Welcome to Tembo Plains Camp

“For those travellers seeking a luxury Zimbabwe safari, Tembo Plains Camp welcomes you. “Tembo” means Elephant. The camp honours these animals found on these Zimbabwean plains alongside the Zambezi River. We draw on the elephant’s pace and essence for the camp’s atmosphere. Tembo Plains Camp reflects more than just a place,” explains Great Plains Conservation CEO and National Geographic Explorer Dereck Joubert. “It also speaks to the long and unique relationships we have with elephants.”


Tembo Plains Camp is tucked away into a thick riverine forest on the edge of the Zambezi River, in the private 128,000-hectare Sapi Private Reserve, east of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park.


Tembo Plains Camp and the 2-bedroomed Tembo Plains Suite fit into our highest camp level offering, the Réserve Collection of camps. Fellow Réserve Collection camps include Zarafa Camp, Selinda Camp, Duba Plains in Botswana, Mara Nyika Camp, Mara Plains Camp and ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya. It is also a proud member of Relais & Châteaux – the only luxury Zimbabwean safari camp currently with this honour.


Tembo Plains Camp has four double or twin bed configuration suites. Each has its own private indoor lounge area, outdoor swimming pool (with exercise bikes on an expansive veranda) and outdoor dining area. Stunning, handmade bathtubs with indoor and outside showers give the suite a sense of ‘home’ where you can move in and live. The Wi-Fi and working areas also provide space for you to catch up on business or manage your images from the day’s adventures. Each suite comes complete with a professional camera and lenses. High-quality binoculars are also available for guests to use whilst they are with us in the Sapi Reserve. All these little touches deliver the luxury Zimbabwe safari.


The beautiful 2-bedroomed Tembo Suite comprises two suites flanking a shared lounge, dining area and pool. The Tembo Plains Suite is ideal for two couples or families travelling together and those guests looking for the ultimate private safari.


“When I designed Tembo Plains, it was to reference the famous Zimbabwe Ruins but not lose sight of our love of canvas and exploring. So, we ended up with a unique combination of canvas and stone walls. The semi-circular walls inside each tented suite isolate the bath and shower from the bedroom and indoor lounge areas bringing that architectural reference inside as well. Outside, a pack-stone wall design, referencing those Zimbabwe Ruins, continues along the back of the guest bedroom. It gives you a greater sense of privacy, often an issue in tents. Still, I didn’t want a completely ‘built room’. Hence, the front has these uninterrupted views of the Zambezi River flowing just meters away from the canvas ‘tented’ portion – all accentuating the luxury Zimbabwe safari experience.” – Dereck Joubert, Great Plains CEO.


In the central area, the wine cellar and interactive 5-star kitchen feature this stone design again. The spa and curio store are each individually hidden discreetly behind beautifully weathered Zanzibar doors.


Painted dogs (wild dogs), lions and leopards are common around Tembo Plains, whilst buffalo are regularly seen up and down, and sometimes swimming the Zambezi River itself, as are elephants.


The private Sapi Reserve, a previous hunting area, was established in 2016 by Great Plains Conservation as a beautiful private photographic reserve safe for wildlife. It borders the Mana Pools National Park to the west and forms part of our mission to convert vast tracts of Africa into pure conservation land. It is now recognised as one of the finest wildlife destinations in Africa today. We access this fantastic wildlife sanctuary and the Mana Pools National Park if we want to offer a combined range of over 337,000 hectares of prime, protected wilderness for our guests. It is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and a core area of the middle-Zambezi biosphere reserve.


Enjoy the privacy of a safari, so rare today, in a wildlife-rich sanctuary along the Zambezi River with us. Here you don’t have to worry about anything else except how best to soak up every moment. Your safari with us includes everything, day and night wildlife-viewing drives, boating, canoeing or guided walks and tracking, drinks. And, of course, our Relais & Châteaux level cuisine and service.

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  • Location

  • Accommodation



    (4 ROOMS)


    Offering 4 luxury tented suites, Tembo Plains offers guests the choice of 4 double or twin bed configuration suites, each with their own private indoor lounge area and outdoor swimming pool, veranda and outdoor dining area. All rooms enjoy expansive en-suite bathroom facilities including indoor baths, showers and double vanities.





