Detailed Itinerary- 9 days/ 8 nights
Harare, Nyanga, Gonarezhou, Great Zim, Matopos, Hwange, Vic Falls
Day 1- Harare
Harare is the capital city of Zimbabwe and the most populous in the nation. Formerly known as Salisbury, the city was founded by the Cecil John Rhodes led pioneer column. It is the country’s leading commercial, communications and trade center. The city’s favorable climate earned it the name “sunshine city”. Before engaging in any safari it is worth hanging around in Harare to sample its various attractions.
The tour will start off at the Balancing rocks
The Balancing rocks are quite amazing. They are geomorphological features of igneous rocks found in many parts of Zimbabwe. The formations are of natural occurrence in a perfectly balanced state without other support. They are simply a beautiful natural works of art as the giant boulders are stacked on top of each other. The Balancing Rocks have been used as a metaphorical theme to explain the importance of development coupled with preserving the fragile environment of Zimbabwe. The rocks are shaped extraordinarily. There are some enigmatic San rock art sites worth visiting in the area as well. The formations are of natural occurrence in a perfectly balanced state without other support. Their popularity grew when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe featured the formations on the last series of Zimbabwean banknotes. On this tour, these rocks will leave you with a wow moment.
With a lunch break in-between, the next activity will be a township tour of Highfields, with special emphasis on the once Robert Mugabe home riddled with bullet holes from an incident during the Rhodesian Bush War.
The next stop will be at Domboshava
You will get a feel of the most spectacular granite geological formations during your tour of Domboshava. The site is a short drive from Harare with several rock formations at the top of the hill which have been formed by natural erosion. The name is derived from the Shona word “dombo” meaning “hill” and “shava” meaning “red”, which is literally translated as red rock. Domboshava comprises of massive granite dome containing shelters with notable rock paintings. The rock paintings include fine animal and human depictions of several different styles. Some of these figures are believed to be San representations of the Bantu speaking people.
You will have dinner at a local restaurant and check in at one of Harare’s exquisite accommodation facilities.
After an early breakfast you will leave Harare and depart for Nyanga.
Nyanga is primarily a tourist town located in Manicaland province. It offers a variety of activities to visitors from mountain hikes, golfing and fishing. It attracts a lot of tourists based on the presence of wonders like the Mutarazi Falls, Nyanga Mountains, Nyanga National Park and five star hotels like Troutbek. Nyanga also holds the most extensive artefact collection and stone structures in the nation. This is the perfect stop-over to explore the surroundings with the main gate to the Nyanga National Park just a few kilometers out of town. Nyanga is suitable to visit at any time of the year and there are souvenir stalls, shops and restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets.
Upon arrival in Nyanga, the tour will commence with Mutarazi Falls activities.
The spectacular views of Mutarazi Falls will really make for an enjoyable and memorable experience. The Mutarazi Falls is Zimbabwe’s highest waterfall with a 762 m tiered horsetail waterfall. They are believed to be the 2nd highest in Africa and 6th in the world. Mutarazi Falls occur at a point where the Mutarazi River flows over the edge of the eastern escarpment of Zimbabwe’s highlands and are generally viewed by visitors from the top of the falls, a heart stopping sight, as the river flows over the cliff face 762 metres in two almost indistinguishable tiers into the Honde Valley.
You will watch the spectacular Falls and have an opportunity to engage in a skywalk which will give you quite an adrenaline rush as you view the Falls. This will be a good taste for fear of heights and your sense of adventure
Soon after lunch you put on your hiking boots and head for a hiking expedition at Mount Nyangani
Located within Nyanga National Park, Mount Nyangani is the highest mountain In Zimbabwe with a height of 2,592m. The Majestic and mystic Mount Nyangani has such amazing views from just a few levels up. It is a great place to see Zimbabwean wildlife in its natural habitat with amazing and equally breathtaking views.
The climb will be a worthy exercise for you as you get to see all the amazing panoramic views the mountain has to offer.
You will also visit the world’s view in the Connemara lakes area of the Eastern Highlands mountain range above Troutbeck. This is a must for every visitor in Nyanga as it is the highest point in the country. From an altitude of 2000m the escarpment drops 600m to the plain below offering you stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The day comes to an end and you check in and have dinner at a local accommodation facility.
Breakfast is served and you head to Gonarezhou
Situated on south eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe’s second largest national park. It is famous for its unspoiled wilderness, rugged and beautiful scenery as well as wildlife. Gonarezhou means “place of elephants”. The place is a park of dense bush, open grasslands, spectacular cliffs and giant trees. Nearby is the winding waters of Save, Runde and Mwenze rivers. The three rivers cuts their courses through the Park, forming pools and natural oasis from which hundreds of birds and wildlife gather to feed and drink. The place is dedicated to conservation, biodiversity and economic development of surrounding communities.
