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overview

Withthe thundering drama of Victoria Falls to look forward to, this 8-day journey opens with spectacular game viewing on the banks of the Zambezi River and in the untamed wilderness of Zambia’s Kafue National Park.

Begin the safari at Ruckomechi Camp in Mana Pools National Park where you search for the Zambezi River's big game on guided drives, nature walksand canoe safaris. Continue the journey to Busanga Bush Camp in Kafue where an altogether different experience awaits you on the vast and tranquil Busanga Plains. Your fitting finale is Toka Leya Camp with its spectacular backdrop of the thundering Victoria Falls.

Perfect for both experienced safari-goers and first time adventurers, this tour fulfils any wildlife enthusiast’s game viewing dreams and is easily combined with the game reserves in northern Botswana or an extended stay in Victoria Falls.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Private,crowd-free settings
  • Secluded tented camps
  • Excellentgame viewing
  • Day & night game drives
  • Nature walks& canoeing
  • Great for big cat sightings

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-3

Welcome to Zimbabwe

The adventure begins at Victoria Falls Airport where you catch a charter flight to Mana Pools National Park. Flying along the course of the Zambezi, the scale of the wilderness below is tremendous - a vast wooded valley bisected by the river that sometimes runs more than a mile wide.

Landing at the airstrip, your guide is ready and waiting to take you to Ruckomechi, a long established tented camp in a spectacular riverside setting. Each elegantly appointed suite is positioned to take advantage of the wonderful river views– making it hard to leave your private viewing deck. While settling in, your eyes are drawn to the Zambezi River flowing gently past, until the comforting clink of china signals a delicious high tea is served in the communal lounge. With two full days ahead and plenty to see and do, your guide helps you plan the right activities to match your interests and individual pace.

Heading out on a game drive as the afternoon sun burnishes the landscape in a thousand soft copper shades, thirsty animals head to the riverbanks to quench their thirst. Herds of elephant march down in loose formation, individuals breaking into anear-flapping run as thecool Zambezi waters come into view. Hippos huff in the deep pools, crocodiles bask on the sandy banks,and waterfowl squabble in the shallows. Mana Pools is prime predator country: lions and wild dogs watch over the floodplains while leopards stalk the forest edges.

The Zambezi Valley holds many wonders and one of the best ways to explore it is by canoe. Take to the river in the company of an experienced guide and paddle downstream, getting far closer to animals than you would in a vehicle with a unique viewpoint that reveals the skittish ear-twitch of drinking antelope, the imperious gaze of an African fish-eagle, the lumbering patrol of a giant monitor lizard. Beach the canoe to stretch your legs, and you may tread a path that has never felt a human step.

Return to camp for cocktails and amiable conversation in the bar before a sumptuous candlelit dinner. A final fireside night cap under the dazzling Milky Way sends you to your suite to slip between the covers, serenaded by the sounds of the African night outside.

Days 4-6

The plains of Busanga

After breakfast, an hour-long boat trip ferries you to Chirundu in Zambia where a waiting driver whisks you to Lusaka Airport for your charter flight to Kafue National Park.Landing at the airstrip, you notice how different this landscape is to Mana Pools. The Busanga Plains offer great sweeping vistas of open grasslands, palm thickets and tree-islands, interspersed with shallow wetlands. Driving through this primal landscape, you see few signs of any human activity until you arrive at Busanga Bush Camp, set at the heart of a huge private concession to ensure an exclusive game viewing experience. Its eight elegant canvas suites nestle under shady trees looking out over the Busanga Plains - glowing with light and dotted with grazing herds. Settle into your room and take in the magnificent vista before the afternoon’s drive.

Setting off into this wilderness, the connection between you and this landscape of distant horizons develops. There are animals everywhere, and your guide expertly interprets the surrounding natural world, giving you valuable insights into the secrets of this land. Flat and open with good grazing, Kafue is ideal hunting country for Africa’s predators, and your guide scans termite mounds, palm thickets and shady corners for lion and cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyena. The huge antelope herds are usually the target but Kafue's lions prey on larger animals too. With two full days of game viewing lying ahead, the chances are good that you will find a pride, tucked into cover, concentratingon a black line of buffalo in the distance. With a patience borne of years of experience, the lions remain hidden, barely moving, waiting for the herd to draw nearer and for darkness to fall. In daylight the guardian bulls pose too big a threat for the lions; at night, the advantage is theirs…

Day 7

The smoke that thunders

Flying south to Livingstone, you reconnect with the Zambezi River as you catch sight of what appears to be a column of smoke rising into the air. This is the spray thrown up from the thundering Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi plunges over a mile-wide precipice into a boiling gorge below. Truly a sight to behold,a guided tour of this world wonder is included in the itinerary. Known as Africa's Adventure Capital, Victoria Falls is home to activities ranging from bungee jumping and whitewater rafting to elephant-back safaris and sunset river cruises – well worth an extended stay.

At the airport, a drive waits to transfer you upstream to Toka Leya Camp. Located on the riverbank with spectacular views, this elegant tented lodge offers a tranquil haven to unwind in after your safari. The delightful spa may tempt you with a massage or you might simply relax on your private balcony, enjoying drinks and a final evening on the banks of the Zambezi as the stars rush out to claim the night.

Day 8

Homeward Bound

Bid the Zambezi River a final farewell after breakfast and head back to the airport for your outbound flight. As the mighty Victoria Falls disappear below your aeroplane, the adventures of your holiday keep you company. Close your eyes and canoe dreamily down the Zambezi, feel thrill of finding Busanga’s lions, hear the call of the fish eagle – memories to treasureand share back home. 

Inclusions

  • 3 nights at Ruckomechi Camp on a fully inclusive basis
  • 3 nights at Busanga Bush Camp on a fully inclusive basis
  • 1 night at Toka Leya on a fully inclusive basis

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"A wonderful trip for a return visit to Africa - experience off-the-beaten track destinations that won't disappoint in the wildlife department!"

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