Trip code: WZA
From the cascading Victoria Falls to the meandering waterways of the Okavango Delta, this safari visits the best destinations in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Encounter Chobe’s huge elephant herds, search for rhinos and leopards in Matopos and spot Wild dogs in Hwange. Starry skies and burnished sunsets complete the adventure and where better for a sundowner than the shimmering Magkadigkadi Pans.
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
9 nights chalets, 2 nights hotel and 2 nights comfortable wild camping
The accommodation we stay in is generally 2- or 3-star lodges with en suite bathrooms, most with a pool. Whilst they are not luxury properties they are comfortable and in great locations. In the Okavango Delta we spend two nights full service wild camping. Our camp is set up for us and all equipment is provided.. The tents are large (2.4 x 2.4 x 1.8meters) and we sleep on camp-beds topped with a mattress (about 5cms thick). There is a bush-shower and toilet. When visiting the Delta we will leave most of our luggage in Maun, taking only what we need for 2 days (bags, sleeping bags and pillows are provided).
|DEPOSIT||£150||SINGLE PERSON SUPPLEMENT||£|
|GROUP SIZE MIN||4 people||GROUP SIZE MAX||16 people|
AVAILABLE TOUR DATES:
|02 /07/2016||01 /10/2016||01 /07/2017|
|06 /08/2016||11 /03/2017||05/08/2017|
The group flights normally arrive at Livingstone Airport and land only passengers can either be picked up here or at the Rainbow Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. We then transfer 120kms to Kasane in Botswana. The drive takes a little over two hours but there can be delays crossing the border. Once we are settled into our chalets we will gather for a full tour briefing.
Chobe National Park is best known for its huge populations of elephant and buffalo. With an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 elephants, this is, undoubtedly the best place to see these pachyderms. The park is also home to Wild dogs, lions, leopards and various other African wildlife. We start the day by going on a game drive in one of the lodge’s open game-drive vehicles. It will be an early start as we aim to get to the park gates as they open. We spend about three hours on safari before returning to the lodge in time for some brunch. There is time to relax at the lodge during the hottest part of the day or exploring the town of Kasane before heading out again, this time to go on a boat-safari on the Chobe River. After a short transfer to the jetty we board the boat for a three-hour safari. This is a great opportunity to view the vast herds of elephant and other wildlife from a different perspective.
Today is a long drive as we transfer the 600kms between Kasane and Maun, the town on the edge of the Okavango Delta. We’ll make a stop en route for lunch at the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan before arriving in Maun mid-afternoon. We spend a bit of time in town getting supplies for the delta (this is a chance for you to get any extra drinks or snacks you may want in the delta). From here it’s only a short drive out of town to our lodge.
After travelling 1,600kms from the highlands of Angola, the Okavango River reaches the Kalahari and spreads into a large swamp area where the water eventually transpires into the plant-life and evaporates, never reaching the sea. This makes the Okavango Delta, as this swamp is known, one of the largest inland deltas on Earth and a true natural wonder. Year-round the delta’s islands are home to a vast array of wildlife including all the usual suspects though numbers reach their peak during the dryer winter months when animals, including many of the larger ones, migrate into the delta. We head into the delta in Mokoro dugout canoes poled by local villagers who have grown up here. When we arrive in the delta we will find our camp already set up, waiting for us. The camp is made up of tents fitted with camp beds topped by mattresses along with two communal bush-showers, two communal bush-toilets and a gazebo/mess tent. Here we will get to experience African wilderness at its fullest, not least at night when the milky-way can be seen spreading across the sky with a billion twinkling stars. We spend the next two days exploring the waterways and islands by Mokoro canoe and on foot looking for wildlife and enjoying this amazing part of Africa.
Another day exploring the delta on foot and by mokoro.
This morning we have our last Mokoro ride as we return to the edge of the delta before returning to Maun. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool or take an optional flight over the delta.
