Trip reference number: 146388
This comprehensive safari combines all-inclusive luxury with Southern Africa’s natural world wonder and curated excursions in Zimbabwe’s Big-Five national parks. You’ll stay in private forest villas, luxurious thatched camps and indulgent tents, complete with private plunge pools, as you discover the delights of both Hwange and Zambezi National Park. On expert-led game drives, night safaris, bush walks and even rail journeys you’ll be treated to everything from elephants and rhinos to lions and leopards. In between, you’ll also explore the region’s human side, with visits to local communities and historic San Bushmen sites. There’s also a spectacular natural world of open plains, acacia woodlands and Victoria Falls – a highlight of world travel. Each evening, return to campfire sundowners, gourmet three-course meals and yet more wildlife viewing with private hides and waterholes.
Day 1: Depart UK
Arriving at the airport, you'll relax in your included VIP airport lounge before boarding your overnight flight to Zimbabwe.
Day 2: Hwange National Park, Camelthorn Lodge
Flying into Victoria Falls Airport, you’ll be met on arrival and transferred to your private villa, tucked away in the southeastern acacia forests of Hwange National Park. You’ll enjoy drinks and snacks as the drive brings you right through the park’s verdant plains, perhaps giving you a first glimpse of the region’s wildlife. Hwange is host to everything from zebras and elephants to lions and migratory birds. After settling in with welcome drinks, enjoy sundowners and canapés at the lodge’s underground hide. Set right next to a waterhole, it allows you to get up close to the native wildlife. Then, it’s a night safari back to your three-course dinner, served under the stars.
Day 3: Hwange National Park, Camelthorn Lodge
Wake to the chirping birdlife as you sip your morning coffee and tuck into a cooked breakfast before you head out to a local village. This is your chance to understand how rural life plays out in this remote setting, chatting to the villagers and visiting the school. Your time here culminates with a performance from the children and a classroom visit. You’ll then have some time to relax back at the lodge before you head out onto the Ngamo Plains. Here, you’ll sip sundowners as your expert guides point out the wildlife, sharing their local knowledge.
Day 4: Hwange National Park, Camelthorn Lodge
Today is given over to the wildlife, with the full day spent in the park. In the cool of the morning your drive will head out to discover some of Hwange’s 100 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. And, while there are no fewer than 19 types of large herbivores and eight large carnivores to spot, first and foremost this is elephant country. In the afternoon, you’ll hop from pan to pan, weaving between throngs of jostling herds that come in search of fresh water. In between, you’ll break for a gourmet picnic in the shade. Then, come the evening, you’ll enjoy pre-dinner campfire drinks before tucking into a three-course African meal.
Day 5: Hwange National Park, Nehimba Safari Lodge
This morning you’ll experience something of the unique. You’ll be transferred the ten minutes to Ngamo Siding where you’ll board the wonderfully named ‘Elephant Express’. This rail car will treat you to two hours of prime game viewing as you make the relaxed journey to Dete Railway Station, enjoying cool drinks and snacks along the way. Disembarking, you’ll then be brought to the northwest corner of Hwange and your luxury thatched tent at Nehimba Safari Lodge. Full of rustic, African chic, you’ll settle in to enjoy views over its private-concession waterhole as you sip those all-important sundowners. After dinner, you’ll head out to explore on a second night safari; the region is especially known for its hyena, porcupines and genet cats. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a hunting leopard.
Day 6: Hwange National Park, Nehimba Safari Lodge
Pack a bag for your full-day exploration of the northern part of Hwange. Defined by mopane woodland and sandveld expanses, it’s a different proposition to the rest of the park, both in terms of topography and wildlife. But, while leopards, hyenas and lions rank among the highlights, you’ll also discover the region’s human side, stopping at the Nehimba Seep – an ancient source of water once used by the San Bushmen. Game drives continue in the afternoon, before you end the day with sunset refreshments at one of the region’s many waterholes.
Day 7: Hwange National Park, Nehimba Safari Lodge
After your customary Continental or cooked breakfast you’ll drive out to Mandavu Dam. A great expanse of water among an arid landscape, it’s an ideal spot for your picnic lunch. What’s more, your guides will bring you to a scenic hilly spot that’s perfect for bird watching and game viewing. You’ll then return to the lodge to relax by the waterhole before you end the day with a nightcap round the campfire.
Day 8: Zambezi National Park
Following a last walking safari through the Hwange wilderness, you’ll continue north to Zambezi National Park. It’s a long but scenic drive, with most of the route taking you through national parks, affording plenty of game viewing opportunities. You’ll then arrive at your safari camp to settle into a luxury tent whose private plunge pool offers spectacular views over the Zambezi River. You’ll drift asleep to the sound of rushing rapids and lions calling in the night.
Day 9: Victoria Falls
Start your day with breakfast served under the lodge’s ebony trees before you visit a world wonder – Victoria Falls. Just an hour’s drive away, these are the largest waterfalls in the world, with giant cascades spanning great widths and heights. And, producing a spectacular spray, they certainly deserve their native moniker – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. It’s a sight –...
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
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust