Discover the bountiful banks of the Zambezi River from both Zimbabwe and Zambia on this five star safari.
Once you’ve arrived in Johannesburg and have cleared customs and immigration, you’ll find a representative from African Sky waiting for you as you enter the arrivals hall. First, we’ll take care of a few formalities. You’ll be handed a complete tour folder containing all necessary documentation for your upcoming holiday, including e-tickets, accommodation and transfer vouchers, a detailed itinerary and our emergency contact details. Our representative, as an experienced guide, will also gladly answer any questions you may have. Once formalities have been completed, you’ll be escorted to the appropriate departure terminal where you’ll be assisted in boarding a regional flight to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to the Victoria Falls Safari Club. The accommodation is ideally located on elevated ground and faces westwards, overlooking the Zambezi National Park. From the lodge both wildlife sightings, especially elephants, and magnificent sunsets, are almost a daily occurrence. The lodge grounds also boast the popular Boma and Makuwa-Kuwa restaurants, offering traditional Zimbabwean fare and dancing displays. After check-in and some time spent relaxing, you’ll enjoy a tour of the mighty Victoria Falls, locally known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ or the ‘the smoke that thunders’. The Falls span an impressive 1,704 meters in width and, at their highest, plunge 108 meters into the turbulent gorge below, creating an impressive display of mist and rain. The Falls are definitely a worthy member of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Your morning is devoted to an elephant-back safari in a wilderness area not far from Victoria Falls. On arrival at the venue, you’ll enjoy a short presentation about the project as well as a short lesson on how to interact with the elephants, after which the activity begins. An experienced elephant minder accompanies every elephant. The route follows one of several trails through the surrounding woodland and might include a stop along the banks of the Zambezi River. Riding silently atop a gigantic pachyderm is certainly an experience of a lifetime. Your safari ends with a short training session and interaction with the elephants. Once you’ve returned to your accommodations, you’ll have the opportunity to freshen up, enjoy your lodge’s amenities or otherwise catch an afternoon nap. Some folks prefer to be on the go all day and book additional activities, easily arranged at reception. During the late afternoon, you’ll be met and transferred to a local jetty where the remainder of your day will be spent enjoying a tranquil sunset cruise aboard the Zambezi Royal on Africa’s fourth-largest river, the mighty Zambezi. Drinks and snacks are served on the riverboat and, on a good day, you might see a pod of hippos or an elephant or two. After a spectacular African sunset, you’ll be returned to your overnight accommodations, where the remainder of your evening may be spent at leisure.
After breakfast (time to be announced), you’ll be transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport. There you’ll board a light aircraft flight south to Zimbabwe’s flagship Hwange National Park. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to the luxury Linkwasha Camp in a private concession of the enormously productive south-eastern corner of Hwange.
As Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife reserve, and the third largest in Africa, Hwange finds itself part of one of the world’s largest wildlife refuges, the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, a cross-border conservation effort formally established in 2011 and incorporating an area of approximately 444 000 sq. kilometers (171 000 sq. miles) of African wilderness. The region spans five countries and sixteen national parks, including Hwange, and is without doubt home to Africa’s largest elephant population - an estimated 207 000 animals. The initiative aims not only to protect the region’s wildlife, but also the livelihood of its rural communities, particularly folks who find themselves in daily conflict with animals such as lion and elephant which destroy livestock and crops and pose a threat to human lives.
Hwange was once the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi and was set aside as a national park in 1929. The reserve boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. Consisting of moist and dry woodland, as well as numerous waterholes, you’re all but guaranteed excellent sightings of African elephant - but elephants are not the only animals you’ll encounter. Large herds of Cape buffalo are often seen around waterholes. Zebra, wildebeest and eland gather in great numbers on the Ngamo Plains, particularly in winter, when enormous numbers of elephant are also seen. The stately sable and roan antelope, uncommon in most parks in Africa, are also sighted regularly in Hwange. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect to see the more common species too - animals such as giraffe, kudu, impala, waterbuck, baboon, lion, spotted hyena, wild dog and leopard – all of which are endemic to the region and sighted by most visitors to the park. Hwange’s conditions make for a very worthwhile African safari experience indeed.
Your activities take place during periods of peak wildlife activity - the early morning, late afternoon and evening. The remainder of your day may be spent enjoying the creature comforts of your luxurious accommodations.
After a last morning activity, you’ll be returned to the local airfield, and from there you’ll fly to Victoria Falls again. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred into Zambia, your driver assisting with immigration formalities. Once in Zambia, you’ll pass through Livingstone en route to your luxury riverfront accommodations at the River Club, ranking amongst the top lodgings in Zambia. Just across the river is the Zambezi National Park, making wildlife sightings from you own private deck a common occurrence. The lodge boasts eight luxuriously furnished, split-level chalets, fashioned from timber with thatched roofing and a completely open front, allowing an uninterrupted view of the magnificent Zambezi River. The Edwardian-style main house has a dining room, a comfortable lounge and a veranda overlooking the garden and river. When it comes to mealtimes, guests are spoilt with a large variety of choices. Breakfast is typically served on the wide veranda, whereas lunch is taken in the gardens. Dinner may be enjoyed in the comfortable main dining room or outside on the open deck, under the stars in the fresh African night air. Your stay includes daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, high tea, local drinks, wine during lunch and dinner, laundry, WiFi, daily sundowner boat trips with fully stocked bar, and activities on the property such as croquet, tennis and nature walks.
Your morning is devoted to visiting the falls section of the ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park’. That local name translates in English to ‘the smoke that thunders’ and has been commonly used in the area for many hundreds of years. The sanctuary affords incredible views in all directions. A walk across the knife-edge bridge with the Falls thundering into the chasm below is sure to be an exciting prospect. During peak flow, the mist rising above the Falls can be seen from as far as sixty kilometers away. At the Falls entrance, there is also an extensive African curio market, and guests may take some time to view the different arts and crafts on display before returning to their accommodation around lunch time. Your last afternoon in Zambia may be spent at leisure enjoying the facilities at your luxury accommodations.
After breakfast, you’ll be met and transferred to the airport in Livingstone. From there you’ll take the two hour flight to Johannesburg in South Africa, bringing to an end a memorable Zambezi and surrounds safari holiday.
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