Lunch will be served at Gonarezhou
At later hours of the day you will go for Game viewing
In the midst of Gonarezhou National Park you will realize that the park has lots of beautiful animals to see from cheetah, wild dogs, lions, eland, warthogs, zebras, buffaloes and not to miss out are the big elephants. With beautiful scenery, green and lush vegetation, flowing rivers and lots of wild animals, a game drive will you a thrilling sensation you will live to reminisce on for the rest of your life. As you drive along, the beautiful red sandstone Chilojo cliffs are worth a visit. These are perhaps the most striking feature of the vast landscapes of Gonarezhou and are particularly impressive at sunset.
You will have dinner at a local accommodation and check in for the night.
An early breakfast will suffice as you prepare to go on a walking safari
This will be an active adventure that will take you through some of the wildest, most rugged and scenically beautiful corners of Gonarezhou National Park. You will get close to nature examining creatures large and small as well as learning about the intricate ways of the natural world. This will be a truly authentic and totally natural walking experience unique to Zimbabwe. You will have packed lunch along with you and arrive back at camp in the mid-afternoon thereby ensuring sufficient time to relax and bathe before sunset.
Dinner will be served and you enjoy a well-deserved sleep.
You will wake up early in the morning and head for Great Zimbabwe.
You will arrive mid-morning, take some rest and prepare yourself for a tour of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Great Zimbabwe Masvingo
The Great Zimbabwe ruins are located approximately 30 kilometers from Masvingo Town. Built between the 11th and 14th centuries, the ruins cover over 722 hectares. It was a true force to be reckoned with in the Iron Age and was a center of trade ruled by a hereditary monarchy of elites. It is the largest stone structure in precolonial Southern Africa. Over six centuries later, the up to five meters high walls constructed without mortar walls can still be seen, a true miracle as it stands. It is now a national monument of Zimbabwe, conserved and looked after as a proud piece of heritage. This is one of the nation’s most treasured sights so much that the country was named after it. The local name was “Dzimba dza mabwe”, meaning house of stone or simply Zimbabwe. No visit to Zimbabwe would be complete without a visit to this magnificent site.
You will also experience the Karanga traditional way of life at the Karanga traditional village located at Great Zimbabwe site.
As the day comes to an end you will have dinner at Lodge at the Ancient City and have a well-deserved rest.
Breakfast will be served and soon after you will depart for Matopos
A tour of Matopos will leave you mesmerized with memories that will last forever. Matopo Hills is an area of granite kopjes formed over 2 billion years ago weathered into fantastic shapes and deep valleys. The hills are associated with folklore and tradition and are honored as dwelling places of the spirits of the departed Ndebele chiefs. There are also gigantic caves with rock paintings from the stone and Iron Ages. You will also visit Cecil John Rhode’s grave, the site where he described as the “world’s view”. Cecil John Rhodes was the founder of the British South Africa Company which was responsible for the colonization of Zimbabwe in the 1890s.
The afternoon will be spent at Matopos, thereafter you will check in and have dinner at a local Bulawayo accommodation.
Early morning, after having breakfast, you will depart for Hwange
Located in Matebeleland North, Hwange is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe and one of the 10 largest in Africa occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. It has a greater variety of species over 100 and about 400 species of birds recorded. Animals to expect include, lions, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hyenas and wild dogs. The elephants, however are what really defines Hwange. It is believed to have been the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior- King Mzilikazi in the 19th century and it was set aside as a National Park in 1929.
Afternoon Game Drive
Game drives at Hwange offer an experience that showcases the best of the Park and its concessions. You will have an opportunity to encounter the big 5 (Lions, leopards, rhino, elephants and cape buffalo) which roam freely through-out the park. More than 100 species of mammal and more than 400 types of birds can be spotted. No visit to Hwange can be complete without a game drive.
The rest of the afternoon will be spent relaxing at your camp watching animals roaming around and doing some bird watching as well.
Dinner will be served and you will have a rest at Hwange Main Camp.
You will have breakfast and travel to Victoria Falls
Located on the southern bank of the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls is a town in the province of Matabeleland North. It is home to the renowned mighty Victoria Falls popularly known by the locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning “smoke that thunders”. The Falls were named after Queen Victoria by David Livingstone a Scottish explorer. Whilst it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1, 708 meters and height of 108 meters which results in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. There are numerous activities to add excitement and adventure to a trip to Victoria Falls. You can go white water rafting, hiking, bungee jumping and so much more interesting activities.
Upon arrival at Victoria Falls you will go for a tour of the mighty Victoria Falls.
You will walk through the rainforest and spot many surprises, some of them being the spectacular 17 viewpoints that give panoramic views of the entire waterfall as well as the Vic Falls railway bridge.
