Zimbabwe - Wildlife & Culture

Zimbabwe - Wildlife & Culture

Explore Zimbabwe from the thundering Victoria Falls to the game-rich Hwange National Parks, immerse yourself in a country that has pioneered some of the most successful sustainable wildlife programs in Africa. It's easy to overlook the tireless work that goes into wildlife conservation, but on this safari you will not only see an abundance of wildlife, but also get a behind the scenes look at vital conservation efforts. End in the remote and game-rich Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site, where exploring on foot, canoes and vehicles is the order of the day. You will return with a better understanding of the wildlife/tourism balance and a sense of accomplishment knowing that you played your small part in the protection of Africa's wildlife.

Quick Summary

Itinerary Detail

Day 1: Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Transfer from Victoria Falls airport to your hotel
  • Accommodation: Ilala Lodge
  • Meals: B

On arrival you are met and transferred by road to your hotel (approximately 30 minutes). (This service is on a private basis.)

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Victoria Falls is the stuff of legends, romance and myth. An iconic draw card that features prominently on the "must see list" of travelers to south and southern Africa the sheer size, sight and sound of this magnificent spectacle never fails to inspire. Over a mile wide and 300 feet high, it is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya – the “Smoke that Thunders”.

Day 2: Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Guided Tour
Victoria Falls Guided Tour
Victoria Falls Guided Tour
Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Victoria Falls Guided Tour
  • Tour: Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
  • Accommodation: Ilala Lodge
  • Meals: B

Victoria Falls Guided Tour

Your guide will meet you at your hotel. The Victoria Falls is a truly awe-inspiring experience - the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature's Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality…and nothing prepares you for your first sight. Guests are accompanied through the Rainforest by a qualified guide who gives a brief history of the Falls as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird and wildlife and other points of interest. En-route, pass the ‘Big Tree' where you stop for photos. Raincoats are provided when needed.

Zambezi River Sunset Cruise

This afternoon you are transferred to the Zambezi River for a memorable and relaxing sunset cruise. The Zambezi River cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the River. You may have the opportunity to see a variety of game including hippo, crocodile, elephant as well as enjoy the many different bird species. The sunset cruise is very popular and includes finger snacks, beer, wine, local spirits and soft drinks. There are great photo opportunities against often-spectacular African sunsets.

Day 3: Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Transfer from hotel to Victoria Falls airport
  • Domestic Flights: Light Aircraft transfer to Hwange National Park
  • Accommodation: Camelthorn Lodge
  • Meals: B, D
Light Aircraft transfer to Hwange National Park
Flying time approximately 1 hours. Aircraft may stop at other camps en route

This morning you are taken by road to the Victoria Falls Airport. Approximately 30 minutes. (This service is on a private basis.)
You will be assisted to your light aircraft to Hwange National Park.

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Upon arrival in Victoria Falls you are met and assisted to your light aircraft for your flight to Hwange National Park.

Hwange National Park is the largest and most popular park in Zimbabwe. It offers excellent wildlife viewing, and most big safari animals can be seen, including the Big Five. Sparse mopane and acacia vegetation and year-round waterholes support more than 100 species of animals and provide endless opportunities to watch the daily routine of elephant or giraffe, track lion, or spot a leopard silently watching from his tree.

Day 4: Hwange National Park

On safari in the Hwange National Park
On safari in the Hwange National Park
On safari in the Hwange National Park
Daily Summary

On safari in the Hwange National Park

Game drives are conducted by experienced guides in open safari vehicles. On your morning game drives pause to enjoy tea, coffee and biscuits and in the afternoons cool drinks and cooked snacks will be provided. Game walks are an exciting option for photography of big game on foot. They are usually undertaken in the mornings and are conducted by a fully licensed and highly experienced armed professional guide. In this remote and wild area every walk provides fascinating insights into Hwange’s circle of life; watch Hwange’s elephants shake acacia trees to loosen and then eat the pods while on a smaller scale dung beetles roll up the elephant dung containing acacia seeds into balls. Dung beetles bury these balls and the acacia seed is now ready to germinate and grow into a new tree! Night game drives open up the unusual nocturnal world - often seen are ant bears, porcupines, genets, springhares, lesser bushbabies and pennant winged nightjars.