  • Facilities


    Property Facilities
    Battery Charging Facilities
    Communal Dining
    Eco Friendly
    Internet Access (Complimentary)
    Laundry Service (Complimentary)
    Private Vehicle Available


    Room Facilities
    Air Conditioning
    Complimentary Wi-Fi
    Dressing Gowns
    Electrical Outlets
    Hair Dryer
    Laundry Service (Complimentary)
    Lounge Area
    Mini Bar
    Mini Bar (Complimentary)
    Mosquito Nets
    Plunge Pool
    Private Pool / Jacuzzi
    Pure Cotton Linen
    Tea / Coffee

  • Activities


    Activities on Site
    Bird Watching
    Catch-and-release Fishing
    Fine Dining
    Game Drives
    Game Viewing
    Game Walks
    High Tea
    Night Drives
    Practice Green
    Walks (Guided)



    Game Drives

    Enjoy moments where wildlife congregate along the Zambezi River to drink and marvel at the setting of the African sun through the trees. The safari experiences on offer will certainly appeal to any safari guest who is looking to truly enjoy and partake in the excitement of wildlife viewing game drives, boating and canoeing or tracking and exploring the interior of the private reserve, being one of Africa’s remote wilderness areas.

    Whilst you traverse the diverse terrain of the Sapi Reserve, discover the legendary Mtawatawa pan, encounter some of Africa’s largest wildlife species by vehicle or on foot whilst continually learning more about this incredible ecosystem. The opportunity to view Africa’s animals and birdlife with the water activities on offer including canoeing or boating is special




    The focus of your stay is centred around exploration and adventure. Many activities involve day and night wildlife viewing drives and walking with some canoeing and excellent boating opportunities on the Zambezi River.




    The focus of your stay is centred around exploration and adventure. Many activities involve day and night wildlife viewing drives and walking with some canoeing and excellent boating opportunities on the Zambezi River.



    Guided Walks

    Guided walks are led by licensed guides with firearm training.


  • Fast Facts


    5 Star

    Réserve-styled Safari Camp

    After 14h00
    On for before 11h00
    Credit Card

    No Room service.


    Typically, April to November


    6 years and older


    Adventure, Birding, Fishing, Flora, Gourmet, Leisure, Nature, Relaxation, Star Gazing, Wildlife

  • Getting there

    Access Directions

    • Light aircraft transfers from Harare International Airport and Victoria Falls International Airport available

    • Victoria Falls International Airport (2 hours); • Private Air charters are available

    • Transfer time from a Sapi Private Reserve airstrip to camp is approximately 45 mins with wildlife viewing opportunities en-route

    • Please note that to fly from Sapi to Victoria Falls or Harare and then connect to some same-day International departure flights, guests may be required to book a private charter. We can confirm this at the time of enquiry.

    Tembo Plains is situated in the Sapi Private Reserve, within Mana Pools National Park. It is accessed via road transfer from the Sapi Airstrip, a short distance away.

    Chartered flights are available into Sapi Airstrip from Harare, Victoria Falls and other parks in Zimbabwe

  • General Information

    Child Policy

    • Recommend for children older than 6 years;

    • There is a dedicated 2-bedroom family suite available at this camp;

    • Triples are possible;

    • Walking from 8 years is possible and is at the discretion of the camp manager / guide in terms of safety and opportunity.

    • Young Explorers program – thoughtfully designed to explore a range of experiences and topics from birding to cooking to art to tracking wildlife.

    Extras Possibility of disabled accesss

    • The camp layout and experiences are not conducive to guests who use wheelchairs due to the terrain.

  • Animals


    Some of the Animals found in this area. 
    Matusadona National Park, Zambia




  • Birding


    Some of the Animals found in this area.  Matusadona National Park, Zambia


    African skimmer – Credit Andreas Trepte


    Long-toed lapwing – Credit Francesco Veronesi


    Pel’s fishing-owl – Credit Francesco Veronesi


    Rufous-bellied heron – Credit Lip Kee Yap


    Lilian’s lovebird – Credit Hans Hillewaert


    Southern carmine bee-eater – Credit Uncovery


    Crested guineafowl – Credit Bob


    Little bittern – Credit Andreas Trepte


Tour Map

Google Map for Zimbabwe


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