You will have opportunities to engage in extra activities which include:
Walk with Lions
Cultural village tour
As the day ends, you will have dinner and sleep at a local lodge, hotel or self-catering facility.
After an early breakfast, you will catch a flight back marking the end of the fascinating round trip.
Chinhoyi, Kariba, Manapools: 4 Days/ 3 Nights
You will depart from Harare to Chinhoyi by road.
Chinhoyi is a town located in Mashonaland West Province in Zimbabwe. It is also the administrative capital of the province. The town has a great historical significance attached to it in Zimbabwe. It has also been celebrated for its natural wonders which include the Chinhoyi Caves.
Chinhoyi caves are a geographical spectacle which consists of a system of tunnels and caverns. Chinhoyi caves are synonymously known as ‘Chirorodziva’ by the local people which means “the pool of the fallen” a name which was derived from an incident which took place in the 1930’s when the Nguni tribe who were moving northwards flung people into the pool. One interesting feature of the caves is the “wonder hole”. The 150 foot walls of the wonder hole drop vertically down to the sleeping pool, which is filled with water of an unbelievable blue and crystal clear. There are several underwater passages that lead from the sleeping pool and back to the main pool. The sleeping pool is a deep mysterious body of water which is also associated with myths and many local Shona people believe in superstitions and seldom venture near the water.
Upon arrival you will venture into a guided tour of the culturally significant Chinhoyi Caves.
The tour will consist of an exploration of the dark caves, the mysterious sleeping pool, the park’s flora (which consists mainly of indigenous species and a few exotics) and bird watching of the not so numerous bird species.
You will have a quick lunch break at one of Chinhoyi’s local restaurants.
Soon after lunch you will proceed to Kariba
Kariba is a small but spread out resort town. Built at the site of the hydro- electric dam constructed across the Zambezi River, it is a focus for tourism. The name Kariba is believed to be a corruption of a local word “kariva” which means “little trap.” Kariba is known for gorgeous sunsets, beautiful scenery, impressive game viewing and variety of spots for fishing. Kariba hosts a variety of accommodation options including camping and lodges to luxury safari camps and houseboats. The vastness of the lake allows for multi-day excursions from one end of the lake to the other in one of Kariba houseboats.
Upon arrival you will head straight to the Kariba dam wall.
Kariba Dam Wall
You will take a short drive to Lake Kariba’s dam wall which will allow you to experience the magnitude of the 128 meters tall and 579 meters wide structure. Built between 1955-1959, Lake Kariba is ranked among the largest man-made lakes in the world and the second in Africa. A tour of this majestic water body will give you vast opportunities to see the splendors of the mighty Zambezi River. The dam wall has six flood gates which are a spectacle when opened and huge columns of water thunder into the Kariba Gorge underneath.
You will check in at a local accommodation and have dinner.
After an early breakfast you will go for a tour of the resort town at Kariba heights
This view point will be a worthy visit for you, offering magnificent views of the dam and the waters impounded behind it. This is a particularly spectacular look out point located on a hill 600 meters above the lake. The heights will give you the opportunity to really appreciate the sheer size of the man-made lake as you get to appreciate the breathtaking scenery as well. The panoramic view from here, over the lake and across to the Matusadona hills, is just out of this world. The heights is a suburb of Kariba town with lovely views and it is a place with a collection of curio stalls where you will get yourself souvenirs. You will also visit the beautiful chapel of Santa Barbara built in memory of the workers who died during the construction of the dam.
You will have an option to engage in any one of the following extra activities:
Crocodile Farm visit
At later hours of the day you will depart from Kariba to Mana pools by road.
Situated in the extreme north of Zimbabwe, on the Zambezi River, Manapools is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a large area without physical boundaries and it comprises of a wide range of large mammals with over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is home to a wonderful mix of grassy floodplains, woodlands and riverine forest. The name “mana” means four in the local Shona Language and refers to the four large pools situated in the interior of the park. The hippopotamus, aquatic birds and crocodiles form the majority of the aquatic wildlife. Manapools is an area of outstanding natural beauty and phenomenal wildlife. It offers unique guided and self- guided walks amongst many wild animals, excellent canoeing and river fishing.
You will arrive in Mana Pools approximately around mid-afternoon. You will go for an evening game drive.
A game drive will give you a truly immersing experience in the remote and beautiful game reserve that is home to an impressive species of wildlife. The most legendary safari guides will take you through the drive giving you local knowledge regarding animal identification, local history and vegetation. You will most definitely feel the essence of the game drive as you get up close encounters with wildlife at Mana Pools National Park.
You will check in at a local lodge where dinner will be served.
