Discover Zimbabwe from East to West

nyangani panoramaEastern Highlands, Gonarezhou National Park, Great Zimbabwe, Matobo Hills, Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls

Day 1 - Harare to Bushman Rock

On your arrival at the airport in Harare, your guide will welcome you to Zimbabwe.

Your destination today is a comfortable hour’s drive to the East, the beautiful Bushman Rock Safaris. Individual lodges are widely distributed among lush lawns and tall trees, offering you space and privacy to relax after your long flight.

You have the option of just kicking back and savouring the peace and quiet or of taking part in one of the optional activities on offer, e.g. guided bush walks or game drives.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Bushman Rock Safaris

Day 2 – Bushman Rock to Musangano Lodge

After a leisurely breakfast, you depart for Musangano Lodge in the Eastern Highlands, a relaxed 2,5 hour’s drive from Bushman Rock.  Cozily appointed thatched chalets with en-suite bathrooms, spaced wide apart in indigenous Miombo forest await you. Each little villa has a private veranda with views of the surrounding, impressive landscape or the beautiful Miombo forest.

Once you have settled in, you will depart on a fascinating afternoon trip to Suncrest Farm. This is a commercial farm. In season, you will learn all about the growing of tobacco from the sowing, to the planting and harvest. Later, you will see how the leaves are cured and made ready to be shipped out for auction.

If tobacco is not in season, you will see how maize and wine are grown and prepared for sale.
You will be back at Musangano Lodge in time for dinner and an opportunity to relax by the fire or on the veranda of your chalet.  
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Musangano Lodge

Day 3 – Musangano Lodge & Nyanga

You have a full day excursion to Nyanga National Park planned for today.

The day's highlight will be a visit to the Ziwa Ruins. These extensive walls were built between the 16th and 19th centuries and consist of walls built to terrace fields, enclosures and pit structures for protecting livestock.

There is also a small but highly informative museum with knowledgeable staff and guides. A visit here can easily be combined with a visit to World’s View, a spectacular lookout point where you have the sense of really being able to see across the whole world. If the remaining time does not suffice for a detour to World's View, you can spend an informative hour at Rhodes Museum which is part of the former Estate of Cecil Rhodes.

Return to Musangano Lodge for dinner and a peaceful night.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Musangano Lodge

worlds view panoramaDay 4 – Musangano Lodge & Vumba

In the morning, your first port of call will be The Oasis Cottage in Burma Valley. It is the homestead of Oliver Wasiweyi, whom many call “Wiseway”, as he is very much a proponent of natural farming and animal husbandry methods.

He will show you his home, his farming methods, how he propagates plants and grafts trees. It is a fantastic lesson for everybody to see how much can be accomplished with tiny resources and much intelligent thought.

For your afternoon, you have the option of visiting Tony’s famous Coffee Shop (closed Mondays and Tuesdays) where you have the choice of Zimbabwe’s finest cakes, gateaux and chocolate.  

Alternatively, you can go for an optional guided walk in Bunga Forest, a pocket of dense indigenous jungle, home to a number of endemic bird species. The extra cost consists of US$ 10 for the entry to the park and the additional cost for the guide.

You will return to Musangano Lodge for your farewell dinner and another night in your comfortable chalet.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Musangano Lodge

Day 5 – Musangano Lodge to Gonarezhou National Park

You will be spending much of today on the road to Chiredzi, a small town in the southeastern Lowveld close to Gonarezhou National Park. However, some spectacular scenery en-route will keep you entertained.

Your route will take you along the edge of the Chimanimani area of the Eastern Highlands, through countless villages with massive Baobab trees.

To your right-hand side, you will follow the mighty Save River. The Save River is spanned by Birchenough Bridge. This is an impressive single-arch suspension bridge designed by Ralph Freeman who was also part of the team that designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Gonarezhou National Park where you will arrive in time for the sunset and dinner. You will stay in the large permanent tents in the East African Meru-Style at Chipinda Pools Restcamp. The tents have en-suite WC and showers and are fully furnished. In addition to the 4 tents at Chipinda Pools, we can also accommodate guests at Masassanya Dam. The chalets there are a bit more rustic, with en-suite WC and 'bucket showers'.
Full Board, Chipinda Pools Tented Camp or Masassanya Dam Tented Camp

gonarezhou chilojo cliffs panoramaDay 6 – Full day safari in Gonarezhou National Park

Early in the morning, your guide from Lowveld Wanderer will pick you up and take you on a full day scenic and game-watching drive in Gonarezhou National Park.

The park’s name “Gona Re Zhou” means place of the elephants, you will soon see why. Large herds gather at the rivers and water pans during the dry season.

The park is characterized by its rugged landscape of sandstone cliffs, mighty rivers with broad, sandy riverbeds. Large herds of buffalo come to the water in the afternoons, often prides of lions follow in search of prey.

Other predators that occur in increasing numbers are the highly endangered African wild dogs. You will need some good luck to see them, however, in this vast wilderness.
Full Board, Chipinda Pools Tented Camp or Masassanya Dam Tented Camp

Day 7 – Gonarezhou National Park to Great Zimbabwe

Approximately three hour’s drive will take you to Great Zimbabwe, the largest and most famous of the Zimbabwe-Style ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your destination for today is Norma Jeane’s Lakeview Resort, a cosy, colonial-style guest house with beautifully landscaped gardens, comfortable rooms and sweeping views of Lake Mutirikwe.

In the afternoon, you will go on a guided tour of Great Zimbabwe Monument, this will take 2,5 to 3 hours. Built between the 12th and 15th centuries, some of the massive granite walls are over 5 metres in height. They were erected without the help of scaffolding or mortar.

