Pack your bags and get ready for a safari adventure unlike any other! On this special group getaway safari to Zimbabwe, you will be invited to work behind the scenes on local conservation projects and enjoy cultural experiences. From meeting local school children in rural villages to assisting the critical pumped water program for the wildlife in Hwange National Park and assisting conservationists and anti-poaching teams, this is a once in a lifetime travel opportunity. Observe the wildlife on thrilling game drives, admire the picturesque landscapes with sundowners and make a real difference on safari.
This exclusive group adventure is scheduled from October 25, 2019 to November 3, 2019, with limited spaces available.
Welcome to Zimbabwe! Upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport, you will be met by a lodge representative and transferred to Gorges Lodge. The Lodge sits on the edge of the Bakota Gorge, 200 meters above the Zambezi River offering spectacular views! The drive takes about 30 minutes, relax and enjoy the scenery.
Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool enjoying amazing views of the Batoka Gorge. In the evening head off to Dibu Dibu for sundowners and snacks while you watch the lodge's resident pair of black eagles soar only meters away. After the black eagle viewing take a leisurely stroll back to the main lodge reception area where you will be entertained by local traditional dancers before enjoying your first 3 course dinner. Fall asleep tonight to the sound of the river rushing below.
The enchanting Victoria Falls features the largest sheet of falling water on earth. This mesmerizing spectacle is something that simply cannot be missed on an authentic discovery of Africa. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100 meter drop across nearly 2 kilometers, generates a thunderous roar and a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles. This world renowned attraction promises to captivate you from your very first glimpse of the "smoke that thunders".
This morning, embark on an awe-inspiring tour that will guide you on a walk through the natural rainforest, ultimately reaching the breathtaking Victoria Falls. A knowledgeable and informative local guide will accompany you each step of the way. The Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world, and it is all yours to enjoy today! The duration of the tour is approximately 1.5 hours.
After a fun tour at Victoria Falls, embark on your road transfer to Dete Station (2hrs) where you will then board the Elephant Express rail car for a slow ride down the railway line game viewing all the way into camp.
There is no better way to kick off your discovery of Zimbabwe's wildlife wonders, than this epic expedition through the bush. As you gently rattle along the tracks, this open-air train showcases the region's vast wilderness and impressive wildlife activity. Packed snacks and refreshments will be served on board the Elephant Express to Ngamo Siding near Camelthorn Lodge. (approx. 2.5hrs).
*Please note that the Elephant Express Train runs according to daily scheduling specified by the National Railways of Zimbabwe. As such, it may be subject to delays and cancellations, which are beyond our control.*
From what used to be royal hunting grounds before it was declared a National Park in 1929, Hwange is now Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve. This diverse landscape of mopane and teak forests, semi-desert scrubland and granite hills, is teeming with a wide variety of mammals and birds. Although it is a year round destination, Hwange is particularly appealing during the winter months of April to October, when large concentrations of animals flock to artificially pumped waterholes, as the seasonal pans dry out. The park’s network of waterholes sustains life when natural resources are unavailable. Massive herds of elephant make their presence felt during the dry period. Everything from buffalo, zebra, sable and roan antelope, to lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog, can be seen.
Wake up with coffee or tea before departing in the game viewing vehicle into Hwange National Park. The Ngamo Plain is surrounded by acacia forests where guests can leave the vehicle and be guided by foot. You will be guided be fully licensed armed guides. When the drive is over you will return to the lodge for relaxation, drinks by the campfire, optional night drive, and a 3-course dinner.
After breakfast, you will head to Ngamo Village, for a very special morning! You will get a chance to interact with local villagers. Afterward, you will visit a school with children who are more than eager to spend time with you. This involves lunch with the kids, class interaction, and playing sports. The visit culminates in a tour of the school and a singing performance by some of the children followed by a class interaction where children have an opportunity to meet guests and vice versa.
After a beautiful and fun day with the children, you will return to Camelthorn for lunch, overlooking the camp waterhole before your afternoon game drive on the Ngamo. In the Hwange National Park plains, you might be able to have remarkable close encounters with wildlife. Night drive back to the lodge and then enjoy a 3-course dinner under the stars.
After a warm and delicious breakfast, it's time to pack up for a full day safari or "pump run" deep into the southern part of Hwange, en route to your next camp, Jozibanini.
The pump runs combine game viewing in remote areas of the park with hands-conservation helping to maintain 15+ waterholes and pumps which the wildlife rely on for water during the dry season. Many of these pumps have been converted to solar-hybrid pumps in recent years. You'll learn about the challenges of maintaining this system. You will make a stop at the Makona Ranger station near Jozibanini Camp and hopefully meet some of the national park rangers who patrol in this remote corner of Hwange. The drive is approximately 6 hours, relax and enjoy all the beauty Hwange has to offer.
During these two days, head off on a guided bike ride through the elephant paths along the inter-dune troughs around Jozibanini. The ecosystem here is semi-desert akin to the Kalahari in neighboring Botswana. Ancient windblown fossil sand dunes are separated by shallow valleys where elephant paths have compacted the terrain providing the opportunity for a unique experience of game viewing by mountain bike. In addition, you will also learn about the history of Jozibanini, its efforts, and how presence in this part of the Park supports conservation efforts.
