Safari Ideas | Zimbabwe Safari IS9A - Victoria Falls, Hwange, Matobo, Great Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Safari IS9A
Visit three of Zimbabwe's UNESCO World Heritage sites in this 9 night safari through Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Matobo Hills and Great Zimbabwe ruins
3 Nights Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
This trip takes you on a tour around the western part of Zimbabwe, starting in Victoria Falls and ending in Bulawayo. You will enjoy the wonderful activities in Victoria Falls; experience some Zimbabwean culture and enjoy great game activities in Hwange; learn some fascinating Zimbabwean history and be captivated by the views of the Matobo Hills; and amazed by historical magnificence of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins - all the while taking in the varying landscape that makes Zimbabwe an irresistible destination. It is a chance to visit three of Zimbabwe's five World Heritage Sites. Getting around to these destinations is ordinarily quite a task but we have teamed up with Travel Africa to provide a vehicle and personal driver and guide to escort you.
Zimbabwe Safari IS9A Inspired Journey Overview
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: Bayete Guest Lodge
Bayete Guest Lodge offers comfortable and affordable accommodation and is situated in the heart of the Victoria Falls Residential Area. The lodge is 2 km away from the Victoria Falls rainforest and 22 km from the airport. Recently renovated, this family run lodge has 25 rooms which are set in a lush tropical garden. Central to the lodge is the large tear drop pool which is hugged by the Caldecott Boma and Ngwezi Tavern. Breakfast is served in the Caldecott Boma every day. Lunch and dinner are also available on special request and are delicious home cooked meals. Buffets and BBQ’s are available for group bookings or by special request.
Notes: Day 1, 2 & 3
DAY 2 & 3
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: Ivory Lodge
A small intimate lodge featuring 7 luxurious tree houses and 2 Presidential Elephant Suites set on elevated platforms amongst the indigenous flora of Hwange National Park. Deep in the mystical teak forests of Hwange is this unobtrusive camp, bathed in the tales of pioneering hunters and explorers such as Fredrick Courtney Selous. Lumbering giants drift around your stilted platforms, their tusks glinting in salute to the sanctuary of shade offered up by these massive trees.
This is Ivory Lodge – place of elephants. It is here that great herds of elephants are found – sometimes over 100 strong.
Hwange is renowned for its huge tuskers – big old bulls with magnificent tusks. It is also here that the famous Presidential Herd drinks – these elephants’ home-range is amongst the dense feeding areas of the Sikumi Vlei and where they find refuge from the scorching heat at Ivory’s water hole.
Silently, elegantly, the lodge stands over the waterhole. Watch by flood light under a star spangled African night sky – the elephants in their play-fighting; their display of instinctive rituals; their caressing and murmurings.
Notes: Day 4, 5 & 6
Painted Dog Conservation Centre
Culture & Community
Matobo National Park
Idyllically located in the spectacular Matobo Hills, the renowned Matobo National Park is known for its rich human history, its remarkably diverse flora and fauna and its magnificent rugged terrain. This unspoiled natural wilderness features a range of massive red-tinged, granite boulders interspersed with gorgeous wooded valleys making it a dream destination for hikers, climbers and nature lovers alike. The reserve is compact, easily accessible and is home to an impressive range of African wildlife including the highly endangered black and white rhinoceros, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, cheetah, hippo, warthog and crocodile as well as Africa's largest concentration of leopard and black eagles. This unforgettable national park serves as an ideal stopover for travellers heading to the popular tourist sites of Hwange and the majestic Victoria Falls.
Overnight: Big Cave Camp
Big Cave Camp reposes atop an enormous granite whaleback commanding inspirational views across the famous Matobo National Park. Sophisticated African architecture incorporates colossal boulders into a comfortably appointed thatched lodge positioned amidst ancient Khoisan rock art.
Retire at a day's end to the natural rock-pool and sundeck, the Leopard’s Lair lounge and bar, a cave-style boma for pre-dinner drinks or the popular lodge library. The seven thatched A-frame cottages, each with en-suite bathroom and private balcony, resonate African creative flair.
Find solitude within an intimate retreat as secluded as the original Kalanga grain bins that nestle amongst the rocks.
Notes: Day 7 & 8
Game Viewing & Rhino Tracking
Big Cave offers drives into the Whovi Park, with a professional guide-to view not only rhino, but also leopard and a selection of plains game. Guests can enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to creep up on these wonderful animals on foot once the correct area has been located by the professional guide.
