Home | Safari Ideas | Zimbabwe Safari IS7D - Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls & Hwange

Zimbabwe Safari IS7D

Canoe safari on the mighty Zambezi River followed by several days savouring Victoria Falls & Hwange National Park

2 Nights Zambezi National Park
2 Nights Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
3 Nights Hwange National Park
8 Days / 7 Nights
Reference: IS-7D
Starts Victoria Falls Airport / Ends Victoria Falls Airport
Total Price 7 nights: US$2384 per person sharing

Destination Zambezi National Park and the Upper Zambezi River, Zimbabwe

Destination Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Destination Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


Safari Overview

Be at one with nature and enjoy the wildlife and tranquillity of the upper Zambezi River on a 2-day canoeing safari. These fully backed-up trips offer comfortable camping with walk-in tents. The next 2 nights are spent at Gorges Lodge just outside Victoria Falls with breathtaking views over the Batoka gorges. Daily shuttles can transfer you into Victoria Falls to see and do any of the multiple activities on offer or simply relax in your beautiful surroundings. On the last 3 nights enjoy a fabulous safari experience in Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife reserve – the famous Hwange National Park. Part of the transfer to your camp Bomani is via a rail safari, which is an absolute highlight. Professional guides and quality accommodation ensure that you will have an unforgettable safari experience in this outstanding section of the park, really get to know the bush through game drives, guided walks, hide sits, night drives, cultural excursions and conservation activities.

Itinerary route starting from Zambezi National Park, then Victoria Falls and Hwange


Zimbabwe Safari IS7D Inspired Journey Overview

Accommodation
Nights 1 & 2 - Tent on upper Zambezi Canoe Safari
Nights 3 & 4 - Luxury chalet at Gorges Lodge
Nights 5,6 & 7 - Luxury tented room at Bomani Lodge
 
Transfers Included
Day 1 - Road Transfer: Victoria Falls Airport to Zambezi National Park
Day 3 - Road Transfer: Zambezi National Park to Gorges Lodge
Day 5 - Road Transfer: Gorges Lodge to Dete siding
Day 5 - Rail Transfer: Dete siding to Ngamo siding
Day 5 - Road Transfer: Ngamo to Bomani Lodge
Day 8 - Bomani Tented Lodge to Victoria Falls Airport
 
Highlights
Canoe quietly through the myriad of beautiful channels on the upper Zambezi river with outstanding bird and wildlife. In places there is a little bit of white water to add to the adventure.
Breathtaking views of the Batoka gorges from your room at Gorges lodge
View the spectacular and mighty Victoria Falls
Partake in the multitude of activities available at Victoria Falls from sedate sunset cruises to adrenaline crazy bungee jumping and everything in between
Excellent Game viewing in Hwange National Park and Bomani‘s private concession
Elephant Express rail car transfer




Destination Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe
Day 1 to 2

Zambezi National Park

Zambezi National Park together with Victoria Falls National Park cover an area of 56,000 hectares. The northern border of the Park is formed by the great Zambezi River which also forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia for much of its length.

A wide variety of larger mammals may be found within the Zambezi National Park including elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard. In addition, herds of sable antelope, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and impala as well as many of the smaller species of game can be viewed. The Zambezi River is home to over is 75 species of fish and is famous for its bream and fighting tiger fish.

Overnight: Upper Zambezi Canoe Safaris

Take a canoe safari with Wild Horizons and experience everything the stunning and charming Upper Zambezi River has to offer. Depending on the choice of trip, you can get to experience some small but exciting rapids, lunches taken on remote sandbanks, spending the night in the pristine Zambezi National Park, drifting down seldom seen channels and all the excitement of the great African outdoors with its rich diversity of mammal, bird, fish and reptile life.

Overnight canoe safaris offer guests an authentic “camping” experience. Kalai River Camp is situated approximately 25kms upstream from Victoria Falls in the Zambezi National Park and is a mobile rustic bush camp. It is important to note that it is not a “luxury permanent lodge”! The camp is fully backed up by a team of staff that set up camp in preparation for client’s arrival.

