My Zimbabwean Adventure
Our sales advisor Felicity has just returned from Zimbabwe. Read her blog and discover what she got up to while she was there.
It is not often that you are totally blown away by a destination, but this happened on a daily basis during my time in Zimbabwe. Over the last few years, it has certainly stepped up to rival some of the top safari destinations in Africa.
Arriving at the new Victoria Falls International Airport which opened at the end of 2016 I was transferred to Little Gorges Lodge which is 30 minutes from Victoria Falls town. The lodge has a homely feel to it and enjoys spectacular views over the Batoka Gorge. Activities available from the lodge include Gorge walks, cultural visits, Verreaux’s Eagle viewing, and traditional dancing. All other tours in and around Victoria Falls can be arranged by the lodge. They also offer 1 free return town transfer per paying night.
After touring the mighty Falls the following morning, I left for Africa’s third largest national park Hwange by road. From the park gate it was a further 2-3 hour drive through the park to my final destination Nehimba. This luxury lodge is located in a private concession, nestled inside the remote northern region of Hwange National Park. It sits on the edge of a mopani forest and Kalahari sandveld and has 9 tented suites including one for honeymooners and two for families. All the suites are large, spacious and the bathrooms are massive!
If you love elephants, then Nehimba is the place to be, especially in the dry season. I enjoyed late afternoon sundowners on the Seeps (open Kalahari sandveld) and the ellies come here to dig for water which is full of minerals and salts. Dinner at the lodge was an experience of a life time – the elephants walk for miles to drink at the pan and the swimming pool is drained at least four times a day during the dry season. There must have been at least 300 elephant drinking in camp and some not more than 2 metres away.
My next adventure was the drive to Dete – which was another 2.5 hours game drive to the station in time to meet up with the Elephant Express tram. The journey down south on the tram follows the Hwange border line and this took another 2.5 hours until I reached Ngamo siding. It’s a fun way to travel and you do see and stop for game viewing along the way whilst relaxing in the tram. Lunch is served on board and there are loads of welcome refreshments during the journey which is a great relief in the heat.
My last stop in Hwange was Camelthorn, a lodge located in a private concession just outside the boundary of the park. There are 8 villas built in the natural forest and the main areas are built around an ancient camelthorn tree. All the villas have a fire place, outdoor hammocks as well as upstairs a deck area where you can sleep out on or enjoy an afternoon siesta. All game drives, game walks and night drives, are done in Hwange National Park which is just a five minute drive from camp. You can also visit the local village and do a tour of the school.
After leaving Camelthorn, I headed to Zambezi Sands, which is a perfect lodge to stay at after a gruelling safari. The lodge is about an hour away from Victoria Falls and in the Zambezi National Park. There are 10 Bedouin luxury tents which are absolutely enormous with large decks and a splash pool. This is a very tranquil lodge with the Zambezi River at your doorstep and the activities they offer are game drives, walks, canoeing, fishing and sunset cruising.
After a wonderful nights' sleep at Zambezi Sands, my last morning in Zimbabwe was spent canoeing on the Zambezi. After a bush breakfast along the banks of the river I set off on our 3-4 km canoe trip – dodging crocs and hippo’s…and then there were the rapids!! I got through the first set of rapids – the second wasn’t as successful. It was a grade 3 rapid and before I knew it, I was in the water. This is good luck apparently to be blessed by the Zambezi!!!
The Bottom Line:
I was pleasantly surprised with the high standards of accommodation in all the lodges and the guiding was outstanding throughout. Zimbabwe has had its fair share of upheaval in recent years, but things are definitely on the up. I wholeheartedly believe that Zimbabwe is one of the best safari destinations in Africa and I certainly would have no hesitation in recommending it to any of my clients.
If Felicity's blog has got you interested in visiting Zimbabwe for yourself then get in touch with us on 020 7843 3500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you plan your dream holiday to Zimbabwe today.