On my recent safari in Zimbabwe I was reminded of how important it is to disconnect from our everyday busy lives and be present within ourselves and with others. I can whole-heartedly say that there is nothing – NOTHING – that sets the scene for togetherness quite like a shared travel experience. Sharing moments and memories is the fabric of our lives and our relationships. And what incredible promise of magic and memories does a Zimbabwe safari hold.
Zimbabwe is a lesser-known safari destination, one of Africa’s hidden gems! Travelers often frequent the Victoria Falls region (with reason) but you can also take a road less traveled for a more personalized and intimate approach to a safari. I loved that the spaces and places I visited on my journey through Zimbabwe had such a personal feel, while being set in some of the most remote areas of Africa. The camps I visited offer ideal settings to come together and reunite as family, friends and loved ones.
Nyamatusi Mahogany is situated on the southern banks of the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park. Nestled under ancient mahogany trees along the river, the camp consists of two tented suites and two tented family suites. It is the perfect setting for a reunion of a multi-generational family, two or three families traveling together or a group of forever friends. What more can you ask for than to be hosted in a stunning private property in a remote part of Africa absolutely teeming with wildlife with your nearest and dearest?
The open-air and beautifully designed lounge, dining room and pool with sweeping views of the river and floodplain are exclusively yours when your group books the property exclusively. Mornings and afternoons are spent on game drives, thrilling bush walks, fishing on the riverbanks and canoeing down the Zambezi River. It is safe to say there is something for everyone given the variety of activities and options available in the region. Evenings are spent sitting around the fire and enjoying each other’s company as the very best, relaxed, safari-versions of yourself!
Nyamatusi Mahogany is beautifully paired with Somalisa Acacia in Hwange National Park.
Hwange is a world-class safari destination where you can find over 100 mammal species and 400 bird species, as well as the seasonal presence of one of the largest elephant herds on the planet. It is one of the largest parks in Southern Africa – roughly the size of Massachusetts or the Serengeti for comparison.
Somalisa Acacia is hands down one of my personal favorite camps in all of Africa! The open plan and beautifully designed communal area invite you to spend time dipping in and out of the pool while enjoying a gin and tonic paired with great conversation and wildlife viewing right from camp! Watch as herds of elephants excitedly run down to the watering hole in front of the camp to drink and play an arm’s reach away (literally!) An elephant lover’s dream come true!
For groups traveling with children this is THE place to be. I loved seeing young explorers during my visit join the camp staff in the welcoming us to camp with a song and African drumming which they had learned and practiced earlier in the day. They proudly showed us the African beaded bracelets they had made and later were sous chefs for lunchtime prep. Need I mention the look on their little faces when the elephants came down to camp for a visit?
Starting or ending a Zimbabwe safari at one of the most famous natural wonders in the world, Victoria Falls, is a must! Between 19 and 176 million cubic feet of water flow over the Falls every minute, depending on the season. It is the largest falling curtain of water in the world! A number of sights and activities can be found near the Falls that are worth a trip in itself. Once again there is something for everyone, so it an ideal destination for groups with different (or the same!) interests and activity levels. Travelers can enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River; marvel at the Falls from a helicopter flight; savor a scrumptious lunch at the clifftop Look Out café; or for the more adventurous, white water raft down the rapids and take a dip in Devil’s Pool across the Zambian border at the very top of the Falls.
A Zimbabwe safari promises memories, moments and togetherness that will last a lifetime!
Photos courtesy AAC Journey Specialist Angie Voigt and African Bush Camps