Zimbabwe - The Thunder & Roar of Africa’s True Wilderness

Discover some of the most impressive wilderness in the world. From lion to wild dog and countless bird species, witness incredible wildlife on walks, boat rides, and open canopied 4x4 drives that allow you to capture every precious sight. Visit Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park with its massive herds of elephants and abundant predators. At Victoria Falls, feel the mist amid its magnificent thunderous cascades. Marvel at a plethora of wildlife on the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana and watch as elephant and buffalo quench their thirst in the river. When you’re not out on a natural adventure, experience the elegant accommodations of your camps and the friendly service of the local staff. This is a fascinating journey for anyone who wants a more private, exclusive experience.

Degree of Difficulty - Three Paws

Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.

Weather Reports - When To Go

Zimbabwe has three distinct seasons. December to April: warm and wet; May to August: cool and dry; September to November: hot and dry. October is the hottest month, being humid and cloudy with thunderstorms caused by moist air from the east. The main raining season starts in mid-November, with heavy tropical storms lasting well into April. May to mid-August is regarded as the cool season, after which temperatures rise rapidly. September usually is very dry and one of the best months to visit Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls has a hot climate and is best viewed from the Zimbabwe side year-round.

Days 1/2 U.S.A./JOHANNESBURG

Get set for your adventure as you board your overnight flight to Johannesburg, where you’re escorted to you exquisite hotel, conveniently located close to the airport in a complex of restaurants, shops and beautiful gardens. D’OREALE GRANDE HOTEL. (Meals Aloft)

Days 3/4/5 JOHANNESBURG/BULAWAYO/MATOBO HILLS NATIONAL PARK

Fly to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city and drive south towards Matobo Hills National Park, the oldest in Zimbabwe, included into the World Heritage list. With stunning landscapes in a relatively small geographic area, you can almost be guaranteed sightings of white rhino, the elusive black rhino, a variety of antelope species, baboon, rock hyrax and possibly a leopard. Avian friends include the Black Eagle, African Hawk and Cape Eagle Owl. Rich in human history, more than 3,000 rock art sites dating back from 320-500 AD, and other historical treasures such as 20,000-year-old stone tools, can be found here. The local Ndebele claim this land as a sacred shrine and still pray to Mwali to petition for rain. Cecil Rhodes so loved this place that was granted permission to be buried here – you can visit his grave, carved out from the rock, marked by a brass plaque at the aptly named World’s View, a vantage point high up on the rocks. Your beautiful lodge is nestled in this unique range of hills and has just nine thatched chalets, built around the huge granite boulders, each individually decorated having its own look and feel. CAMP AMALINDA. (All Meals Daily)

Days 6/7/8 HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

Transfer by road to Hwange National Park and your home for the next three nights – The Hide, located in one of the finest wildlife observing regions in the Park. Consisting of saltpans, acacia scrub and grasslands, Hwange is the largest park in Zimbabwe with one of the densest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Massive herds of buffalo and elephant are a sight to behold. Travel by 4x4 open vehicle, or on foot to see sable and roan antelope, impala, and gemsbok. Predators are abundant, including lion, wild dog, cheetah, African wild cat, black-backed jackal and brown hyena. Leopards have been known to enjoy their dinner in front of the camp. Birdwatchers will delight in an array of Miombo and Kalahari species including Red-billed Francolin, Yellowbilled Stork, Green Woodhoopoe, African Hawk Eagle, and Black Sparrowhawk. Uniquely styled along classic lines with plenty of natural light, your family-owned exclusive camp offers spacious tented accommodations. The lounge, dining room and open campfire area overlook a waterhole and the plains, frequented by a constant parade of wildlife. THE HIDE SAFARI CAMP. (All Meals Daily)

Days 9/10 LAKE KARIBA HOUSEBOAT

Catch an early flight to Lake Kariba, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes, studded with islands and surrounded by mountains and forests. For two days you can relax and enjoy the warm Zimbabwean sunshine on a houseboat out in the middle of the Lake. Enjoy this iconic destination with its dead trees rising out of the murky water, dense with hippos and sly crocodiles. Game parks and nature reserves border the Lake giving you the ability to view many wild animals as they come to drink along the riverbanks in the early morning or late evening. Sit quietly and fish, watch out for game, and unwind and enjoy the scenery! Your airconditioned vessel has nine cabins with all creature comforts, including a pool. UMBOZHA HOUSEBOAT. (B,L,D Daily)

Days 11/12 MATUSADONA NATIONAL PARK-CHANGA SAFARI CAMP

Venture off to Matusadona National Park, unspoiled and truly wild, remote, rugged and accessible only by air charter, 4x4 or boat. In its diverse habitat of mountain terrain, mopane woodland, riverine bush and shoreline grasslands you can find the ‘big five’ including the reclusive black rhino, as well as sable and roan antelope, hippo, Nile crocodile, wild dog, kudu, zebra, impala, waterbuck, giraffe, wildebeest, African wildcat, serval, honey badger, civet, spotted hyena and one of the highest concentrations of lions in Africa. Here you can enjoy walking safaris, game runs by 4X4, fishing, bird watching and boating on Lake Kariba. Your intimate tented home is located on the shores of the Lake and has eight tastefully furnished, fan-cooled, spacious deluxe East African-style tented suites. CHANGA SAFARI CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)

Days 13/14 HARARE/JOHANNESBURG/USA

After a last activity this morning and a hearty breakfast, transfer to Fothergill Island for your charter flight to Harare where you board your flight to Johannesburg and home. (B, Meals Aloft)

OPTIONAL PRE EXTENSION TO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Discover one of the loveliest cities in the world, Cape Town, with prime accommodations at the luxurious TAJ CAPE TOWN. Ascend Cable Mountain, take the coastal route to the Cape of Good Hope, tour the brilliant Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and explore the famed vineyards of Boland Valley. Visit the settlement of District 6 at Cape Flats with a township guide, take a ferry to Robben Island where former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his beliefs, and watch the comical penguins at Boulders Beach. It’s a cornucopia of natural beauty, wildlife, political history and sophistication.

Time to experience one of nature’s most magnificent sights. At more than twice the size of Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls is among the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Mosi-oa-Tunya, or ‘Smoke that Thunders,’ is the name derived from the towering columns of spray. Five separate falls make up this incredible spectacle that plunges more than 300 feet into a sheer sided chasm which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. Take a guided tour of the Falls and an afternoon sundowner cruise to discover hippo, crocodile and birdlife at the water’s edge. Stay at the Grande dame, the historic VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL.

YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:

  • Flights between Hwange/Kariba/Harare.
  • Flight between Kariba/Victoria Falls on the post extension.
  • Flight between Cape Town/Johannesburg on the pre extension.
  • All meals daily at camps. Other meals as indicated.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4X4 vehicles, driven by professional ranger, by foot and by boat.
  • Specialist guide will accompany the group with a minimum of 10 travelers.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout.
  • All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
  • All park entry fees.
  • Baggage tags and passport wallet.
Prices starting at $1,495. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.