Let Us Customize the Perfect Luxury Zimbabwe Safari
Below are our recommended places to visit. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Zimbabwe safari just for you!
Zimbabwe’s most visited destination, Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The local people call it “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, the smoke that thunders. Observers are impressed by the towering column of spray when the river is high, the thunder of the falling water and the breathtaking and tranquil lagoons upstream in which hippo and crocodiles lurk.
Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did explorer David Livingstone in the 1860’s. A number of activities are available to travelers – from serene to heart-thumping. In addition to a walking tour of the Falls (complete with many awesome views of the cataract), the ‘Flight of Angels’ provides a fabulous vista of the Falls, its towering spray (seasonal), the upstream river and its many islands. Visitors can also kayak, canoe, fish, go on guided walking safaris, enjoy a sunrise or sunset cruise, ride on horseback and enjoy a picnic at the water’s edge.
Victoria Falls is also known as the adrenalin capital of Southern Africa and there is no shortage of exciting activities for the more adventurous traveler. You can choose from a helicopter ride with stunning views from breathtaking heights or whitewater rafting the wild rapids below the Falls. Bungee jumping off of the bridge that spans the deep gorge is an option, as is a spectacular ‘gorge swing’ that suspends you high above the Zambezi River.
While it may not be the first thing people think of when planning a visit to Victoria Falls, cultural experiences abound! From exploring local art (or even participating in a workshop with local artists) to digging into a meal of local foods – perhaps that you’ve cooked yourself in a class – there are lots of opportunities to immerse into Victoria Falls’ local vibe.
It’s important to work with an expert when planning your visit. Different seasons offer different pleasures at the Falls – from the chance to view a lunar rainbow or for the best rafting to the time that’s best for photographers, we’ll help you choose the right time for you to experience Victoria Falls.
Gonarezhou National Park
Zimbabwe’s second largest national park is extremely remote and encompasses a variety of habitats – from woodlands to floodplains – that support a wide range of mammals and birds. The park is home to the biggest variety of birds in Zimbabwe – more than 400 species – and has beautiful scenery including dramatic sandstone cliffs that offer a brilliant backdrop during every season. Gonarezhou translates to ‘place of elephants’ and indeed the park is; more than 10,000 of the large mammals are found in the park, along with lions, rare brown hyenas and wild dogs, a variety of plains species and more. Guests that venture to this faraway place will be rewarded with rich game viewing and wonderful exclusivity. The neighboring private Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve offers travelers the chance to view its robust black rhino population, as well as an exceptional level of luxury lodging.
The ruined city of Great Zimbabwe is a national treasure. The largest stone structure ever built south of the Sahara Desert, Great Zimbabwe’s first stones were laid more than 900 years ago, and it continues to be an architectural marvel. Built over centuries, the UNESCO World Heritage Site gives travelers the chance to explore what was an incredibly complex set of structures for their time. The main walls alone were estimated to have been comprised of over one million stone bricks. There are three complexes to visit, allowing guests to see how building skills and design progressed over the centuries.
For those interested in visiting Great Zimbabwe, we can arrange a tour with a professional archaeologist to give you deep insight into its incredible history.
Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is a world-class safari destination where you can find over 100 mammal species – the highest diversity of mammals of any national park in the world – 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) and has a wide range of activities and accommodations.
Hwange is a year-round park. Winter months (Aug – Nov) have the best wildlife viewing due to the sparseness of the vegetation and while it can get very warm, you will need a fleece for early mornings and evenings. Summer months bring their own enjoyment – healthy, stress-free animals feeding on the surrounding abundant vegetation as well as fantastic birding. Visitors can expect occasional chilly nights in summer as well. Activities on offer in Hwange are varied depending on your interests and accommodation choice. Day and night game drives, walking safaris, wildlife viewing from sunken hides and elevated platforms, game viewing in an open-air train car and bush dinners are among the activities available and we can plan your Zimbabwe luxury safari to best match your interests.
Lake Kariba & Matusadona National Park
One of the world’s largest manmade lakes, Lake Kariba is more often visited by locals than international travelers. For those in the know, the lake provides a range of engaging safari activities and unique lodgings – from luxury lodges to private houseboats. The lake’s scenery is gorgeous and two national parks border its shores. Matusadona National Park is one and is one of Zimbabwe’s hidden gems.
The park’s lush landscapes and glittering lake support myriad species and make for wonderful photography. Over 240 bird species can be seen in the park, making it a haven for birders. Lion, buffalo, elephant, waterbuck and impala are found in good numbers, making game viewing rewarding. Visitors can enjoy boating safaris and sunset cruises, day and night game drives, walking safaris, fishing and more depending on the accommodation they choose. Matusadona is currently under the management of African Parks. We expect to see its wildlife population grow and flourish in the coming years.
Mana Pools National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mana Pools National Park is known for its remoteness, its elephants and its lions. Mana Pools is also synonymous with the Zambezi River, canoeing safaris and wild beauty. The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language, signifying the four large pools that are the remnant oxbow lakes that the mighty Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago.
Hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds are abundant here, as are elephant, eland, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra and warthog. The Mana Pools are also a favorite of lions, leopards, spotted hyena and cheetah, making it an ideal spot during luxury Zimbabwe safaris. Game drives, walking safaris, canoeing safaris and birding are on offer depending on the accommodations you choose. You can even try your hand casting for tiger fish.
Close to Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo you will find one of Southern Africa’s most interesting and breathtaking rock landscapes. Weather-shaped granite dominates this National Park and provides unforgettable vistas. Hiking, tours of rock art sites that document the area’s 40,000-plus-year history of human habitation, a visit to Cecil Rhodes’ grave and cultural visits are the highlights of a luxury Zimbabwe safari at Matobo Hills. The rock formations and myriad cultural activities contributed to Matobo’s UNESCO World Heritage status, though it’s worth noting that Zimbabwe’s largest concentration of leopards can be found here.
When to Visit
Zimbabwe is a year-round destination, though when to visit depends on what you choose to do. If you’d like to see Victoria Falls at its impressive peak flow, a visit between March and June is best, though it will likely be very wet and difficult to see the Falls themselves. During the dry season (August – October), the water flow is greatly reduced, giving you the chance to take in breathtaking views of the cataracts and many beautiful geological features.
Water activities on the Zambezi are best during winter (August – January). Low water levels are best for activities such as whitewater rafting and kayaking, whereas high water may mean these activities cannot run at all. Water levels are not entirely predictable, so use this information as a rough guideline and work with your Journey Specialist for your customized visit.
For game viewing, the dry season holds great rewards. With sparse vegetation and scarce availability of water, wildlife congregates around year-round natural waterholes or pumped ‘pans’ (waterholes) to drink, making for great game viewing. During the wetter seasons, animals will disperse and vegetation regains its lushness, making game viewing a bit more challenging, though photography is wonderful with beautiful, verdant backdrops.