The Best of Zamiba & Zimbabwe
This safari seamlessly blends three of southern Africa’s most fruitful game areas – Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, with the vast Kafue National Park in the west of Zambia. Located within the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe, our concession in Hwange National Park is ecologically diverse resulting in large numbers of animals all year round, including a multitude of elephant. Mana Pools National Park is in the heart of the Zambezi Valley and with the variety of habitat ranging from woodland to floodplain to the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment, abundant wildlife and bird sightings are consistently enjoyed. The seasonally-inundated grasslands with tree-islands on the Busanga Plains offer concentrations of plains game as well as rarer antelope (including roan and oribi) and a high density of lion. Last but not least, a visit to the mighty Victoria Falls – one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – is a fitting end.
Days 1 – 3 Little Makalolo Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe, depart with Wilderness Air for Little Makalolo Camp, in Hwange National Park.
Located on the border with Botswana, Hwange was proclaimed some 75 years ago and has served as a haven for one of the densest concentrations of game in Africa. Hwange further has some of the highest mammal diversity in the world, with over 100 recorded species. This is greatly due to the varied habitats and vegetation types.
Area and Location: Little Makalolo Camp is located in the south-eastern corner of the Park – an exclusive concession area of about 500km2. The Makalolo Concession, in which this camp is found, is ecologically diverse, with large flat grasslands, vast palm-spotted plains, acacia woodlands and teak forests. This lends itself well to the vast number of plains game that move in the area together with attendant predators.
Wildlife: Big game such as elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, southern giraffe, zebra and blue wildebeest are the most common mammals. The Park’s waterholes and seasonal pans attracts game in both quantity and variety – notably in the dry season. The high occurrence of plains game also results in some first-class predator sightings such as lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah, spotted hyaena, along with the smaller African wildcat, serval, honey badger, bat-eared fox and civet. The park is also home to a varied bird community of over 420 recorded species. Kalahari-type birds include Red-billed Spurfowl, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Cut-throat Finch, Red-eyed Bulbul and Southern Pied Babbler. In the summer months, migratory species like Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Broad-billed Roller, Abdims Stork and various cuckoo species arrive.
Activities: Morning, afternoon-into-evening game drives together with guided walks through the concession maximise wildlife-viewing opportunities here.
The Camp: Little Makalolo has six well-appointed units, including one honeymoon suite and a family unit, all with indoor and outdoor showers. This camp ensures maximum privacy with an intimate main area, dining room, and plunge pool. A log pile hide overlooking the waterhole in front of camp afford guests a very unique game viewing experience.
*In the event that Little Makalolo is at full confirmed occupancy, guests will be accommodated at Davison’s Camp as an alternative on this discounted package rate.
Days 4 – 6 Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park
Wilderness Air flight from Little Makalolo to Mana West Airstrip. Upon arrival, a short road transfer to Ruckomechi Camp. This camp is idyllically located, overlooking the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park and the imposing Great African Rift Valley. Comprising 14,600 km2 (5,600 sq. miles) this park is located in the heart of the Zambezi Valley and is famed for the rich and varied mammal life.
Area and Location: Ruckomechi Camp is situated in an exclusive concession of Mana Pools, nestled amongst a large grove of acacia and ebony trees. This wondrous setting in allows for exploration of the National Park in total seclusion.
Wildlife: An intoxicating blend of wildlife and bird species abound. The dry season sees large herds of elephant and buffalo together with hippo, waterbuck, kudu, nyala and eland all seeking to slake their thirst along the banks of this mighty river. Predators follow with lions frequenting the floodplains and adjacent woodland, while leopard stalk the thickets and cheetah and endangered wild dog are also often seen. The area is equally famous for its superb birdlife offering over 350 species including Collared Palm-Thrush, African Skimmer, Racket-tailed Roller, Purple-banded Sunbird and Western Banded Snake-eagle.
Activities: Early morning walks with an experienced guide, morning and afternoon game drives, night drives, canoeing and catch-and-release fishing.
The Camp: Ruckomechi Camp accommodates up to 22 guests in ten spacious en-suite tented units, including a honeymoon suite and family room. All of these units maximise views of the Zambezi River and the escarpment beyond. Each tent has both indoor and outdoor showers, and the camp boasts an outdoor ‘bath-with-a-view’ in a secluded, scenic spot. A central dining, bar, library and main area completes the camp offerings. There is a separate deck with infinity pool for swimming and sun bathing, and an inviting, cushion-strewn sundowner and star gazing deck.
