Zimbabwe - The Wild Paradise of Africa
12 night / 13 day (Tented accommodation)
Our journey begins at the Plumtree Border Post with Botswana and takes us into the majestic Motopos National Park with its spectacular granite outcrops. From there we visit the ancient Zimbabwe Ruins. We then move on to Mana Pools, by the far the wildest place in Southern Africa. Here, on the banks of the massive Zambezi River, game viewing can be compared to being at a busy bus station for animals. From Mana, it’s on to the man-made lake of Kariba and further west to Hwange National Park.
Our trip ends in Hwange, leaving you with a number of options to return home. You can either go up to Victoria Falls or head directly into Botswana via the nearby Pandamatenga border post.
Though this off-road safari will be "tough going" at times and will put your sense of adventure to the test, the rewards will far outweigh the hardships you might encounter.
Your tour leader is an experienced nature conservationist and adventure guide. He will be in radio contact with you at all times and impart a wealth of biological, cultural, historic and four-wheel drive knowledge.
Three meals a day will be prepared by our experienced bush chef in his mobile kitchen, with fresh salads, potjiekos, braais and many other surprises appearing on the menu. The good old "koffie pot" will be on the fire from six till late.
Our logistics crew will pitch and take down the camps at all the overnight stops we visit. Tents and tables are supplied by us.
The route we will be negotiating will be tough at times. Our tours are however never designed to be "vehicle breakers", and should you experience any difficulty, the crew do have the "know how" and recovery equipment to assist with off-road problems. All the campsites we will be visiting have flush toilets and hot water showers most of the time, unless specified below. Though our bush-camps will be rustic and interesting, you will at all times be safe. The crew will spare no effort to make you comfortable, provide you with good wholesome food and, most importantly, see that you have a good time.
Please note that on some travel and game viewing days, breakfast and lunch may be combined as brunch and that on days that we make an early start, breakfast will only include coffee and rusks, hot porridge and cereals.
We meet in the early afternoon at the Plumtree border post between Botswana and Zimbabwe, just north of Francistown. We will be on hand to help with border post procedures and from there it is a short one hour journey to our campsite for the next two nights overlooking the majestic Motopos.
As the group will not arrive together, the guide will remain at the border post until everyone is safely in Zimbabwe. That evening, while enjoying a delicious dinner, the guide will explain the rest of the tour and the itinerary to you.
Today we are joined by a Zimbabwean tour operator and specialist tour guide who will accompany us into the majestic Motopos National Park. The day will be spent game viewing in the park, enjoying its incredible scenery and the highlight of the day is a visit to the last resting place of Cecil John Rhodes, one of Africa’s legends.
Today we leave the national park and make our way via Bulawayo town to the little town of Masvingo to restock and refuel. Our afternoon is spent at the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. We will be privileged to spend the night camping here in this tranquil setting, so close to where our predecessors built this great walled city.
We head north to our destination – Mana Pools National Park, camping one night en route, allowing us to visit the Chinhoyi Caves.
Days 5, 6 & 7:
The adventure begins.
We make our way to and spend the next 3 nights camping in Mana Pools in the same camp on the banks of the Zambezi River. We are once again hosted by specialist Zimbabwean tour operators and guides who add so much value to our experience. We will be serenaded to sleep by the grunts of hippo and will be visited daily by the giant elephant bulls that frequent the camp. At night we will need to be on the alert for the curious lions and wandering buffalo.
You will have two full days of game drives in Mana Pools and, as mentioned before, finding any viewpoint that overlooks the Zambezi floodplain is bound to be as rewarding as any game drive. For the birders and photographers, there is no place better or more rewarding.
Mana Pools National Park also has a very interesting policy. One may leave your vehicle and walk around, although this is not advisable. There is, however, the opportunity to do guided walks.
Fishing in the Zambezi River is also permitted and fishing permits can be purchased for a small fee from the national park office in the main camp.
There are no adequate words to describe the wildness of Mana Pools National Park. You need to come and see it for yourself.
Our destination for tonight and tomorrow night is a campsite on the lakeshore in the little tourist town of Kariba.
Tonight we enjoy dinner in the camps restaurant feasting on the food Kariba is so well known for - “Kariba Bream “
Today we have a well- deserved day of rest as we are not moving camp and are in semi-civilization in Kariba town. However, beware! Nowhere else will you get to see people walking home from work no more than 30 meters away from browsing elephants.
There will be time to refuel and restock. For those of you who want to, a visit to the Kariba Dam wall is close by.
For those of you who wish to fish, please contact us beforehand so that we can make the necessary arrangements (this will be for your own account).
We end off the day with a sundowner cruise on Lake Kariba.
Today we make our way back up out of the valley and our narrow gravel track takes us over numerous low level river crossing bridges and a magnificent mountain pass with wonderful views of Lake Kariba.
It is a very long day’s drive so we will leave early. Our destination for the night is the little lakeshore town of Binga where we will camp for the night on the edge of the lake.
Today we head for our campsite for the last two nights of the tour, just outside of Hwange National Park. En route we will refuel and restock in Hwange town.
As Hwange is the largest national park in Zimbabwe, and one of the largest in Southern Africa, there is no time to be wasted and we spend the whole day game viewing on the park’s good road network. There are numerous hides and, at certain times of the year, Hwange boasts the world’s largest elephant population, with up to 70 000 elephants in the park.
Please note that we will not be game viewing in a convoy but rather everyone will go their own way on the good road network. It would be advisable to have a GPS with Tracks 4 Africa as park maps are not available.
We return to camp in the evening for our last bushveld dinner together.
After a hearty breakfast, we say our goodbyes. For those of you in a rush to get home, you can leave Zimbabwe and enter Botswana at the nearby Pandamatenga border post (100km south of Kasane). If you have more time on your hands, you might want to head up north and visit Victoria Falls.