Zimbabwe is a country of untamed beauty, thriving wildlife and welcoming people. Visit the breath-taking Victoria Falls from the Zambian side with the proud locals, end in Botswana; a country of great parallels and contradictions, and you’ve got a well-rounded trip that ticks all the boxes.
Itinerary in Brief
Simply one of the most incredible and authentic safaris for those that have more time to explore Southern Africa and looking to be blown away. Experience the best of Mana Pools, Lake Kariba, Hwange, Victoria Falls, the Linyanti swamp and the Okavango – all in one!
This 17 night Full safari circuit starts with your arrival in Harare where you will catch a charter flight to Mana Pools National Park. You will spend a total of 4 nights split between two incredible, yet totally different intimate bush camps. Kanga camp being home to the armchair safari – you can expect the abundant wildlife to come directly to camp where the last remaining waterhole in a vast area is found! And Zambezi Expeditions – the home to an immersive walking safari experience and phenomenal wildlife viewing along the banks of the mighty Zambezi river. After Mana Pools another flight has you landing on the remote shores of Lake Kariba where you will spend 2 nights at the luxurious Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, boasting surreal views over the vast lake. From here another flight takes you to Hwange National Park where you will spend 3 nights in the award winning Somalisa Camp, known for its swimming pool that is frequented by elephant’s in the dry season! Somalisa is also a fantastic base from which to explore Hwange in search of the areas abundant wildlife, in particular the lions. After Hwange a flight and transfer drive takes you to Thorntree River Lodge which is set in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, just a short distance from the famous Victoria Falls. Spend two nights here visiting the falls and experiencing a few of the other great activities such as rhino tracking in the park! After the 2 nights in Zambia you will cross the border into Botswana where another charter flight will take you to the hidden gem that is the Linyanti Swamp. Spend 3 nights here exploring by vehicle, on foot, by mokoro (water level dependant) or even by helicopter! The area is known for its large herd of elephant and buffaloes, particularly in the height of the dry season when many hundred animals can be found along the swamp. And saving what could possibly be the best for last, another charter has you landing in the Okavango Delta where you will spend the last 3 nights in a luxury lodge overlooking the Khwai river. Activities here are by vehicle, on walking safaris or by mokoro and the wildlife is simply incredible with good chances of leopard and wild dog sightings. A final charter has you landing in Maun for onward connections home.
Days 1-3: Kanga Camp
An intimate camp of just six tents, Kanga offers a traditional-style safari atmosphere, but with the convenience of a modern-day camp. A more exclusive and magical safari experience is hard to come by, with fantastic wildlife viewing from the deck!
Apart from the Zambezi River many miles away, Kanga Pan is the sole source of water in a large area during the dry season, making it an absolute haven for wildlife bringing them literally onto your doorstep! Inaccessible during the rainy season, Kanga is only open from April to November.
The main area is set below a few huge old Jackalberry trees overlooking the Kanga waterhole, with a series of decks for lounging and where meals are served. A small plunge pool overlooks the waterhole with a fire pit below, for those very special around the camp fire socials.
The six meru-style tents are well placed around the waterhole providing privacy and good views all round. The tents are very comfortable with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers. There is a family room that can accommodate four and also a honeymoon suite for the newlyweds!
Days 3-5: Zambezi Expeditions
Set under the shade of winter thorn and ebony trees, Zambezi Expeditions offers six twin-bedded meru-style tents with en-suite bathroom facilities, comprising an outside shower and flushing toilet. Each tent boasts fabulous views of the Zambezi River and the Zambezi Valley escarpment across the river in Zambia.
Zambezi Expeditions also has a large, open-air main tent with a lounge and dining area, where meals are served and with a charging station for the all-important cameras!
Zambezi Expeditions specialises in walking offering tracking of game on foot along the shoreline, also adventurous canoeing safaris and fishing for the iconic tiger fish. The area is famous for the variety of game including the Big 4 (no rhino’s), as well as kudu, eland and a healthy population of painted wolves. An absolute must is a game drive into the heart of the Mana Pools UNESCO Word Heritage site around the famous four pools after which the Park is named.