The camp comprises of large walk in tents, equipped with camp beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows and duvets, camping water basin (which are filled with hot water each morning), a paraffin lantern, a bedside table and hand towels. There is a portable toilet and hot shower in camp. The camp and dining table are set up under the stars on the riverbank with stunning views of the river.

On all overnight trips limited beers and soft-drinks and mineral water are provided (approximately 2 per person per night); wine (1 bottle per 2 guests). If clients require other alcoholic or imported drinks they must supply their own. During winter months (April, May, June, July and August), the evenings, nights and early mornings will be very cold. Clients must bring their own warm clothing. Space is limited; we suggest one carry bag per person.

Notes: Day 1 & 2

DAY 1
When you arrive at Victoria Falls Airport, you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to Victoria Falls Town. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred 25kms through the Zambezi National Park, which is a game drive in itself and takes approximately an hour. Arriving at your first evenings camp, relax and savour the stunning scenery of the Zambezi River. Enjoy some sundowners and dinner before retiring to bed to listen to the nights sounds of Africa and the Zambezi river gently flowing by. *Note there is no canoeing on this day.

DAY 2
A full English breakfast is served in the morning before an hour game drive upstream to the launch point. The guide will give a thorough briefing, which will cover; conditions of the river and rapids, canoeing instruction, safety and general information. Clients will be asked to sign an indemnity form. This day is spent canoeing 18kms downstream, running small grade one and two rapids, exploring channels and bird and game viewing. This includes the Sansimba rapids. A picnic lunch is served on the mainland or an island. You will arrive in camp on the afternoon of the second day for tea.





Destination Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Day 3 to 4

Victoria Falls

One of the original natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal place to combine a game viewing and water sports. There is excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial white water rafting in the world.

Overnight: Gorges Lodge

Gorges Lodge is built on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, some 200 awe-inspiring metres above the mighty Zambezi River. Each stone under thatch cottage boasts a private indigenous garden and a private decked veranda: the ideal place to watch the sunrise – or set – over the Zambezi. The cottages have en-suite bathrooms, minibars, overhead fans and tea and coffee making facilities. Gorges Lodge is a 30-minute drive from the town centre; far enough away to allow you the chance to relax and absorb the incredible views whilst enjoying delicious homemade cuisine and sipping on a delectable African wine, but still close enough to allow you to easily travel into town to take part in any number of the exciting activities that are on offer, from elephant back safaris to enjoying a delectable dinner while cruising down the Zambezi River at sunset.

Notes: Day 3 & 4

DAY 3
In the morning a full English breakfast is served after which you will board your canoe and the second day is spent canoeing another 18kms downstream to the Falls including the Kandahar Rapids. The scenery, channels and the rapids on this day is very different. Cold soft-drinks, mineral water & beers are served at the end of the day. After lunch at around 2.30pm you will be transferred to Gorges Lodge, which takes roughly 40 minutes. On arrival, you can freshen up and take time to absorb the breathtaking scenery and sundowners on the deck before dinner.

DAY 4
After breakfast catch the lodge shuttle and spend the day in Victoria Falls town. Enjoy the multitude of activities on offer and of course take a tour of the of the magnificent Victoria Falls. Although these activities are not included in the package price, please let us help you to arrange an itinerary of activities suitable for you. Have a look at this page Victoria Falls activities to see what is on offer. In the late afternoon shuttle back to Gorges Lodge to enjoy the evening with sundowners overlooking the gorge and listening to the pounding Zambezi bellow. Later enjoy a 3 course dinner in the garden under the stars.

A couple of worthwhile specific activities are available at the Gorges Lodge, please see details below:-

Activities Info

Traditional dancing
Our talented team of dancers come from villages within walking distance of Gorges Lodge and love to entertain our guests in the evenings. Sebenze and his troupe perform just after sundown and their energetic dance and drum routine is vibrant and interactive - so don’t be surprised if you get pulled in to join the fun!


