Trip reference number: ITN-ZWE004
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
Your safari adventure takes place in Hwange National Park, the largest and oldest game reserve in Zimbabwe. Hwange is slightly larger than the Bahamas, a colossal 14,651 km²; and home to a spectacular range of habitats and landscapes. The arid semi-desert, lush teak forests, rocky outcrops, grasslands and scrub areas are alive with animals and birds. The diverse wilderness supports large numbers of elephant, buffalo, antelope, giraffe, warthog and zebra, this plethora of prey attracting the hungry eye of predators. Lion, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena and leopard thrive amongst this rich source of food. Filled with many remarkable and wonderful qualities, one of the unique features of Hwange is the lack of major national water sources, with a network of artificially pumped waterholes maintained by the people of the park to ensure the livelihood of the animals.
During your first two nights you will stay in the brand new Jozibanini Tented Camp, a renovated rangers station from the 1970's. Found within a truly wild place guests will enjoy a unique and exciting experience in the secluded southern section of the park; Jozibanini is the perfect wilderness bolthole for adventures off the beaten track. Your two days will include twice daily safari activities led by the Zimbabwean pro-guides, amongst some of the best in Africa, offering an exceptional quality of knowledge.
From here you will drive through the park to Camelthorn Lodge, nestled deep within a woodland area of camelthorn and ebony trees, the arresting nature creating a striking bust retreat and invited into the eight forest villas through the large glass windows and sliding doors. Your days will be filled with exciting activities for an authentic insight into the animals, culture and history of Hwange and Zimbabwe. Along with the traditional game drives, Camelthorn Lodge offers bush walks, birdwatching, visits to the local villages and schools and, a unique activity to Hwange National Park, the ‘pump run' available from mid May to mid November.
No trip to Zimbabwe would be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Fly from the Camelthorn Lodge to the town of Victoria Falls located on the southern bank of the Zambezi River, an iconic place filled with a rich and romantic history.
Walk through the surrounding rainforest along the network of trails leading to 16 different viewpoints, all dazzling you with stunning and impressive scenes of this powerful and enormous curtain of water. Called Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders', the dense plume of water spray which rises from the waterfall reaches up to 500m into the air and can be seen from as far as 20km away. Making the most of the magnificent waterfall, Vic Falls has an endless list of activities including white water rafting, canoeing, helicopter rides, canopy tours and, of course for the thrill seekers, bungee jumping. Your one night stay will be in the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge placed just four kilometres away from the immense waterfall. Spread along the plateau overlooking an active waterhole, your bedroom's small private deck is an excellent place to appreciate the beauty of the African landscape.
Day 1 Leave London on your overnight Emirates flight to Johannesburg with a connecting flight with Comair flights to Victoria Falls. Please enquire about fares from your regional airports.
Day 2 Upon landing in Victoria Falls Airport you will be transferred to the airstrip for a light aircraft flight to Manga airstrip, just outside Hwange National Park. You will be met and driven to Jozibanini Tented Camp for a two night stay with all meals, local brand drinks, two daily safari activities and Hwange National Park fees included. Upon arrival settle into your tent and freshen up with a shower in your tent’s en-suite bathroom before heading out for your intrepid safari adventure. Let your expert Zimbabwean safari guide led the way, tracking down the significant number of elephant, buffalo, lion and antelope.
Day 3 Enjoy two more game drives, in the morning and afternoon, across Hwange National Park. Guaranteed to be exciting journeys, you will be on the lookout for cheetah, wild dog, baboon, giraffe, hippo, warthog, zebra and baboon. If you are lucky you may have a sighting of the shy and elusive leopard.
Day 4 In the morning, jump into your safari vehicle for a full day drive across to Camelthorn, found along the south-east edge of the park. Make yourself at home in your Forest Villa, equipped with a feature window overlooking the woodland, a private ground level deck and an upstairs outdoor maisonette with a hammock and daybed. Spend the evening dining al fresco under the ancient camelthorn trees before wandering through the woodlands to the small water baths attracting the smaller creatures of the bush; bushbuck, squirrels, mongoose and an abundance of birdlife.
Day 5 Today take an escorted walk to a large private underground blind, an elephant-proof hide disguised as an ant hill and placing you at toe level with the animals. This is a special wildlife experience, an absolute thrill sitting in safety and comfort yet incredibly close to the passing elephants. Spend the afternoon visiting local villages and schools, learning about some of the many community based projects Camelthorn’s parent company, Imvelo Safari, is involved with.
Day 6 If your stay is from mid May to mid November, you will be able to participate in the exclusive activity of a ‘pump run’. A full day in the park delivering diesel drums and rations to the Pump Attendants, leave early in the morning for your journey travelling from waterhole to waterhole. You can either help out with the chores or explore the flora and fauna around the waterhole before stopping for a delicious and leisurely picnic lunch. The pumps support nearly 40,000 elephant and many other animals; watch over the waterhole as the animals enjoy their lunch time drink. Finish the day with a sundowner at one of the waterholes close to the camp; the perfect end to a different, interesting and rewarding day in the Zimbabwe wilderness.
Day 7 Travel from Hwange National Park to the welcoming town of Vic Falls for your day in the heart of this natural splendour. Check into Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, your stay including breakfast and transfers to the town and the entrance of the Falls. During your day, there is the option to enjoy the additional activities of a fascinating tour of the falls or a wonderful sunset cruise.
Day 8 After breakfast you will be transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport for your flight back to London.
Day 9 Early morning arrival back in London.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
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