Days 5-7: Bumi Hills Safari Lodge
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is located in northern Zimbabwe, atop a hill overlooking Lake Kariba, in an area only accessible to clients by plane. The lodge boasts one of the most spectacular views we have come across in Africa! This lodge combines particularly well with sister camps in Zimbabwe with convenient charter flights and special offer deals, making it great value for money considering the quality!
The lodge has 10 luxury lake view suites containing all the bells and whistles and also have an uninterrupted view over the lake. Even your private outdoor shower makes use of the view! Also available is the Baobab Villa which is a private two-bedroom villa, perfect for families.
Days 7-10: Somalisa Camp
This intimate bush camp is perfect for a relaxing Hwange safari with friends and loved ones. The elegant style is infused by natural wood and organic features of the bush. Kudhinda, the Zimbabwean national material, is thoughtfully paired with modern decor influences creating an authentic contemporary African style. The seven tastefully furnished sailcloth tents are set on a private concession in the heart of Hwange National Park. This is where you will find nature and luxury seamlessly entwined. Your guest tent is replete with modern appointments such as a fan, a battery charging station, wood-burning fireplace and private viewing deck. Your bathroom, worthy of a special mention, is inspired by the romance of yesteryear, boasts an indoor and outdoor bathroom and features a copper slipper-style bathtub and endless views across the vast plains beyond.
Days 10-12: Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge is set in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, just a short distance from the famous Victoria Falls. The lodge has drawn inspiration from local customs and culture to create a modern and contemporary design with tented roof structures to maintain the feel of authentic Africa. Take advantage of a combination of wildlife, culture and adrenalin activities on offer in the area. Eight suites and two family suites are situated along the edge of the mighty Zambezi River. Each unit has its own indoor and outdoor bathrooms, as well as a luxurious private plunge pool.
The lodge offers a tranquil base from which to explore a plethora of awe-inspiring activities, all within easy access of the lodge in Livingstone Zambia. Showcasing incredible river panoramas from its unique vantage, the shared areas are fluid hubs of relaxation; the lounge flows seamlessly into the dining area, and the library hosts WIFI connectivity. The communal deck is set on the edge of the stunning riverside and is home to a sunken boma area and an infinity pool. There is also a gym and spa which promote a sense of holistic wellbeing at Thorntree River Lodge.
Days 12-15: Linyanti Bush Camp
The Linyanti river and swamp becomes the only major water source in a large region in the drier months of the year, making for incredible density of wildlife populations along its banks. For this reason, the Linyanti swamp is a sought-after safari destination and with Linyanti Bush Camp being one of the more affordable yet stylish and authentic camps in the region, it was a natural fit for us.
The camp has but 6 guest tents which are well spaced from one another and all offer large vistas of the famous swamp. The spacious tents were designed with quality in mind yet still retain the simplicity of a true bush-camp. The bed configuration for each tent is either kingsize or has two twins. Each having their own en-suite bathroom with running hot and cold water as well as a flush toilet. There is plenty of seating area including a veranda from where you can soak-up the view and the passing’s of wildlife.
Days 15-18: Khwai Leadwood
Set within the Okavango Delta’s community-run Khwai Concession, this beautiful camp is tucked under the trees on the edge of the Khwai River. This river is all that separates the iconic Moremi Game Reserve and the concession, with hippos, elephants and even lions crossing over from time to time. Watching these animals manoeuvre through the water is an exceptional experience for even the most travelled safari veterans.
The elegantly designed camp hosts six standard tents and one family unit, keeping in line with the intimate and exclusive wilderness experience. The new camp effortlessly bridges the gap between luxury accommodation and feeling like you’re in the great African outdoors. Woven baskets and beaded décor, along with modern elements, create an authentic contemporary African style.
During the day, guests can enjoy game drives, walking safaris and mokoro safaris (water levels permitting) on the search for Africa’s big attractions including lion, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, elephant, buffalo, hippo and giraffe. An additional virtue of this area is that guests can head off on night drives and get an up-close and personal experience with some of Africa’s nocturnal and more elusive animals.
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