Two major rivers form the northern and southern boundaries of Zimbabwe: the great Zambezi River cuts along its northern frontier, while the languid Limpopo forms the southern border with South Africa. In between, the country boasts a variety of habitats from the granite hills of the Matopos to the majestic mountains, lush forests, and beautiful rivers of the Eastern Highlands.
It is in the unspoiled and peaceful northern parks that we concentrate our Zimbabwe custom safaris. The Zambezi River has an exceptional variety of spectacular scenery as well as one of the world’s natural wonders: Victoria Falls. Downriver lies Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park, followed by Mana Pools National Park, located on the floodplains of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and offering superb wildlife viewing.
Along the Botswana border, the world-renowned Hwange National Park is home to some of Southern Africa’s last great elephant, buffalo, and sable herds, in addition to such predators as lion, leopard, and wild dog. Private concessions within Hwange offer truly remote safaris and Zimbabwe’s best summer (December-April) game viewing. Whether adding to a longer safari through Southern Africa or immersing yourself in all this country has to offer, a world of wild adventures awaits you in Zimbabwe with Boundless Journeys.
Why Trust Your Custom African Safari to Boundless Journeys?To develop a collection of truly unique safaris, Boundless Journeys has partnered with some of the best safari outfitters in Southern and Eastern Africa. In addition to experienced guides, first-class vehicles, and a diverse selection of camp and lodge options, our partners’ conservation efforts and community-mindedness are great matches for Boundless Journeys’ core philosophy.
Based on our years of designing custom safaris to Zimbabwe, we believe that the combinations below deliver the best experiences in each region. Boundless Journeys' trip specialists can further customize these options to match your interests, and can mix and match the experiences below. Don't worry: If you don't see what you are looking for, there are many more options to explore! Give us a call at 1-800-941-8010 to start the conversation.
Situated on the easternmost edge of the Kalahari Desert and about one hour south of Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park is the largest park in Zimbabwe and one of the densest havens for wildlife in Africa. Because of its blend of habitats that range from forests to desert sands, Hwange features a variety of wild animals rarely found in one region — where lion, leopard, cheetah, honey badger, spotted hyena and wild dog are the often-sighted predators among huge herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra, and sable, as well as a large concentration of giraffe.
One of Zimbabwe’s ‘Big Five’ parks, Mana Pools National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why. Remote and beautiful, with stunning views of the broad river, floodplains, woodlands, and mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment, Mana Pools offes superb wildlife viewing. Large concentrations of elephant and buffalo – and predators such as lion, wild dog, and leopard – are often sighted. There is also a variety of aquatic wildlife, and over 350 bird species, including the Red-necked Falcon and Black-throated Wattle-eye.
Over a mile wide and 300 feet high, Victoria Falls is an awe-inspiring site to behold. While it is renowned as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, its local name is particularly apt – Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") – as it accurately depicts the roar of the falls and the plume of spray that is visible for miles around as it cascades into the Zambezi River.
Wildlife also abounds in the area, which can be viewed from boating on the river or on game drives in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, with fantastic sightings of rich birdlife as well as giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, and even white rhino.
The main Zambian town on the bank of Zambezi is "the adventure capital" of Livingstone, which is renowned for its variety of sports like white-water rafting, horseback riding, and more.
An immersive safari exploring the highlights of northern Zimbabwe, from thundering Victoria Falls to the herds of Hwange and the spectacular setting of Mana Pools National Park on the Zambezi River.
Victoria Falls | Hwange National Park | Mana Pools
Day 1: Arrival to Victoria FallsDay 2: Victoria Falls tour and optional afternoon activitiesDay 3: Bush flight to safari camp in Hwange National Park; afternoon safari activityDays 4-5: Game drives and guided bush walks in private park areasDay 6: Bush flight to Mana Pools National Park; afternoon safari activityDays 7-8: Game drives, boating activities, and guided bush walks in private park areasDay 9: Bush flight to Victoria Falls or Harare for departure
The Manor at Ngorongoro combines a dash of opulence with easy access to the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Set amid glorious gardens and lush coffee fields in the Tanzanian highlands, it oozes Old World glamour: think polished-wood floors and antique furnishings, fine dining, billiards and cigars. Each of its elegant Cape Dutch-styled cottages has a private deck, sitting room, open fire and enormous Victorian bath, which will be ready-filled with bubbles, awaiting your return from the day’s adventure.
Situated on the easternmost edge of the Kalahari Desert and about one hour south of Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park is the largest park in Zimbabwe and one of the densest havens for wildlife in Africa. Because of its blend of habitats that range from forests to desert sands, Hwange features a variety of wild animals rarely found in one region -- where lion, leopard, cheetah, honey badger, spotted hyena and wild dog are the often-sighted predators among huge herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra, and sable, as well as a large concentration of giraffe.
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
A classic tented camp in one of the best game viewing areas Hwange National Park, Davison’s Camp features eight comfortable tents and one family unit, all with ensuite bathroom, and views overlooking an open plain and waterhole. The main area offers a lounge, bar, and dining room which leads onto a fabulous deck and a campfire area. A pool looks out over the waterhole, while a small upper deck is an ideal location from which to watch wildlife by day and startgaze by night.
Reconstructed in 2014, Linkwasha Camp lies on a private concession near the famed Ngamo Plains in Hwange National Park?’s southeastern corner, overlooking a pan that is a magnet for game in the dry season. Eight spacious ensuite tents and one family tent look out over the waterhole, and the main area ?including various multi-level decks, pool area and a lounge complete with library? has the same spectacular view. Activities include day and night game drives and ranger-led walks.
