Media Release: Canoe the Rio Elefantes Trail
28 May 2008
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park boasts yet another sought after adventure experience.
At Indaba in Durban earlier this month Transfrontier Parks Destinations announced the introduction of their Rio Elefantes Canoeing Trail in Mozambique’s Parque Nacional do Limpopo and posed the question “where else in Southern Africa can you paddle a major river between its confluences with two other major rivers”?
It is from Kruger National Park that the Olifants River dramatically enters Moçambique through a spectacular gorge in the Lebombo range, home to one of the largest breeding grounds of hippo and crocodiles, before being contained by the expansive Massingir dam on the southern boundary of Parque Nacional do Limpopo.
Below the dam wall the Olifants changes its name and flows east towards the Moçambique coast at Xai Xai. It is here, on the Rio Elefantes Canoeing Trail that your “have to do in one’s lifetime” wilderness experience begins.
From the meeting point at the dam wall your journey starts, first by road and track, following the Rio Elefantes through remote villages. At the confluence of the Rio Shingwedzi the canoes are waiting in the amazingly clear water of the Elefantes.
Your guide gently pulls away from the bank and soon you are absorbed by the sheer beauty of the environment. Amazing bird sightings, gliding silently past a pod of hippo or maybe an elephant drinking at the river provide the thrill of the unexpected as your canoe heads east to the first overnight stop.
Nestled on the riverbank your camp awaits, fire burning and tents set up, ready for their occupants. Perhaps a cast or two for tiger fish as the sun sets, ends the day’s adventure. Dinner is served under a canopy of stars before you retire with the feel of Africa’s soil beneath your weary body.
Three glorious days are spent paddling the meandering Rio Elefantes and three nights camping wild on its tree lined banks before the 70 km journey, that is the epitome of freedom in this amazing wilderness area, ends at the confluence of the mighty Limpopo.
If reaction at Indaba is a good yardstick then the Rio Elefantes canoeing trail is certain to complement the best Southern Africa has to offer.
Issued on 20 May 2008 by:
Glynn O’Leary, Transfrontier Parks Destinations