Why this adventure works…
For lovers of serious wilderness, amazing wildlife and top-notch guiding, Zimbabwe is the obvious choice for a safari. There is so much diversity in one place it’d be easy to spend several weeks without getting fed up. This itinerary includes some of the country’s best game viewing, scenery ranging from the astonishing boulders of the Matobo National Park to Victoria Falls, and an incredible array of activities.
A starting point for your bespoke itinerary:
START WITH SAFARI in Mana Pools (3-4 days) Begin your adventure in one of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful national parks. Pick an inland camp near one of the legendary pools that attracts the game, or one on the river for the chance to try canoeing. Either way, game drives are excellent and walking safaris top notch. Safari connoisseurs in particular will love the chance to spot wild dog.
HIT THE WATER at Lake Kariba and Matusadona (2-3 days)- enjoy boat safaris at sunset- cold drink in hand, naturally – or try your hand at fishing for vundu or tigerfish. Take game drives and walking safaris and spend your evening watching lightning storms crackle across the lake.
FALL IN LOVE WITH THE FALLS at Victoria Falls (2-3 days)- it’d be almost impossible to run out of things to do here- aside from visiting the falls there’s white water rafting, sundowner cruises on the river, dinner on a steam train or riding in Zambezi National Park. If you’re visiting when the water’s low, pop over to the Zambian side of the falls for a dip in the Devil’s Pool or visit the Elephant Café for lunch.
SEE THE BUSH ON FOOT in Northern Hwange (3 days)- Zimbabwe is legendary for the quality of it’s guiding, which makes walking safaris one of the most exciting ways to explore. There is nothing like meeting an elephant on foot to appreciate your size. It’s also fantastic way to experience the sights, sounds and smells and of the bush up close.
TOP NOTCH GAME VIEWING in Southern Hwange (3-4 days) This is one of the most prolific game viewing areas of the park. Ready yourself for excellent elephant sightings, giraffe, lions, zebra, perhaps even leopard if luck is on your side.
SPECTACULAR SCENERY AND RHINOS at Matobo National Park (3 days) While you won’t see rhinos elsewhere in Zimbabwe this is your chance to track them. The rocky landscape here is truly jaw-dropping- look for bushman paintings in the caves, visit the local communities and get out explore by bike.
Other ideas for your adventure… Four countries meet at Victoria Falls so it’d be easy to continue your journey on from here to Chobe in Botswana, along Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, or up into Zambia. Or, consider staying at two camps in Mana Pools– one on the water and one inland. For those with more time to spare, spending 3 nights in Gonarezhou at the start or finish of your safari could work beautifully.
Make your trip extraordinary by… taking a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls, or arriving in Hwange on the Elephant Express. Or go all out and make the journey from Vic Falls back to Johannesburg by Rovos Rail. During your safari, take time to visit the local communities- this is possible from many of the camps around the edges of the parks.
When to go… May to October is really the best time to visit these parks, when the weather should be dry and the game viewing good. The end of the long dry season is probably best for game viewing, but Victoria Falls is at its most impressive earlier on in the season when it’s more water. If you feel the cold bring some warm layers for the cold months of July and August!
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