Lake Kariba Cruise, Mana Pools Safari and Victoria Falls
Cruise and Safari Zimbabwe - Itinerary
(Minimum 2 guests, maximum 18)
Day 1: Arrive at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge
On arrival at Harare International Airport, your driver/guide will meet you and transfer you to Pamuzinda Safari Lodge. This is a journey of one and half hours in a comfortable private bus. Spend the afternoon relaxing or choose from a variety of activities including a visit to the Chengeta Primary School, elephant interaction, guided canoe excursion, horseback safari or a game drive on the 13,000-acre pristine wildlife habitat before enjoying a “Welcome to Africa” barbeque dinner.
Day 2: Pamuzinda Safari Lodge
Take this day to “arrive” in Africa, enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush that surrounds you. Sleep in, spend the morning by the pool after your sumptuous breakfast or stroll around the gardens. Alternatively, you pick one of the many activities on offer at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge to take part in.
Day 3: From Pamuzinda Safari Lodge to Great Zimbabwe Monument
After a restful night you can enjoy a hot coffee on the private veranda of your room overlooking the Serui River before having breakfast at leisure today. A four hour drive will take you to the Great Zimbabwe Monument near Masvingo.
On the way you will pass through small towns and villages. The landscape will become more undulating the closer you get to your destination and you will catch occasional views of Lake Mutirikwe.
When you arrive, you can stretch your legs and relax a bit as you have a lot planned for the following day!
Day 4: Great Zimbabwe Monument & Lake Mutirikwe
In the morning, when it is still cool, you will leave your accommodation for the short drive to the Great Zimbabwe Monument. The tour, accompanied by a local archaeologist or historian and your German guide, takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours and includes some exciting walks. The impressive walls dating from the 11th to 14th centuries bear witness to the rise and fall of a kingdom. Let yourself be fascinated by the history and many secrets that still shroud Great Zimbabwe.
After your well-deserved lunch, take a panoramic drive along the shores of Lake Muririkwe and visit the dam wall. You can enjoy the magnificent views of the country's third largest reservoir and the imposing landscape of granite hills.
Day 5: From Great Zimbabwe to Matobo National Park
Your journey to Shashani Matobo Hills Lodge today will require about four and a half hours. The route takes you through Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo. Once arrived at your lodge, the afternoon is yours to relax and enjoy. Alternatively, you can take a short walk to a cave painting and historic grain bin site.
Day 6: Matobo National Park - Track rhinos and admire rock paintings
An all-day excursion to the Matobo National Park is on your programme today. You will have the opportunity to track highly endangered rhinos by 4x4 vehicle and on foot. Your guide is well trained to get close to wild animals and will tell you many fascinating things about these gentle giants. You will also visit one of Zimbabwe's best known rock painting sites, Nswatugi Cave, under expert guidance. The tour ends with a short hike up to the Worlds View Rock, where Cecil John Rhodes is buried at his own request. The view here is especially beautiful.
Day 7: From Matobo National Park to Hwange National Park
About five hours drive separate you from your next destination, Hwange National Park. With about the same expanse as Belgium, Hwange is Zimbabwe's largest protected area. The Big Five can be found here, elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. But you also have a good chance of seeing majestic sable antelopes, elegant giraffes and cheeky baboons. Underneath the surface of some waterholes the deadly danger of crocodiles lurks.
In the afternoon, after your arrival, you will visit the rehabilitation and information centre for the highly endangered African wild dogs. On the way back you will train your eyes to search for wild animals.
Day 8: A whole day in Hwange National Park
Early in the morning you will set off for the park with a delicious picnic and plenty of drinks to spend the whole day observing animals and birds. Your guide will introduce you to the secrets of the animals and plants you will see along the way. Enjoy the rich fauna and the beautiful landscape.
Day 9: From Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls
After a quiet and comfortable night and an early breakfast, you will be taken by transfer bus to the Victoria Falls, the wonder of the world, which takes about two and a half hours. You arrive in time for lunch. Once you have made yourself comfortable in your room, you can make your choice from the many optional activities Victoria Falls has to offer. A sunset boat trip on the Zambezi, a helicopter flight over the waterfalls or a series of zip lines over the Zambezi Gorge called the "Canopy Tour" are great options. Transfers are included in most activities. In the evening, you will experience the famous Boma with its "Dinner and Drum Show" as a fitting end to an eventful day.
Day 10: Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls are one of the seven natural wonders of the world and are on almost everyone's list of things to experience. Today you will take a guided tour of the Falls and the rainforest, followed by lunch.
You can spend the afternoon bargaining for souvenirs with one of the craftsmen at the market or strolling through the shops of the charming little town, which is very easy to explore on foot. For the adventurer there is the option of bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge, there are Gorge Swings and a number of rope slides over the gorge.
