Explore wild Africa on game drives and walking tours in Zimbabwe, admiring magnificent wildlife and marveling at spectacular Victoria Falls.

Whether tracking elephant on foot through pristine grassland or paddling a canoe on the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe offers memorable adventures to last a lifetime. Explore Hwange National Park via 4×4 vehicle, spotting cheetah, hippo, elephant, impala, zebra, and much more as you go. Experience the thrill of walking through the bush with experienced guides, learning to read animal tracks in the dirt and sense changes in wind direction. Ride a section of the historic Cape-to-Cairo Railway through miles of backcountry, watching giraffe and lion cross in front of you from your open railcar. Relax on the Zambezi River—paddling a canoe out to the uninhabited Siansimba Islands or sipping sundowners aboard a speedboat. Stay in perfectly situated camps and lodges, with views of plunging gorges and watering holes from your beautifully appointed rooms. From beginning to end, savor an active and experiential journey into one of Africa’s lesser-known regions. Create lasting memories as you travel through the wilds of Africa, with exciting animal encounters, idyllic canoe excursions, and everything in between. Wander lush forests bathed in the mist of thundering Victoria Falls, and listen for bird calls as your canoe drifts along the Zambezi River. Follow expert guides on thrilling walking tours of Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest national park, sighting majestic elephants, energetic zebras, and graceful cheetahs. On the historic Cape-to-Cairo Railway, watch for lions and giraffes emerging from the vast wilderness. Take in sweeping views from your deluxe bush camp accommodations, enjoying a sumptuous dinner each night before falling asleep under a sky of infinite stars. This memorable journey showcases the sights and sounds underlying the allure of untamed Africa.

Highlights

  • Track wildlife on foot on exciting bush walks and explore the trails along the rim of thundering Victoria Falls, with expert guides.
  • Get closer to wild elephants than you ever dreamed, looking up from inside an innovative underground blind, half-buried beside a watering hole.
  • Walk through conserved farmland into a remote village, where you are likely to be joined by local children on their way to school.
  • Discover the fascinating history of Africa’s Cape-to-Cairo Railway, marveling at breathtaking views of Hwange’s vast backcountry from your open rail car.
On all Fully-Guided Adventures you can count on...
Icon of road-signs
Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination.
Icon of map
Off-the-beaten-path places you’d never find on your own.
Icon of cutlery
Delicious, authentic multi-course meals — virtually all are included.
Icon of hikers
A maximum of 18 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey.
Icon of house
Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
Icon of check-list
Experts to handle all the details.
Icon of airplane
Flight + Tour Combos include plane tickets, airport shuttles, and pre- and post-tour accommodations.

Itinerary

Wed, Jun 3 to Sun, Jun 14 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Upon arrival at Johannesburg South Africa International Airport (JNB), a representative from the African Rock Hotel holding a Country Walkers sign will meet you as you exit the baggage-claim area. The complimentary small-group transfer to the hotel takes approximately 15 minutes. Please note that there may be up to a 45-minute wait if there are other guests arriving within the same time frame. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included). The hotel will advise you of your departure time for your included transfer the next morning back to JNB for your flight to Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Accommodation: African Rock Hotel, Johannesburg

Following breakfast this morning, you are transferred to the airport for your included flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to begin your tour.

Touch down at Victoria Falls Airport and begin your Zimbabwean adventure. A shuttle meets you and whisks you to Gorges Lodge, nestled in a garden setting and perched on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, 200 yards above the mighty Zambezi River. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the tranquil beauty of the lodge. Unwind by the pool, sipping a fresh-squeezed juice and taking in the stunning view.

Late afternoon, stretch your legs and join your guide on a walk through the lodge’s gardens – boasting 90 percent indigenous plants – leading to a striking outlook along the gorge. This is the ideal place to savor a glass of cold sauvignon blanc and slice of bobotie (curried meat) quiche, while watching the lodge’s resident pair of black eagles soar within feet of you. African black eagles (also known as Verreaux’s eagles) are a highly specialized bird of prey, who almost exclusively hunt rock hyrax—a small, rodent-like relative of the elephant. Black eagles pair for life, building nests and hunting together. Other large birds you may be lucky to view include the peregrine and taita falcons, lizard and jackal buzzards, harrier hawks, and the occasional fish eagle.

