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.
Nestled deep in a woodland estate of Camelthorn and ebony trees bordering Hwange National Park, is the striking bush retreat Camelthorn Lodge. This shaded camp has the cool, soothing feel of escaping from the heat of summer. 8 secluded forest villas are comfortably appointed and have fireplaces, sliding doors and downstairs verandahs. An upstairs covered patio, accessed by an outside spiral staircase can be used as a romantic sleep-out. The main lodge is built around a massive Camelthorn tree and decorated in earthy hues and textured fabrics. Expansive dining and living areas feature a bar, teak lounge, deck and splash pool. Enjoy al fresco dining, fire-side coffees and up close photography opportunities from inside the underground blind. Explore Hwange National Park on extensive morning, afternoon and evening game-drives in open 4x4 vehicles, led by passionate and knowledge professional guides. Take part in an excursion to drop fuel and supplies off at the life-giving waterhole pumps, aka a "Pump run!"
Jozibanini Camp is situated in the remote south west of Hwange National Park in a wilderness unused for nearly 20 years; only the wildlife and the Parks rangers who look after it frequent this area, once roamed by San people. This is a small, truly exclusive camp in a truly wild place, a four hour drive from the nearest camp, providing a unique, untamed wilderness experience. Small and intimate, there are just 5 tents on raised decks with ensuite bathrooms with running water basins, bucket showers and flush toilets. The beds can be rolled out to the front deck and star beds for sleeping under the stars. In keeping with the rustic nature, all dining is al fresco round the campfire. The ecosystem here is semi-desert akin to the Kalahari in neighbouring Botswana. Ancient windblown fossil sand dunes are separated by shallow valleys where elephant paths have compacted the terrain, providing Imvelo with the opportunity for a unique experiment of game viewing by mountain bike. Other activities include driving and walking safaris, up-close game viewing from the Jozi "Look-up" blind and village visits (1.5hr drive). Imvelo is breaking new ground in Hwange in terms of the remoteness of the location and the uniqueness of the environment.
Strung along the banks of the magnificent Zambezi River, within the Zambezi National Park, the Zambezi Sands River Camp commands exquisite vistas from raised decks. 10 Bedouin-style luxury tents are spacious, well-appointed, light and airy. Each opens up to private decks with splash pools – the ideal place to unwind whilst watching the slow passage of the mighty river as it flows by. Two of the tents have an inter-leading walkway, ideal for families. Canvas central areas and large decks provide comfortable spaces to socialize and dine in unpretentious style. Exciting game drives and walking safaris are conducted through the reserve. A laid-back riverside ambiance and activities such as canoeing, fishing, island picnics and sun-downer cruises by boat enhance the overall experience. Victoria Falls town and the magnificent Victoria Falls are only an hour drive away (45 minutes of which is a game drive in the park) and a guided tour of the Falls is included in the rate (Vic Falls entry fee is not included).
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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