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ZIMBABWE SAFARIS

Area Information

Victoria Falls town lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the eastern end of the Victoria Falls. It is a lovely tourist town which is easy to explore on foot and which offers a wide range of activities from the challenge of white water rafting and Bungi jumping, to the awe inspiring elephant back safaris and sunset cruises. It has something for everyone.

The Victoria Falls are one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest sheet of falling water on earth – a spellbinding and mesmerising spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles – hence the local name ‘mosi oa tunya’ meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’

Access to Victoria Falls is within easy walking distance from the town centre. Water flow over the Falls varies throughout the year. The river’s annual flood is February to May when the spray can reach a height of over 400m, this is spectacular from above but it makes it very difficult to see the Falls at ground level as it is under a heavy shower/mist. Water levels start dropping in August and are at their lowest in October – December when much of the rocky face becomes dry. At times of low water, the falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwean side or from Livingstone Island.

Mobile Tented Safaris

“Escape the crowds…… lose yourself in the ways of the wild and experience the true African tranquillity in the company of experienced guides and in the luxury of exclusive, mobile tented camps”

Thes executive Safaris offers an exclusive semi-permanent tented camp in the heart of some of Zimbabwe’s best National Parks. Most of these parks are home to the ‘Big Five’ (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant) and Hwange is famous for its vast elephant population and an abundance of other wild life species.

Hwange National Park

Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometres, as big as Northern Ireland. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the mighty 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 Notional Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species.

The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the population is one of the largest in the world, home to over 35 000 elephants. Other animals that can be seen are lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, impala, kudu, sable, eland, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, baboon and warthog.

Due to the vast size of the park the landscape varies from deep Kalahari sands in the south to rocky hilly country in the north. The open savanna woodland in the south east gives way to the thick teak woodland, which in term becomes mopane woodland. As the park is in a very arid region in terms of water, the water points are pumped from deep wells underground. At some water points there are comfortable hides to sit in and watch from.

This area is also one of the last strong holds for the endangered Black Rhino. For those of you who are up to it, a morning of tracking the Rhino on foot is a must! Hwange National Park is one of the best parks to see and experience some great adventures.

Harare

The capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare, is a beautiful, light-filled, open city; high on the country’s central plateaux. It is a city of modern buildings, wide thoroughfares, numerous parks and gardens. A city whose streets are lined with flowering trees, and a wonderful and invigorating climate.

There is a strong appreciation for the city’s cultural and historical and a number of the older buildings have been preserved. The National Gallery houses not only a valuable and interesting national collection but hosts travelling international exhibitions and has permanent display of some outstanding Shona soft-stone carvings. The priceless collection of Rhodesiana and Africana in form of diaries, notebooks and reports of various origins, are housed in the National Archives. Some of the original works of some of the greatest names in African exploration and missionary can be viewed. Other institutions which are well worth visiting include the Queen Victoria National Library.

The city was laid out with large open spaces like the 68ha National Botanic Garden with more than 900 species of wild trees and shrubs from all over the country. The Mukuvusi Woodlands in 277 hectares of remarkably preserved natural woodland that stances astride the banks of a small Mukuvusi stream. A variety of bird and of wild animal species such as giraffe, zebra, impala, tsessebe, wildebeest, bushbuck, steenbok, reed buck and eland can be viewed.

If you want to experience shopping the way it is traditionally done in many African countries, you need to stroll around at the open flea-market at Mbare. Here tourist can feast their eyes on a colourful array of baskets, food, clothing and other items. The Kopje, a granite hill rising above the south-west corner of central Harare, is a great place to go for views of the city.

Lake Kariba

Kariba is unique and a place of outstanding beauty, a great inland sea, nested in mountains, guarded by enormous reserves of game and made beautiful and savage by sun and storm, earth and water and by life and death. It is here, from land or water that one encounters the rawness, the beauty and the savagery which is the real heart of darkness. Most of all you will remember the smells of Africa. The dust of the day, the moisture from the lake and most evocative of all, the smell of advancing rain.

Half a century ago, the growing needs of a hungry nation drove man to control the flow of this great river and, in 1958, at the narrow neck of a remarkable gorge, a rising wall of concrete stemmed the river’s flow. And so created what at the time was one of the largest man-made lakes in history. One of the delights of Kariba is the profusion of game which is so easily enjoyed.

The Zimbabwe side of the lake has about 1 000 kilometres of shoreline, baked African fjords with placid backwaters and numerous islands. Often elephants can be seen swimming between the shore and islands. Along the southern shore, the Matusadona Game Reserve must be one of the most impressive in the world. It combines the beauty of a lake-setting and its rich and fertile flood plains, with a rising wall of mountains serving as a majestic backdrop. At any time of the year, Lake Kariba offers entertainment, relaxation, sport and adventure. There is something at Kariba for everybody – and all of it unforgettable.

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