Exploring Tourism in Zimbabwe
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16 Days Essential Zimbabwe Safari Tour

16 Days Essential Zimbabwe Safari Tour Packages
Explore some of Zimbabwe's best game parks and spectacular attractions, from the Mana Pools National Park in the heart of the Zambezi Valley, with spectacular views of the river floodplains and mountains of the Rift . .
Country: Zimbabwe
City: Mana Pools National Park
Duration: 16 Day(s) - 15 Night(s)
Tour Category: Adventure Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

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Price on Request

Package Itinerary

Explore some of Zimbabwe's best game parks and spectacular attractions, from the Mana Pools National Park in the heart of the Zambezi Valley, with spectacular views of the river floodplains and mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment to Hwange National Park, the largest park. Zimbabwe is a fascinating country.

There are interesting facts about its history, culture, and geography from the ancient Munhumutapa Empire, the awesome citadel of Great Zimbabwe, the quaint architecture of the Saunyama in Nyanga, and the wreathy moisture of the Eastern Highlands, the Bridal Falls in Chimanimani, the mighty roar of the Victoria Falls, and the expanse of lake Kariba and the dam wall, and the thrill of visiting Africa’s best game parks, and the rare experience of walking with lions… Take your pick, and WildRoutes Adventure can organize an unforgettable adventure trip for you.

Trip Highlights

Victoria Falls – Viewed from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of Zambezi.

Elephant Ride - Go on an Elephant Back and learn about their natural behavior.

Walking With Lions is a unique wildlife encounter, walk alongside ‘young’ lions.

Hwange National Park - Huge elephant population.

Matobo National Park – spectacular granite rock formations and a wealth of ancient rock paintings.

Great Zimbabwe - the largest complex of ruins in Africa south of the pyramids in Egypt.

Eastern Highlands – The World's View offers a panoramic view across northern Zimbabwe

Kariba and Matusadona NP - One of Africa’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries.

Standard itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Victoria Falls

Met on arrival in Victoria Falls and transferred to the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, a classic, historic hotel made famous by the Royal British visit in 1947. The hotel overlooks the Victoria Falls bridge and private pathways along the gorge overlook Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, we will meet for dinner.

The Hotel: This gracious, old-world hotel offers Edwardian grandeur and excellent service and accommodation just 10 10-minute walk from the Falls. The hotel has 161 air-conditioned rooms, restaurants, entertainment, pool and other facilities.

Overnight Victoria Falls hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: In Victoria Falls; Elephant Safari, Helicopter Flight of Angels, Falls Tour

Activities: We start the day off with a safari which we can enjoy from the vantage point of an elephant’s back. After our safari, we take to the sky for a bird’s eye view over magnificent Victoria Falls. The aerial view is unforgettable and is the only viewpoint from where you can visually take in all of Victoria Falls.

After lunch, we explored the falls on foot. Feel the thunder, be touched by the mist, and enjoy endless great views as you walk the path hovering up close to the falls. Our late afternoon activities are filled with cultural highlights from a market and village tour.

Overnight Victoria Falls hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: In Victoria Falls; Walking with lions, Zambezi Sunset Cruise

Today we will have a unique wildlife encounter as we visit a reserve where we can walk alongside ‘young’ lions. The lions are under the watchful eyes of the lion keepers. Late afternoon, we set out on the Zambezi River for a relaxing and beautiful sunset cruise.

Enjoy your favorite beverage while keeping an eye out for hippos, elephants, crocodiles, and abundant bird life.

Overnight Victoria Falls hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Drive to Hwange National Park; PM Game Drive

Today we depart Victoria Falls and head out to Hwange National Park, arguably Zimbabwe’s best game reserve. Enjoy a relaxing lunch overlooking the watering hole, which often attracts wildlife visitors. In the late afternoon, we set out on our first game drive to search for the “Big Five” - lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, and leopard - as well as eland, the largest antelope, and also the elusive Sable and much, much more. Afternoon game drives in a Safari vehicle.

