Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari Adventure
Victoria Falls, Chizarira National Park, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Matusadona, Mana Pools National Park
A 9-day Zimbabwe safari holiday starting in Victoria Falls, followed by a luxury wildlife safari in Hwange National Park and then on to Matobo National Park and Great Zimbabwe.
Discover the ancient attractions of Zimbabwe as you explore three of the country's five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and participate in an exciting mobile safari adventure.
Starting with the aeons-old Victoria Falls , you will explore the Seventh Wonder of the Natural World from all angles, enjoy a sunset river cruise, an African dinner and a host of optional adventure, sight-seeing and wildlife safari activities.
From Victoria Falls, it's a short drive to Hwange National Park , a true gem of a game reserve in Zimbabwe protecting the ancient migration routes of large elephant and buffalo herds. Spend three nights in a luxury safari lodge inside or bordering the park enjoying daily game drives, bush walks and night drives.
Another short drive will take you to Bulawayo and the Matobo National Park , a place steeped in mystery, history and spectacular scenery with excellent game viewing safaris thrown in for good measure.
From the haunting beauty of the Matobo Hills you will travel to another site of ancient mystery: Great Zimbabwe and Midlands . A vast dynasty once ruled here between the 11th and 15th centuries and the impressive stone structures remain as one of the largest man-made structures in southern Africa today.
And another short drive to Bulawayo brings your Zimbabwe Heritage Trail to a neat conclusion with time to reflect on an amazing nine days.
This tour is available as a set departure or private. You can change it however you want. Talk to your Travel Expert about the options and start planning your Zimbabwe holiday now.
Arrive at Victoria Falls International Airport - usually from Johannesburg - and we will transfer you to your hotel for a refreshing swim, lunch and a doze. In the afternoon we'll take you on a guided walking tour of Victoria Falls .
In medium to high water months you will need a raincoat and a bag to keep your camera dry. Raincoats are available for hire and we recommend a zip-lock sealable bag for your camera.
In the late afternoon you'll board the Zambezi Queen or similar boat for a gentle sunset river cruise on the Zambezi River above the falls. The mile-wide river is shouldered by dense woodland through which elephants and buffalo often come for an evening tipple; hippos wallow in the shallow discussing politics; crocodiles brood in the disappearing sun and everywhere birds sing their songs; the sun dips behind the spray from Victoria Falls: in short, all will be good in this world on your Zambezi River sunset cruise.
Dinner can be at your hotel or one of the many excellent restaurants in Victoria Falls.
Accommodation: Ilala Lodge or similar
Today you have the whole of Victoria Falls . at your fingertips. Having spent the previous day on the two mandatory activities - viewing the falls and a sunset river cruise - you now have the opportunity to explore at your leisure.
Activities in Victoria Falls are boundless and at times mind-boggling. Adventure and thrill-seekers will find no shortage of crazy acts to impress your friends with.
Nature and wildlife lovers will be pleasantly surprised by the safari activities on offer (of course these come with the adventure features as well, like walking with lions or an elephant-back safari).
There are many ways to view the falls: from the air in a (highly recommended) flight of angels; from below in a (yet again, adventurous) jet-boat that skims about as close as you can get (or want to get for that matter); from the Zambian side and from above, on the precipice, where at certain times of the year, you can swim in a pool metres from the edge (it looks scary in pictures but is completely safe).
Craft markets abound and there are many great bargains on excellent Shona sculptures to be had. Take some spare shirts and clothes to trade with as they are most welcome in this area.
And then of course there are the genuine adventure activities: white-water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, skydiving, river-boarding, jet-boating… the envelope-pushing dare-devil madness is always evolving here. For us, it's fun enough just watching thanks very much.
Talk to your Travel Expert about the activities on offer, all of which can booked in advance or on arrival at your hotel's booking centre.
Accommodation: Ilala Lodge or similar
About an hour's drive through teak and mopane woodland, Hwange National Park awaits. At 14,600sq km, Hwange is a large, pristine and scenic game reserve - mid-way in size between Chobe National Park and Kruger National Park and vying with the greats for "Best Game Reserve in Africa" status.
Along with its size comes great diversity of habitats and Hwange is known for its high wildlife and bird populations. With 420 bird species and 105 mammals recorded it is one of the most diverse game reserves in Africa.
Spend three days on safari in Hwange National Park in a luxury safari lodge with Meru-style en suite rooms and full-board lodging including safari activities, local drinks and excellent Zimbabwean meals.
Hwange National Park has many waterholes that ensure varied and reliable game viewing. Hwange is famous for its predators and its great herds of elephant and buffalo. The largest population of the extremely rare African dog thrives in Hwange and the birdlife is prolific.
On your daily guided game drives, night drives and walking safaris, you will look for rhino, lion, leopard, wild dogs, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, roan, sable, zebra and many more African plains game species. The park is a great birding spot with 19 specials to look out for.
Accommodation: The Hide, Ivory Lodge or similar depending on your budget
Return to civilisation, running water and massages for two days in the Matobo Hills of Matopos National Park. The Matobo Hills inside the park are a Cultural World Heritage Site, most notable for the profusion of ancient San Hunter/Gatherers' spiritual rituals portrayed and preserved in rock art on the arrestingly beautiful granite outcrops that make this unique landscape unforgettable.
On top of its magnificent scenery and fascinating history, the Matopos National Park is also an excellent game reserve. Famous for its rare species, including the roan and sable antelopes and both black and white rhino, the game reserve also features a healthy population of diverse plains species.
The Matobo Hills, with their endless caves, nooks, crannies and dense woodlands, is ideal leopard country and the Matopos National Park has the world's highest concentration of these beautiful predators as well as the world's largest population of the rare black eagle. Walking safaris in the Matopos are excellent with close-up encounters, fantastic scenery and great birdlife.
Accommodation: Camp Amalinda (luxury lodge inside Matopos National Park) or similar; Nesbitt Castle (luxury hotel in Bulawayo) or similar
A short drive takes you to Great Zimbabwe, the ancient ruins of a vast dynasty that thrived in this fertile region between the years 1270 and 1550 AD.
Constructed over a period of 300 years, Great Zimbabwe is a marvel of ancient architecture and the most prominent monument of over 200 similar constructions in southern Africa. Individually masoned stones have stood for centuries in the smooth walls and gentle curves of southern Africa's largest man-made structure. The ancient city spans an area of about 700 hectares and housed about 18,000 people in its heyday.
Spend the day exploring the Hill Complex, a fortress with commanding views in all directions; the Valley Complex where the townsfolk lived; and the Great Enclosure where the chiefs sat and where complex rituals took place.
The Great Zimbabwe Museum tells a detailed story of the rise and fall of pre-colonial southern Africa's greatest city and hints at the mystery and ongoing superstition surrounding the eight soapstone birds retrieved from the eastern enclosure of the Hill Complex by early excavators.
Accommodation: Norma Jeane's Guesthouse or similar
Great Zimbabwe is about a 3-hour drive from Bulawayo so you can make it back for your evening flight home or stay on a day or two and explore the capital city that is slowly returning to its "gem of African cities" status.
Customers who enquire about this tour end up making many changes to the standard itinerary. Below are the most recent variations of this base tour booked by us for our clients. Have a look at their itineraries, see what changes they requested, what the final cost was and read what they have to say about their holidays.
Whoa! Untrodden territory here. It appears nobody has booked this base tour yet so you could be the first to explore these faraway places.
Or take a look at all of our recently booked tours and make your own dream holiday. Just drop us an enquiry and we'll do the rest.