The ruins consist of three complexes. There is the Hill Complex that is considered to have been the king’s residence. The walls of the Valley Complex are thought to have protected the huts of the residents. The king’s wives are thought to have lived in the Great Enclosure.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Norma Jeane’s Lakeview Resort or similar

great zimbabwe panoramaDay 8 – Great Zimbabwe to Matobo Hills National Park

After breakfast, you will depart from Great Zimbabwe and travel approximately five hours to Matobo Hills National Park. The last 45 minutes from Bulawayo will give you a slight impression of how beautiful the landscape is where you will be spending the next 2 days.

Big Cave Camp, where you will be staying overnight, is high on top of a massive granite rock with spectacular views over a forested valley and huge granite domes on the far side. Comfortable bungalows are spaced along the edge of the hill, some have stunning views, others are privately snuggled into the trees.

You will arrive in time for a relaxing hour or two by the pool and a refreshing sundowner before dinner.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Big Cave Camp

Day 9 – Full day rock painting and rhino tracking excursion

“The Matopos”, as Matobo Hills National Park is often called, was home to the San (“Bushmen”) who were nomadic hunter-gatherers and the original inhabitants of Southern Africa.They portrayed their daily experiences, their hopes and their dreams on the granite walls of the caves and overhangs where they sheltered.

There are over 3000 known sites of rock paintings in the Matopos. Some are mere scribbles or have faded and been damaged by the elements, others are clear and beautiful. You will have the chance to visit at least one iconic rock painting site during your full day excursion that includes lunch.

Also, you will have the opportunity to search the game park for sightings of the rare and highly endangered rhinos that are specially protected in this area. The order of the activities may be switched around.

You will return to Big Cave Camp for dinner and another night in the wild Matobo Hills.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Big Cave Camp or similar

Day 10 – Matopos to Hwange National Park

Approximately four hour's drive to the North and West will take you to Miombo Safari Camp on the border of Hwange National Park. Once you have settled into your comfortable accommodation at the lodge and had a delicious lunch, it’s “Safari Time” again!

Your guide will drive you to the park gate where you check in and pay your Conservation Fee (US$ 20 p.p.p.d.). After that, you will feel the breeze and smell the bush as you travel into the park in the lodge’s open 4x4 game-drive vehicle.

Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest National Park. It covers almost 15000 km² of pristine wilderness. Only a very small part of this massive reserve is open to tourism and the public.

The southern part of the park, where you will be on the lookout for wild animals, is characterized by open, grassy areas interspersed with dense teak forests and groves of camelthorn acacia.

Hwange is well-known in Southern Africa for its huge elephant herds that dominate the water holes during the dry season, particularly in the late afternoons and early evenings.

After your drive, you will return to Miombo Safari Camp for dinner and a comfortable night.  
Full Board and Activities, Miombo Safari Camp or similar

Day 11 - Morning and afternoon game drives in Hwange National Park

This entire day is dedicated to Safari in Zimbabwe’s largest and most famous National Park. Your guide will show you the wildlife and birds of the park. He will provide you with interesting facts about the vegetation and the landscape that you see.

Besides being a home to the Big Five, Hwange National Park boasts over 100 different species of mammals and more than 400 species of birds have been recorded here. Enjoy your day in the wilderness of this amazing National Park.

In the evening, you will return to Miombo Safari Camp for dinner.
Full Board and Activities, Miombo Safari Camp or similar

Day 12 – Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls

A little more than two hour’s drive will take you to Victoria Falls today.

You will have an opportunity to settle into your room at Amadeus Garden Guest House and relax for a while before you get picked up for a guided tour of the Victoria Falls Rainforest. Your entrance fee of US$ 30 per person must be paid at the gate.

You will barely have passed the gate when you already hear the thunder of the water falling over the basalt cliff 100 metres deep into the chasm. 1,7 km wide, the Victoria Falls, locally named “The Smoke that Thunders” will draw you in with its magic.

The Falls need to be seen, heard, smelled, felt with all the senses and you have the opportunity on this tour to do that. Depending on the time of year, the water levels and the direction of the breeze, you will feel the water of the Zambezi like gentle spray or like a heavy downpour. It is a good idea to bring a waterproof bag for your camera and a rain jacket for yourself.

Later in the afternoon, you will board a boat for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River above the Falls. Drinks and a few snacks are included in your cruise. You will have the chance to see some hippos, crocodiles and many species of water birds. As the sun sets behind the palm trees, you will start to cruise back to the jetty.

Your options for the evening are varied. You can ask your host to call a taxis service for you to go into town and have dinner at one of the many different restaurants. Another option is to order dinner at the guest house in advance and spend a quiet evening in.
Bed and Breakfast, Amadeus Garden Guest House or similar

Day 13 – full day in Victoria Falls

You have a wide range of activities to choose from, the guest house will be happy to help you with information and bookings.

During the daytime, it is no problem to walk into town from the guest house, and explore the many little shops or the craft market. At night, walking is sometimes not such a great idea. This is because elephants and other wild animals sometimes come into town at night to raid gardens and lush, watered lawns.

Options for activities on your full day are, for example, a helicopter ride over the Falls, Bungee Jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, a variety of zip lines across the gorge.

You can also pit yourself against the mighty Zambezi on a whitewater rafting tour down the gorge or a canoeing excursion above the Falls.
Bed and Breakfast, Amadeus Garden Guest House or similar

Day 14 – Transfer to the airport and depart

After a leisurely breakfast, it is time to leave beautiful Zimbabwe. A transfer bus will take you to the airport during the late morning.

ADD-ON: Lake Kariba Cruise

Contact us for more information about a stunning 2-day cruise in a comfortable boat on Lake Kariba and a night in Masumu River Lodge with gorgeous sunsets and sunrises on the Lake.   

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