Zimbabwe and Zambia
21 days / 20 nights
Self-drive camping tour
This unique journey not only lets us experience the African wildlife in the Hwange National Park, Kafue National Park and Mana Pools National Park but also the impressive history of the people of this region. From the legendary ruins of Great Zimbabwe to the mysterious Matobo Hills and last but not least to the legendary tale of the Tongan people on the shores of the Zambezi River with its thundering Victoria Falls.
Tour Code ZZ18-21
Day 1 Harare
Day 1 Harare
Our journey begins in Harare (arrival Harare not later than 14 o'clock local time) with taking over the rental car (4x4 off-road pickup with roof tents and camping equipment), the purchase of food supplies and a short drive to the campsite in the surrounds of Harare. We will set up our first camp, inspect the camping equipment and the vehicles for its indented off-road use. A cosy barbecue offers us the opportunity to get to know each other and to discuss the itinerary.
Day 2 & 3 Great Zimbabwe
Day 2 Great Zimbabwe
We are well rested and excited to get going! We discuss the last questions over breakfast, pack our cars, do some last minute shopping and head south past Masvingo to Lake Mutirikwi where we spend our second night.
Day 3 Great Zimbabwe
Early morning we explore the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. The name "Zimbabwe" means about as much as "Great Stone Houses" and this site gave its name to today's Zimbabwe. Greater Zimbabwe had its heyday from the 11th to the mid-15th century and was believed (mistakenly) to be the home of Queen of Sheba, which is said to have lived almost 2,000 years earlier.
Day 4 & 5 Matobo National Park
Day 4 Matobo National Park
Our journey brings us from Great Zimbabwe just under 400km west past Bulawayo to the fabled Matobo National Park.
Day 5 Matobo National Park
The San lived in this imposing region already 2000 years ago which stands out with its "balancing rocks", craggy granite and lovely grassland like a fairyland from the area. A rich heritage of San petroglyphs, a large variety of animals including rhinoceros and the Malindidzimu Hill, which Cecil Rhodes called "View Of The World" due to its breathtaking views, are waiting to be explored.
Day 6 & 7 Hwange National Park
Day 6 Arrival Hwange National Park
We continue in northerly direction to the Hwange National Park, which is the largest national park in Zimbabwe, covering more than 14,000 square kilometres. A high numbers of elephants, lions and other African animals combined with the south-to-north changing landscape stretching from vast plains of the Kalahari to humid savannahs and rocky hills make this National Park one of Southern Africa's premier wildlife sanctuaries.
Day 7 Hwange National Park
Game drives in Hwange National Park.
Day 8, 9 & 10 Victoria Falls
Day 8 & 9 Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe
Classified as the largest waterfall, based on its combined width of 1,700 metres and height of 110 metres, resulting in the world's largest sheet of falling water – the Victoria Falls are named after David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the falls on 16 November 1855. Livingstone named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the indigenous Tonga name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means "The Smoke That Thunders" continues in common usage as well.
The Zambezi River forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and the Victoria Falls Bridge links the two border towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia. These two cities are among the "Adventure Capitals of Africa" because here you can not only admire the impressive waterfalls but also bungi jump from the 111 meter high Victoria Falls bridge, or conquer the rushing rapids of the Zambezi at White Water Rafting.
Day 10 Livingstone - Zambia
Crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge we arrive in Livingstone, Zambia. From here we can admire the impressive waterfalls in a different perspective and explore the town of Livingstone.
Day 11, 12 & 13 Kafue National Park
Day 11 Kafue National Park
Leaving Livingstone, our journey continues north to Kafue National Park - the largest national park in Zambia, covering more than 22,000 square kilometres and established as early as 1950. Kafue National Park is considered one of the last great wilderness areas in southern Africa and we will explore parts of the park on game drives.
Day 12 & 13 Kafue National Park
Game drives in Kafue National Park
Day 14, 15 & 16 Mana Pools National Park
Day 14 Arrival Mana Pools National Park
Back to Zimbabwe. From Kafue we drive to Mana Pools National Park. "Mana" in the language of the Shona means "four", and the National Park got is name due to the four large water basins of the Zambezi that are filled with water even in the dry season. The landscape is characterized by the changing water level of the Zambezi and the region is home to a large number of African animals such as elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah, crocodile and hippo.
Day 15 & 16 Mana Pools National Park
Game drives in Mana Pools National Park.
Day 17, 18 & 19 Lake Kariba Sea Cruise
Day 17, 18 & 19 Lake Kariba Sea Cruise
After an early departure from Mana Pools, we drive to Lake Kariba. Here we return our rental cars and board a houseboat that will be our home for three days. During our stay aboard, the boat will cross the lake towards Matusadona National Park and we will do game drives by dinghy along the coast. All cabins on board have large windows / sliding glass doors overlooking the lake, small bathroom (shower) and air conditioning. On board we are fully catered for and can recover from our journey of exploration.
Day 20 & 21 Harare
Day 20 Harare
After a hearty breakfast on board of our cruise boat, a private bus takes us from Kariba to a private game reserve near Harare. On the way, we will have the opportunity to visit the Chinhoyi Caves, filled with crystal clear blue water.
Day 21 Harare
After breakfast, we have one last opportunity for a game drive and then we leave for the airport in Harare. Here we shake hands and say a hearty "Goodbye Africa".