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Best of Zimbabwe

12 days from £5585pp plus international flights.

Best of Zimbabwe really sums up this holiday. You are flown to four different destinations across the country, each a highlight in its own right, and are given ample time to enjoy all to the full. Scenery and wildlife vie for your attention and the accommodation is pretty impressive too! It's the perfect introduction to the attractions of this beautiful country.

Your adventure begins at Victoria Falls. This iconic sight makes a suitably dramatic backdrop and, coupled with safaris in Zambezi National Park, you might think it would be hard to match. Next you visit Hwange, Zimbabwe's largest national park, where you take part in that quintessential safari activity, the 4x4 game drive, exploring the varied terrain and marvelling at the profuse wildlife. Perhaps now craving some relaxation you are transported to the shores of Lake Kariba. It's a picturesque setting and the sunset cruise is not to be missed. Walking safaris are conducted here which open up a whole new microcosmic world and showcase your guide's expertise. Mana Pools, your final destination, is a true wilderness and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stunning scenery, abundant animal and bird life, remote and wild, it's just possible we've saved the best till last!

Your accommodation has been selected not only for their locations and but also for their style, size and service. At each you have a lovely en-suite room with your own deck allowing you some all-important privacy. Social areas are sited to make the most of the views with firepits and pools luring you outdoors. They range from six to fourteen rooms, so you never feel part of a crowd, and all offer the highest levels of service. We've included flights between locations so less time is spent travelling leaving you more time for activities and relaxation.

By the end of your holiday you will feel that you really have been treated to the best of Zimbabwe.

Itinerary
Visit Victoria Falls from Old Drift Lodge

DAY 1: ARRIVE VICTORIA FALLS

You arrive in Zimbabwe with a flight into Victoria Falls airport where a representative meets you and accompanies you on the drive to Old Drift Lodge, your home for the next two nights. Depending on your arrival time you might be able to head over the famous falls this afternoon to see them for yourself. Lodge staff can arrange a guided tour if you wish. Alternatively the lodge is a wonderful place to relax with views of the Zambezi River on one side and a waterhole on the other, ideal for game viewing. Lunch, dinner

On safari in Zambezi National Park

DAY 2: ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK

Staying at Old Drift Lodge you are inside Zambezi National Park and today you are able to explore with a 4x4 game drive. This is a classic safari experience, setting out into the bush in search of wildlife with the benefit of your driver-guide's insights and enthusiasm. In the afternoon you can enjoy another game drive or vary the safari experience with a guided walk or a river trip, all part of your stay at Old Drift Lodge. All in all today is an excellent introduction to the natural riches of Zimbabwe. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

The main deck at Somalisa Camp in Hwange National Park

DAY 3: TO HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

You are transferred back to the airport for the flight to Hwange National Park. Flying time is under an hour. Enjoy fine views from the air and on landing you are driven to Somalisa Camp. Set among acacia trees overlooking a seasonal floodplain this tented camp provides an authentic safari experience. Its location on a private concession coupled with its size, there are just seven tents, lends an air of exclusivity. If time allows you enjoy a game drive this afternoon with chances of spotting all the Big 5 before returning to camp to shower before dinner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Lions viewed in Hwange National Park near Somalisa Camp

DAY 4: HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

The day is devoted to wildlife viewing. Drives in open 4x4 vehicles allow you to see different parts of the concession and national park as you take in the varied scenery whilst you seek game and predators. The park's waterholes offer great sightings not just of mammals but also birds with over 400 species present. Your guide knows the land well and is able to take you to some favourite locations, many of which are known to few people, to ensure your safari is both informative and fun. By the end of the day you are building up your knowledge of the flora and fauna, well and truly bitten by the safari bug! Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Sundowner drinks near Somalisa Camp

DAY 5: HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

You can vary your time in Hwange with a guided bush walk. The immediacy with nature is the key feature of this experience, you are unhindered by any barrier and are really at one with nature. These walks generally last between one and two hours and are a wonderful way to appreciate the smaller details you might otherwise miss and to gain an insight into the overall ecosystem with everything from the smallest insect and plant playing its part. If you take an afternoon walk you can enjoy sundowners in the bush before returning to camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Lake Kariba sunset

DAY 6: TO LAKE KARIBA

You travel back to the airstrip to board the flight to Lake Kariba. You should have some lovely views as you travel over rural Zimbabwe. Your new home is Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, perfectly positioned by the lake which imbues the lodge with a tranquil atmosphere. The water is inviting and a sunset cruise offers the opportunity to enjoy it to the full complete with colourful skies, reflections and a sundowner drink. Later you enjoy dinner on the terrace above the lake. It's a magical scene. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Boat trip on Lake Kariba from Buni Hills Safari Lodge

