overview

Zimbabwe is blessed with some of the loveliest scenery in Southern Africa. This trip, which is perfect for families of six or more travelling together, takes you to the jaw-dropping beauty of Victoria Falls, passes through the huge stretches of pristine Big 5 country in Hwange National Park, and ends with a blissful cruise on popular Lake Kariba. In fact, all three of these iconic destinations are also hailed for their sheer magnitude: the Falls are the largest waterfall in Africa; Hwange is Zimbabwe’s biggest national park; and Kariba is the largest artificial lake in the world.

You and your family will kick off discovering these natural gems in Victoria Falls Town, rightly billed as the adrenalin capital of Africa because of the superb white-water rafting, bungee jumping and other exciting activities on offer. From there, you journey to the heart of Hwange to enjoy classic morning and afternoon game drives in search of the Big 5 – Hwange’s populations of wild dog and leopard are also making a comeback thanks to special conservation projects.

Lastly, wind down from early morning wake-up calls with time on a luxurious cruiser on the waters of Lake Kariba, which is a whopping 226 / 140mi long! As you cruise along, keep your binoculars to hand to view African fish eagles, cormorants, hippos, elephants and the occasional Nile crocodile making the most of this vast tract of fresh water.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Perfect for families or groups of friends
  • Exclusive use of properties & houseboat
  • 3 of Zimbabwe’s grandest natural spectacles
  • Mix adrenalin & history at Victoria Falls
  • Search for the Big 5 in Hwange
  • Unwind by cruising Lake Kariba

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Victoria Falls

After jetting into the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred via a shared vehicle to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, a sprawling property that has views over Zambezi National Park. Once you have settled into your family cottage, head for the swimming pool to cool down or enjoy an iced drink on the sun-splashed deck, which has views of a popular waterhole (visits to the photographic hide can be arranged) and the park beyond. The lodge also has a complimentary shuttle that runs a regular service to various places in Victoria Falls Town, including the outdoor craft market and an upscale indoor shopping arcade that stocks great mementos and gifts.

At midday each day, the lodge hosts a ‘lunch’ for raptors, when hundreds of vultures and marabou storks are attracted by the meat left out for them. This spectacle allows you to see these often endangered birds of prey up close, and to get sensational photos of them feeding en masse.

Day 2

The Smoke that Thunders

After a peaceful night’s sleep, you will be ready for your full taste of the Victoria Falls today. A guided tour will take you to the best viewing spots, and your guide will chat about the geology of the Falls, their history and how they change depending on the rains in the far-off Angolan Highlands. The wettest time of year – and thus the time when the waters and spray are at their highest – is from about February to May (your guide may deck you out in raincoats and umbrellas, and be sure to protect your camera from the moisture). On very clear nights when the moon is full and the spray high, you may be able to see one of nature’s loveliest sights: a lunar rainbow arching its way over Batoka Gorge.

Surrounding the Falls is lush rainforest and be on the lookout for acrobatic monkeys, shy antelope and bright flowers amid the emerald foliage. Very tame warthogs are also known to visit the area but – as with all animals in Africa – keep your distance while enjoying their comical antics. 

Day 3

Day’s end on the Chobe

One of the undisputed highlights of a visit to Victoria Falls is a sunset cruise on the Chobe River. Departing in the late afternoon on a spacious cruiser, you and your family can set back and savour the ultimate in armchair game viewing: matriarchal herds of elephants frequently cross the river, the adults protecting the babies by keeping them in the middle of the group and helping them up the slippery, muddy slopes; pods of hippos blow bubbles and occasionally show off their impressive jaws; implacable Nile crocodiles lie on the shores, warming their massive bodies under the African sun.

Cruises are also perfect for birders, who should look out for terns, waders, spoonbills and the most iconic of all African freshwater species – the African fish eagle, which has an unforgettable cry as it scans the river for tigerfish and Zambezi bream. 

Drinks and snacks are served on the boat as the sky slowly changes from brilliant blue to soft pink…

Days 4-7

Off to Hwange

On Day 4, you bid farewell to Victoria Falls for the drive to Hwange National Park and Somalisa Acacia, which has just four tented suites and its own waterhole for the park’s famous elephant population to slake their thirst.

Hwange is Zimbabwe’s biggest national park and extends to the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making for an interesting blend of scenery and game. There are about a hundred mammal species here and approximately 400 different types of birds. Thanks to special conservation projects, Hwange’s wild dog and leopard populations are making a welcome and significant comeback.

Your time at Somalisa Acacia will fall into the timeless rhythms of safari: up before dawn to see the animals coming down to drink in the morning, back to the lodge for brunch and relaxation, back out into the bush in the late afternoon to see the nocturnal predators gearing up for the evening. Because it is in a private concession, you will also be privileged to undertake night drives and nature walks with a trained and experienced guide. Both offer a completely different experience of the wild: on night drives, look out for owls, porcupines and anteaters; on nature walks, discover animal spoor, dung, hollows, insects, butterflies and birds.

Your suite will have a copper-sheathed bathtub and a log-burning fireplace, both of which are perfect for warming yourself up after returning from a chilly night drive.

Days 7-11

Up to the lake

It is now time to shift down a gear and ease into the final part of your African holiday. On Day 7, discover yet another massive expanse of water: Lake Kariba is the world’s largest manmade dam by volume and spans the Zimbabwean-Zambian border. It is dotted with idyllic islands and you will be able to spot both game and birds from the decks of The Matusadona, a luxurious safari cruiser.

While the chef whips up delicious meals and snacks, you will set off with the rest of the crew on speed boats and pontoons to see other parts of Kariba, and perhaps even try your hand at tigerfishing. As a significant water source, Kariba attracts plenty of game and once again you will be able to watch herds of buffalo, impala, giraffe, zebra and elephant quench their thirsts. Parts of the lake border Matusadona National Park and if your cruiser passes this stretch, be on the lookout for lion and leopard on the shore.

After four blissful nights on the water, you will be driven to the Bumi airstrip for your short flight back to Victoria Falls International Airport, your Zimbabwe adventure ending but never forgotten.

Inclusions

  • 3 Nights at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge on bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 Nights at Somalisa Acacia on fully inclusive basis
  • Tour of the Falls whilst staying at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
  • 4 Nights on Matusadona Luxury Lake Safari Cruiser on fully inclusive basis
  • Sunset Cruise whilst staying at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
  • Selected transfers as per the itinerary

Exclusions

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

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Oct 2016 - 31 Dec 2016 $11430

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Bonita Cronje

Bonita Cronje

Africa Safari Expert

"An itinerary offering a variety of experiences. Visit Victoria Falls while staying in luxury suites overlooking the Zambezi National Park; visit Hwange, land of the giants, where you are guaranteed great elephant sightings and end off watching the sun set over Lake Kariba from what the locals call a houseboat but is more like a luxury yacht."

From

$11430

Per person sharing

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