Activities on the Big Cave 2000-acre private wilderness area include game walks, game drives (approximately 1.5 hours), and the not-to-be-missed sundowner drive to get the Matobo Hills at its very best!
Night drives on the Big Cave wilderness area can be enjoyed on the private property (depending on the time of the year) to view the nocturnal creatures of the Matobo Hills.
Yoga & Wellness
In the glow of the rising sun we start the day in silence in seated meditation, followed by an asana (physical) practice.
Then, find a sunny spot with a view as you enjoy breakfast in silence.
For the rest of the day choose from a range of activities – guided nature walks, game drives, hikes, tours, guided meditation and talks - or simply do nothing but sit back and relax around the lodge.
Meals are taken in silence and in the evenings we enjoy the yang of the campfire followed by a closing meditation.
This is an opportunity to connect with nature and animals on many levels and to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful area.
We welcome all those who are curious to learn more about yoga as well as intermediate and advanced practitioners.
Famous Rock Art Galleries
Highest concentrations of rock art in the world...
Matobo Hills gained its World Heritage Status principally on the rich cultural diversity of this area. The Matobo Hills boasts one of the highest concentrations of rock art found anywhere in the world. This ancient Khoisan art can be viewed in the both the National Park and even within the immediate vicinity of Big Cave Camp. These famous rock art galleries can be visited on foot or by 4x4.
Nswatugi Cave: One of the more famous sites is Nswatugi Cave, which is normally combined with a trip to Rhodes Grave, World’s View which is a beautiful drive through the Recreational Park. View the hidden lady, who can only be seen when shadow is cast over the painting. The small museum at the car park is also very informative.
Bambata Cave: This very large cave combines fantastic rock art with a wonderful 4 km walk through the National park, with incredible views into the Whovi Game Park. The path first winds its way through the natural forest, and then you slowly gain altitude along a large granite ridge that leads up to the cave. Bambata cave was one of the first sites in Zimbabwe to be excavated, and revealed occupation deposits that date back 3000 years. The rock art is estimated at between 300 - 1500 years old, and is a combination of animal species and depictions of people in trance.
Inanke Cave: Inanke is the remotest of the famous rock art galleries, and pre-booking a tour to Inanke is essential, as this is a full day’s activity. Guests should also be decently fit, as it is a 7 km walk each way from the car park, with steep inclines and declines. The cave is on the eastern side of the Recreational park, and is also a 1.5-hour drive from camp. The walk is well worth the effort though, as the path is a combination of walking on granite along high ridges, as well as winding ones way through giant whale backs, while walking in superb natural forest. The paintings in my mind have to rate as some of the most incredible rock art on the planet. The paintings are amazing in both diversity and quality, and entering the cave for the first time is just mind blowing.
Tours to the nearby Ndebele Village and Whitewaters Secondary School provides an insight into the lives of the local people. The school in particular has been supported by guests of Big Cave Camp for many years. To date a library has been constructed and school fees, science equipment, desks, chairs, sporting goods and building materials have been donated. In times of real hardship, a guaranteed meal has also been provided for all the school children. In addition, a number of children have had their education sponsored by guests of Big Cave Camp.
Matobo Hills boasts one of the highest concentrations of birds of prey anywhere in the world. Big Cave has several nesting sites on and adjacent to the property. The Black Eagle is one of the more majestic birds to grace the area, and other sought after species is the elusive Cape (Mackinder's) Eagle Owl.
Big Cave offers excellent opportunities for the bird watcher.
Rhodes Grave and World's View
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Once Zimbabwe’s capital, the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe is the biggest and most significant stone archaeological complex in sub-Saharan Africa. It is also one of its oldest – thought to date back to the 11th century and second only to South Africa’s Mapungwe. Composed entirely of rectangular granite blocks stacked on top of one another without the use of mortar, the walls and towers of the city measure up to 12 metres in places, and it is unsurprising that Great Zimbabwe was designated a World Heritage Site in 1986.
Overnight: Norma Jeans
Norma Jeane's Lake View Resort is set in the granite hills and Msasa woodland overlooking Lake Mutirikwe (formerly Lake Kyle) and a short 10 minutes The Great Zimbabwe Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The emphasis is on luxury accommodation for the more discerning visitor, offering fully furnished and equipped self-catering lodges and luxury hotel rooms. The dining room providing breakfast, lunch and dinner with a view over the lake.
Notes: Day 9 & 10
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Total Price for 9 Nights: US$ 2619 (high season) / US$ 2499 (low season)
Included in this safari
BAYETE GUEST LODGE
BIG CAVE LODGE
NORMA JEANE'S RESORT
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