In the evenings head into the underground blind for spectacular "to nail" photographic opportunities of the wildlife at the waterhole. Once the sun has set, enjoy a game drive back to Camp for dinner and drinks by the campfire and under the night sky.
After breakfast, transfer to the nearest airstrip for a charter flight to Victoria Falls and enjoy a birdseye view of Hwange National Park. On arrival at Victoria Falls, you will embark on a road transfer to Zambezi Sands River Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River inside Zambezi National Park. The drive is around 2 hours and if you're lucky you might even get some wildlife sightings as you get deeper into the Park so keep your camera handy!
After you have settled in enjoy an evening sunset 'drift' on the water with refreshments and snacks before returning to Camp for dinner.
The Zambezi is Africa’s fourth-largest river. Winding from Angola through Zambia to Victoria Falls, from where it travels east forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, filling Lake Kariba, before crossing over Mozambique and finally emptying into the Indian Ocean. Above the Falls, the south bank is a pristine wilderness protected by the Zambezi National Park – forested sandveld combines with the floodplain near the river to provide a special variety of habitat, scenery and wildlife for the modern explorer. It is a springboard to all of the activities the area has to offer. For the adrenaline junkies there’s white water rafting, bungee jumping and crocodile cage diving. Or you can soak up the serenity of the Zambezi on a canoeing trip, or sunset cruise.
Enjoy morning breakfast overlooking the river before heading out with your guide on foot for a bush walk. You will traverse the shoreline with your guide to do a snare sweep walk. Park rangers and the Camp staff routinely patrol this section of the Zambezi National Park fo illegal snaring or signs of poaching from the North Bank. You will help to provide an extra set of eyes to these teams and get some hands on experience in detecting cross border poaching.
After a picnic lunch you'll enjoy a game drive back to the Camp where you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Perhaps a dip in your private splash pool from where you can watch the game and wildlife on the river's edge.
Enjoy your last morning sipping tea or coffee as the sun rises over the river and the mist settles. Then head off for a morning canoe paddle exploring the Siansimba Islands around the Lodge followed by a big bush breakfast served on the river's edge.
Although your adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Once you freshened up and checked out of Camp, you will be transferred to the airport in good time to board your international departure flight.
We wish you safe and happy travels home!
Welcome to a Zimbabwe escape of living on the edge! Gorges Lodge is only a 30 minute drive from Victoria Falls town and offers a unique experience from an idyllic base on the edge of the Batoka Gorge - a perfect choice for your Victoria Falls safari adventure! At Gorges, you are invited to relax away from the hustle and bustle of town and settle into a peaceful atmosphere nestled in a landscaped garden. Gorges is famous for its spectacular views and the attentive staff on property are renowned for their warm hospitality. Whether you are enjoying a cup of coffee at sunrise on your private veranda or a cool refreshment by the pool at sunset, you will be drawn to the stunning views of the impressive Batoka Gorge and the fierce Zambezi River below.
Camelthorn Lodge is nestled in a patch of pristine woodland just west of Ngamo in the South Eastern corner of Hwange National Park. The lodge is unique in its style and design and has as its centerpiece a huge ancient Camelthorn tree. On the edge of the Ngamo Plain, and strategically placed to explore the remote and unspoiled south eastern portion of the park, Camelthorn provides a spectacular wilderness experience. Each of the 16 Forest Villas features a large bedroom (King beds or 2 Double beds) with overhead fans, fireplaces, en-suite bathrooms and en-suite lounge areas. A spiral staircase leads to an outdoor deck and roof with hammocks, perfect for an afternoon siesta, private dining or a night ‘under the stars’.
Jozibanini Camp is situated in the remote southwest of Hwange National Park, in a wilderness that was untouched for nearly 20 years. The wildlife and local Park Rangers are the only ones to frequent this rural area, which was once roamed by San people. This small camp is truly exclusive and offers a unique and untamed wilderness experience. Their semi-desert ecosystem is comparable to that of the Kalahari in Botswana. In this extraordinary landscape, ancient fossil sand dunes are separated by shallow valleys, where elephant paths have compacted the terrain, creating the unique opportunity for game viewing by mountain bike.
Zambezi Sands River Camp will provide you with an unforgettable experience in the wild. Only 45 minutes from the town of Victoria Falls, you will have the opportunity to appreciate the best of both worlds in Zimbabwe...the exotic nature and the famous city highlights. Accommodations include 8 secluded Bedouin luxury tents offering complete privacy, dotted beside the river bank. Rooms have twin double beds, a lounge area, mini-bar, en suite bathroom, outdoor shower, private splash pool and electricity by diesel/solar generator. Activities through the lodge include game drives, game walks, fishing, canoeing and island picnics. In town, a variety of other options are also available, from guided tours of the Falls and river cruises, to white water rafting and bungee jumping, or even some relaxed souvenir shopping.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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