In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours

Tour 57: 20 Day Zimbabwe National Parks Wildlife 4×4 Wild Camping Tour

THIS TOUR GOES THROUGH A MALARIA AREA!

20 Days
19 Nights

DAY 01 Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
DAY 02 Hwange National Park
DAY 03 Hwange National Park
DAY 04 Lake Kariba – Mlibizi
DAY 05 Matusadona National Park
DAY 06 Matusadona National Park
DAY 07 Matusadona National Park
DAY 08 Karoi
DAY 09 Mana Pools
DAY 10 Mana Pools
DAY 11 Mana Pools
DAY 12 Chinhoyi
DAY 13 Great Zimbabwe
DAY 14 Great Zimbabwe
DAY 15 Gonarezhou National Park
DAY 16 Gonarezhou National Park
DAY 17 Gonarezhou National Park
DAY 18 Gonarezhou National Park
DAY 19 Musina (South Africa)
DAY 20 Departure – Johannesburg

DETAILED ITINERARY

This is the most comprehensive tour that can be done of wildlife in Zimbabwe National Parks. It covers all major parks as well as the ancient civilization of Great Zimbabwe. Great wildlife sightings are common. Bad roads, wild camping and basic facilities are part of the experience.

A pre-tour night at Vic Falls is recommended to allow enough time on Day 01 for activities at Vic Falls and travel time to Hwange National Park. A variety of accommodation in different price categories is available as well as camping

DAY 01 Vic Falls – Hwange National Park
Time of departure will depend on clients’ travel schedule to Vic Falls. Flight arriving at Vic Falls not later than noon is recommended. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included).

Meet at Vic Falls/Vic Falls Airport. Visit Vic Falls. Entrance Fees at own cost @ USD30 pp (USD25 pp for SADEC Citizens) Rates may change.

The Victoria Falls & Zambezi National Parks is a world Heritage Site and the falls is one of the ‘Seven wonders of the world’ and one of the largest and most spectacular water falls on earth. The falls are 1,7 kilometers wide and nearly 550 million litres of water cascade 70 to 108 meters into the chasm below – every minute – during the Zambezi River’s peak flow. Victoria Falls is made of five different “falls”. Four of these are in Zimbabwe: The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls – and one, The Eastern Cataract, is in the bordering country of Zambia.

Zambezi National Park together with Victoria Falls National Park covers an area of 56,000 hectares. The northern border of the Park is formed by the great Zambezi River which also forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia for much of its length. A wide variety of larger mammals may be found within the Zambezi National Park including The Big Five: elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and white rhinoceros. In addition, herds of sable antelope, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and impala as well as many of the smaller species of game can be viewed.

Optional activities at Vic Falls at own cost include bungee jumping and a helicopter flight over the falls. The helicopter flight is highly recommended.

Depart to Hwange National Park. Hwange National Park is the largest park in Zimbabwe and covers 14 650 square km. It is located in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe and an hour’s drive from Victoria Falls. It became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th Century and was set aside as a National Park in 1929

Hwange was proclaimed a National Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. Various dams, pans and hides provide excellent game and bird viewing.

Enter the park and continue to Sinamatella Camp or Main Camp. Proceed on a game drive to either Shumba, Masuma, Deteema, Ngweshla or Kennedy 01 Picnic Site. All picnic sites are situated near a waterhole with a hide in an active wildlife area. During the day visitors to the park may use the facilities, but after gate hours these campsites are totally private. Maximum two groups of maximum 06 persons are allowed to camp at the picnic areas.