Gorge walk
The lodge is set in a magnificent and lush indigenous garden with stunning views across the gorge and of the pounding Zambezi River 200 metres below. Explore the area around the lodge accompanied by a guide and when you’re done enjoy refreshments and freshly prepared snacks while you watch the sun set at Peregrine Point.

Black Eagle Viewing
A pair of Verreaux's Eagles nest in the gorge at the lodge and provide our guests with amazing displays of their aerobatic skills and courtship rituals, often at eye level. Evenings are their hunting time so sit back with sundowners and snacks as these magnificent birds soar past on thermals whilst hunting in the gorge. The eagles are not the only birds resident here – lanner falcons, peregrine falcons and augur buzzards also call the gorge home and the inter-specific interactions are a highlight when the eagles stray too close to the falcons’ nests.

 



Destination Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Day 5 to 8

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s biggest reserve, home to a profusion of wildlife, including giraffe, lion, zebra and approximately 40 000 elephants. It provides sanctuary for all the country’s endangered species, including a population of wild dogs thought to be among the most sizeable surviving groups on the continent. Terrain ranges from desert dunes and savannah lands to rocky outcrops and sparse forests, and visitors have the choice of game drives, guided walks or horseback safaris as a means of experiencing the park and its creatures.

Overnight: Bomani Tented Lodge

This comfortable and well-appointed lodge is nestled in a remote and untouched corner on the edge of Hwange National Park in a 5000-acre private reserve, and is famous for its impressive sightings of herds of elephant, not to mention many other spectacular species of wildlife.

The main lodge is built on a spectacular viewing platform and overlooks Bomani Pan. You can enjoy your breakfast while watching zebra and wildebeest quietly graze or sip a sundowner as giraffe and elephant soak up the day’s final rays.

Of course the main pastime at Bomani is game viewing, and whether you choose to go on a guided game walk in the lodge’s private concession or a game drive in the national park, you will not be disappointed - these spectacular landscapes teem with a rich array of unique African wildlife and flora.

Notes: Day 5, 6, 7 & 8

DAY 5
On your last day in Victoria Falls, you will be transferred mid-morning by air-conditioned minibus to Dete siding (2 hours). Here you will meet the Elephant Express for your rail transfer into Hwange National park. It is a 2-hour long relaxing tram safari through the wilderness, and then a short 5 to 10-minute ride in a game vehicle to Bomani Tented Lodge. Settle into your tent and then have sundowners and canap├ęs by the Pan. Later enjoy a 3 course supper out under the stars.

DAY 6
Wake up for an early morning game drive and walk in Hwange National Park’s acacia forests surrounding Ngamo Plains. Return to Bomani for brunch and either a siesta or an hour or two in the blind over the waterhole. An afternoon game drive will be followed by sundowners and snacks at Major Pan. Then a night drive takes you back to the lodge for showers, then cocktails and snacks around the campfire with a 3 course dinner to follow in the main lodge area.

DAY 7
Early this morning, prepare for an all day trip into the park on a one of a kind ‘pump run’, with a picnic and siesta under the trees at Mfagazaan Pan. Imvelo’s trademark pump runs combine game viewing in remote areas of the park with practical hands-on conservation. You can assist the guide with day-to-day maintenance at the borehole pumps which are the heartbeat of Hwange National Park and its wildlife. Leisurely take an afternoon game drive back to the lodge going from pan to pan, weaving our way between the throngs of jostling elephant that come pouring in for the fresh water. It makes for a fun, memorable and extremely rewarding day. Return to camp and freshen up, and then have refreshments around the campfire and supper in the main lodge area.

DAY 8
On your last day in Hwange, your transport will take you out to Halfway House, where you will be picked up for your transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for your onward flight.

**Please note that the above activity schedule is a guideline and you can tailor-make your itinerary with the camp managers onsite, to suit your exact needs.

