Karen’s visit to Changa Safari Camp
In March this year, I was lucky enough to be invited out to Changa Safari Camp in the Matusadona National Park for a couple of nights. This camp did not disappoint!
With a bright and early pick up in Harare, we made our way to Kariba -with of course the customary stop at Saucy Sue’s, en-route for one of their famous burgers. It was about a 4.5-hour drive, passing through the old farmlands and then meandering down to Lake Kariba. On arrival in Kariba town, we boarded the speed boat across to Changa Safari Camp, about a 45-minute boat ride across the lake taking in the beauty of this area. We were met by our guides and hoped onto the open game drive vehicle for the short 2-minute drive to camp, here we would be met by their wonderful management team Sarah and Bruce and a much needed cold welcome drink.
Once check-in was complete, we did a quick site visit around a few of the rooms. The rooms at this camp are nice and spacious, all ensuite with stunning views of the lake. Around the main area, they have a lovely dining area, lounge, bar and of course the famous infinity pool – which allows one to soak in the views. After a delicious lunch, it was siesta time before we began with the afternoon’s activities.
On the first afternoon, I opted to head out on the game drive which was lovely and relaxed. All the wildlife were already heading out along the shoreline, so healthy herds of impala and elephant were seen, big pods of hippo as well as abundant bird life. At one stage, we just stopped and watched the elephants with their babies bumbling along. After a lovely sundowner – whilst enjoying one of Kariba’s famous sunsets we headed back to camp, where there was a lovely surprise of dinner on the ‘beach’ in front of the camp.
Early start the next day, it was time to head out for a bit of fishing. At our first spot, whilst all rods were in the water we got to witness an amazing siting of a marshal eagle coming down for a monitor lizard (which he missed) and at the same time a baboon that must have been on nursery watch – took off after the Marshall eagle all the way into the tree line constantly moving him on every time he tried to land and while all this was happening all the rods decided to go at the same time. It was a very exciting scene, and sadly no pictures with it all happening at once and so quickly. But I think this sighting has to be one of my top ones! The fishing was pretty good with lots of bream and of course the dreaded squeakers – but a lovely morning outing. On arrival back at camp – that was another delicious meal waiting for us before some time was spent around the pool and an afternoon siesta.
For my last afternoon out, I decided to venture out with the bigger group to see the Sanyati Gorge (which I had never seen before) and it was just beautiful and tranquil going through the gorge. We even saw some klipspringer here which was very special as well as lots of crocodiles and hippos. This boat trip is very scenic with all the different rock formations and trees in this area.
We then made our way back to camp slowly stopping to take in a magnificent Kariba sunset. On arrival in camp, we had yet another surprise waiting for us. After a quick freshen up we hoped back in the vehicles and were taken to a little spot where we had a stunning bush dinner set up for us – it was a brilliant way to end the trip.
Early the next morning before departure, I decided to get up slightly earlier and go and watch the little night apes that sleep in the trees by the dining room (they only come out at certain times) – this was just such a special experience to sit and watch them (worth doing if you are in camp).
It was then time for a quick cup of coffee before I joined a small group and did the adventure walk. I definitely recommend, especially for someone looking for a special and unique experience. It was the highlight of my trip – and such an amazing experience. We drove to a spot where we decided to walk from (and walked back to camp) – our guide did a briefing with us and we were then on our way. As we went along he described the various tracks we found along the way and how to differentiate.
With all senses on high alert, we heard a noise in the bushes causing us all to stop! Our guide then instructed us where to walk quietly and slowly and we ended up in a little riverine looking up at an elephant bull. It was such a thrilling experience being that close to one of these magnificent creatures in the wild. We sat and watched up from our spot for a while before he lost interest and moved on. We slowly continued from here and came across a couple of his friends who we watched for a bit before making our way back to camp.
The Matusadona National Park is a fantastic Park for walking – each bit of scenery is different and unique and you will get at some amazing up close and personal experiences. I noted all the guides here are very passionate about the area, and it is a very special little Park and camp.
Overall, it was a great trip and I would definitely suggest this camp. It is a good all-rounder camp, with something for everyone and a nice little family camp as well. The food is also DIVINE! 😊The camp works nicely either as a small break in the middle or the perfect start or end to a trip with lovely relaxing activities.