Spend time in the evening at the hide at the waterhole.
Overnight Camping at one of the Picnic Sites (basic/good ablution facilities)
Meals: B, L & D
Chalets available at Sinamatella, Main Camp or Robins Camp at additional cost

DAY 02 Hwange National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives. Spend time at the hide at the waterhole.
Overnight Camping at one of the Picnic Sites
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 03 Hwange National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives. Spend time at the hide at the waterhole.
Overnight Camping at one of the Picnic Sites
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 04 Hwange – Mlibizi
Game drive to Main Camp Exit the park and continue to Mlibizi on the shores of Lake Kariba.
Replenish supplies. Afternoon at Leisure.
Overnight: Camping at Mlibizi Resort
Meals: B, L & D
Chalets available at additional cost

DAY 05 Mlibizi – Matusadona National Park
Depart to Matusadona National Park. Matusadona National Park is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba. It became a Game Reserve in 1963, and in 1975 a National Park. The Park comprises some 1 400 square km of diverse flora and fauna.

Animal species that are found in abundance include elephant and buffalo. Other common species are black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, zebra, warthog, common duiker, grysbok, klipspringer, waterbuck, bushbuck, reedbuck, sable antelope, eland, antelope, kudu and bush pig. Predators include lion, leopard, spotted hyena, wild dog, cheetah, civet, wild cat, honey badger, civet, small spotted genet and side-striped jackal. Bordering on Lake Kariba, Matusadona offers good birding opportunities.

Enter the park along the very rough 4x4 excess trail crossing the Zambezi Escarpment.

The campsites are on the shores of Lake Kariba. Idyllic sunsets over the lake can be watched from the campsites. Elephants are regular visitors to the camping area, as well as side-striped jackal and African civet at night.
Overnight: Camping at Tashinga Camp
Meals: B, L & D
Chalets available at additional cost

DAY 06 Matusadona National Park
Morning game drive. Afternoon at leisure. Optional fishing in Lake Kariba.
Overnight: Camping at Tashinga Camp
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 07 Matusadona National Park
Short morning and afternoon game drives. Time at leisure. Optional fishing in Lake Kariba.
Overnight: Camping at Tashinga Camp
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 08 Matusadona – Karoi
Backtrack on the 4x4 trail up the Zambezi Escarpment the main road. Continue to Karoi. Replenish supplies. Afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Camping at Spring Resort, Karoi
Meals: B, L & D
Rooms available at additional cost

DAY 09 Karoi – Mana Pools National Park
Continue via Makuti to Mana Pools National Park. Mana Pools National Park borders in the north on the Zambezi River and covers 2 196 square kilometres and is part of the 10 500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east. This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area – even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.

This unique park is a World Heritage Site, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile. The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River.

Elephant, eland, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra, warthog and hippo are some of the larger herbivores to be seen regularly on the river terraces. Mana Pools are one of the best places in Southern Africa to see wild dogs. Lions, leopards, spotted hyena and cheetah are present in the area, but their secretive nature makes them more difficult to see. Despite this, it is not often that the visitor leaves Mana Pools without seeing at least one of these large carnivores.

Check in at Nyamepi campground on the bank of the Zambezi River. Elephants, buffalo, hippos and spotted hyena are regular visitors to the campground Afternoon game drive.
Overnight: Camping at Nyamepi, Mana Pools
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 10 Mana Pools
Morning and afternoon game drives. Relax on the bank of the Zambezi.
Overnight: Camping at Nyamepi, Mana Pools
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 11 Mana Pools
Morning and afternoon game drives. Relax on the bank of the Zambezi.
Overnight: Camping at Nyamepi, Mana Pools
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 12 Mana Pools – Chinhoyi
Take the exit route to main road. Depart to Chinhoyi. Visit the Chinhoyi Caves. Historically, the first white man believed to have discovered the Caves was Frederick Selous, the famous European hunter, during his wanderings in 1887. The traditional name for the Caves is ‘’Chirorodziva’’ which means the ‘’ Pool of the Fallen’’. The name was derived from an incident which took place in the 1830s when the Angoni Tribe, who were moving northwards surprised people living near the Caves and flung them into the pool.