You will have breakfast and thereafter go for a guided walk
Walking safaris in Mana Pools have been conducted in the area since 1963, when the park was opened. You will experience the beauty of Mana Pools with its sparse vegetation allowing for good visibility and close encounters with species such as wild dogs, elephants or even lions. The guides are among the most trained and competent guides on the continent. They will make your walk fascinating and in addition protect you from any unforeseen harm.
After lunch you will go for canoeing
The expedition to Mana Pools would not be complete without canoeing in the mighty Zambezi River.
By taking a canoe trip you will get a chance to experience all the stunning and charming expeditions Zambezi River has to offer. Canoeing is a superb way for you to see the Zambezi valley and particularly Mana Pools National Park. It is mostly relaxing and is an utterly magical experience as you get surrounded by the wilderness and the mighty Zambezi waters in one of the classic African safari experience.
Dinner will be served thereafter.
You will have breakfast and prepare to return back to Harare.
The journey comes to an end and you depart from Mana Pools.
Vic Falls, Chobe Tour Itinerary- 4 Days/ 3 Nights
Day 1- Departure from Harare to Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls also known as the “smoke that thunders” is the largest single curtain of falling water in the world with almost 70% of exquisite views seen from the Zimbabwe rainforest. The Zambezi River plummets over a cliff flowing through a series of gorges. On the edge of the sheer drop is the Devil’s pool, a natural infinity pool. Columns of spray can be seen from miles away. At the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below. The Falls were named after Queen Victoria by Scottish missionary and famous explorer David Livingstone.
You will board a flight at Robert Mugabe International Airport.
Upon arrival at Victoria Falls airport one of our guides will meet you and transfer you to our shuttle which will take you to Vic Falls rest camp.
You will experience the sheer beauty and mesmerizing strength of the majestic Victoria Falls in a tour that will leave you with fond memories.
Tour of the Falls
You will reach the edge of the falls by passing through the cool, moist tunnels of the rainforest. The forest is almost a fairy land of exotic plants thriving in the humidity. There are concrete paths you will follow that will stop you trampling away the lip of the gorge. You will be able to hire rain coats if you do not want to get soaked during your tour of Victoria Falls, but it would also be a good idea to get drenched by nature’s own rain from the Zambezi River.
Lunch will be served at Rainforest Café. Located just inside the entrance gate to Victoria Falls National Park, the café serves hearty meals with a real Zimbabwean taste.
Breakfast will be served at Vic Falls rest camp.
You will go for a township tour of Chinotimba Township, the oldest residential settlement in Victoria Falls with a local guide. You will get first-hand experience of the normal day to day ways of living of the local people with stops at the fruit & vegetable and flea markets. You will be given an opportunity to interact with the local people and share experiences.
After the township tour, you will be taken for curio shopping at Elephant walk shopping and artist village. This is a place with a vibrant mix of local artists as well as artisan studios with a wide array of arts, crafts and galleries.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
After lunch you will be given an opportunity to engage in extra activities such as bungee jump, sunset cruise, elephant back ride or gorge swing back at the Zambezi River just to wind up your tour in Vic Falls.
Dinner will be served at Vic Falls rest camp
After an early breakfast, you will set off for Kasane Botswana.
Kasane in Botswana lies close to Africa’s four corners that is the almost meeting point of four countries, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. It also lies at the confluence of two major rivers, that is, Zambezi and Chobe. Situated on the north eastern corner of Botswana it serves as the administrative center of the Chobe district. It is the gateway to Chobe National Park and a jumping off point excursions to or from Victoria Falls. It has lots of game lodges and resort hotels for anyone passing though Zimbabwe, Zambia or Namibia.
A boat cruise at Chobe River, will mark the first activity in Kasane.
You will go on a river cruise along the Chobe River and will most definitely bear witness to the abundant wildlife on the banks, including large herds of elephants coming down for a drink. Chobe boat cruise will give you a perfect opportunity to experience the Chobe National park. You will be lucky also to spot hippos and crocodiles basking in the sun. Birding is also excellent along the river with frequent sightings of fish eagles, kingfishers and water birds. This provides a perfect opportunity for photography.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Kasane.
After a sumptuous lunch you will engage yourself in an interaction with the wild as you go on a game drive at Chobe National Park.
Chobe National Park
Located in the north of Botswana, Chobe National Park is the country’s third largest park. It has one of the greatest concentrations of game in all of Africa. It is well known for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo which converge along the Chobe riverfront in the dry months. It is also known for having a population of lions which prey on juvenile elephants. Chobe National Park has rich ecosystems, diverse landscapes and an almost unparalleled abundance of wildlife and birdlife all centered around the stunning Chobe river. The floodable grasslands of Chobe attract numerous bird species and migrating zebras.
You will witness and interact at close proximity with the wild in a game drive.
Dinner will be served at local accommodation facility.
As the tour comes to an end you will have an early breakfast, checkout and catch a flight back at Kasane International Airport.