Following sundowners with the eagles, stroll back to the main lodge where you are entertained by their energetic team of talented traditional dancers—you might even get pulled in to join them! Then enjoy a tasty three-course dinner—such as butternut squash soup, beef stroganoff, and peach crisp—in the main lodge area, overlooking the gorge, before retiring to your chalet and falling asleep to the sound of the river rushing below you.

Accommodation: Gorges Lodge, Victoria Falls

2 hours of walking, easy. Free afternoon or optional visit to Chisuma village

Wake up to the sound of the rushing river below and enjoy your morning tea or coffee out on your private veranda overlooking the gorge, followed by your choice of a continental or full-cooked breakfast in the main lodge dining area. Then head out for a walking tour of Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe’s prime attraction. No description, no matter how vivid, can prepare you for the reality of the falls, which remain one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Natives call it “the smoke that thunders.” Geologists call it “the greatest known curtain of falling water,” and “Seventh Wonder of the Natural World.” The majestic Zambezi River sends more than 560,000 cubic meters of water per minute plummeting over the edge of this massive gorge, with a width of one-and-a-quarter miles and a depth of more than 330 feet. The falls transform the placid Zambezi River into a ferocious torrent exploding into clouds of spray seen from miles away. Yet thanks to its remote location, the surrounding wilderness is peaceful and pristine. Walk along paths that meander through the rainforest – leading you from one awe-inspiring viewpoint to another. There will also be an opportunity to visit a local craft village to buy hand-carved souvenirs, for those interested.

After working up an appetite, you are treated to a picnic lunch on the banks of the Zambezi River or at a local café. Upon return to the lodge, you have the opportunity to visit the nearby Chisuma village, where you meet villagers and participate in some of their daily activities, such as crushing grain into meal, ploughing the fields, and brewing beer. For those looking for a little rest, you may opt to settle in on your deck with a good book.

In the evening, enjoy an alfresco dinner in the lush garden under the stars.

Accommodation: Gorges Lodge, Victoria Falls

After breakfast, set off on a full-day road transfer to Nehimba Lodge in the northwest of Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve), famed for its large elephant herds and diversity of wildlife. (Total transfer time is five to six hours inclusive of plenty of rest stops and some game viewing.) Just before entering the park, the road leads unexpectedly through an open coal mine. It’s a strong contrast to the glorious, preserved wilderness of Hwange, and underscores just how important your tourism is to supporting the national park and its wilderness. Founded in 1929 and named for a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s biggest and oldest game reserve. Hwange is home to over 100 mammal species—one of the largest array of mammals in any national park in the world. Here lions, cheetah, and endangered African wild dogs pursue wildebeest and zebra. As you drive to Nehimba Lodge, you’ll pass through Sinamatella, giving you an opportunity to view game before you even go on an official game drive. A packed lunch enjoyed at a picnic shelter overlooking waterholes popular with pods of hippo will sustain you en route. The northwest part of the park is famous for its woodlands dominated by the mopane tree—also known as the butterfly tree—a species that grows only in the hot, arid, low-lying sections of Africa. Basalt lava flows and grayish-white dolomite hills dot the landscape, as well.

Upon arriving at Nehimba, settle in and start to unwind as you explore your home for the next two nights. Time permitting, join your guide on a late afternoon bush walk to a nearby waterhole, where you are apt to see hippos, elephants, impalas, and zebras. Following sundowners, you return to camp with the aid of a spotlight – keeping an eye out for nocturnal animals. Upon your return, a delectable three-course dinner awaits under the African sky. Dinner might include spinach and tomato parcels baked with garlic sauce and cheese, mint-crusted lamb cutlets, and berry panna cotta..

Accommodation: Nehimba Lodge, Hwange National Park

1-2 hours of walking, easy

Prepare your day packs and set off with your guide for a full morning of tracking elephant herds on a walking tour of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Hwange is home to Africa’s largest herd of elephant during the dry season (July to October). By walking to find these beautiful beasts, you have up-close encounters that are truly exhilarating! Punctuating the flat grasslands are kopjes—large, ancient rock formations, whose nooks and crannies provide a refuge for small animals, including insects, lizards, snakes, and rock hyraxes (the favored prey of the African black eagle). Kopjes offer oases in the middle of the plains resulting in an array of rich vegetation and predators often use them to scan the plains for prey.

