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Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
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Goliath Safaris was rebranded in January 2019 to Stretch Ferreira Safaris which is still owned and run by Stretch Ferreira – a professional safari guide who has over 35 years of experience, and a reputation as one of the finest guides in Africa. Described as a “living legend” Stretch has been guiding walking safaris in Mana Pools for most of his life, and has a special affinity with the animals of the area. All safaris are tailor-made to suit the guests in camp. There are no set routines, only wish-lists fulfilled. The camp which has undergone a total revam, sleeps a maximum of 12 guests in 7 luxury twin & double bedded East African tents with en suite facilities, all nestled amongst the trees on the banks of the Zambezi River. Activities include walks, game drives, afternoon canoeing and fishing.
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Free parking
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Free airport transportation
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Non-smoking rooms
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Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
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If you love Africa but most of your safari experiences have been in a game vehicle, or if you simply want to be in a place of real wilderness with the best guiding possible, do yourself a favor and stay with Stretch in Mana Pools. From the very moment we touched down, Stretch and team made us feel right at home with their down-to-earth style punctuated by the legendary sense of humor of Stretch. It's certainly the case that there are safaris when you come away with lots of photos and a very comfortable experience, and then there is Stretch Safaris when you come away feeling like you've been with family for 4 days of laughter and epic game viewing (plus great photos and comfort!). Stretch and the Guiding The man, the legend. Stretch, Al and the guiding team at camp are world renowned and this is unmistakably evident when you're led up on foot to your first Mana elephant by Stretch. The relationship Stretch has built over the years with the wildlife of Mana (especially the elephant bulls) is remarkable and allows for close, memorable encounters that you won't have anywhere else in Africa. We always felt safe with the team at Stretch Safaris even when up-close and personal on foot with wildlife or canoeing down the Zambezi River past hippos and crocs. Camp and Team Goliath Camp enjoys a stunning location right on the banks of the Zambezi with the beautiful escarpment beyond. Prime for sundowners! The best part of camp in my view was how personal and comfortable it felt. The main area is setup for great social interaction, the newly refurbished tents are extremely comfortable (with great hot water showers) while maintaining an Out-of-Africa style, and the dining area / food was amazing. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed all the memorable conversations and laughs around drinks / dinner (especially during the braai cooked personally by Stretch!). You'll also never go hungry here with all the great food on offer! The team at camp is amazing and truly makes you feel at home (which in a way it is since Adrienne, Stretch's wife, is the fantastic host). Lovely little touches like joining our group for sundowners even when out of camp and asking what cake we wanted for tea (I fully took advantage of this!) made our stay so memorable. Game Viewing Mana is a special place with special sightings and light that you won't see anywhere else. Having traveled to many other classic safari destinations, I can confidently say that the elephant viewing here is second to none. That's because sightings are always on foot, often backed by the stunning Zambezi beyond and because some of Mana's elephant bulls raise up on to their back legs to source the food in the branches above. An incredible sight. We also had great sightings of wild dogs for which the park is famous and very much enjoyed tracking the lion pride in the area on foot with Stretch and Al (roaring, lots of paw prints but they took pleasure in evading us!!). Not to mention all of the other wildlife that makes this area so great (at night from the tent there is the chorus of hippos, frequent lion roaring and leopard tracks). Activities Walking is the name of the game here and it's done especially well with Stretch leading the way, pointing out all the flora and fauna. Driving is only done to where you'll start your walks or to get to an area where something particular has been sighted. We found it refreshing to spend so much time out of the vehicle. We also absolutely loved the canoeing where we were the only ones on the river passing by hippos, crocs and elephants at dusk. Special and something to get the adrenalin up! As a last point, there's a reason why people come back to Stretch's camp year after year. This is safari on a personal level that gets into your soul and leaves you with a strong desire to protect all the continent has to offer. Stretch and team deserve a massive amount of credit for this. Thanks guys, we'll see you soon!
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Response from Stretchsafaris, Manager at Stretch Ferreira Safaris
Responded 1 week ago
Thank you Charlie for your very very kind review. We all loved having you guys and look forward to seeing you back in Mana. Have a wonderful wedding we will all be thinging of you and Katie.
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Stretch Fereira has Indian ancestors, but unlike us he's stretched. Longitudinally. I mean he's tall, really tall. And what a holiday we had in May 2017. We stayed 4 nights at Goliath and wished we had stretched it to 10. Right from the time we corresponded with Flo to reserve our stay at Goliath until the time we flew off from the airstrip there, we felt so welcome and supported by them. Flo helped us with all our queries including giving us tips on the best way to get to Goliath. Every hike through the wild was an experience to remember. And Stretch took us walking upto 15 feet from a pride of 5 snarling lionesses who had just devoured an impala. And 10 feet to African bull eles.. And to the edge of the river bend where angry hippos mock-charged 20 feet away. He did everything to check for the painted dogs- unfortunately they were not to be found then. And Stretch was more disappointed than us!! He grumbled through the dinner. Lunch and dinners were treats, awesome food. Great drinks. We miss Goliath. We will be back.