DAY 7: LAKE KARIBA

The lodge is close to Matusadona National Park, another Big 5 location which also has large populations of hippo, sable, roan antelope and waterbuck as well as an impressive array of bird life. There's plenty to see! As you by now are beginning to appreciate every safari is unique, you can never be quite sure what you may encounter and this is very much part of its appeal. Taking a motorboat cruise on Lake Kariba is another popular activity and gives you a different vantage point from which to survey your surroundings. As you travel your guide recounts stories of the region and gives you a feel for life here. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Walking safari from Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

DAY 8: LAKE KARIBA

Your second full day at Bumi Hills again offers a mix of water and land based activities. If you like you can enjoy a fishing cruise on the lake which has good stocks of tigerfish, bream and vundu. Fishing is offered on a catch and release basis to protect fish populations. Walking safaris take you into the hills or down by the shore as you uncover secrets of the bush. Between excursions you are free to rest at the lodge, swim in the infinity pool, treat yourself to a spa treatment and enjoy the soothing pace of lakeside life. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Elephant near the plunge pool at Nyamatusi Camp

DAY 9 : TO MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

Mana Pools is your next destination. It's only a short flight (about 30 minutes) away, so you're soon adjusting to life at Nyamatusi Camp. Accommodating a maximum of just 12 guests amidst the beautiful Nyamatusi Wilderness area and looking out over the Zambezi River. It's another stunning location you feel privileged to witness. Elephants often come to visit, wandering past the plunge pool seemingly unaware of the awe they inspire. Keep your camera close at hand! Make your way to the firepit as the sun sinks behind the hills and enjoy the sunset, drink in hand, as you toast another superb day in Zimbabwe. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Walking safari in Mana Pools National Park

DAY 10: MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this is your chance to enjoy it. This is a great area to explore on foot, led by an experienced and informative guide as you learn to read signs in the bush that tell of animal activity and may help you track wildlife. It excites the senses in a way other safaris do not as you are completely immersed in the natural world, unhindered by a vehicle and engine noise. Canoeing is another way to experience the environment, paddling along the river taking in the wide horizons and viewing hippos, crocodiles, elephants and birds. These activities make a lovely contrast to traditional game drives. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Canoeing near Nyamatusi Camp in Mana Pools

DAY 11: MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

Another day of unparalleled water and land-based safaris. You are now something of a safari aficionado having enjoyed 4x4, boat and walking excursions in four different locations so are well placed to choose how to spend your last day of wildlife viewing. Whatever you opt for you are assured of first rate guiding and are certain to develop your knowledge, along with building up am impressive portfolio of photos to share with friends and family once you're back home. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Morning in Nyamatusia Camp

DAY 12: DEPART

Your wonderful Zimbabwe safari is drawing to a close. You say your goodbyes at Nyamatusi and are driven to the airstrip where you take a flight to Harare international airport to connect with your onward travel plans. Breakfast

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £5585 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 

2020 prices based on 2 people sharing

01 Apr - 31 May 2020 from £5775

01 Jun - 31 Oct 2020 from £7745
01 - 30 Nov 2020 from £5585

Includes: 

11 nights twin share fully inclusive accommodation - all meals, local drinks, activities, park and conservation fees; arrival transfer from Victoria Falls International Airport on day 1 and all subsequent transfers as specified in the itinerary in a private vehicle; flights from Victoria Falls to Hwange, Hwange to Lake Karibia, Lake Kariba to Mana Pools and Mana Pools to Harare; departure taxes

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; visas; vaccinations; travel insurance; optional activities; personal spending; tips

Getting there: 

This holiday starts in Victoria Falls and ends in Harare. Return flights from the UK cost from around £950, depending on season and availability. We usually book these flights for you.

places you will see

places you will see

Mana Pools
Mana Pools National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers both a river and inland safari experience. Wildlife concentrations increase as the water dries up through the summer months.
Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park
Experience a safari by the water, and see how nature thrives in this beautiful part of the country.
Livingstone (Zambia side)
Victoria Falls
One of the most famous and awe-inspiring sights in Africa. A perfect start or end to a safari in Zambia or Botswana, or enjoy it in its own right.
Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park
With plenty of wildlife and a huge elephant population Hwange delivers a great safari experience.

customer rating

5/5 from 4 reviews

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WHEN TO VISIT

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facts and information

Time: GMT + 2 hours

Flight time: Flights from UK to Harare or Victoria Falls are usually via Johannesburg and can take 12+ hours, although once the new Victoria Falls airport is fully operational there may be an option of direct flights – watch this space.

Language: English is the official language of Zimbabwe. Shona or Ndebele are also widely spoken by the majority of the population.

Visas: Visas are required for UK passport holders and can be obtained on entry into Zimbabwe.  

Health: Malaria is a risk in many areas of Zimbabwe.

 

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