Days 7 – 8 Busanga Bush Camp, Kafue National Park, Zambia
Boat transfer to Chirundu, followed by road transfer to Lusaka Airport to connect with flight onto the Busanga Plains in northern Kafue National Park. At 22,500km2 (8 600 sq. miles), Kafue National Park is one of the largest protected expanses in Africa. The Busanga Plains is one of Zambia’s most important wetland and grassland resources and is untouched by development and human activity – the jewel in the Kafue crown. The landscape here is in complete contrast to that of Mana Pools, thereby providing a complementary experience.
Area and Location: The amazing landscapes of the Busanga Plains comprise a web of estuaries, grassy plains and island thickets. Comprising 750kmÇ (290 sq. Miles) of untouched Africa, our massive private concession is centrally located on the Plains – ensuring seclusion and optimal wildlife viewing in a truly remote setting.
Wildlife: Owing to the diverse ecology, this area of the Kafue offers fantastic opportunities to see plains game, predators and water-loving animals. This camp is perfectly situated to see large numbers of puku and red lechwe as well as herds of buffalo and wildebeest. The most notable predators in the area are lions, with up to four prides moving around the Busanga area. Their tree-climbing antics are quite unique and allow for amazing photographic opportunities. Cheetah and side-striped jackal also roam the grassy areas as do the rare roan antelope which are locally common. For birders, Busanga boasts over 400 species, including over half the world’s Wattled Crane population. Other notable species are Black-backed Barbet, Rosy-throated Longclaw and Red-throated Twinspot.
Activities: Morning and afternoon-into-evening game drives as well as early season (June and July) boat trips. Magnificent hot air balloon rides (August through October at additional discounted cost) provide a very different perspective of the Plains. The giant 8-person balloon floats for approximately an hour above this unique landscape with uninterrupted views of the floodplains and its game.
The Camp: Busanga Bush Camp lies hidden in an island thicket. This camp accommodates eight guests in four comfortable tents. The main and bar area of the camp is under a large canopy canvas and has a sweeping view out over the plains and the dramatic sunrises. The dining area is further shaded under the leafy branches of a sycamore fig tree from which a unique lantern chandelier hangs, romantically lighting up dinner. An optional upgrade to Kapinga or Shumba is available at an additional cost.
* In the event that Busanga Bush Camp is at full confirmed occupancy, guests will be upgraded to Kapinga or Shumba at no extra cost.
Day 10 Toka Leya Camp, Mosi Oa Tunya National Park, Livingstone, Zambia
After an early morning drive and breakfast, fly to Livingstone Airport, then transfer by road to Toka Leya Camp. The last camp, Toka Leya, is located on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in the secluded Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, and on the outskirts of Livingstone. This historical town was founded by the first European explorers to ‘discover’ the impressive Victoria Falls, and is today the tourism capital of Zambia.
Area and Location: Mosi-Oa-Tunya is directly translated as ‘the smoke that thunders’, the local name for the Victoria Falls which is found 12km (7.5 miles) from camp and forms one of the main activities. This small but very important national park of the same name is 63km2 (24 sq. miles) and is host to a wonderful variety of habitat types from mopane woodland to a rich riverine fringe.
Wildlife: The Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park is home to a variety of herbivores such as impala, giraffe, white rhino and buffalo. In the drier season, herds of elephant come down through the camp to drink from the river and even swim across to the other side. The camp dawn chorus includes the comical ‘laughter’ of hippo which are often seen from the various camp vantages during the day. The bird life along the Zambezi is just wonderful – African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher and Schalow’s Turaco are some special finds.
Activities: Guided tours of Victoria Falls, cultural, museum and market tours, morning or evening game drives in Mosi-Oa-Tunya and morning or evening boat cruises on the Zambezi River. Livingstone is rated as one of the world’s top destinations for adrenaline and river activities. The most popular of these include (at an additional cost): seasonal white water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swing, microlighting over the Victoria Falls, brunch and breakfast canoe trips on the Zambezi and falls-edge dining.
The Camp: This contemporary but warm camp consists of 12 climate-controlled units on elevated wooden decks. Each unit has inside and outside showers as well as sweeping views of the Zambezi River from a comfortable balcony. Extending out onto the Zambezi River is the main area with novel pizza oven, bar and infinity pool and spa area. The camp also has a well-stocked curio shop selling arts and crafts made by local villagers.
Please Note: Toka Leya Camp can be substituted with The River Club at no additional cost.
Safari Tip: Due to the range and variety of activities, we recommend additional nights at this camp.
Day 11 Depart
After a relaxing start to the day (or morning activity), transfer by road to Livingstone Airport for outbound flight or continuing arrangements.
Please note: Prices and dates are subject to change at any time. Please call (647) 231-0067 or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for current pricing.