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My wife and I just returned from a photographic Safari in Zambia and Zimbabwe with Peter Geraerdts the Dutch wildlife photographer and owner of Track & Trial River Camp in the South Luangwa National Park. We spend 5 nights at the Goliath Safari Camp on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river at Mana Pools in Zimbabwe and we were guided by the living legend Stretch Ferriera. We took a fairly unique way to reach Mana Pools travelling down the Zambezi for almost two hours by motor boat from the Tiger Safari Camp which sits on the rivers edge just on the Zimbabwe side of the Zambia / Zimbabwe border crossing at Chinrunda. In my opinion a nicer option than a small charter plane into the Park. The Goliath Safari Tented Camp is not a perminent camp due to its location and the wet season. I believe it is open from May through to October, but there is nothing temporary about the tents and nature of the camp. It comprises of seven luxury tents all facing the river and each tent is spacious and has a comfortable bed, seperate bathroom and outdoor shower. There is a generator that provides electricity in the evening but it's early to bed anyway ready for an early breakfast and Safari as the sun starts to rise. There is a well shaded public lounge area for drinks and snacks as well as we'll equipt bar and a boma for dinning. The food is excellent and the location on the river bank is idilic. The camp is not fenced and Elephants often come into camp when there is a smell the yummy food being served for lunch! Mana Pools is a world heritage site and the scenery is stunningly beautiful, particularly as the sun rises and you get that blue mist rising through the canopy of mahogany trees. Great for photography! The wild life and birds are excellent with the highlight being the ability to track game on foot guided by Stretch. Stretch has a great report with some of the Big Tusker Bull Elephants and will take you right up and close to the Elephants that he knows and trusts. Similarly with lion, Stretch will take you on foot near to lions. This is not a zoo and Safari park as we know them in the U.K. but a real wilderness area with wild animals. Nonetheless, Stretch seems to have that unique bond and ability to know how far he can push the relationship with animals and just when to back off. WE always felt safe and trusted Stretch entirely. I feel privileged to have had Stretch as our guide for our stay at Mana Pools and will treasure the memories of walking in the bush with Stretch and hearing all about his experiences in the bush. You will be unlikely to ge this experience anywhere else in Africa and Stretch is really a one off character that will never be replaced.
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One of my best holidays ever was Goliath Safari Canoe trip down the Zambezi to Mana Pools in 1990. I had these memories on such a pedestal and was concerned that I might be disappointed when I revisited with my family in July. Goliath no longer offer pure canoe safari but maintain a semi permanent camp at Mana Pools. I had no need to worry. Stretch is his excellent self, the camp perfect and still serving way too much good food! Stretch was ably supported by his good ex-army mate, Alistair and I loved their comaderie and knowledge. Loved chatting to Alistair and the window into a world gone by and listening to his understated words of wisdom. The memories that Stretch has given my children can not be replicated. Only through his knowledge and confidence was it able to get so close to elephant and wild dog. Stretch is so at ease and aware of the animals space that he allows you unique situations. My kids are rightly in awe Mana Pools itself is a very different National Park to Hwange (where we came from) and although I personally loved the size and loneliness of Hwange - the trip here is special. The different vegetation, trees, open plains and the mighty Zambezi. But mainly Stretch and Goliath. I doubt u can find any better.
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We have just returned from 3 days at Goliath Safaris and we cannot stop talking about what a wonderful time that we had. We arrived by Cessna at mana airstrip and it was a short very scenic drive by landrover to the camp. We were met by Megan and Paul who were so welcoming throughout our stay. We stayed in tent one and although simple we loved it. It really felt that we were in the middle of the animals' home especially at night listening to the hippos and the occasional lion roaring. The beds were comfy and I loved showering outside underneath the stars - the water was piping hot too. As we arrived in the morning we were in time for lunch. We thought the food was exceptional each meal delicious and dinner was fab with Megan's beautiful table ecorations. On our last night we enjoyed a fabulous barbeque sitting outside enjoying chatting to everyone. It was great eating a delicious brunch too all laid out for us in the middle of the Bush. The camp is set right upon the Zambezi river and the views were stunning watching hippos, crocs, elephants and sea eagles so close by. All of the camp was great but the reason why you must come to Goliath if you are considering Mana pools is the amazing guiding led by Stretch and also Alistair. We really can't decide what was our favourite experience but a few highlights were sitting inches from a huge bull elephant watching him chew up acacia branches, following 2 lions on foot, drinking very strong gin and tonic watching the sun go down in the stunning landscape or tracking painted dogs on foot and seeing them so close up. Probably it would be meeting hyenas in camp literally inches away. Whatever we were doing, Stretch and Alistair always made us feel safe and we were confident that they really knew what they are doing after so many years experience. We hadn't realised how close we would get to the wildlife and walking with Stretch is something we will never forget. Thank you to Stretch, Alistair, Paul, Megan and all of the lovely staff at Goliath. We really hope that we can come back soon. Brigette and Adam Wilson
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Goliath Safaris Luxury Tented Camp
ZimbabweMashonaland Central ProvinceMana Pools National Park
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