offer all the amenities one could ask for – electricity, fans, hot and cold running water and indoor and outdoor showers – without leaving a large environmental footprint. Every eco-friendly tent has a solar panel to power its LED lights and a solar water heater to ensure hot water.
The clean lines and subtle colours of the decor make for elegant, restful interiors while large gauze windows make full use of the views. One of the eight two-person tents is a honeymoon suite. Two family tents welcome those with children six years and over. The apple-ring acacia pods are a favourite food for elephant, which often wander through the unfenced camp – a thrilling experience but good reason for an age limit.
A star bed situated away from the camp at a busy waterhole offers a night of stargazing and romance, while guests delight in the open-air bath in a secluded part of camp.
The lounge, bar, dining and deck areas share the same understated style and gorgeous views as the tents. There is a separate pool deck for lounging and swimming. The comfortable cushions of the raised stargazing deck ensure that loungers linger after sunset, warmed by the campfire. By day, this deck, projecting beyond the main camp area, is an excellent spot for watching game, big and small.
The area is known for its large populations of buffalo and elephant but wild dogs and Big Cats – lion, cheetah and leopard – are often seen, as are eland, kudu, zebra and waterbuck, while hippo abound in the river. Professional guides are on hand for informative walks (for those aged 13 and over). The open woodland is relatively shady while affording excellent views of browsing mammals and a wonderful variety of birds. The excellent guides ensure fascinating game drives and river trips on motorized pontoons or, for anyone over 16, canoes. Cruise or paddle along the Zambezi and do some bird spotting while elephants amble along the banks and hippos snort and grunt in the river.
Things to do
• Morning & afternoon game drives
• Catch-and-release fishing
• Guided walks
• River cruises
• Guided canoeing
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