Wild Africa - Overland Trip
1 ½ weeks: to (IMT-GAWA)
IntroAfter a period of time in the tourist wilderness, Zimbabwe is once again beginning to shine. Encompassing excellent game reserves, diverse landscapes, rich cultural history and the spectacle of Victoria Falls, this short safari gives you a real feel of the beauty of Zimbabwe. Our safari starts on a cultural note, with a visit to the architectural wonder of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Antelope Park whets your wildlife appetite, as you walk with lions in this great private reserve. From there balancing granite boulders form a stunning backdrop for animals at Matobo National Park, which is noted for its white rhinoceros population. Wildlife viewing opportunities continue at Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s premier game reserve. Arriving in Victoria Falls we have two days to check out some of the more popular optional activities (such as whitewater rafting or bungy jumping). The magnificence of the Victoria Falls provides a fitting climax to this short, but brilliant and highlight packed safari.
IncludedAn experienced safari guide, a professional driver and a camp cook whilst on safari; local guides in Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Antelope Park, Matobo National Park and Hwange National Park; all park fees; all camping equipment; 1 night lodge, 8 nights camping; transport in custom-built safari vehicle and open game-viewing vehicles.
ItinerariesDay 1 - Pretoria/Johannesburg
Today is an arrival day, so you may arrive at any time. The remainder of your day is free to enjoy at leisure before dinner, which is served at our lodge. This spacious lodge is located in a quiet rural area between Pretoria and Johannesburg. A transfer from Johannesburg International Airport need to be pre-booked and is strongly recommended. There is a pre-departure meeting tonight at 6pm.Day 2-3 - Tshipse Hot Springs – Great Zimbabwe Ruins
(Driving times: approx 4½ hours on Day 2 and 3½ hours on Day 3 )
We make an early start from Pretoria, usually around 8am, and drive due north towards the Zimbabwean border. It’s a long day, but when we arrive at Tshipse Hot Springs, we can spend the evening soaking ourselves in wonderful outdoor pools. The following day we continue our journey into Zimbabwe and to Masvingo, where we spend the afternoon exploring the the impressive archaeological site that gave the country its name. The ancient ruins of Great Zimbabwe dates back to the 11th century and was once the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. For decades these ruins have awed archaeologists and historians alike and there is a good chance we will be similarly inspired on our visit here.
(Driving time: approx 4½ hours)
After the chance to watch the sunrise over the Great Zimbabwe Ruins we travel to Antelope Park, just outside Gweru in the Zimbabwe midlands. Here we are treated to a truly unique experience - and we really do mean unique. After all, where else in the world can you go for a walk with lions? Afterwards we have plenty of time to relax and take in ambience of the African bush, but there are also many other activities we can partake in. Optional activities available include the chance to ride elephants (on land and also in water), go game viewing on horseback, on foot or in a vehicle, or canoeing and fishing in a wonderfully scenic dam! Besides lion and elephant, other species of wildlife seen here include giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, tsessebe, waterbuck, blesbok, red hartebeest, impala, duiker, steenbuck and many more. There are also over 150 species of birds.
(Driving time: approx 3 hours; game drive times variable)
Bidding farewell to the Antelope Park we make our way to nearby Bulawayo, where we meet the local guides for our visit to Matobo National Park. The park is extremely scenic, as nature has sculpted huge granite boulders into some amazing shapes. These boulders house an astounding collection of bushman art, with thousands of paintings still visible. Matobo is also rich in wildlife, particularly bird life, and it is home to the world’s greatest concentration of nesting sites for black eagles. Rainbow lizards and rock dassies are common sights amid the jungle of boulders, whilst zebra and antelope graze at the foot of the hills. The park is also well known for its white rhino population and offers excellent opportunities to walk up close to these prehistoric-looking giants.
(Driving time: approx 2½ hours; game drive times variable)
Hwange is rightly acclaimed as Zimbabwe’s premier wildlife sanctuary. It covers a massive 14,650 square kilometres and is home to large breeding herds of elephant, Cape buffalo, most of the antelope species and many predators, such as lion. We enjoy a day of game viewing, exploring the park in open vehicles. At night we can hear nocturnal creatures chattering and grunting away around our campsite, which is located inside the park.
(Driving time: approx 1½ hours)
Nothing quite prepares you for the awesome power of Victoria Falls. At its peak it is estimated that five million cubic metres of water pass over the cataracts every minute - that’s a lot of water! We camp in Victoria Falls township on the Zimbabwean side of the border, and from here your tour leader can help you arrange any of the optional activities that are on offer. There is much to choose from, including whitewater rafting, paddling on canoe trails or bungy jumping. In addition there is also time to view the falls themselves, as well as explore the town. While in Victoria Falls only breakfast is included, but most of the optional full-day activities also include lunch. Victoria Falls town is well set-up with many restaurants and bars.
Your trip ends today, after breakfast. You can book additional post-tour accommodation to experience more time in this adrenalin-filled place.