Day 11: Masumu River Lodge
A transfer of about five and a half hours takes you to the small town of Binga. Here the manager of the Masumu River Lodge will welcome you. You can spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming in the pool and with your first sunset over Lake Kariba. From the bar you have an incomparable view over the islands of this magical lake.
Day 12: Cruise on Lake Kariba
A morning tour of Binga is on the agenda for you in the morning. You will visit a small museum dedicated to the Tonga people. The tour also includes natural hot springs and a crocodile breeding reserve.
At noon you board your houseboat directly below Masumu River Lodge and cast off. Lunch will be served on board. The first cruise takes about four hours until the boat moors in the Chete Safari Area for the night. You board the tender boats and go out to spot wildlife, catch some fish, or just enjoy nature on this huge lake. Sundowner drinks and a snack are on board with you.
Days 13 & 14: Cruise on Lake Kariba
Today your boat starts its journey very early in the morning and you travel comfortably the 13 hour distance through the Kota-Kota narrows to the shore of Matusadona National Park. You can relax in the tranquillity, enjoy the great scenery, cool off in the pool and watch animals and birds from the boat. Your time on the banks of the Matusadona National Park is of course dedicated to wildlife watching. You will also visit a fishing village of the Tonga, where the residents, especially the children, are very excited about small souvenirs you are welcome to bring from Europe. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon you go on fishing trips with the tender boats, observe animals and enjoy sundowners.
Day 15: Kariba
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board before mooring in Kariba late in the morning and going ashore. Make yourself comfortable at Kariba Safari Lodge and enjoy lunch on the raised deck. From here you have a fabulous view of the lake and the majestic Matusadona mountain range. In the afternoon, on your half-day tour of Kariba, visit the dam wall, Santa Barbara church, Kariba Heights and drive through Mahombekombe township. Dinner is served at the open-air restaurant or on the beach.
Day 16: From Kariba to Mana Pools National Park
Your route today leads you from Kariba over the winding road to Makuti before the road twists down the Zambezi Escarpment in serpentines. Finally, you drive through the wildlife-rich areas of the Zambezi Valley to Chirundu.
Here, you will meet the boats that will take you down the Zambezi River to Mana Pools Safari Lodge in a two-hour cruise. You have a very good chance of seeing lots of animals on the way. Elephants feast in the high reeds, Carmine bee-eaters nest in the banks and the African fish eagles circle in the sky. You may come across a pod of hippos curiously peering out of the water as you pass. You may also see Nile crocodiles gliding into the water from their sunny spot on the shore.
When you arrive at the park boundary, 4x4 vehicles await you to take you to the lodge and then on your first short sundowner ride into the park.
Days 17 & 18: Mana Pools National Park
Early in the morning and in the afternoon, you will go on game drives that will bring you closer to the beauty of the Mana Pools landscape and its species-rich wildlife. The Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The more you see of this impressive park, the more you will understand why. Huge Winterthorn trees (Faidherbia albida) tower over the Zambezi floodplain. Their lower branches are all browsed to the same level by elephants. The pachyderms especially love the protein-rich seed pods.
Deep dark green Mahogany trees are browsed by kudu and eland antelopes. Between the trees, tempting glimpses of the glittering Zambezi River are always a reminder of where you are. If you follow one of the trails down to the water, you will have an uninterrupted view of the wide river. Enjoy the view of sandbanks, rustling reeds and islands in the stream with the Zambian mountains in the background.
Mana Pools National Park is home to very relaxed elephant bulls who stroll along the river banks in search of food. The guides in the park have given them names and recognize them by the special shape of their ears or tusks. These bulls often wander through campsites or lodges and are not disturbed by the people who admire and photograph them.
Mana Pools National Park also has a quite high density of predators, from lions to leopards to spotted hyenas and the endangered African wild dogs. With a bit of luck you may see some of these predators, along with the many elephant herds, hippos, antelopes and nearly 400 registered bird species.
Day 19: From Mana Pools to Chengeta Safari Lodge
You travel back to Chirundu by boat , then continue by bus, about four hours to the small village of Chinhoyi. Here you have the opportunity to stretch your legs and visit the Chinhoyi Caves. These limestone and dolomite caves and tunnels branch out from Wonderhole and Sleeping Pool. This is a natural crater with impressive cobalt blue water that is said to be over 90 metres deep.
After this short visit your bus ride continues for another 2 hours to Selous and Chengeta Safari Lodge.
Day 20: Homeward bound!
If time permits, you are welcome to take part in one of the many available activities before your transfer takes you to the airport in Harare.
We wish you a good flight and hope you had a wonderful and unforgettable Safari!
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