Enjoy lunch back at the camp and a chance to relax by the lodge’s freshwater swimming pool—a favorite destination for Hwange’s thirsty herds during the dry season.

In the evening sip sundowners and savor canapés in front of a nearby pan. Then immerse yourself in the cuisine of Zimbabwe by helping the chef prepare a traditional Zimbabwean braai (a cookout) for dinner.

Accommodation: Nehimba Lodge, Hwange

1 hour of walking, easy

Savor early morning tea or coffee on your private deck, followed by breakfast in the main lodge, and then head out for one last morning walk through the Nehimba Concession. On returning to camp, pack your bags and head by 4×4 to Impofu Siding, near Hwange Main Camp (two hours). Here, you set off on a unique railroad adventure.

At Dete you board the Elephant Express for a leisurely and picturesque ride down the railway line. Cruising along in this comfortable train car is a marvelous way to view game. The rails runs straight as a ruler for miles and miles, and you may see wildlife (often big cats!) sitting on the tracks, while elephants and giraffes cross in front of you. The train tracks are part of the historic Cape-to-Cairo Railway—a breathing remnant of colonial history. The unfinished railway was the late 19th-century vision of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia (current day Zambia and Zimbabwe), and funder of the eponymous Rhodes Scholarship. He wanted to construct a railway bridging the 4,500 miles separating Cape Town and Cairo in an almost-straight line, thus joining the two British possessions in Africa and forming a continuous “red line” of British dominion from north to south. A railway was a critical element in this scheme to unify the possessions, facilitate governance, allow the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement, and enable intra- and extra-continental goods trade. Of note is the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, which crosses over the Zambezi River, catching the spray of Victoria Falls. For over 50 years, it was a critical route for passengers and freight to cross between Northern and Southern Rhodesia.

You travel in a converted rail car that’s been fitted with a Land Rover engine, gears, clutch, brakes, and specially adapted wheels. Your train is operated by two expert engineers who have spent their life’s work with the national railway – happy to tell you that driving this hybrid railcar is their dream retirement. The southern section of the line was completed during British rule before the First World War and forms part of an interconnecting system of national railways using the Cape gauge of 1,067 millimeters (three feet, six inches). The length of line that borders the edge of Hwange National Park is the longest straight stretch of railway line at 114 kilometers (71 miles). Traveling along this historic rail line in a refurbished train car is a spectacular treat for the train buff. Packed snacks and lunch will be served on board during the two-hour trip. *This railway tour is dependent on permission from the National Railway Line, which has been operating regularly to date.

Upon arrival, you check in to your home for the next three nights, Bomani. Settle into your tented camp and then head off for a late afternoon game drive and walk into Hwange National Park (time permitting). You arrive at a picturesque pan for sundowners and canapés. The flat terrain of the Ngamo Plains in this part of Hwange offers incredible, endless vistas and is an exquisite place to watch the sunset and hear the sounds of night falling upon the plains, as nocturnal critters begin their day.

Head back to the lodge for a delectable three-course dinner under the stars, then retire to the campfire for coffee, hot chocolate or a night cap, and stories into the evening.

Accommodation: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange

2 hours of walking, easy

Wake up early beneath the acacia canopy, sipping coffee or tea while listening to the plethora of birdlife that live around the lodge. After breakfast, head off for a game drive and walk. Today you learn the secrets of the expert “Zim pro guides,” as they lead you on a walking safari to find elephants. You pay attention to which way the wind is blowing, the alert of monkeys, and other on-the-ground tips provided by your guide. You walk noiselessly through acacia forests, and you might even sneak up on a grazing zebra. It’s a thrilling experience, but in the presence of these expert guides, you are sure to feel safe, as well as awed.

A casual lunch (a well-deserved cold beer and cheeseburger, perhaps) will be served in our exclusive ‘look up’ blind in front of Stoffie’s Pan. The blind is an old shipping container that’s been camouflaged as a termite heap and buried in the ground under an ancient Motswiri tree. It’s an incredible opportunity to get close to the elephants. For elephant lovers, it doesn’t get better than this.

