Day 1, 2 & 3: Victoria Falls

Welcome to Africa! You will be met at the door of your aircraft in Johannesburg and assisted through to your onward flight to Victoria Falls, where you will be met and transferred to your first safari camp. The iconic town of Victoria Falls, which is affectionately known as "Vic Falls", is set on the southern bank of the Zambezi River, at the western end of the mighty Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe's prime tourist destination and a magnet for visitors from around the world Vic Falls has a rich and romantic history. Discovered in 1855 by explorer and missionary David Livingstone, the railway from Cape Town arrived in 1904 and the landmark 198 meter long Victoria Falls Bridge, spanning the immense Zambezi River gorge and linking Zimbabwe with Zambia, was built in 1905. With its welcoming small town atmosphere Vic Falls is home to a seemingly endless number of activities - there is literally something for everyone. The world's wildest white water rafting, canoeing, helicopter flips, canopy tours and adventure slides, river cruises, golf and bungee jumping. An impressive array of arts and crafts is showcased by talented local artists in the open air curio market as well as at a number of gallery's and shops throughout town.

One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Victoria Falls is one of Africa's greatest geographical features. At 1700 meters wide and over 100 meters in height visitors cannot fail to be inspired and amazed by the sheer size, power and beauty of the thundering curtain of water which can be gazed upon from 16 view points along a network of trails through the surrounding rainforest. Reaching their zenith in April/May, the Falls are at their most powerful and impressive between the months of February and July. At high water the dense plume of spray can rise up to 500 meters into the air and is visible from as much as 20 kilometers away, justifying why the falls are still commonly referred to by their local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya - "the smoke that thunders". Even during the low water months of October and November when the Falls become dry for much of their length the view from the Zimbabwe side won't disappoint. Three nights Zambezi Sands River Camp. All meals and local drinks.

Zambezi Sands River Camp

Three nights at Zambezi Sands. All meals and local drinks included.

Victoria Falls Activities

Day 4, 5 & 6: Hwange National Park

You will be transferred back to the Victoria Falls Airport to meet the short light aircraft flight to Hwange National Park, where you will be met by your guide and safari vehicle and head to your safari lodge before the afternoon game drive.The oldest and largest national park in Zimbabwe, the 14 650km2 Hwange National Park lies in the north west of the country on the ancient animal migration routes towards Chobe and the Linyanti of northern Botswana. There are no natural watercourses in Hwange which means the game is reliant upon the park's network of artificially pumped waterholes when seasonal pans start to dry out.

Explore Hwange National Park on extensive morning, afternoon and spot lit evening game-drives in an open 4x4 vehicles, led by passionate and knowledge professional guides. The large population and variety of herbivores on the nearby Ngamo Plains support abundant predators. Lion, spotted hyena, cheetah and leopard are often seen. To prevent destruction of the pristine woodland by elephant a permanent waterhole has been created less than a kilometer away from the lodge. Take an escorted stroll to a large private underground blind where you can sit and observe interactions within, and between, the elephant herds coming in to drink.

It is Hwange's varied topography - from arid semi-desert in the west to lush teak forests in the east - that ensures a diverse mix of animal and bird habitats. This extensive wilderness area offers exceptional elephant sightings and supports significant numbers of buffalo, lion, wild dog, cheetah and plains game. Sable and roan antelope are also common and leopard occur in good numbers although are shy and sightings are rare. There are very few rhino left in Hwange and they are therefore hardly ever seen. A notable feature is the exceptional quality of guiding in the park, headed up by Zimbabwean pro-guides, many of whom have returned to the country over the last few years and are among the best in Africa.

Experience some real eco-tourism by spending an afternoon visiting local villages and schools and hear about some of the many community based projects Camelthorn's parent company is involved in. Interpretive bush walks, bird watching and a full day "pump" run during the dry months of May to November add to the diverse safari experience offered by Camelthorn. Three nights Camelthorn Lodge. All meals and local drinks.

Camelthorn Lodge

Three nights at Camelthorn Lodge. All meals, local drinks and laundry included.

Pump Run

Camelthorn offers a unique activity in which guests join guides on a "Pump Run"! Hwange National Park has no major rivers and for the past 70 years during Hwange's dry seasons wildlife here has subsisted first on water pumped by windmills and later by diesel engines. In its heyday Hwange ran nearly 60 diesel engine driven pumps that still support nearly 40,000 elephant as well as most of Hwange's other wildlife from May to November. In the southern portion of the Park Imvelo Safari Lodges shoulders responsibility for 8 pumped waterholes. The engines require diesel and oils and monthly services and the Pump Attendants who operate them require rations and pay.

A typical pump run starts in the morning at around 7 am when we hitch a trailer behind one of the land cruiser game viewing vehicles and load it with diesel drums, rations etc We also load up a picnic lunch and camp chairs and table. We then drive through the park game viewing from waterhole to waterhole and dropping off diesel etc . Depending on the particular schedule and time of month, engines will also be serviced and pump attendants issued with rations etc. Guests can either get involved in helping with the chores or take pictures of the wildlife around the waterholes. Around lunch time we reach the last waterhole for that particular pump run, usually 30 - 60 km into the park. We then stop under a shady tree, set up picnic table and chairs and enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking one of the waterholes. Usually around lunch time the elephant in particular start coming down to drink and guests often have a short siesta after lunch in the shade.

Around 3 pm we pack up and start our drive back towards our lodge. Again we are travelling from waterhole to waterhole, and guests can enjoy the herds of elephant and other wildlife pouring into the waterholes that they have so recently resupplied. Pump runs usually end with sundowners at one of the waterholes close to camp.

Day 7, 8 & 9: Mana Pools National Park

Return to the airstrip for the light aircraft to Mana Pools, where you will be met by your guide from your final safari camp. Mana Pools National Park is one of Zimbabwe's most popular parks. It is situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River east of Lake Kariba, 100 kilometers below the Kariba dam wall. This remote Park is away from any major town or human settlement. It is accessed via the Chirundu road to the bottom of the Zambezi Escarpment, and then a 70 kilometer gravel road takes you deep into the unspoiled wilderness.

The word 'Mana'' means 'four' in the local Shona language, which applies to the four large pools (remnant ox-bow lakes) inland from the Zambezi River, where large populations of hippo, crocodile, elephant and a wide variety of aquatic birds are seen. 'Long Pool'', is the largest of the four pools, extending some six kilometers, a favorite for large herds of elephant and one of the many reasons that this unique park has gained World Heritage Site status. With its excellent land and river location Ruckomechi Camp offers land and water based activities to explore Mana Pools which include game drives in the morning and afternoon, game viewing cruises in a pontoon or speed boat, canoeing, walking and fishing (when boats are available, additional charge and own equipment required).

Ruckomechi Camp

Three nights at Ruckomechi Camp. All meals, local drinks and laundry included.

Mana Pools Activities

Day 10: Depart

Enjoy one last breakfast in the African wilderness before it's time to return to the airstrip for the light aircraft flight to Harare to meet your departing flights home. Breakfast.

Rates - 2016
Dates Per Person Double Single Supplement
April-June 14, Nov 1-15 $6,140.00 $1,520.00
June 15-October $5,960.00 $1,440.00
Registered Seller of Travel License # 602 127 852.    •   

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