After a brief stop in Maun to resupply we transfer 300kms to Nata arriving mid-afternoon. In the late afternoon we head to the Nata Sanctuary to watch the sunset on the Makgadikgadi Pan. The Makgadikgadi Pan covers over 16,000 square kilometres and forms the bed of an ancient lake, now dried up, which once spread as far as the Okavango Delta. Sunsets on the pan are some of the best on the continent.
Today we continue our journey back towards Zimbabwe. We go via Francistown and Bulawayo on our way to the Matobo National Park. The journey is about 380kms and driving time shouldn’t be much more than about 5hrs, however the border crossing can be busy and can easily take between two and three hours. We will be staying in chalets just outside the park and will enjoy sundowners from the granite ridge overlooking the park.
Matobo National Park (also known as Matopos National Park) is an area known for its kopjes (giant boulders which seem to be precariously balanced on top of one-another) and wildlife. The park is one of the best places to see both Black and White rhinos and has very dense population of leopards (though these predators are still elusive). It also counts amongst its inhabitants a third of all species of eagle. These hills were, once, home to San Bushmen who have left their mark with rock-paintings depicting giraffes, elands and kudu. It was also Cecil Rhodes’ favourite place and where he asked to be buried. We enter Matobo National Park early in the morning and go on a game drive followed by a game walk where we can hope to see rhino on foot. We visit World’s End, where Cecil Rhodes is buried and see some of the granite formations and rock-paintings. We spend most of the day inside the park returning to the lodge in the afternoon.
After a leisurely breakfast we make a quick stop in Bulawayo this morning to resupply before driving north 335kms to Hwange National Park. Zimbabwe’s largest National Park, Hwange covers 14,600 square kilometres of mopane and teak woodlands and grasslands. The park is home to over 100 mammal species and 400 bird species including all of Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals. Its most famous inhabitants are the elephants and Wild dogs, and it is the only place where gemsbok and Brown hyena can be found in reasonable numbers in Zimbabwe. We stay in a property situated within a game-management area which abuts the park.
We spend all day on a 4WD open-game drive in search for the various animals that call Hwange home.
After a relaxed start we take our final, short, drive back to where we started, Victoria Falls. We arrive at Victoria Falls town around lunch time. In the afternoon we head out towards the mighty falls themselves. Measuring 1,700 meters wide and 100 meters high, Victoria Falls are the largest waterfall in the World and one of the most famous highlights of Africa. The volume of water changes with the seasons but when full the spray rises into the sky – a phenomenon which has given the falls their local name Mosi o Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders. They are a site to behold and one which impressed Dr. David Livingstone so much that he commented that ‘’ scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.’’
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer in the area such as white-water rafting, taking a flight over the falls, going on a sunset cruise or crossing into neighbouring Zambia to see the falls from that side (please note that you will need a Zambian visa for this and will need to get a new Zimbabwean visa as well).
Botswana is a vast, sparsely populated country, mostly desert but with the most prolific wetlands in Africa. Travel in Botswana is well worth the effort required to reach some of its more remote places.
The reserves of Chobe, Savuti, the prolific Moremi and the unique Okavango Delta are sensational, both in the summer for birds especially, and also the dry autumn, winter and spring months for bigger game. It is the largest elephant corridor in the world and the herds along the Chobe River can number in their thousands. The Okavango is the biggest inland delta anywhere; paddling through its reed-lined channels in a Mokoro (dugout canoe), watching the pristine wilderness slip by, is a most memorable experience...
Zimbabwe features the largest waterfalls in the world, 45,000 sq km of national parks, abundant wildlife and the largest archaeological site south of the Sahara,
Zimbabwe is finally taking back its place on the tourist map. Zimbabwe’s highlights including the vast and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park, Matobo with its curious granite rock formations and prehistoric cave paintings, and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe which reveal the ancient splendours of a kingdom that used to be Southern Africa’s most important trading centre.