While this is truly a day for the elephants, you also find that big cats, myriad plains game, smaller critters, and birds aplenty are there for the sighting. This national park also has a series of pumps, which provide a lifeline for wildlife and the travelers who venture here to experience it. Several boreholes were dug and water pumping stations built by park rangers in the 1950s, during a time of drought. One of the generator-charged pumps is located at Stoffie’s Pan. These man-made pans have ensured water for wildlife for years, reducing the need for wildlife to migrate outside of park boundaries during the dry season—which has proven especially dangerous as there are hunting grounds on their migration routes. Boreholes have also been created for the neighboring communities that have formed and now thrive on the edge of the park.

Take a leisurely drive back to the lodge and enjoy a few hours bird watching around the camp or taking a siesta before your late-afternoon game drive in the park. Stop at a watering hole to watch the sun go down, while sipping aperitifs, before heading back to the lodge to freshen up for dinner in the main lodge dining area.

Accommodation: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange

2 hours of walking, easy

This morning sees an early start, with breakfast in the dining room followed by a short drive to nearby Ngunyana Village. From here, you start walking down a series of dirt paths, where your arrival may coincide with local schoolchildren on their two- to three-mile morning journey from the village to nearby Ngamo School. At the school, you have the opportunity to meet the staff, tour the classrooms, and (time permitting) share stories with the students. Then continue walking through the village to see what is happening in local life that day. Depending on the season, you are sure to gain insight into the day-to-day life of a rural Zimbabwean: if you’re there in May, you learn about tilling crops; September means thatching roofs. This warm and welcoming community offer glimpses into their lives. You are welcomed into the home of the headman of the village—an eloquent speaker who is as likely to pose questions as he is to answer them. It’s an excellent opportunity to see firsthand how community and conservation work closely together. Following this visit, you end your walk under the shade of nearby trees to enjoy a lovely picnic lunch. Then it’s back to the lodge for a few hours of quiet time or game viewing from your tent’s verandah.

As the African sun starts to cool, climb aboard your four-by-four vehicle packed with cold refreshments and snacks and drive along the Ngamo Plains one last time. Stop at a watering hole to watch the sun sink beneath the horizon before heading back to the lodge to freshen up for another delicious dinner.

Accommodation: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange

After breakfast (and perhaps one more early morning bush walk), you bid your lovely hosts farewell and join your guide on an hour-long charter flight over Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls and your last camp on the banks of the Zambezi River. During your stay you see massive hippos and stealthy crocodiles, and experience the water by boat and kayak.

Settle into your luxury tent and then enjoy a tasty late lunch (curried chicken and pineapple salad with tomato-mozzarella pinwheels, perhaps) on the main lodge deck while the mighty Zambezi flows past. This afternoon set off on an exploratory boat ride, stopping at a scenic spot to watch the sun set. The thrill of recreational fishing for tigerfish is included for guests who are interested (they are highly regarded as being the best freshwater game fish in Africa).

Accommodation: Zambezi Sands River Camp, Zambezi

Today is a day at your leisure. Enjoy early morning tea or coffee on your private deck overlooking the river and enjoy a number of activities: you might choose to paddle in a canoe exploring the Siansimba Islands or take a final Zimbabwe walking tour incorporating buffalo tracking. Or, perhaps you want to take the morning off and relax on your own—simply enjoying your surroundings. Following any activity, you enjoy a sumptuous bush brunch on the river’s edge before returning to the lodge for a siesta (or a spot of fishing!). In the afternoon head off for a game drive, returning to camp in the evening for a sunset ‘drift’ on the water with refreshments and snacks.

This evening you celebrate the adventures you’ve had in the company of newfound friends during your farewell dinner on the main lodge deck.

Accommodation: Zambezi Sands River Camp, Zambezi

A transfer will be provided to the Victoria Falls airport for your included return flight home.

Rise early with the sun to soak up your last moments in this special place. Enjoy your coffee or tea and witness the mist rising on the Zambezi River. Following a final al fresco breakfast, bid your hosts farewell, and transfer by road to the Victoria Falls Airport for onward travels.

Fri, Jun 5 to Sun, Jun 14 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Your Country Walkers guide meets you at the Victoria Falls Airport upon your arrival and shuttles you to your first hotel on tour.

Touch down at Victoria Falls Airport and begin your Zimbabwean adventure. A shuttle meets you and whisks you to Gorges Lodge, nestled in a garden setting and perched on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, 200 yards above the mighty Zambezi River. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the tranquil beauty of the lodge. Unwind by the pool, sipping a fresh-squeezed juice and taking in the stunning view.

