Steve Bolnick & Niels Verburg combine their passions and invite you on the safari of a lifetime in the iconic Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
Niels is one of South Africa’s leading winemakers. He is a member of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild, comprising South Africa’s elite winemakers recognized for their high standards of craftsmanship.
His “Luddite Shiraz” is consistently rated as one of the top Shiraz’s produced in South Africa and his remarkable 2012 red blend (Saboteur) was awarded 93/100 by Neal Martin in Robert Parker’s “Wine Advocate”.
Niels is a larger than life character and raconteur who absolutely loves the bush.
Steve is one of southern Africa’s outstanding safari guides. He has guided through Southern & East Africa and has conducted research for the WWF and Washington University. In addition to training guides in Southern Africa he trained the Malawi Department of Wildlife game scouts to work with translocated wild elephants.
His passion is foot-safaris in big game country and he is certified as a specialist guide.
The documentary “Walking with Elephants” about Steve’s guiding has been screened around the world.
Steve is passionate about wine and is himself a “garagiste” wine-maker.
Mana Pools is part of a UNESCO recognized world heritage site that is consistently rated amongst the best wildlife destinations in Africa. The fertile floodplains support enormous concentrations of wildlife and the area is renowned for its large numbers of elephants, buffalo lions and especially painted dogs. This is undoubtedly the best destination for a walking safari. It also has a special status amongst wildlife photographers and is arguably the best place in Africa for canoeing safaris.
Camp Mana is an owner run, iconic and intimate, private 12-bed tented camp on the Zambezi River, offering simple elegance, old-world style and unpretentious luxury in the wilderness. The camp provides all the creature comforts in the wild without removing the wild from wilderness.
Accommodation is in 2.4m (8ft) high walk-in Meru-style tents with en-suite flush toilets and hot showers. The central feature of the camp is a remarkable communal lounge and dining area with sweeping views across the Zambezi River and mountains of the northern escarpment.
Our schedule will involve optional morning and afternoon game activities including drives, walks or canoeing. During the heat of the day, we relax in camp and watch the stream of animals that walk through or past the camp Evenings are dedicated to fine food, excellent wine and time well spent with Niels. This is when Niels is in his element as he guides us through themed wine evenings, comparing Syrahs of the world, explaining the challenges and nuances of producing different cultivars, regaling us with stories from the cellar or perhaps even helping us to produce a blend of our own.