Essential Zimbabwe Safari

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-ZWE005

From: £8675.00

Experience Zimbabwe's best safari destinations on this unbelievable wildlife tour. Travel between each location on light aircraft flights, flying from one incredible safari destination to the next over Zimbabwe's vast expanse of pristine wilderness untouched by huge numbers of tourists. Begin in the luxurious Linkwasha Camp, found in the legendary Hwange National Park. During your safari activities across the Linkwasha Private Concession you will share the land with only the other guests of the nine tent camp and the abundance of wildlife.

Fly north to the river banks of the mighty Zambezi for a stay in Ruckomechi Camp. Enjoy the diverse safari activities across the wide flood plains of Mana Pools National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its dramatic landscape filled with a remarkable concentration of animals. The Chilo Lodge along the edge of Gonarezhou is your next destination. Meaning ‘Place of the Elephants', Gonarezhou is home to eight thousands of them alongside buffalo, impala and big cats.

End your safari hidden away in the remote Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, the 150,000 acres supporting 38 different habitats. Hundreds of majestic baobab trees holding some of the 500 species of bird on the thick gnarled branches, flat-topped mountains covered in acacia woodlands, the perfect shade for the elusive leopard, and pods of hippo wallowing and wadding in the 1,500 acre lake.

Zimbabwean guides have a stellar reputation. They will overwhelm you with their knowledge of the wildlife, their skill at tracking animals and their passion for providing you with an excellent safari holiday. 

Itinerary

Day 1 Leave London on your overnight flight to Victoria Falls Airport.

Day 2 Upon landing, you’ll travel by light aircraft to Linkwasha airstrip and driven to Linkwasha Camp in the south-eastern part of Hwange National Park. Encapsulating the original style and spirit of safari, Linkwasha Camp overlooks a nearby pan and it’s flurry of animal activity. A stay here gives you easy and private access to many of the best locations within Hwange. Enjoy both day and night game drives across the Linkwasha Private Concession. With the maximum of only four vehicles at one time across the land, your classic game drive will be full of wildlife but practically devoid of other travellers. With fantastic game viewing all year round, during your three night stay you will enjoy two safari activities a day in this spectacular part of Hwange National Park.

Day 3 In the fresh early morning, drive across the savannah grassland approaching huge herds of elephant and buffalo, prides of lion and grazing giraffe, passing cantering zebra and antelope. Keep your eye out for the predators of cheetah, leopard and African wildcat, prowling in the distance waiting for the opportune moment to pounce. To experience and view the wildlife from a different perspective, embark on a walking safari led by a knowledgeable guide. Exploring the land on foot out of the safari vehicle will take you closer to the wildlife, immersing you in the sights, sounds and smells of the landscape.

Day 4 Linkwasha Camp is greatly concerned with sustainable tourism and takes responsibility for many aspects for the Hwange’s conservation. Sit in on one of the regular presentations to learn about their work to protect the wildlife. Led by one of the local villagers, visit a nearby village with a tour of the school and meetings with the headman or headwoman of the community. This is an authentic insight into Zimbabwean way of life. When the sun has set on your last day in Linkwasha Camp, stretch out and relax underneath a black sky dense with stars on the camps sleep-out deck. Surrounded by the intriguing sounds of the wildlife this is an exceptional end to your time in Hwange National Park.

Day 5 In the morning transfer to the elephant’s favourite camp, Ruckomechi Camp found along the western border of the Mana Pools. The beautifully decorated tents overlook the Zambezi River, the wooden deck is a peaceful and cosy place to watch the passing elephants shake the nearby albida trees for their tasty pods. Over the years the Zambezi River has run over the floodplains of Zimbabwe, the flowing water creating islands, channels and ox-bows now known as Mana Pools National Park. Full of animals and birds, these pools and sandbanks are waiting to be explored. With two safari activities a day, end your days in the ‘bath with a view’. A secluded tub encircled by stunning views, this is an idyllic place to enjoy a relaxing soak at the end of4 your exciting day.

Day 6 Starting as a trickle in Zambia, the Zambezi River grows into one of the lifelines of Africa, passing through six countries. Staying in Ruckomechi Camp gives you fantastic access to this colossal natural wonder and all the adventurous opportunities it holds. Jump into a nine-seater pontoon to cruise down the Zambezi River. Sail past pods of hippo and crocodiles gliding through the water, with groups of hyena, zebra, buffalo and lion stopping for a drink along the shore. Another way to take to the water is by canoe, an exhilarating way to experience the water bound animals and waterbirds. For keen fishers there is the chance for catch–and–release fishing, casting your rod for Bream (tilapia), barbel (catfish) and tigerfish.

Day 7 On your last morning in Mana Pools head out early on a game drive, watching the animal interactions between the Cape buffalo, elephant, lion, hyena, rare species of wild dog and cheetah and more. A thrilling experience of Mana’s beauty, head out on a nature walk, your guide pointing out the many exciting sights you’ll come across.

Day 8 Make the journey over to Gonarezhou National Park in southern Zimbabwe, transferring to the airstrip for your flight to Harara Airport. Gonarezhou merges across the borders with South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park, creating an unparalleled wildlife sanctuary. Whilst here you will stay in the stylish and elegant Chile Gorge Safari Lodge, named after the dramatic gorge it is located on. From the viewing deck watch your neighbours of hippo, elephant and crocodiles at the water’s edge going about their daily business. There is plenty for you to enjoy in this untouched wild country, one of the least visited parks of the country

Day 9 As well as exhilarating game drives amongst the lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, buffalos, hippos and giraffes in the national park, it is possible to experience a different side of this beautiful African landscape. Trek across the grasslands, through the forest of mahoganies, ironwoods and tall acacia trees to arrive at the dramatic Chivilia Falls, a spectacular waterfall overlooking the magnificent land.

Day 10 A private road transfer will take you to Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, a 130,000 acre spread of secluded land with high numbers of animals amongst the mopane forests, sandstone outcrops and majestic baobab trees. Staying in Singita Pamushana, a lodge elevated onto a rocky headland, you will be able to observe panoramic views of the incredible area, the landscape stretching out in front of you for miles dotted with trees and movements of the wildlife you are soon to encounter. Overlooking the remote wilderness you may be able to identify some of the reserve’s 38 habitats, the hundreds of grand baobabs, mountain acacia woodlands and thickets of ironwoods. The Malilangwe Trust was established with the aim to preserve and protect the wildlife in the extraordinary area next to Gonarezhou National Park. Not only benefitting the animals the private reserve is a great source of livelihood for the people of the region, creating sustainability in the local communities.

Day 11 Mali...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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