Late afternoon, stretch your legs and join your guide on a walk through the lodge’s gardens – boasting 90 percent indigenous plants – leading to a striking outlook along the gorge. This is the ideal place to savor a glass of cold sauvignon blanc and slice of bobotie (curried meat) quiche, while watching the lodge’s resident pair of black eagles soar within feet of you. African black eagles (also known as Verreaux’s eagles) are a highly specialized bird of prey, who almost exclusively hunt rock hyrax—a small, rodent-like relative of the elephant. Black eagles pair for life, building nests and hunting together. Other large birds you may be lucky to view include the peregrine and taita falcons, lizard and jackal buzzards, harrier hawks, and the occasional fish eagle.

Following sundowners with the eagles, stroll back to the main lodge where you are entertained by their energetic team of talented traditional dancers—you might even get pulled in to join them! Then enjoy a tasty three-course dinner—such as butternut squash soup, beef stroganoff, and peach crisp—in the main lodge area, overlooking the gorge, before retiring to your chalet and falling asleep to the sound of the river rushing below you.

Accommodation: Gorges Lodge, Victoria Falls

2 hours of walking, easy. Free afternoon or optional visit to Chisuma village

Wake up to the sound of the rushing river below and enjoy your morning tea or coffee out on your private veranda overlooking the gorge, followed by your choice of a continental or full-cooked breakfast in the main lodge dining area. Then head out for a walking tour of Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe’s prime attraction. No description, no matter how vivid, can prepare you for the reality of the falls, which remain one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Natives call it “the smoke that thunders.” Geologists call it “the greatest known curtain of falling water,” and “Seventh Wonder of the Natural World.” The majestic Zambezi River sends more than 560,000 cubic meters of water per minute plummeting over the edge of this massive gorge, with a width of one-and-a-quarter miles and a depth of more than 330 feet. The falls transform the placid Zambezi River into a ferocious torrent exploding into clouds of spray seen from miles away. Yet thanks to its remote location, the surrounding wilderness is peaceful and pristine. Walk along paths that meander through the rainforest – leading you from one awe-inspiring viewpoint to another. There will also be an opportunity to visit a local craft village to buy hand-carved souvenirs, for those interested.

After working up an appetite, you are treated to a picnic lunch on the banks of the Zambezi River or at a local café. Upon return to the lodge, you have the opportunity to visit the nearby Chisuma village, where you meet villagers and participate in some of their daily activities, such as crushing grain into meal, ploughing the fields, and brewing beer. For those looking for a little rest, you may opt to settle in on your deck with a good book.

In the evening, enjoy an alfresco dinner in the lush garden under the stars.

Accommodation: Gorges Lodge, Victoria Falls

After breakfast, set off on a full-day road transfer to Nehimba Lodge in the northwest of Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve), famed for its large elephant herds and diversity of wildlife. (Total transfer time is five to six hours inclusive of plenty of rest stops and some game viewing.) Just before entering the park, the road leads unexpectedly through an open coal mine. It’s a strong contrast to the glorious, preserved wilderness of Hwange, and underscores just how important your tourism is to supporting the national park and its wilderness. Founded in 1929 and named for a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s biggest and oldest game reserve. Hwange is home to over 100 mammal species—one of the largest array of mammals in any national park in the world. Here lions, cheetah, and endangered African wild dogs pursue wildebeest and zebra. As you drive to Nehimba Lodge, you’ll pass through Sinamatella, giving you an opportunity to view game before you even go on an official game drive. A packed lunch enjoyed at a picnic shelter overlooking waterholes popular with pods of hippo will sustain you en route. The northwest part of the park is famous for its woodlands dominated by the mopane tree—also known as the butterfly tree—a species that grows only in the hot, arid, low-lying sections of Africa. Basalt lava flows and grayish-white dolomite hills dot the landscape, as well.

Upon arriving at Nehimba, settle in and start to unwind as you explore your home for the next two nights. Time permitting, join your guide on a late afternoon bush walk to a nearby waterhole, where you are apt to see hippos, elephants, impalas, and zebras. Following sundowners, you return to camp with the aid of a spotlight – keeping an eye out for nocturnal animals. Upon your return, a delectable three-course dinner awaits under the African sky. Dinner might include spinach and tomato parcels baked with garlic sauce and cheese, mint-crusted lamb cutlets, and berry panna cotta..

