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DURATION

12 DAYS

WHEN

July to Oct

DESTINATION

Zimbabwe

TYPE

PRIVATE

Zimbabwe Expedition

Zimbabwe is located in the middle of southern Africa, with Zambia to the north, South Africa to the south, Mozambique to the east, and Botswana to the west as neighbors. Its population is believed to be at 15 million people, with Harare serving as the capital. English, Shona, and Ndebele are the three main languages spoken in Zimbabwe. If you’ve never visited Zimbabwe, you’re in for a treat: it’s one of Africa’s most beautiful, mysterious, and diverse countries, with its most fabulous riches hidden in its vast wilderness areas. Almost 50,000 square kilometers – around 30% of Zimbabwe’s total geographical area – are protected as an unrivaled wildlife estate. These breathtaking and diverse environments are teeming with African flora and fauna. Zimbabweans are famed for their warmth and hospitality, and you will be greeted with friendly faces and welcome attitudes wherever you go. Hwange National Park, one of Africa’s best safari locations, is located in Zimbabwe. It is home to approximately 100 mammal species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores, and 400 bird species, and covers an area of 14,500 square kilometers. Hwange is known for its elephants, between 30 and 50 thousand, depending on the season. The Zambezi River forms the county’s northern border and is home to Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a world natural wonder. Above the Falls, the Zambezi River meanders peacefully through the Zambezi National Park, where elephants and lions wander free as they have for hundreds of years.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • The majestic Victoria Falls.
  • Canoeing, white water rafting, tight rope, bungee jumping, bridge sliding, and canyon swinging are available adventure sports.
  • Visit Hwange National Park, one of Africa’s best wildlife refuges.
  • Game experiences in Zambezi National Park
  • 10 luxury tents with private decks & pools
  • Elephant Express game viewing train, afternoon safari activities.
  • Unique geographic feature of the Nehimba Seeps, the only source of natural water in Hwange
 

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 
Arrive in Victoria Falls Int Airport and Private transfer:

Once you arrive at Johannesburg, An NPE representative will meet you at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board. He will assist you through immigration, baggage collection, and customs to catch you fight to your final destination: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe!

After landing at Victoria Falls International Airport, you will be welcomed by an NPErepresentative who will transfer you to the 528 Victoria Falls Guest House, where you will spend your first two nights.

Overnight: 528 Victoria Falls Guest House (B).

Day 2
Victoria Falls Private Tour

Your private tour lasts 2 hours and takes place in the morning or afternoon (depending on your request, which should be verified in advance). A skilled guide will accompany you through the Victoria Falls Rainforest, providing a brief history of the Falls as well as the surrounding flora, animals, birds, and mammals. When necessary, raincoats and camera protective bags will be provided. Once you finish your visit, you can choose other available activities to fill up your day such as mountain biking, lunch at the overlook point, and others. 

Overnight at 528 Victoria Falls  (B).

Day 3 

Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park

You will leave your guesthouse at 10:00 a.m. for a shared car ride to Dete Railroad station (around 2.5 hours) on the outskirts of Hwange National Park. Around 2 p.m., you’ll board the Elephant Express, a one-of-a-kind game viewing train! The journey from Dete station to Bomani Tented Lodge takes around 2.5 hours and passes via Hwange National Park’s eastern boundary, with game watching along the way! The Elephant Express travels on a segment of track built in the early twentieth century (about 1904) and is flat and straight, making it the world’s longest straight rail line.

With its 14,651 square kilometers, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest national park and one of Africa’s great parks. Hwange has long been known for its incredible biodiversity of animals, and it still has more mammal and bird species than any other National Park in Zimbabwe. More than 100 mammal species include 19 large herbivores like buffalo, eland, sable, and wildebeest, and more than 400 bird species.

 

Overnight at Bomani Tented Lodge by Imvelo Safari Lodges (B, D).

Day 4

Exploring Southern Hwange and the Ngamo plains

After waking up and enjoying an early breakfast, we set out for a morning of game viewing in our open-air vehicles. Elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, and predators such as lion, cheetah, and wild dog are frequently spotted in this area, providing for an exciting day in the bush.

One of Hwange’s distinguish from other great African parks is the lack of significant rivers. During the dry seasons of Hwange’s 70-year history, wildlife has survived on water pumped by windmills, which was eventually supplanted by diesel engines, and now solar electricity. Imvelo Safari Lodges is responsible for 20 pumped waterholes in the Park’s southern region. This means Imvelo is responsible for roughly 20% to 25% of the waterholes that support Hwange’s animals. We’ll visit a few of these waterholes and discover more about the water delivery program and the dedicated people who help keep Hwange’s 45,000 elephants, 500 lions, and other wildlife happy!

