This Exploration takes a fresh look at some of Zimbabwe’s most amazing spectacles, with diverse areas, activities and interests. Begin this adventure exploring the Matobo Hills, Rhodes’ grave and the surrounding National Park – a cultural and historic beginning. From there we head to a remote private corner of Hwange National Park – home to abundant wildlife, such as enormous herds of plains game, and the uncommon sable and roan antelope, magnificent gatherings of elephant around vital waterholes and the sound of lion roaring to fill the evening chorus. Mana Pools National Park sits on the last remaining water source to the west – the might Zambezi River, with game both great and small and all the interactions of daily life that prevail. Exciting on foot experiences allow us to ‘interact’ with Africa’s magnificent wildlife.
A trip to Zimbabwe is not complete without a visit to Lake Kariba, a great way to relax and unwind at the end of an adventure. Enjoy breath taking sunsets, wildlife viewing from the water’s edge and reliving some of your memories from the last ten days. Activities on this Exploration include game drives, nature walks, historic outings, sunset cruises and boating adventures. Experienced, passionate and knowledgeable guides travel with guests through this journey. A combination of air, road and boat transfers showcase the very different landscapes of Zimbabwe.
Arrive at Bulawayo Airport, where you are met by your Explorations guide who will accompany you to Camp Amalinda, nestled in the majestic scenery of the Matobo Hills.
Here granite outcrops are laid out in incredible formations as if by some gigantic hand. They are also the last resting place of the empire-building, and controversial, Cecil John Rhodes, after whom Rhodesia was named. Steeped in history, they also contain a multitude of ancient San rock art sites.
The camp consists of nine thatched suites nestled among the enormous boulders with commanding views of the surrounding hills. The camp and entertainment area feature a large swimming pool, library and the Heritage Spa, all of which overlook a waterhole where animals regularly come to drink. Activities include rhino tracking, bush walks, abseiling, historical walks, a cultural village tour and of course pampering in the Heritage Spa (at an additional cost).
After a full breakfast, depart by road for Hwange National Park. The journey takes you through magnificent teak forests populated by a variety of game, including buffalo and elephant. A delicious picnic lunch en route offers an opportunity to stretch the legs before continuing to Davison’s Camp.
The Camp: Situated in Linkwasha Concession, a remote north-eastern corner of Hwange National Park, Davison’s Camp is named after the founder of the Park and its first warden, Ted Davison. Nestled in a grove of beautiful false mopane trees, the camp consists of eight twin-bedded en-suite tents and one family unit, along with a main area comprising a lounge and dining room, which together offer the quintessential Hwange safari camp experience. The camp overlooks an extremely productive waterhole that attracts a variety of plains game and predators.
Game viewing is productive year-round and wildlife frequently encountered here includes lion, large herds of elephant, buffalo, leopard, white rhino, spotted hyaena, southern giraffe, sable, blue wildebeest, common waterbuck and reedbuck. There are a number of large, open plains which make for excellent game viewing; in summer, wildebeest, zebra and eland are found in abundance here, while in winter the waterholes are magnets around which elephant in enormous numbers congregate to drink. Birdlife in the area is prolific (400+) and varied, with species frequenting the teak woodlands as well as those typical of the drier Kalahari being present.
After a morning game drive, depart for the airstrip for the flight to Mana West Airstrip. Upon arrival, a short road transfer will take you to Ruckomechi Camp. This camp is idyllically located, overlooking the Zambezi River and the imposing Great African Rift Valley.
Comprising 14 600 km2 (5 600 sq. miles), the Park is located in the heart of the Zambezi Valley and is famed for its rich and varied mammal life. This wondrous setting allows for exploration of the National Park in total seclusion. An intoxicating blend of wildlife and bird species abound. The dry season sees large herds of elephant and buffalo together with hippo, waterbuck, kudu, nyala and eland all seeking to slake their thirst along the banks of this mighty Zambezi. Predators follow with lions frequenting the floodplains and adjacent woodland, while leopard stalk the thickets. Cheetah and endangered wild dog are also often seen. The area is equally famous for its superb birdlife, offering over 350 species including collared palm-thrush, African skimmer, racket-tailed roller, purple-banded sunbird and western banded snake-eagle.
The Camp: Ruckomechi Camp is nestled amongst a large grove of acacia and ebony trees. Consisting of ten spacious en-suite tented units, including a honeymoon suite and family room, all these maximise views of the Zambezi River and the escarpment beyond. Each tent has both indoor and outdoor showers, and the camp boasts an outdoor ‘bath-with-a-view’ in a secluded, scenic spot. A central dining, bar, library and main area completes the camp offerings. There is a separate deck with infinity pool for swimming and sunbathing, and an inviting, cushion-strewn sundowner and star-gazing deck. Activities at Ruckomechi include early morning walks, twice-daily game drives, night drives, canoeing and catch-and-release fishing.
After a morning activity, depart Ruckomechi for a flight to Fothergill Island on Lake Kariba. From there, transfer by boat to Changa Safari Camp.
Changa Safari Camp is a luxury tented camp situated on the shores of Lake Kariba in a private 5km2 concession in the north-eastern section of the Matusadona National Park, with magnificent views looking out across Hydro Bay towards the Matusadona Mountains.
With Matusadona National Park to explore, there are a host of mammals and birds present in this diverse habitat. Leopard, Lion, hyaena and cheetah are found here, as well as elephant, hippo and a multitude of antelope species. The birdlife here is prolific – over 350 species have been recorded, which include a multitude of waterbirds.
The entire area is a walker’s paradise, and an early morning or late afternoon walk in the company of one of the camp's professional guides is a special feature. The relatively flat areas along the shoreline and in the interior of the Park contrast well with wonderful hiking opportunities in the mountains. A guided walk is one of the best ways to experience and feel in touch with the bush. Also on offer are game drives by boat or vehicle, with most afternoon drives ending in sundowners on the concession.
The Camp: Accommodation is in four large East African-style luxury canvas tents, all overlooking the lake. Each tent has its own en-suite bathroom, with indoor shower, flush toilet, his and hers basins, outdoor bathtub and outdoor shower. The spacious bedrooms are tastefully furnished, each with its own unique décor. The central guest area consists of several thatched structures linked together by raised wooden walkways and decks. This is the hub of the camp, and includes a lounge, library, dining room, bar, beautiful deck and swimming pool, all overlooking Lake Kariba.
Depart Changa Safari Lodge for a flight to Victoria Falls, after breakfast, and on arrival at the airport, you will be transferred by road to Victoria Falls. You will check in at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for two nights.
The Lodge: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is a testament to eco-friendly design, this 72-room lodge was created using local materials such as stone and thatch. Rooms are air-conditioned and have balconies overlooking the wildlife-rich Zambezi National Park. Highlights include on-site game viewing platforms and The Boma, which offers a unique dining and cultural experience.
Activities: Guided tours of Victoria Falls, cultural, museum and market tours, morning or evening game drives in Mosi-Oa-Tunya and morning or evening boat cruises on the Zambezi River. Victoria Falls is rated as one of the world’s top destinations for adrenaline and river activities.
Overnight Luxurious Lodge Included meals: Breakfast
Depart Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for Victoria Falls airport , where the journey comes to a close.