Day 5: Hwange National Park

On safari in the Hwange National Park
On safari in the Hwange National Park
On safari in the Hwange National Park
Daily Summary

On safari in the Hwange National Park

In addition to safaris, you will have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of Zimbabwe and visit the nearby local village. Guests are always afforded an especially warm welcome and have the opportunity to enjoy an authentic look at village life in rural Matabeleland. A fascinating experience of a variety of typical daily village activities is followed by a tour of one of the nearby schools where guests are welcomed with traditional songs sung by the children and then are encouraged by the teachers to participate in a class interaction with the children. This activity gives the school children a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over the world who have come to see the wildlife amongst which they live.

Day 6: Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Elephant Express
  • Accommodation: Nehimba Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

After your morning game viewing activity and breakfast, you are taken to Ngamo Siding where you board the Elephant Express. Introduced in 2015, it is a unique railcar, ingeniously designed and built to re-invent safari transfers to and between camps in Hwange National Park. The journey is between Ngamo Siding, near Bomani and Camelthorn, and Dete Railway Station near Hwange Main Camp and is approximately 2 hours in duration.
Upon arrival at Dete siding you are met and transferred to Nehimba Lodge (approximately 2 hours). Most of the drive to Nehimba is through Hwange National Park so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way.


Day 7: Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park
Daily Summary

On safari in the Hwange National Park

No two days are the same at Nehimba and game viewing experiences are tailor-made to our guest’s preferences, including game drives, walking safaris and night game drives on our private concession in search of nocturnal species of wildlife. Whether you choose to track a herd of elephant on foot with your highly trained guide at dawn or spend the afternoon relaxing overlooking the waterhole on the deck by the pool, this wild and unspoilt bush paradise will guarantee you leave with memories to last a lifetime.

Day 8: Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Transfer from Chobe to Kasane
  • Domestic Flights: Light Aircraft transfer Hwange National Park to Mana Pools
  • Transfer: Transfer from airstrip to camp
  • Accommodation: Vundu Camp
  • Meals: B, L, D
Light Aircraft transfer Hwange National Park to Mana Pools
Flying time is approximately 1.5 hours. The aircraft may make stops en route.

Time permitting you will enjoy a final morning game viewing activity and breakfast before being transferred to the Kasane airport.

You are met at your airstrip and taken to your camp. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife en route!

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site, is pristine wilderness area on the Zambezi River. During the dry season, the dense vegetation and abundant water of Mana Pools attract one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Man is still a visitor in this remote region, which is best explored on foot or by canoe.

The BBC series "Dynasties" was filmed in the area of Vundu Camp.


Days 9 - 10: Mana Pools National Park

On safari in Mana Pools National Park
On safari in Mana Pools National Park
On safari in Mana Pools National Park
Daily Summary

On safari in Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site, is perfectly situated in the heart of a natural valley on a unique flood plane, rich and diverse in flora, fauna and wildlife. It is home to an abundance of wildlife, attracted to the permanent waters of the Zambezi River. It’s the only National Park in the world where you are allowed to freely walk with the wild animals and get to experience Africa as it should be - on foot! Your guiding team will customize each day whether its in a vehicle, on foot or on the river.

Day 11: Depart

Depart
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Transfer camp to airstrip
  • Domestic Flights: Light Aircraft transfer Mana Pools to Harare
  • Meals: B
Light Aircraft transfer Mana Pools to Harare
Flying time is approximately 1 hour. The aircraft may make stops en route.

Time permitting you will enjoy a morning game viewing activity followed by breakfast before being transferred to the airstrip in time for your flight.