Overnight at Bomani Tented Lodge by Imvelo Safari Lodges (B, L, D).

Day 5
Village Visit and Look-Up Blind

Breakfast will be served in the dining area in the morning before departing for adjacent Ngunyana Village. You’ll walk from the village to the nearby Ngamo School with the schoolchildren on their way to school. When you arrive at the school, you’ll have the chance to interact with students and sing with them before traveling to Ngamo Village for an unscripted visit to witness some of Imvelo’s community efforts firsthand, including a meeting with the village’s headman. During your visit to the hamlet, you will learn about thatching roofs, tilling fields, grinding maize, and weaving baskets, as well as other aspects of rural Zimbabwean life.
After seeing the hamlet, we’ll return to Hwange, searching for some wildlife for a bush lunch near Stoffie’s Pan, where we have a specially designed underground game viewing blind. We’ll spend some time in the blind after lunch, with snout-level views of thirsty elephants just feet away! We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the Ngamo plains on foot and by vehicle. We’ll take a night drive back to camp after sundowners, looking for nocturnal creatures that roam the plains at dusk.

Overnight at Bomani Tented Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 6

Elephant Express Rail/Road Transfer To Northern Hwange And Nehimba Lodge

You will wake up to morning birdsong and get prepared for an early game walk, a great way to experience Hwange on foot and see the small details of the bush, such as bird’s nests and game tracks.

After a hearty brunch back at the lodge, we’ll board the Elephant Express rail car at around 11 am for the return trip to Dete. From here, we’ll travel by 4WD vehicle, game viewing along the way to our next lodge, Nehimba.

Overnight at Nehimba Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 7
Exploring Northern Hwange including the Nehimba Seep

Guests will pack day packs and go on game drives and walks with their guide to see the lovely Northern portion of Hwange National Park. The north differs significantly from the south in terms of topography, ecosystems, and wildlife species. After seeing some wildlife, we will head back to the lodge for lunch before taking a siesta or relaxing by the lodge pool, visited by Hwange’s thirsty herds during the dry season. Later that afternoon, have a game drive across the park, finishing with cool beverages and canapés as the sun sets over one of the area’s famous waterholes. Back at camp, our visitors can freshen up with a soothing bath or shower before a 3-course supper in the main lodge area, followed by reminiscing about the day’s safari around the campfire and eventually falling asleep to the sounds of the African wilderness.

Overnight at Nehimba Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 8 
Game drive safari to Mandavu Dam for picnic lunch

For a picnic lunch, take a game drive safari to Mandavu Dam. After an early morning tea or coffee on your private veranda, a full breakfast in the main lodge, and a game-watching vehicle ride to Mandavu Dam for a picnic lunch, board a game viewing vehicle for a game viewing vehicle ride to Mandavu Dam for a picnic lunch. Mandavu Dam is a beautiful highland place about 15 kilometers from Sinamatella Camp and is an excellent spot for bird watching and animal viewing. Afterward, we will return to the lodge in the afternoon for sundowners with the elephants on the veranda overlooking the waterhole and pool!

A delicious three-course dinner will be provided to finish our day, followed by coffee or a nightcap around the campfire.

 

Overnight at Nehimba Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 9
Zambezi National Park

After one last breakfast in the bush, you’ll proceed to the Giraffe Springs Airstrip (20-minute game drive) and board your aircraft for the spectacular flight across Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls International Airport, which will take 45 minutes to 1 hour (VFA).

Once you arrive at Victoria Falls Airport, you will be transferred to Zambezi National Park, bordering on the north by the Zambezi River. The drive to camp takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on what game is encountered along the way!

The combined area of Zambezi National Park and Victoria Falls National Park is 56,000 hectares. The enormous Zambezi River forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, for much of its length forms the Park’s northern border. The Zambezi National Park hosts a diverse range of giant mammals. Hippo, waterbuck, and bushbuck can be seen on the reed banks and islands, while elephants can be found on the mainland or river.

Overnight at Zambezi Sands River Camp (B, L, D)

Day 10
Exploring the Zambezi National Park by vehicle, on foot
and by canoe

The day will begin with a substantial breakfast and coffee as the sun rises over the Zambezi. The morning will be spent walking along the shoreline, taking in the scenery and fauna. Park rangers and our representatives patrol this section of the Zambezi National Park on a regular basis for illegal snaring or signs of poaching by Zambians from the north bank; our group will provide additional eyes to these teams and gain hands-on experience detecting cross-border poaching activity in support of Park Rangers. Later, we will head back to the resort, relax with a light lunch, soak in your private plunge pool, and take a quick nap. Afterward, we’ll paddle the Zambezi in our sturdy inflatable canoes via modest rapids and lazy channels through our islands after a safety briefing, and the excursion will conclude in a beautiful sunset on one of the sand bars where we’ll have a cool drink and snacks.

