Why is Johns Camp in Zimbabwe such a fabulous gem?

Albee Yeend By Albee Yeend
11 Sep 2017
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Robin Pope and John Stevens have teamed together to open John’s Camp. John Stevens is one of the most well-known guides in Africa and is an experienced tracker wildlife spotter.

John’s Camp in Zimbabwe, opened in April 2017 and is located on the banks of the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park, nestling amongst the ancient canopies of Mahogany and Trichelia trees. Mana Pools is one of the most beautiful parks and areas in Zimbabwe and the habitat is well deserving of its status as a World Heritage Site of natural beauty.



To get to John’s Camp you fly by light aircraft from either Harare or Victoria Falls to Mana Pools, where you will then have a 45 minute game drive to the camp and are greeted by the smiley staff with a welcome drink.

John’s camp is run by the extremely experienced Milo Harrup and his wife Sarah Stevens and takes its name from John Stevens, the legendary walking guide, who is Sarah’s Father. Sarah pulls from her experiences growing up with her father, and together, she and Milo have brought a modern yet traditional flair to this colonial-style safari camp.


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The location really is fabulous and being next to the river bank it affords wonderful views across the river into neighbouring Zambia, as well as for several miles both up and down stream.

The camp is a semi-permanent seasonal camp and is open during the dry season from mid-April to the end of November each year.

John’s Camp is a simple yet tasteful camp with just five en-suite Meru style tents all facing the river, with a lovely deck, where one can watch the wildlife go by. They have large gauze windows, solar lighting and the tents can be converted into a triple to accommodate one child over the age of 12.


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There are bucket showers and flush loos, with running water in the basins inside the tent. There is a communal dining area where you can swap safari stories with your fellow guests and dinner is often served under the stars or under a shady tree

As this area is a truly natural wilderness and the only wild walking National Park in Africa, this is the perfect place to explore Mana Pools and the floodplains, which are abundant with grazing wildlife. The name "Mana'' means "four" in the local Shona language and refers to the four large water filled pools lying just inland off the river’s edge.  The pools where at one time in history, ox-bow lakes that formed as the river changed its course over the years. 


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Other activities include game drives, fishing, a sleep-out under the stars, breakfast and lunch in the bush plus a tour of the National Parks headquarters. The bird watching is truly excellent, with abundant water birds present in addition to the savannah and forest species.

For the more adventurous, one can spend a night fly camping, sleeping under the stars under a mosquito net, which is a truly memorable experience. In terms of wildlife you are likely to encounter large bull elephants, prides of lions, herds of buffalo, water mongoose and white tailed mongoose, warthog, kudu, impala, pods of hippos, crocodiles and over 400 different variety of birds. The game viewing really is exceptional with experienced and entertaining guides.


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With the river and seasonal pans attracting large numbers of water birds and a mixture of species visiting the riverine vegetation and mopane woodland, including African albida trees, natal mahogany and baobabs.

Birds that can be seen include bee-eater, heron, starling and oriole, red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed stork, white-fronted beater, Egyptian goose, blacksmith plover (lapwing), crowned hornbill, Bradfield’s / red-billed and grey hornbill, white and woolley necked stork, and Natal francolin. 


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There are also tsetse flies in the area so do please take relevant precautions. 

Included in your stay are all game viewing activities, meals & drinks, laundry, national park fees and airstrip transfers.


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