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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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