One of Zimbabwe's 'Big Five' parks, Mana Pools National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it's easy to see why. Remote and beautiful, with stunning views of the broad river, floodplains, woodlands, and mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment, Mana Pools offes superb wildlife viewing. Large concentrations of elephant and buffalo - and predators such as lion, wild dog, and leopard - are often sighted. There is also a variety of aquatic wildlife, and over 350 bird species, including the Red-necked Falcon and Black-throated Wattle-eye.
On a large private concession Mana Pools National Park, Ruckomechi Camp offers spectacular views of the broad Zambezi River and the mountains beyond. Shaded by graceful trees, the camp accommodates guests in ten beautifully decorated ensuite tents, all of which overlook the river and offer both indoor and outdoor showers. The dining, library, and lounge areas are complemented by an infinity pool, and a cushion-strewn stargazing deck.
Over a mile wide and 300 feet high, Victoria Falls is an awe-inspiring site to behold. While it is renowned as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, its local name is particularly apt - Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") - as it accurately depicts the roar of the falls and the plume of spray that is visible for miles around as it cascades into the Zambezi River.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Ilala Lodge provides comfortable accommodation, ideally situated adjacent to the magnificent Victoria Falls. The hotel features two restaurants and 34 spacious ensuite rooms, each featuring teak furnishings and either a balcony, or French doors leading into the gardens. Warthogs, and sometimes hippos, graze on the hotel grounds.
A classic five-star hotel and Victoria Falls landmark, the Victoria Falls Hotel commands a prime location in the heart of town, with views of the spray from the Falls. Edwardian-style decor permeates the extensive collection of rooms, and the hotel features a spa, fitness facility, swimming pool, stone sculpture gallery, and multiple dining options.
Overlooking Zambezi National Park just a few minutes from Victoria Falls town, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge retains the feeling of being on safari while offering the convenience of being near the Falls. All rooms at this extensive lodge offer spacious interiors with private decks and views of the African landscape. The Lodge is also home to The Boma, a popular restaurant featuring a fusion of local cuisine, spirited dance, drumming, and traditional storytelling. There is also a library, spa, and swimming pool.
From providing accommodation options based on your budget, to recommendations on pre- or post-safari travels, assisting you with booking regional air, and meeting you at the airport when you arrive: Boundless Journeys can help you with each step in planning your custom safari. We will seamlessly guide you, so that you can simply relax and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in Zimbabwe.
A variety of activities can be included on our custom Zimbabwe safaris, but the primary activity is often game driving. The wildlife is typically most active early in the morning and late in the afternoon (these times also provide the best light for photography), and therefore we plan our activities accordingly.
Typically, one of the camp staff will knock at your tent door early in the morning, and the group will gather for a quick, light breakfast and coffee or tea before departing camp as the sun rises. We proceed slowly, and even when animals are not present, the landscape and sounds of the bush are entrancing. We spend a few hours exploring and observing animals at watering holes or on the move from one region to another.
As we come upon groups of animals, we allow plenty of time to simply observe and also take photographs. Zimbabwe safari guides are experienced naturalists and will add greatly to your understanding of the animals. We keep a respectful distance - although the same cannot always be said about the animals, and it is not unusual to come nose-to-vehicle with baboons, zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and elephants. By mid-late morning, we usually return to camp where a delicious midday meal awaits.
In the afternoon, there is usually a few hours of down time, enjoying the amenities of camp, resting, birdwatching, taking photos, or perhaps reading about the region you are visiting. By mid-afternoon, we gather for hors d'oeuvres and drinks before heading out for the afternoon activity. Some days this will be another game drive, or it may be possible to explore the area on foot in the company of our guide and a ranger. We then make our way back to camp, sometimes driving with a spotlight to look for nocturnal animals.
In the evenings, dinner is enjoyed as a group, and will vary from seated meals ordered from the daily menu, to dining in the camp boma (a traditional protected outdoor dining area). Each camp is different, some serving meals at seperate tables, while others serve meals family-style.
The winter months of May to September are warm during the day and pleasantly cool at night. There is very little rain at this time of year. The summer months are warmer, and mid-day can be hot (in the mid 90's, particularly in the hottest month of October). Rain falls from November to April, with considerable amounts falling during the months of December, January, and February. Some camps may close during this period.
You may obtain other regional weather information on www.weatherbase.com.
Wildlife is best viewed in the national parks of Zimbabwe during the traditional safari-going months of July to October. Walking and canoeing opportunities abound with Zimbabwe boasting some of the most experienced walking safari guides on the continent. Zimbabwe is a great choice for an adventurous safari that will get you up close and into the wilderness!
In terms of wildlife viewing, many agree the following are the best times to go to specific regions:
Hwange National Park: June - October; the southern areas of the park are good-to-excellent year-roundMana Pools National Park: June - November; July - October for peak game viewing
Victoria Falls: Year round. February-August are the high-water months.
In the camps, the food is healthy, varied, and delicious, a feat when considering the logistics involved in servicing these remote areas with fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and meats. To accommodate our morning and late afternoon activity schedule, several small meals and a few large ones are served daily. The pre-game drive early breakfast typically includes porridge, cereals, yogurt, fruit, coffee and tea; brunch includes typical breakfast fare accompanied by more savory items like sausage tarts, spring rolls, light lasagnas, and other eclectic choices; afternoon tea offers cakes, cookies, and savory items; "sundowners" are light appetizers and cocktails often taken at a scenic spot in the bush; and finally, dinner, ordered from a menu with two or three daily choices. Beef, pork, and chicken are the basis of most main dishes, with occasional opportunities to try indigenous meats like farm-raised springbok.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
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