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  • Hayley Idensohn

Portraits of Zimbabwe - Along the mighty Zambezi River and beyond.

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

y 5: Chirundu14-day (13 nights) guided Safari through the untamed wilderness of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is famous for its unspoiled wilderness with unparalleled opportunities for wildlife observation in a natural environment without crowds. Adventure, culture, history, a wonder of the world – and world heritage sites await you.

Take a step back in time into yester-year of a by-gone era of natural wildernesses and remote rural village and authentic culture. Partake in experiences without fences, borders and restrictions – off the beaten track!! Where wildlife is free to roam across vast expanses.

On this 12-day self-drive guided tour in off-road vehicles, you will explore spectacular areas off normal routes, together with your professional private armed safari guide, looking for unique encounters with the "Big 5" and visit some famous highlights. Zimbabwe is rated to have the best game guides in Africa, and the walking safaris are particularly highly rated. Guides have undertaken stringent training, not only to ensure your protection but to further your experience and education of the land that you traverse.

For game walks and drives in the Mana Pool National Park and Hwange National Park, you will encounter elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion and, with a little luck, leopard and wild dog. Watch hippos on a boat cruise on vast Lake Kariba and end your journey with the sight of the thundering volume of water that is Victoria Falls which will awaken all your senses. Immerse yourself in the fascinating beauty of the landscapes along the Zambezi and experience the hospitality of the people who live there. In spite of all the adventure, moments of surreal peace and quietness with just the wildlife as your neighbours - will arise again and again.

For an authentic safari experience, your private safari guide is available throughout the trip. He will share his extensive knowledge about the African fauna and flora and will give you an insight into the art of reading animal tracks and signs. He will teach you how to “survive” in the wilds of Africa – how to make a fire, what to eat and a variety of skills!

As with such an intense nature journey, we spend nights in comfortable safari or tented camps amidst the magical nature and listen to the sounds of the African wilderness.

An unforgettable safari at the pulse of nature through Zimbabwe, which is blessed with incredible wildlife and scenic beauty. Enjoy pure Africa - while you reflect the experiences of the day under the most beautiful starry sky around the campfire and share your stories of the day.

Day 1 - Arrival – Harare - The adventure begins

Depending on arrival time either you will stay one night in the capital city Harare or head off directly into your wildlife experience. Upon arrival in Harare, you will be welcomed at the airport by our team. In the afternoon, there is the possibility of an orientation tour through the city to experience the first impressions of African everyday life. Immerse yourself in the culture of the country and marvel at the markets and life on the streets.

(Jacana Gardens Guest Lodge or similar,1N, -/-/D) Day 2 - 4: Mana Pools National Park - the unspoiled wilderness- up close and personal

(Camp Mwinilunga Safaris Tents, 3N, B/L/D, +/- 400km, appr. 4-6 h)

After breakfast, you will drive to one of the most beautiful national parks in Southern Africa - Mana Pools National Park - which has been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site since 1984. You will spend 3 nights in the middle of fascinating nature directly on the Zambezi River in safari tents, with no fences and up close and personal experiences with a myriad of wildlife, including the giants of Africa – elephants which are very relaxed around humans and come right into your camp. Explore the exciting area on game drives with your private safari guide and have the unique opportunity to walk through an African national park to be as close to the wilderness as possible. Elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, zebra, antelope, and also predators such as lion, wild dog, hyena and leopard are often sighted. Bird lovers have more than 450 species to look out for! Alternatively, you will be able to observe the animal world from canoes on the river or try your luck at fishing. Reflect on the day’s events around the evening campfire while listening to the background sounds of the African bush. Gaze at the stars and become one with nature.

Day 5: Chirundu

(Camp Chirundu Safaris Tents, 2N, B/L/D, +/-80 km, appr. 2 h)

Today you drive into the Chirundu Safari area, which is located in the middle of a private game reserve directly at the Zambezi River. In the afternoon, there is the possibility to observe elephants from the pool or visit the crocodile farm. The day ends with a "sundowner" while fishing or relaxing at the campfire. Enjoy the view of the picturesque Zambian mountains. Optionally, this is an excellent opportunity to get close to the hippos on the Zambezi River from the safety of a motor boat.

