Zimbabwe
14 Days/ 13 Nights
Small Group Tour

Experience Zimbabwe! From the surrounds of Harare we continue to Mana Pools National Park, nearly untouched by humans. Our next stop is Lake Kariba which we cross in a spectacular 4 day cruise and visit Hwange National Park to get close to a vast number of African wildlife. Our journey ends at the thundering Victoria Falls - a natural spectacle in which the Zambezi river falls more than 110 m into a narrow gorge.

Itinerary

Tour Code VH18-14

Day 1 & 2 Harare - Area

Day 1 & 2 Harare - Area

On arrival at Harare International Airport you will be met and transferred to Pamuzinda Safari Lodge. This journey takes about one and half hours in a comfortable private bus. Spend the afternoon relaxing or take the option of a variety of activities including a visit to the Chengeta Primary School, elephant interaction, guided canoe excursion, horseback safari or a game drive on the 13,000 acre pristine wildlife habitat before a “Welcome to Africa”barbeque dinner.

Day 3 & 4 Mana Pools National Park

Day 3 & 4 Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park is a 220,000 ha wildlife conservation area and national park. Mana means ‘four’ in Shona, in reference to the four large permanent pools formed by the Zambezi River.

It has the country’s biggest population of hippos and crocodiles as well a large dry season populations of the zebra, elephant and Cape buffalo.

After an early breakfast a two hour journey takes you to Chinhoyi Caves. These limestone and dolomite caves and tunnels branch out from the Wonder Hole and Sleeping Pool, a natural sinkhole with striking cobalt blue crystal clear water believed to be at least 90 metres deep. After touring this IUCN Category II Protected Area, a short drive bring us to near restaurants where a selection of freshly prepared food will be waiting for you to be enjoyed. The road journey continues for a further four hours, passing through the towns of Karoi and Makuti, before the scenic twists and turns take you down the escarpment through the wildlife areas of the Zambezi Valley.
Here you will meet the game drive vehicles which will take you on a thirty minute game drive to the Greater Mana Tented Camp, situated on the floodplain overlooking the Zambezi River. After check-in you will meet for a late afternoon game viewing activity with a sundowner on the banks of the river. Dinner is served on return to camp.

The next day enter a tender boat for one and half to two hour trip down the mighty Zambezi River to the tributary with the Nyakasanga River, the border of Mana Pools National Park, where 4x4 game drive vehicles will be waiting to take you on a full day excursion around this UNESCO World Heritage Site. A picnic lunch will be served in a scenic location, where photographic opportunities will abound before being dropped by at the Nyakasanga River for a sunset cruise back to camp. For those keen on encountering the nocturnal animals, a night drive is possible on the concession after dinner.

Day 5 Kariba

Day 5 Kariba

After your breakfast, you will have a two and a half hour road transfer through safari areas to Kariba town on the south side of the Zambezi Escarpment. Settle in to Kariba Safari Lodge and enjoy lunch whilst drinking in the views of the lake and the majestic Matusadona mountain range, from the elevated deck. An optional afternoon tour of Kariba is available, including visiting the impressive dam wall, the church of St Barbara which was built as a memorial to those workers and engineers who lost their lives building the wall, the heights viewing point which is 600m above the lake allowing unmatched views of this iconic Lake and Mahombekombe Township, where the local people live. Return to the lodge for sundowners on the patio and enjoy the first of many legendary Kariba sunsets before dinner will be served in the open air restaurant or on the beach.

Day 6,7 & 8 Lake Kariba Sea Cruise

Day 6, 7 & 8 Lake Kariba Sea Cruise

After breakfast a short tender boat transfer takes you to the main vessel and an hour cruise to Ume Basin, while settling in to your cabin. Enjoy lunch and siesta time before embarking on the tender boats exploring the Ume shoreline among the drowned petrified forests so unique to Lake Kariba. Sundowners with great photographic opportunities. Return to the boat for dinner on board.

On day seven the boat will cast off just before dawn and begin its thirteen hour cruise through the Kota Kota narrows into the expansive Sengwa Basin. Breakfast and lunch on board, with time to relax as you cross half of this vast expanse of inland ocean, on route to the Sengwe River system. On arrival at our mooring spot the tender boats will take you out to explore this strikingly beautiful riverine area, cruising amongst the drowned mopane trees encountering crocodiles, hippos and other wildlife. Indulge in some delicious snacks and the ultimate relaxation of cruising in this serene and secluded area with your favourite beverage watching another majestic sunset.

Day eight will start with a continental breakfast on the tender boat, whilst exploring more of the Sengwe River, returning to the main vessel for lunch and siesta during the three hour cruise to the final night’s stop at Elephant Bay. Mooring on the beach, there will be an opportunity to do some fishing and watch the local fishermen in their “dugout” canoes going about their daily lives amongst the islands and inlets of the area. Weather and lake conditions permitting, dinner will be a beach braai (barbeque) enjoyed around a camp fire under the canopy of the stars. Return to the boat to overnight.

Day 9 Binga

Day 9 Binga

An early morning last chance to catch a fish or do a short tender cruise, before returning to the main vessel for breakfast whilst cruising a final hour to Binga, where you will be welcomed at Masumu River Lodge. Here an optional afternoon tour of Binga is available, which includes visiting a quaint museum dedicated to the Tonga people, the natural hot springs, a crocodile breeding sanctuary and a local rural school or Tonga village. Returning to the lodge to appreciate a sunset from the lodge bar overlooking the islands of this magical, immense inland ocean.

Day 10 & 11 Hwange National Park

Day 10 & 11 Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe with more than 14000 square kilometres. Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest and is famous for its prolific wildlife and a huge elephant population estimated to be to 50,000 animals. All Zimbabwe's specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange.

After breakfast, we say farewell to Lake Kariba and go on a bus for a three and a half hour drive through the remote rural lands to your Hwange accommodation, the Msasa Camp, arriving in time for lunch. Settle in and after lunch choose one of the optional game viewing activities or just relax by the pool viewing deck and watch the rich diversity of wildlife that passes by.

On day eleven various optional game viewing activities are available, including a full day excursion into Hwange National Park with picnic lunch, after visiting the Painted Dog Conservation’s Rehabilitation Centre to learn about the efforts being made to protect these animals that are unique to Africa and one of the continents most endangered species.

Day 12,13 & 14 Victoria Falls

Day 12, 13 & 14 Victoria Falls

Classified as the largest waterfall, based on its combined width of 1,700 metres and height of 110 metres, resulting in the world's largest sheet of falling water – the Victoria Falls are named after David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the falls on 16 November 1855. Livingstone named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the indigenous Tonga name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means "The Smoke That Thunders" continues in common usage as well.

After breakfast, a two and a half hour bus transfer brings you to Victoria Falls in time
for lunch. Once settled in to your room, you can peruse the many optional activities available in Zimbabwe’s thriving tourism hub. The famed Boma Dinner and Drum Show or Sunset Dinner Cruise is worth considering, with regular bus shuttles to the venues from the hotel.

Being one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and part of everyone’s “Bucket List”, on day thirteen the Falls & Rainforest Tour with lunch at a Café overlooking the gorge and Victoria Falls Bridge is highly recommend. The afternoon can be spent negotiating prices for a handmade curio with the vendors or visiting the various shops in this charming town, small enough to navigate by foot. For the more adventurous there is bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge or gorge swings or an unforgettable helicopter flight over the falls.

Start the last day with a relaxing morning before a half hour drive take you to Victoria Falls International Airport for your flight home.



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Tour Code HV18-14

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