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Zimbabwe Safari: Authenticity by Car, Boat and Foot

OVERVIEW

Zimbabwe is coming back as premier safari destination, particularly because of its amazing guiding, marvelous national park system and opportunities for exhilarating canoe and walking safaris—and all still at a remarkable value.  An expanded international airport now makes it easier to reach Zimbabwe, but our journeys will take you far off the beaten path to experience the thrills of this spectacular natural playground up close.  Whether visiting the thunderous waters of Victoria Falls, navigating the Zambezi River by canoe or tracking a black rhino on foot: for those seeking a deep and authentic safari experience, Zimbabwe has it all.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Walk the Path of Kings: Hwange National Park, the largest park and nature reserve in Zimbabwe offers incredible wildlife viewing within its protected borders.  Known to have the largest population of African wild dog, the park is also home to a diverse array of species, including elephant, leopard, lion, giraffe and hyena.  Game drives and bush walks are readily available, and you will encounter some of Africa’s finest species every step of the way.
  • Canoe the Zambezi River and Mana Pools National Park: There’s no better way to explore Zimbabwe and silently observe its wildlife than by gliding along the mighty Zambezi by canoe, towards the fertile floodplains of the Mana Pools National Park on the river’s southern bank.  During the dry season of May to October, animals congregate along the banks in search of water, and the park’s seasonal pools attract hippos, elephants, buffalos, zebras and baboons—along with some giant crocodiles!   The Mana Pools Park stretches more than 1200 miles, and is accessible only by foot, so opportunities abound to dock your canoe and rest in the shadow of an acacia tree, or take a walking safari around this lush unspoiled landscape.
  • Angle for Tiger Fish on Lake Kariba: Lake Kariba was formed in 1958 when the Kariba Dam was built along the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Today it is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, and has become a preferred spot for water sports enthusiasts of all stripes.   Lake Kariba is also known for its breathtaking sunsets, which can be soaked in while paddling from the bow of a canoe, or lounging on the deck of a luxury houseboat.   Sport fishing is also a popular activity, especially angling for the legendary tiger fish, which is found in abundance in the lake’s waters.
  • Track an Endangered Black Rhino: Zimbabwe is an emerging leader in rhino conservation, and the Matusadona National Park, situated along the shores of Lake Kariba, is one of the last places on the planet to view endangered black rhinos in their natural habitat.  One of the park’s impressive expert guides will be at your disposal to help track these elusive creatures—along with the buffalo and elephants that also populate the park.  The experience will leave you in awe at the sheer magnificence of these prehistoric creatures, and you will come away with a greater understanding of how vital it is that these animals remain protected, and continue to roam the earth freely.

REST & REJUVENATE

  • The Hide Safari Camp: Tucked away in a remote corner of Hwange National Park, the Hide Safari Camp places you in the epicenter of wild Africa: a front-row seat to view the parade of elephants, giraffes, zebras and impalas that regularly visit the property, and gather at the camp’s very own waterhole.   Enjoy your luxury tented suite with a full range of amenities, dine under a romantic canopy of acacia trees, or simply relax on your private veranda after a refreshing post-safari dip in the plunge pool.   And to add an eclectic twist to your stay: spend a night at the Dove’s Nest, the camp’s intimate treehouse—an unbeatable balcony seat from which to watch all the action below.
  • Ruckomechi Camp: Located on the edge of the magnificent Mana Pools National Park, the Ruckomechi Camp is also favored by local elephant herds, who are attracted by the sweet pods of the property’s albida trees.  All tented en-suite accommodations overlook the Zambezi River and offer breathtaking mountain vistas of the Great Rift Valley.  Guests also love the outdoor “bath-with-a-view” infinity pool, and the comfy, cushion-strewn deck is an ideal spot from which to lounge after dinner and gaze at the radiant night sky.
  • Little Makalolo Camp: This intimate, solar-powered camp in Hwange National Park offers some of the most exclusive game viewing in the area, including a private log-pile hide by the property’s waterhole from which guests can observe the animals, completely undetected, and in close proximity.  The herds of elephants, wildebeest and buffalo that gather are especially impressive, and at night you can compare notes with other guests at the communal campfire lounge, or retire to your cozy private tent to dream of the next day’s adventures.
  • Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa: Perched on a hill overlooking the unending beauty of Lake Kariba, this remote lodge offers unparalleled, panoramic views from all sides, and is one of the most exquisite spots from which to observe the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets for which the lake is famous.   The lodge is an utter gem, fully appointed for events and large groups, with a luxurious spa, wine bar, fire pit lounge area, and first-class accommodations, each with their own private deck.  Apart from the many sport and wildlife activities available on the lake, visits can also be arranged to a local Tongan village, where you will learn about the community’s struggle to maintain its traditional way of life, and keep its culture vibrant in the wake of development and modernity.
  • Singita Pamushana Lodge: In the southeastern corner of Zimbabwe, on the incredibly remote and perfectly untouched Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, lies Singita Pamushana Lodge.  This storybook luxury property—nestled on a hill among ancient baobab trees—is woven effortlessly into the surrounding landscape, and offers the absolute best of Zimbabwean hospitality, with seven exquisitely designed suites and villas, each with a private viewing deck and pool.   Expect to see an array of species roaming freely around the reserve, including black rhino, white rhino, sable, cheetah, lion and leopard.   All proceeds from the lodge are used to support conservation efforts and community outreach programs—an unprecedented level of local support and partnership.
  • WHAT TO KNOW

    • Visas are required for Americans visiting Zimbabwe.
    • The best time to visit Zimbabwe for wildlife sightings is during the dry season, from May to October, when animals congregate around water sources.
    • The temperature in Zimbabwe is temperate, and varies according to the season. During the dry season months of May to October temperatures rarely dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night, and hover close to a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Temperatures rise during the rainy season months of November through April, climbing as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit, often with extreme humidity.

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