Your guide will embark on a mini survival course with you – showing you how to purify water, and make a fire and much more . . . .

Optional activity (extra cost) is a scenic flight in a light aircraft.

This would be along the river – and will teach you about anti-poaching

Day 6 - 7: Gache Gache - Hippos are your guests

(Tents, 2N, B/L/D; +/-200 km, appr. 4 h)

After a delicious English breakfast, you will be on the way to the campsite at Gache Gache Lodge on the shores of Lake Kariba, the fourth largest man-made lake in the world. Halfway through the route you will visit the Kariba Dam Wall, which holds back the mighty Zambezi creating Lake Kariba which is 220 km long and 40 km wide. Look out from the 128 metre high dam wall. After another two-hour drive through the Charara Safari area you will reach the campsite in the afternoon and have a spectacular view over vast Lake Kariba. The lodge's bar is a welcome gathering place for guests and hippo. Optionally, you have the possibility to catch the famous predator of Lake Kariba - the Tigerfish. Fall asleep to the grunts and snorts of the hippos.

Day 8: Visit the Local Tonga Chief

(Tents, 1N, D/B; +/-300 km, appr. 6 h)

Incorporated in our safari is a night experiencing the local culture of the Tonga people in an authentic village – well off the beaten track of normal tourists. You will visit the local school, and all guests have the opportunity to contribute to 2 rural schools if you so desire.

You will handpick local produce, and take part in every aspect in preparation of a traditional meal. You will then spend the evening with the chief, while eating your hand prepared meal, and you can assist with the cooking. The chief will regale you in the local myths, traditions and culture. You will also get to experience the great tastes of many other traditional foods. Fall asleep to the ethnic sounds of Africa.

Day 9 – 10: Hwange National Park - the balancing act of the giraffes

(Tents, 4N, B/L/D, +/-260 km, appr. 3-4 h)

You will depart early in the early morning for Hwange National Park, which is known for its excellent variety and numbers of wildlife. There are giraffe, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo herds, zebras, antelopes and a wealth of bird species. With a little bit of luck, you can also see lions, hyenas and leopards. Track one of the big on foot! An enthralling, adrenalin-pumping experience! 2 nights will be spent at campsites in Hwange National park. Two wonderful safari days with unforgettable game drives and stopping at special spots or at waterholes where your picnic baskets await you.

Day 11 - Victoria Falls - "The smoke that thunders”

(Lokuthula Lodge Apartment or similar, 1N, B/L/D, +/-200 km, appr. 2 ½ h)

Early in the morning, head for a natural wonder of the world - the world-famous Victoria Falls. Iis no wonder that Doctor David Livingstone remarked “scenes so lovely that they must have stopped angels in their flight”. In the morning, enjoy the impressive "smoke that thunders" and admire the breathtaking views and the sheer volume of water. After an extensive tour along the waterfalls, you can travel along the riverine route and stop at the big tree (baobab) which was the meeting place of the early explorers. Learn about the history and culture of the area. You may stroll around the nearby colourful souvenir market, and learn about the Ndau jewellery factory (silver and crocodile skin) which is exported to Louis Vitton outlets in USA. Or enjoy lunch at one of the many hotels or high tea at the famous colonial Victoria Falls hotel overlooking the gorge and the spray of the Falls (extra cost). In the late afternoon, you can enjoy sundowners on a boat trip while taking in the incredible sunsets on the mighty Zambezi.

Your journey ends with a culinary highlight and African drumming and dancing at the Boma restaurant. Enjoy warthog stew and buffalo steaks, “mopane” worms and much more!!

Day 12: Farewell to an exciting trip in Zimbabwe.

After breakfast, you will be taken to Victoria Falls is the adventure capital of Southern African and you may want to participate in some of the many activities, for example white water rafting, bungee jumping, helicopter flight of angels and much more – details can be supplied on the various options available.

You may choose to extend you stay in Zimbabwe and visit other parts or even cross over the border to Livingstone, Zambia or visit the famous Chobe National Park in Botswana – details available on request.

Transfer to Victoria Falls International Airport and depart from Zimbabwe.

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