The Camp: Davison’s Camp is a classic tented camp, with its nine twin units tastefully hidden beneath a grove of false mopane trees, overlooking a waterhole and open plain. Named after the founder of Hwange National Park and its first warden, Ted Davison, the camp’s extremely productive waterhole attracts a variety of plains game and predators. The camp also boasts a family room and a separate main area, comprising a lounge and dining room –offering a wonderful bush experience.

Overnight Classic Tented Camp Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: In Hwange National Park; AM and PM game drives

Activities: Today we enjoy 2 game drives with guided walks through the concession to maximize wildlife-viewing opportunities here. We explore the superb wildlife in the park. We set out very early morning and late afternoon as these are the best times for wildlife viewing as the animals are most active during the cooler times and often rest during the heat of midday.

Overnight Classic Tented Camp Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Drive to Matobo National Park; Visit Khami Ruins en Route

After a morning game viewing, we depart for Zimbabwe’s oldest national park, Matobo (UNESCO). En route, we pass through Zimbabwe’s second capital, Bulawayo, where we have lunch followed by a visit to nearby Khami ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once the capital of the kingdom of Butua, the ruins include pavement and decorated stone walls of the royal enclosure dating from the 13th century. We complete our journey to Matobo, with its beautiful rock formations.

The Camp: The Camp Amalinda consists of seven granite-under-thatch lodges with African-themed decor, private balconies, and en suite facilities. The design of the rooms means they are cool during the summer and warm in winter, using the natural rock as an insulator.

The main communal area of the camp has its natural rock pool with sundeck, while the restaurant is located in a cave-style boma lit by lanterns at night and complete with a swimming pool. Drinks and sundowners are served in the Leopard Lounge and Bar.

Overnight Standard Lodge Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7" In Matobo NP, bushman paintings, Rhodes grave, rhino track

Activities: The camp is within easy reach of the Matobo Hills National Park where wildlife drives or walking safaris can be organized, while the area is also home to one of the highest concentrations of birds of prey in the world. Matobo Park is 423 square kilometers and has approximately 3,000 San (bushman) art paintings, some more than 15,000 years old.

Today’s excitement starts with a morning hike to see some of these impressive, ancient San paintings, We later visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. Zimbabwe, known as Rhodesia up until 1979, was named after Rhodes. In the afternoon, we enjoy a game drive and search on foot for resident black and white rhinos with your knowledgeable tracker.

Overnight Standard Camp Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Great Zimbabwe Ruins; PM Monument Trek

We depart for the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. The Great Zimbabwe ruins (UNESCO) are impressive, built over hundreds of years between the 11th and 14th centuries. The site is massive, covering almost 1800 acres, and includes some incredible architectural details in the staircases, interlocking walls, granite boulders, and mortar-less walls.

The site also includes a small museum with houses, artifacts, displays of building techniques, and the history of the site. The modern state takes its present name, Zimbabwe, from this national monument. The beautiful setting also has resident impala and eland.

The Hotel: The Great Zimbabwe Hotel is a quaint property situated a short walk from the Great Zimbabwe ruins. All of the 38 en suite rooms are simple, yet well-appointed, with a satellite television, telephone, tea and coffee facilities, and views of the lush garden courtyard. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, bar, curio shop, swimming pool, and tennis court, and the hotel is also able to arrange guided tours of the ruins.

Activities: We take our time to explore both the ruins in the valley and the so-called acropolis on the hill, and marvel at the skill of those ancient architects and stone masons. According to historians, it was a sophisticated complex of buildings that could have housed over 40,000 people at its peak. ‘Archaeological findings have shown that it was a religious and temporal capital of great significance. The tour will be presented by local experts.

Overnight Standard Lodge/hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Drive to the Eastern Highlands

This morning we depart for Nyanga, in the Eastern Highlands, which are Zimbabwe’s highest mountains. As scenery becomes more mountainous we pass through the tea, coffee, and sugar plantations. In the afternoon, we have a guided tour of a tea plantation. The area is at a higher elevation which provides a cooler climate, perfect for tea farming.

