Nestled in the extreme north-eastern part of Zimbabwe, east of the Mana Pools, lies the Sapi Private Reserve, a hidden gem of Zimbabwe that has recently been converted from hunting to tourism and conservation. The Reserve, along with the Mana Pools National Park and the Chewore Safari Area, forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its pristine wilderness landscapes and outstanding natural beauty.
The Sapi Private Reserve is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise, with wildlife populations and landscapes that are unparalleled in Africa. The Reserve is home to many large African mammals, including elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, and buffaloes. Although giraffes and wildebeest are not found in the Zambezi valley, the Reserve is still an excellent destination for wildlife lovers. The black rhinoceros, which is endangered and now restricted to a few specially protected areas like the Matusadona and Hwange National Parks, is not found here. The Sapi Private Reserve has recently been converted from hunting use into an exclusive tourism and conservation area, operated by Great Plains Conservation. The change in use is expected to aid in the gradual recovery and increase of wildlife populations, offering another extraordinary wildlife and wilderness area that rivals the Mana Pools.
The Sapi Private Reserve is also an excellent destination for fishing enthusiasts. The deep waters of the Zambezi River offer excellent fishing opportunities, with tigerfish, bream, and catfish, including the giant Vundu, Bottlenose, Cornish Jack, Chessa, and Nkupe, among the many species found in the river. Visitors can reach many of the river’s excellent fishing spots by boat, including the spectacular Mupata Gorge, where the river narrows considerably, and the flow is deep and swift.
In addition to its wildlife and fishing attractions, the Sapi and Chewore areas are rich in fossil remains. The western part of the Mupata Gorge is home to extensive “forests” of fossil wood, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to explore and learn about the ancient geological history of the area.
Whether visitors are interested in wildlife, fishing, or exploring the area’s geological history, the Sapi Private Reserve has something for everyone.