Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa known for its dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife, much of it within parks, reserves and safari areas. On the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls make a thundering 108m drop into narrow Batoka Gorge, where there’s white-water rafting and bungee-jumping. Downstream are Matusadona and Mana Pools national parks, home to hippos, rhinos and birdlife.
01 ARRIVE JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Arrive in Johannesburg and transfer to your tranquil hotel.
02-3 HWANGE NATIONAL PARK | ARRAY OF SPECIES
Fly to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and connect to Hwange National Park, where over 100 mammal and nearly 400 bird species are residents. Its elephant population is especially prolific. Settle in to your eco-conscious accommodations, which are located in heart of the park overlooking a waterhole. Embark on game drives and/or walking safaris in search of local wildlife.
04-5 KARIBA | SAFARI CRUISING
This morning, fly to Bumi Hills, overlooking the shores of Lake Kariba. Enjoy the activities of the lodge, which include game drives, safari cruising and fishing on the lake, and walks in nearby Matusadona National Park. Bounded on the west by the Ume River and on the east by the Sanyati River, the park is marked by “drowned forests” and filled with a notably large buffalo population. It also features a small but significant number of endangered black rhinoceroses; keep watch for them along the foot of the escarpment.
06-7 MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK | WHERE CLIFFS OVERHANG FLOODPLAINS
Fly to your camp located on the western boundary of Mana Pools National Park, along the lower Zambezi River amid acacia and mahogany trees. This area is renowned for its regular lion, elephant and leopard sightings.
08 VICTORIA FALLS | TOUR & TEA
Fly to the Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. Referred to as mosi-o-tunya (“the smoke that thunders”), the spectacular falls drop a staggering 1.2-mile-wide curtain of water over the edge, sending up plumes of mist and rainbows. After settling in to your historic hotel, enjoy high tea and a tour of the iconic property. Later there is time to stroll the lush tropical grounds or explore the surrounding rainforest at leisure; a private pathway leads directly to the breathtaking falls.
09 VICTORIA FALLS | PLUMMETING WATERS
This morning, embark on a guided walking tour of rainbow-frocked Victoria Falls. See the cloud of spray where the Upper Zambezi plummets 300 feet into the lower Zambezi; this same mist can be seen from miles away. The falls’ average flow is an awe-inspiring 120 million gallons per minute; the deafening roar of the flowing water makes conversation all-but-impossible. Afterward, visit a local market. This evening, enjoy a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River.
010 DEPART JOHANNESBURG
Drive to vast, wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park, stopping en route for a privately guided tour of Olduvai Gorge, where ancient fossils offer insight into humankind. Pass through a spectacular mix of savanna grassland and volcanic hills, before dropping steeply downward into the gorge. Visit the small museum, take in views from the lookout point and examine the excavations, which revealed 3.7-million-year-old footprints and the skull of a 1.8-million-year-old man. Get settled at your lodge, which is framed by commanding views of this land of lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes and topi. The park is also the setting of the Great Migration. Enjoy your rondavel room with private balcony and unique decor styled to showcase cultural heritage and traditional art.
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