The Hotel: Pine Tree Inn, is situated in a forested valley in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe, the Pine Tree Inn's alpine location, landscaped gardens, and accommodations offer panoramic views across the Nyanga area to the distant mountains.

The inn features 14 en suite rooms with simple cottage-style decor, a restaurant serving a variety of international dishes, a communal lounge, a lawn terrace, and a cocktail bar. Many of the area's main attractions are within easy reach of the property.

Overnight Standard hotel Included meals: Breakfast, and dinner

Day 10: In Nyanga; Exploring the Eastern Highlands

Activities: On our second day we visited the surrounding areas, which contain many Stone Age and Iron Age archaeological remains such as pit structures, stone forts, terraces, and pathways.

We will also visit the best-known viewpoint the World’s View and from here, your eyes move naturally to the horizon-wide vistas of mountains, green forests, and plains, and the clear air encourages even the least energetic visitor to stroll along winding footpaths and through fragrant pinewoods.

In Nyanga National Park, we will visit the Nyangwe (Mare) Dam, and view Zimbabwe's highest mountain, Mt Nyangani (2592m ).

We will also see some ancient ruins, and a site museum, 11 km north of Nyanga. We will wind up the day with a visit to the Nyangwe Fort, its grey stone enlivened by bright aloes, which is one of Nyanga's many ancient fortified sites where Man lived long ago.

Overnight Standard Lodge Included meals: Breakfast, and dinner

Day 11: Drive to Harare, PM City Tour

After breakfast, we leave the highlands and drive towards the capital city of Harare. The metropolitan area is home to over 3 million inhabitants.

Activities: Our guided city tour includes the city’s Kopje history, Centenary Park, the botanical gardens, and the balancing rocks in rocks.

The Hotel: This charming old-world atmosphere of the original Cape Dutch-style building, which dates back to 1911, makes the Bronte Hotel a popular place to stay in Harare. It is situated in a delightfully quiet setting of colorful gardens surrounded by Jacaranda trees - only a 10-minute walk from the city center. There are 123 double bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms, a satellite television, complimentary wireless internet connection, and private verandas overlooking the gardens.

The Palms restaurant offers both a la carte and table d'hôte menus, while the Wild Date bar offers a variety of drinks in a peaceful garden setting.

Overnight Luxury hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Drive to Lake Kariba

We drive to the west to Lake Kariba ( 360km) from Harare. We take the trip by road via a scenic drive crossing a range of mountains known as the Great Dyke, which are rich in chrome. Lake Kariba is an artificial inland sea

that covers 282 km2 of the Zambezi Valley and was built to produce hydroelectricity. It is the continent's third-largest dam after Aswan in Egypt and Cahora Bassa in Mozambique. It is now a very popular resort lake with island-studded water, fringed by mountains.

This enchanting lake is a year-round source of water for abundant animal and bird life, a playground for water-sport enthusiasts, and home to the most challenging fresh-water fishing in Africa! On arrival, we will check into our Houseboat.

The Houseboat: We explore the lake from our houseboat, which serves as our hotel and relaxing transportation as we explore Lake Kariba. Keep an eye open for hippos and crocodiles.

Overnight Standard Houseboat Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Explore Lake Kariba

Enjoy a relaxing day on Lake Kariba as we continue exploring the lake on our houseboat but we will also have speedboats for game viewing along the coast.

Overnight Houseboat, Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: In Matusadona Park; Game Drives

Today we transfer from our houseboat to a safari vehicle as we explore Matusadona National Park. It was in Matusadona where most of the animals were restored to safety during the building of the Kariba Dam – and freedom.

The bird life of Matusadona is one of its outstanding features and for the fish eagle in particular, the remnants of the drowned forests of Kariba provide an abundant bonus of nesting sites. All-day game viewing activity by boat and or Safari vehicle. When we finish our game drive, we return to our houseboat.

Overnight Houseboat, Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Drive to Harare; farewell dinner

Today we leave our houseboat and transfer by speedboat to our vehicle and return to Harare. We enjoyed our farewell dinner in the capital.

Overnight Luxury hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: End of the Tour

Transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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