Activities Info

Game Drives
Game drives are conducted by experienced guides in traditional open safari vehicles. On your morning game drives pause to enjoy tea, coffee and biscuits and in the afternoons cool drinks and cooked snacks will be provided. Bomani land Cruisers seat up to 9 guests and Land Rovers seat up to 7 guests. Game drives in this remote portion of Hwange National Park seldom see another vehicle and are a spectacular insight into the wildlife and environment unique to this part of the park.

Game Walks
Game walks are an exciting option for photography of big game on foot. They are usually undertaken in the mornings and are conducted by a fully licensed and highly experienced armed professional guide. In this remote and wild area every walk provides fascinating insights into Hwange’s circle of life; watch Hwange’s elephants shake acacia trees to loosen and then eat the pods while on a smaller scale dung beetles roll up the elephant dung containing acacia seeds into balls. Dung beetles bury these balls and the acacia seed is now ready to germinate and grow into a new tree!

Game walk with a professional guide at Bomani Lodge in Hwange National Park - Zimbabwe

Night Drives
It’s well worth joining one of the shorter night drives through Bomani's private concession. Trackers operate powerful spotlights to seek out some of the less-seen nocturnal creatures. The light’s red filter lessens the disturbance, thus creating a unique opportunity to watch the fascinating behaviour of the nocturnal world. Unusual highlights include ant bears, porcupines, genets, springhares, lesser bushbabies and pennant winged nightjars.

Bomani Lodge night drive on private concession in Hwange - Zimbabwe

Game viewing blinds
For the hard core photographers, the lodge's game viewing blinds at some of the waterholes are ideal for wildlife photography.

Game viewing in Hwange in a Bomani Lodge viewing blind - great for photography! Game viewing in Hwange in a Bomani Lodge viewing blind - great for photography!

Pump runs
Imvelo Safari Lodges operate 8 waterholes for the wildlife in this region of the National Park, the furthest of which is 55 km away. A popular activity is to take an all day trip into the Park to visit the waterholes to drop off fuel and oil for the motors as well as rations and supplies for the pump attendants. A picnic lunch is then enjoyed near one of the waterholes followed by a leisurely game drive back to lodge in the afternoon.

Bomani Lodge pump water into waterholes to help sustain water sources in Hwange - Zimbabwe

School tours and village visits
Fifteen minutes’ drive from the lodge our guests have the opportunity to enjoy a real life look at village life in rural Matabeleland. A fascinating experience of a variety of typical daily village activities is followed by a tour of one of the nearby schools conducted by the Headmaster where guests are given the opportunity to hear traditional songs sung by the children and enjoy a ‘class interaction’.

Bomani Lodge School visit in Hwange - Zimbabwe Bomani Lodge Village visit in Hwange - Zimbabwe

 



Price

Total Price for 7 Nights: US$2384
Per person sharing

Included in this safari

UPPER ZAMBEZI CANOE SAFARI
• Camping equipment
• Meals
• Drinks (limited beers and minerals are provided - approximately 2 per person per night), wine (1 bottle per 2 pax)

BOMANI TENTED LODGE
• Accommodation in a luxury tented room overlooking Bomani Pan
• All meals and non-premium beverages
• Elephant express rail journey
• Laundry
• Service of a licensed guide
• Activities: game walks, game drives, all day excursions, hide sits, night drives, visit to local village and school tour
• Park fees

GORGES LODGE
• Accommodation in a magnificent room on the edge of the gorges with private garden and viewing deck
• Dinner, bed and breakfast, soft drinks, beers, wines & local spirits
• Laundry
• Activities at Gorges lodge

TRANSFERS
• Return road transfers between Hwange and Victoria Falls
• Return Victoria Falls Airport transfers

Excluded

UPPER ZAMBEZI CANOE SAFARI
• River usage fee (US$10 per person per day)
• Premium brand drinks and any other drinks and activities not mentioned

GORGES LODGE & BOMANI TENTED LODGE
• Premium imported beverages
• Activities in Victoria Falls
• Gratuities and items of a personal nature

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