Accommodation: Nehimba Lodge, Hwange National Park

1-2 hours of walking, easy

Prepare your day packs and set off with your guide for a full morning of tracking elephant herds on a walking tour of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Hwange is home to Africa’s largest herd of elephant during the dry season (July to October). By walking to find these beautiful beasts, you have up-close encounters that are truly exhilarating! Punctuating the flat grasslands are kopjes—large, ancient rock formations, whose nooks and crannies provide a refuge for small animals, including insects, lizards, snakes, and rock hyraxes (the favored prey of the African black eagle). Kopjes offer oases in the middle of the plains resulting in an array of rich vegetation and predators often use them to scan the plains for prey.

Enjoy lunch back at the camp and a chance to relax by the lodge’s freshwater swimming pool—a favorite destination for Hwange’s thirsty herds during the dry season.

In the evening sip sundowners and savor canapés in front of a nearby pan. Then immerse yourself in the cuisine of Zimbabwe by helping the chef prepare a traditional Zimbabwean braai (a cookout) for dinner.

Accommodation: Nehimba Lodge, Hwange

1 hour of walking, easy

Savor early morning tea or coffee on your private deck, followed by breakfast in the main lodge, and then head out for one last morning walk through the Nehimba Concession. On returning to camp, pack your bags and head by 4×4 to Impofu Siding, near Hwange Main Camp (two hours). Here, you set off on a unique railroad adventure.

At Dete you board the Elephant Express for a leisurely and picturesque ride down the railway line. Cruising along in this comfortable train car is a marvelous way to view game. The rails runs straight as a ruler for miles and miles, and you may see wildlife (often big cats!) sitting on the tracks, while elephants and giraffes cross in front of you. The train tracks are part of the historic Cape-to-Cairo Railway—a breathing remnant of colonial history. The unfinished railway was the late 19th-century vision of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia (current day Zambia and Zimbabwe), and funder of the eponymous Rhodes Scholarship. He wanted to construct a railway bridging the 4,500 miles separating Cape Town and Cairo in an almost-straight line, thus joining the two British possessions in Africa and forming a continuous “red line” of British dominion from north to south. A railway was a critical element in this scheme to unify the possessions, facilitate governance, allow the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement, and enable intra- and extra-continental goods trade. Of note is the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, which crosses over the Zambezi River, catching the spray of Victoria Falls. For over 50 years, it was a critical route for passengers and freight to cross between Northern and Southern Rhodesia.

You travel in a converted rail car that’s been fitted with a Land Rover engine, gears, clutch, brakes, and specially adapted wheels. Your train is operated by two expert engineers who have spent their life’s work with the national railway – happy to tell you that driving this hybrid railcar is their dream retirement. The southern section of the line was completed during British rule before the First World War and forms part of an interconnecting system of national railways using the Cape gauge of 1,067 millimeters (three feet, six inches). The length of line that borders the edge of Hwange National Park is the longest straight stretch of railway line at 114 kilometers (71 miles). Traveling along this historic rail line in a refurbished train car is a spectacular treat for the train buff. Packed snacks and lunch will be served on board during the two-hour trip. *This railway tour is dependent on permission from the National Railway Line, which has been operating regularly to date.

Upon arrival, you check in to your home for the next three nights, Bomani. Settle into your tented camp and then head off for a late afternoon game drive and walk into Hwange National Park (time permitting). You arrive at a picturesque pan for sundowners and canapés. The flat terrain of the Ngamo Plains in this part of Hwange offers incredible, endless vistas and is an exquisite place to watch the sunset and hear the sounds of night falling upon the plains, as nocturnal critters begin their day.

Head back to the lodge for a delectable three-course dinner under the stars, then retire to the campfire for coffee, hot chocolate or a night cap, and stories into the evening.

Accommodation: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange

2 hours of walking, easy

Wake up early beneath the acacia canopy, sipping coffee or tea while listening to the plethora of birdlife that live around the lodge. After breakfast, head off for a game drive and walk. Today you learn the secrets of the expert “Zim pro guides,” as they lead you on a walking safari to find elephants. You pay attention to which way the wind is blowing, the alert of monkeys, and other on-the-ground tips provided by your guide. You walk noiselessly through acacia forests, and you might even sneak up on a grazing zebra. It’s a thrilling experience, but in the presence of these expert guides, you are sure to feel safe, as well as awed.