Overnight at Zambezi Sands River Camp (B, L, D).

Day 11
Free day to explore Zambezi NP and Victoria Falls town

Take a day out and explore the Zambezi National Park by wildlife drive, walking safari, or canoe. Or go into Victoria Falls town for a range of extra activities such as river rafting, a helicopter tour of Victoria Falls, and a canopy swing (at additional cost). Alternatively, unwind on your private balcony and plunge pool at Zambezi Sands and indulge in the bush spa services (at extra cost). The next day, after breakfast, you will be transferred to Victoria Falls International Airport for your international flight

Overnight at Zambezi Sands River Camp (B, L, D).

Lodgings

528 Victoria Falls Guest House

A contemporary boutique guest house with loads of personality, 528 Victoria Falls is situated in a quiet residential suburb 3 km from the entrance to the Falls. The property is spread over three floors, and décor is rich, colorful, and quirky, with a distinctly African theme – there is evidence of a lot of local support in the furnishings and artwork. Seven rooms all have en-suite bathrooms with showers. Breakfast is served in a double volume dining room, and high glass doors lead out to a pretty terrace with a pool and attractive garden. The second floor features a sitting area with a verandah, and the third floor has an honesty bar and a patio with distant views. The owner-run property is warm, friendly, and personal.guests to enjoy meals with their families or join the rest of the guests in the main restaurant.

Bomani Tented Lodge

This lovely camp overlooks the Bomani Pan in a private concession outside Hwange National Park. It’s a beautiful spot, dotted with marshes and savannah and home to a diverse range of wildlife. Four spacious Spurwing rooms (including a honeymoon suite) overlook the lodge’s waterhole on the ground level. The five Saddlebill tents are situated on elevated wooden decks with views of the meadows. The Sable Family Suite consists of two bedrooms, each with its bathroom. The center spaces are unpretentious and pleasant, with a dining area, lounge, bar, and viewing balcony where guests may chat between game sessions while taking in the views. A splash pool overlooks the waterhole and is set in a high wooden deck. Pre-dinner beverages can be had around the fire pit, and then beautiful candlelit dinners can be enjoyed under the stars (private dinners can be arranged). The concession offers night game drives and walks, and day drives access the Hwange through a private gate.

Nehimba Lodge

Located in a private concession in the game-rich northern region of the Hwange National Park is Nehimba Safari lodge, which boasts the natural Nehimba seep. Nine spacious, chalet-style wood and thatch units are built on teak decks and – along with the central areas – overlook the magnificent lodge pan, which is frequented by large numbers of elephants. 2 of the rooms are family units, with a king-sized bed and two three-quarter beds for kids. All rooms are comfortably appointed, with soft, cozy furnishings, en-suite bathrooms with slipper baths, and outdoor showers. The open-fronted thatch guest areas comprise a bar, lounge, and dining room.

Zambezi Sands River Camp

This opulent safari camp is located in the stunning and secluded western end of the Zambezi National Park, just one hour’s drive from Victoria Falls. Although there are frequent sightings of lions, buffalos, and elephants, the animal density is not nearly on pace with that of safari behemoths like Hwange National Park, Mana Pools, or Chobe National Park. The Zambezi River, with its exquisitely pure waters and countless channels, is the area’s main focal point and gives it its distinct personality. This stretch of river’s peaceful shores is home to several truly uncommon bird species, making the biodiversity there unparalleled.

The elegant main lounge/dining area and each of the eight tents is constructed on raised wooden platforms, perfectly positioned to look out over the Zambezi River in all its splendor. The river flows beneath your veranda during the high water season.

When to go

The dry May to October, known as the winter season, is typically the ideal time to visit Zimbabwe for game viewing, with temperate temperatures, virtually no rain, and minimal malaria risk. Nevertheless, September and October are sweltering and dry months.

The most incredible time to visit Victoria Falls is near the conclusion of the summer rainy season when the falls are carrying their maximum quantity of water. Go between April and May for the best views. The low water season, which runs from August to December, is considered the most acceptable time for white-water rafting at Victoria Falls. The water volume and speed are reduced, and the rapids are more exposed.

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