The Caves consist of a system of tunnels and caverns. This system is a dying one (in geological time spans), in that they are slowly collapsing. These collapses can be noticed by the sink holes and depressions within the surrounding area. The Wonder Hole, which is the main feature of the Caves, is in fact a ‘’swallow hole’’ or a large cavern with a collapsed roof. The walls or sides of the Wonder Hole drop vertically down for 50 m to the Sleeping Pool. The pool is unbelievably blue and crystal clear which reflects great depths up to 91 m and non-flowing water. This fluctuation in depths is attributable to the amount of rainfall received in a particular season. The Caves are composed mainly of the sunlit ‘’Sleeping Pool’’ and the artificially lit Dark Cave.

Check in at Campsite. Replenish supplies. Afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Camping at Orange Grove Motel
Meals: B, L & D
Rooms available at additional cost

DAY 13 Chinhoyi – Great Zimbabwe
Depart to via the capital Harare to Mashvingo. Continue to Great Zimbabwe. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa, giving testimony to the lost civilisation of the Shona.

A great city existed here from the 11th century on, with over 10 000 inhabitants. Great Zimbabwe was a main regional trading centre, its wealth associated with (Arab) gold trading. There were also trade links with East Africa and fragments of Persian and Chinese pottery has been found at the site.
Arab and European travellers in the 16th century sent marvelling reports home about this place and its impressive stone walls. The site was abandoned in the 15th century because of a lack of food and firewood.
Overnight: Camping at Great Zimbabwe Campground
Meals: B, L & D
Chalets/rooms available at additional cost

DAY 14 Great Zimbabwe
Do a guided hike of Great Zimbabwe with a local guide.
Overnight: Camping at Great Zimbabwe Campground
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 15 Great Zimbabwe – Gonarezhou National Park
Travel via Chiredzi to Gonarezhou National Park. Gonarezhou National Park is situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers an area in excess of 5 000 square km. “Gonarezhou” meaning “Place of many Elephants” is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes. Gonarezhou National Park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), a massive Pan-African Park that includes South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Gaza.

Three major rivers, he Save, Runde and Mwenezi, cut their courses through the Park, forming pools and natural oases from which hundreds of species of birds and wildlife gather to feed and drink. As its name implies, Gonarezhou is famous for its elephants, and many of the largest-tusked elephants in the region maybe found within the Park. Lion, leopard, cheetah (including the rare king cheetah), buffalo, giraffe, zebra and many species of large antelope are also present within the Park. The rare nyala and smaller suni are two of the highlights of the Park’s smaller antelopes. In addition, hundreds of species of birds may be spotted in the Park.

One of the most prominent natural features of Gonarezhou National Park is the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs. These magnificent red sandstone cliffs have been formed through erosion and overlook the scenic Runde River Valley.

Enter the park and continue to Chipinda Pools Campground. In the north-western section of the park. Elephants are regular visitors to the campsites.
Overnight: Camping at Chipinda Pools
Meals: B, L & D
Safari Tents available at additional cost

DAY 16 Gonarezhou National Park
Circular scenic game drive to Chilojo Cliffs and the Runde River Valley.
Overnight: Camping at Chipinda Pools
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 17 Gonarezhou National Park
Depart to the Mabalauta Runde River in the south-west. Check in at Mabalauta Campground.

Afternoon game drive
Overnight: Camping at Mabulauta Campground
Meals: B, L & D
Chalets available at Swimuwini Camp at additional cost

DAY 18 Gonarezhou National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives to various view points on the Mabalauta River. Time at leisure.
Overnight: Camping at Mabulauta Campground
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 19 Gonarezhou – Mapungubwe National Park
Depart to Beitbridge Border Post. Enter South Africa. Continue to Musina
Overnight: Chalet at Musina
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 20 Marakele – Johannesburg
Depart to Johannesburg. Drop off at OR Tambo International Airport or at accommodation. (Accommodation not included)

Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)
Meals: B

It is expected from clients on camping tours to assist with pitching and packing up camp and with general camping duties on request

Accommodation can vary from the itinerary depending on availability.

Rates on request:
E-mail: dantes@kalahari-tours.co.za or click on CONTACT US.

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KALAHARI TOURS & TRAVEL
Upington 8801

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