A casual lunch (a well-deserved cold beer and cheeseburger, perhaps) will be served in our exclusive ‘look up’ blind in front of Stoffie’s Pan. The blind is an old shipping container that’s been camouflaged as a termite heap and buried in the ground under an ancient Motswiri tree. It’s an incredible opportunity to get close to the elephants. For elephant lovers, it doesn’t get better than this.

While this is truly a day for the elephants, you also find that big cats, myriad plains game, smaller critters, and birds aplenty are there for the sighting. This national park also has a series of pumps, which provide a lifeline for wildlife and the travelers who venture here to experience it. Several boreholes were dug and water pumping stations built by park rangers in the 1950s, during a time of drought. One of the generator-charged pumps is located at Stoffie’s Pan. These man-made pans have ensured water for wildlife for years, reducing the need for wildlife to migrate outside of park boundaries during the dry season—which has proven especially dangerous as there are hunting grounds on their migration routes. Boreholes have also been created for the neighboring communities that have formed and now thrive on the edge of the park.

Take a leisurely drive back to the lodge and enjoy a few hours bird watching around the camp or taking a siesta before your late-afternoon game drive in the park. Stop at a watering hole to watch the sun go down, while sipping aperitifs, before heading back to the lodge to freshen up for dinner in the main lodge dining area.

Accommodation: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange

2 hours of walking, easy

This morning sees an early start, with breakfast in the dining room followed by a short drive to nearby Ngunyana Village. From here, you start walking down a series of dirt paths, where your arrival may coincide with local schoolchildren on their two- to three-mile morning journey from the village to nearby Ngamo School. At the school, you have the opportunity to meet the staff, tour the classrooms, and (time permitting) share stories with the students. Then continue walking through the village to see what is happening in local life that day. Depending on the season, you are sure to gain insight into the day-to-day life of a rural Zimbabwean: if you’re there in May, you learn about tilling crops; September means thatching roofs. This warm and welcoming community offer glimpses into their lives. You are welcomed into the home of the headman of the village—an eloquent speaker who is as likely to pose questions as he is to answer them. It’s an excellent opportunity to see firsthand how community and conservation work closely together. Following this visit, you end your walk under the shade of nearby trees to enjoy a lovely picnic lunch. Then it’s back to the lodge for a few hours of quiet time or game viewing from your tent’s verandah.

As the African sun starts to cool, climb aboard your four-by-four vehicle packed with cold refreshments and snacks and drive along the Ngamo Plains one last time. Stop at a watering hole to watch the sun sink beneath the horizon before heading back to the lodge to freshen up for another delicious dinner.

Accommodation: Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange

After breakfast (and perhaps one more early morning bush walk), you bid your lovely hosts farewell and join your guide on an hour-long charter flight over Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls and your last camp on the banks of the Zambezi River. During your stay you see massive hippos and stealthy crocodiles, and experience the water by boat and kayak.

Settle into your luxury tent and then enjoy a tasty late lunch (curried chicken and pineapple salad with tomato-mozzarella pinwheels, perhaps) on the main lodge deck while the mighty Zambezi flows past. This afternoon set off on an exploratory boat ride, stopping at a scenic spot to watch the sun set. The thrill of recreational fishing for tigerfish is included for guests who are interested (they are highly regarded as being the best freshwater game fish in Africa).

Accommodation: Zambezi Sands River Camp, Zambezi

Today is a day at your leisure. Enjoy early morning tea or coffee on your private deck overlooking the river and enjoy a number of activities: you might choose to paddle in a canoe exploring the Siansimba Islands or take a final Zimbabwe walking tour incorporating buffalo tracking. Or, perhaps you want to take the morning off and relax on your own—simply enjoying your surroundings. Following any activity, you enjoy a sumptuous bush brunch on the river’s edge before returning to the lodge for a siesta (or a spot of fishing!). In the afternoon head off for a game drive, returning to camp in the evening for a sunset ‘drift’ on the water with refreshments and snacks.

This evening you celebrate the adventures you’ve had in the company of newfound friends during your farewell dinner on the main lodge deck.

Accommodation: Zambezi Sands River Camp, Zambezi

A transfer will be provided to the Victoria Falls airport, where you make onward travel connections.

