Arrive Victoria Falls
Your Zimbabwe holiday begins in earnest as you land at Victoria Falls airport to be greeted by a representative and driven to Gorges Lodge, just half an hour away. You're soon resting at the lodge after the journey and gazing at the tremendous views down to Batoka Gorge and the Zambezi River. All meals are included so you don't need to venture far for dinner this evening, conserving your energy for tomorrow's activities!
You can't come all this way and not visit Victoria Falls. A guided tour is among the activities offered at Gorges Lodge, two of which are included in your stay. The size and power of this mighty waterfall cannot fail to impress. You might like to follow this with a gorge-edge walk or a hike to the bottom of the gorge, a visit to the village near the lodge, late afternoon black eagle viewing or a sundowner river cruise. Other options such as bungee jumping, white water rafting and helicopter flights can be arranged at extra charge. It promises to be an eventful day!
Fly To Binga For Kariba Cruise
You are transferred to the airport for the short flight to Binga, at the western end of Lake Kariba for the next stage of your holiday: the cruise. Board the boat that is your home for the next three nights, unpack your bags and settle into life afloat as the vessel begins her voyage. The emphasis is on relaxation as you survey the lake scenery, sip a refreshing drink, lie back on a lounger on the sundeck and cool off in the plunge pool. Indoor areas include a lounge and dining room. Meals are sociable times and a good opportunity to get to know fellow passengers. The atmosphere is pleasantly casual and the crew welcoming.
Lake Kariba Cruise
You can have a leisurely start to the day as you enjoy breakfast while admiring the lake views. The shores are host to a range of wildlife and you may see elephant, buffalo, lion and cheetah plus numerous waterbirds. There's a local guide/host who explains the history of the lake and helps you identify different animals and birds. Tender boats are used to explore bays, islands and creeks, take you to beaches for picnics and for catch and release fishing trips. Depending on water levels and lake conditions it may be possible to visit a lakeside fishing village and meet local people. Back on the boat time passes easily, punctuated by meals and refreshments, and you soon become accustomed to the gentle pace of this cruise.
Lake Kariba Cruise
If you rise early you may be treated to a fine sunrise before breakfast. Your cruise offers many photo opportunities and you might like to take the tender trip to the shore to get some close-up wildlife shots, or you may prefer to stay on board and take life easy one of the shaded decks or in the air conditioned lounge. That's the essence of this cruise, you are free to choose how you spend your time. Later you can enjoy a sundowner drink as you chat over the day's events with other passengers and look forward to dinner.
Fly To Hwange
The cruise concludes today and it's time to say goodbye to the crew as you disembark and travel back to the airstrip for the flight to Hwange to begin your safari. On landing you are driven to Bomani Tented Lodge where you spend the next four nights, giving you ample time to explore the national park and its diverse wildlife. You are staying in one of the Spurwing Suites and have a marvellous view of the waterhole from your private veranda where you may see zebras, elephants and giraffes, a foretaste of the sightings to come over the next few days.
Hwange National Park
The lodge is a mere five minute drive from the entrance to Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's largest reserve and renowned as a safari destination. Your first foray into the park is likely to be a traditional 4x4 game drive. Setting out in the early morning before the heat has built up is a great time to encounter animals beginning their day. Your guide is an expert in his field and can spot and identify different species and give you insights into all you see. Your return to the lodge for lunch and a restful afternoon and can then set off again for a second safari. Today's activities are a wonderful introduction to the flora and fauna of Hwange.
Hwange National Park
You might like to vary the safari routine with a guided walk. You may be surprised how different this experience is to a game drive. Unencumbered by a vehicle you have an immediacy with your surroundings and your senses are on full alert, although in the company of your guide you are quite safe. You're able to pay attention to details like plants and insects, often missed from a jeep. Not that encounters with big game are uncommon. Your guide's extensive knowledge comes into play as he helps you 'read' signs in the bush and gain a deeper understanding of nature. Later you can join a night drive in the private concession which displays another aspect nature as you seek out nocturnal creatures.
Hwange National Park
If you've not yet visited the lodge's hide you should do so today. Sited near the waterhole it enables you to get some excellent views of wildlife and is a must for photographers. Another popular option is to take a full day trip into the park to visit the boreholes that the lodge maintains, taking fuel for their motors and supplies for the pump attendants. The boreholes provide much needed water in the dry season and play an important role in sustaining resident wildlife. The trip includes a picnic lunch by a waterhole and a game viewing drive back to the lodge in the late afternoon. Horse riding and village visits are also possible.
The end of your holiday is approaching. Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and, at the appropriate time, you are driven to the airstrip for the flight Victoria Falls airport where you connect with your onward flight.
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