Accommodation

Ilala Lodge
Ilala Lodge
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

The perfect base for exploring all the Victoria Falls has to offer, Ilala Lodge provides distinguished yet affordable accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance. Ilala Lodge offers 73 rooms with en suite bathroom with separate shower, air conditioning, overhead fans, satellite TV and individual coffee and tea facilities. The rooms are spacious with railway sleeper teak furnishings and patio doors leading onto either open lawn or a balcony where you are afforded a view of the spray of the falls from the upper level rooms. The hotel is ideally situated and is the closest hotel to the Falls as well as the town center. Wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background.

Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge
Camelthorn Lodge

Camelthorn Lodge

Nestled deep in a woodland estate of Camelthorn and ebony trees bordering Hwange National Park, is the striking bush retreat Camelthorn Lodge. This shaded camp has the cool, soothing feel of escaping from the heat of summer. 8 secluded forest villas are comfortably appointed and have fireplaces, sliding doors and downstairs verandahs. An upstairs covered patio, accessed by an outside spiral staircase can be used as a romantic sleep-out. The main lodge is built around a massive Camelthorn tree and decorated in earthy hues and textured fabrics. Expansive dining and living areas feature a bar, teak lounge, deck and splash pool. Enjoy al fresco dining, fire-side coffees and up close photography opportunities from inside the underground blind. Explore Hwange National Park on extensive morning, afternoon and evening game-drives in open 4x4 vehicles, led by passionate and knowledge professional guides. Take part in an excursion to drop fuel and supplies off at the life-giving waterhole pumps, aka a "Pump run!"

Nehimba Lodge
Nehimba Lodge
Nehimba Lodge
Nehimba Lodge
Nehimba Lodge
Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba Lodge

Located in a large private concession in the game rich northern region of the Hwange National Park is Nehimba Lodge. 9 spacious, chalet-style wood and thatch units are built on teak decks and – along with the central areas - overlook the magnificent lodge pan which is frequented by large numbers of elephant. Two of the rooms are family units, with a king-sized bed and 2 three-quarters beds for kids sharing with parents. All rooms are comfortably appointed, with soft cozy furnishings, en-suite bathrooms with slipper-baths and outdoor showers. The open fronted thatch guest areas comprise a bar, lounge and dining room. This comfortable camp boasts the best pool in Hwange as the elephants that frequent it will testify! Activities at Nehimba include morning and afternoon game drives, night drives in the concession and walking safaris led by armed professional guides. Guests can also go for a full day game drive with a picnic lunch.

Vundu Camp
Vundu Camp
Vundu Camp
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

Situated in the heart of Mana Pools National Park underneath a beautiful forest of riverine trees is our little piece of paradise, Vundu Camp. The camp has a total of eight spacious thatched chalets, one of which is a large and comfortable family room. Each chalet opens out onto the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, located just 10 metres away, where guests can sit outside and relax on their terrace, watching impala, warthog and elephant meander by.

Why Maxim Tours?

Why Maxim Tours?

Uncommon Safaris for Discerning Adventurers

Experience Matters

Since 1993 Maxim Tours’ passion for exotic destinations has made us a highly sought after Boutique Tour Operator for discerning travelers. After three decades we continue to exceed our clients' expectations. Our approach over these many years is simple; offer the very best service and travel experience at the most competitive prices while balancing the importance of sustainable tourism with a high quality travel product.

Premier Guides 

Maxim Tours' guides have a reputation for being the best in the business. Experts in their fields, friendly and interesting,  a good guide will bring the most out of every excursion while creating lifelong memories.  

24/7 Support

At no time during your adventure will you be alone. Our local partners are available 24/7 in the event you need any assistance while traveling. We will monitor your progress and take care of any unexpected developments so that your trip continues unhindered.

Responsible Tourism

Responsible and sustainable tourism should be more than just a phrase - it has to be an ongoing and tangible commitment to balancing tourism with the upliftment of local communities and preservation of the natural environment. Maxim Tours actively supports camps and lodges whose business models reflect this commitment.