Rise early with the sun to soak up your last moments in this special place. Enjoy your coffee or tea and witness the mist rising on the Zambezi River. Following a final al fresco breakfast, bid your hosts farewell, and transfer by road to the Victoria Falls Airport for onward travels.

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

Zimbabwe Safari: Victoria Falls & Undiscovered National Parks 1
Post-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Post-Tour Extension - Cape Town

  • Three nights at the deluxe hotel, Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel, just steps away from local eateries, boutique shops, and beaches
  • Three breakfasts
  • Flights to and from Cape Town (in conjunction with the Flight +Tour Combo)
  • Airport meet-and-greet service

3 Nights From $1,098
per person, double occupancy

On the final day of your Zimbabwe Safari: Victoria Falls & Undiscovered National Parks adventure, fly from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to Cape Town, South Africa. Upon arrival, a representative greets you and transfers you approximately 30 minutes to your elegant home for the next three nights.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Upon arrival, you have time to settle in and venture out for some exploration. Head to the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, South Africa’s oldest working harbor and now a lively promenade with an array of shops and restaurants. The oldest urban area in South Africa, this vibrant and diverse city was founded by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for that country’s ships sailing on to points east. Visit some of the city’s beaches, art galleries, and museums. Cultural and historic treasures are on display at the National Library, SA Museum, National Art Gallery, and Jewish Museum.

Dinner options abound. Many favorite restaurants are just minutes away on Kloof Street. Enjoy the local cuisine at the Kloof Street House, Café Paradiso, The Black Sheep Restaurant, or Mana Epicure (reservations recommended). While walking during the day is generally considered safe in this area, we recommend using a taxi or Uber after dark or if venturing out alone.

Accommodation: Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

After breakfast, spend the day as you wish exploring the diverse cultures and rewarding sights of Cape Town. Ascend the iconic Table Mountain, towering 3,300 feet above sea level. The “Rotair” cable car to the summit rotates 360 degrees, providing spectacular views of the city and its astonishing natural surroundings. At the top, you can select from a number of walking paths that provide more splendid vistas and an orientation to the city below.

After lunch, perhaps along the V&A Waterfront, you may explore the city on foot. The hotel can assist you with tour arrangements if you wish. Walk past the 17th-century water reservoir, the historic Grand Parade adjacent to the Castle, the old Drill Hall, City Hall, the flower market, and the impressive Standard Bank Building. Pause to learn about the Greenmarket Square, the Groote Kerk, and the original Slave Lodge. Walk through history when you pass St. George Cathedral and enter the former Dutch East India Company Garden in the middle of town —founded in early trading days and a green oasis. A drive through the Bo-Kaap will introduce you to the historical Muslim section with its quaint, colorful houses.

Accommodation: Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

Today you may choose to experience the Cape Peninsula’s myriad natural and cultural wonders. The hotel can assist you with tour arrangements if you wish. Set out on a panoramic tour to magnificent beaches, quaint fishing harbors, the Boulders Beach penguin colony, and Cape Point, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans dramatically converge. Browse the dazzling indigenous plants and birds of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, the world’s first botanical garden founded with the idea of protecting endemic flora. Or venture to the Western Cape Winelands, where celebrated vintages are produced.

Accommodation: Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

Today you bid farewell to Cape Town. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg and onward travels.

What's Included

Flight + Tour Combo
Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check Check
All on-tour meals Check Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check Check
Local wine and/or beer with dinner Check Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check Check
Emergency travel assistance hotline available 24/7 Check Check
Roundtrip airfare Check
One extra night in Johannesburg Check
Airport car service for arrival & departure Check
Pre- and post-tour breakfasts Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Flight + Tour Combo

12 days. Includes round-trip international airfare, airport car service, additional hotel nights with included breakfast, and your tour.

Single Supplement: From $1,448

Departing From Washington Dulles, VA (IAD)

Tour Only

10 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $1,348

Wed, Jun 3 - Sun, Jun 14, 2020

$9,448

Reserve Online

Fri, Jun 5 - Sun, Jun 14, 2020

$6,748

Reserve Online

Wed, Sep 2 - Sun, Sep 13, 2020

$8,698

Reserve Online

Fri, Sep 4 - Sun, Sep 13, 2020

$6,748

Reserve Online

Expert Local Guides

Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.

0 of 4
Tours Selected