Linkwasha lioness courtesy Dana Allen for Wilderness Safaris
Zimbabwe,

Best Wildlife safari in Zimbabwe

Scroll
Tailor-Made Tour
9 Days
From 6300
Birding
Luxury
Off The Beaten Track
Photographic
Conservation and Rewilding
Honeymoon
Big Cat Safari

Tour Introduction

9 Days from 6300 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

This “best wildlife safari” in Zimbabwe uses Victoria Falls for access into Hwange and Mana Pools.

The core 9-night safari includes Zim’s two very best wildlife and wilderness destinations. With sufficient time to explore locally from Victoria Falls at start and end.

Your journey starts in Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side, which is the best side to view the main waterfall. Within easy walking distance of the town, the small rainforest surrounding the Falls dances with birds and often visitors can spot bushbuck and warthog amongst the trees. After exploring this natural wonder of the world, it’s off to the airport. To connect with a scheduled flight to Hwange National Park.

Hwange is home to some of Africa’s largest elephant herds and renowned for its wild dog population. This is Zimbabwe’s largest safari wilderness. Predators are common, buffalo and other big game is exceptional, rhino are present but elusive. It’s a year round option, at its very best in the dry season from August to early November.

Spend three nights in an excellent safari camp adjacent to a large waterhole. Elephant herds, zebra, giraffe and baboons frequently drink here as do many species of birds. An elephant hide at the waterhole is a fabulous spot for observing the wild animals’ close-up. Game drives and walks are the number one activity from the camp. 

Next, it’s a flight over Lake Kariba and down the Zambezi Valley to Mana Pools National Park in northeast Zimbabwe. Check-in to your delightful bush camp for the next three nights. Highlights are the magnificent bull elephants, large male lions and packs of wild dog. Your final flight will take you back to Victoria Falls, where you began.

Full Itinerary

Price from 6300 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Victoria Falls

You'll be met at the airport and shown where to pick up your luggage after clearing Customs and Immigration. Hop on the scheduled road transfer from Victoria Falls Airport to Batonka Guest Lodge (or similar).

Your host will explain the layout of the guest house and check you in for three nights on a bed/breakfast and lunch or dinner basis in a garden view room. There are plenty of restaurants in the nearby town and hotels for lunches and dinners. Another option is to stay 'at home' and enjoy the in-house chef's delicious fresh cooked meals.

Many activities are available in Victoria Falls (at extra cost):
• Tour of the Falls (or you could go it alone using the well-signposted path)
• Sunset or sunrise cruises on the river
• Game drives to the nearby Zambezi National Park
• Horse riding
• Elephant interaction with orphaned elephants
• Numerous adrenalin activities: white water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swing
• Helicopter and light plane flights above the Falls
• Meeting the locals
• Arts and crafts market, shopping

We suggest a relaxing and enjoyable sunset cruise on your first night, followed by dinner at the lodge.

Overnight Batonka Guest Lodge, bed/breakfast and either lunch or dinner, Victoria Falls.

Staying at Batonka Guest Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 2
Victoria Falls

Wake up and enjoy a home-cooked breakfast before a tour of the Falls. Stop by the Three Monkey's Restaurant just outside the rainforest gate for lunch. You could follow up lunch with shopping in the market before returning to your lodge for dinner.

Overnight Batonka Guest Lodge, bed/breakfast and either lunch or dinner, Victoria Falls.

Staying at Batonka Guest Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 3
Victoria Falls

Why not try an elephant interaction where you can learn more about these magnificent beasts, touch their trunks and feed them a few horse cubes? Seeing orphaned elephant’s close-up is a great way to learn more about these stately giants. Note: Riding elephants is no longer an activity supported by the Zimbabwe tourism industry, or us.

Return to the lodge for lunch, and spend the afternoon chilling out by the swimming pool before heading down to Victoria Falls hotel for afternoon tea and evening drinks. Listen to a talk on David Livingstone before returning to the lodge for the night.

Overnight Batonka Guest Lodge, bed/breakfast and either lunch or dinner, Victoria Falls.

Staying at Batonka Guest Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 4
Hwange National Park

Depart from Batonka Guest Lodge on the scheduled road transfer to Victoria Falls Airport. Note that the exact pick-up times will be advised by your lodge reception the evening before.
Your scheduled small plane charter flight to Hwange National Park is just 40 minutes. From the air, you might be able to spot some wildlife below on landing. A driver and game viewing vehicle will be waiting for you at the airstrip to take you to Davison’s Camp. Your stay here is for three nights on a fully inclusive basis with two full game viewing activities per day.

Overnight Davison’s Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, fully inclusive

Staying at Davison's Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Hwange National Park

Each day follows a similar pattern as you enjoy the twice-daily game viewing activities. During your drives you might check on the boreholes that pump water into the water holes. The camp takes responsibility for and maintains 14 different boreholes. Without the life-sustaining water, there would be very little wildlife.

Overnight Davison’s Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, fully inclusive

Staying at Davison's. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Hwange National Park

Overnight Davison’s Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, fully inclusive

Staying at Davison's. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Mana Pools

After an early morning activity and breakfast, you’ll connect to your scheduled flight to Mana Pools National Park. The trip is exciting, flying over Lake Kariba and down the Zambezi Escarpment. The snaking line of the river below the plane shows just how big this river is. On arrival in Mana Pools, you’ll be met and driven from the airstrip to the camp. Be prepared for immediate sightings of wildlife and keep your camera ready!

The camp spreads along the riverbank under the shady canopy of large ana trees. It's difficult to express how beautiful it is here on the Lower Zambezi River or to describe the feelings this place gives to you of ancient times. Enjoy a variety of activities while you settle in for the next three nights.

Activities include:
• Game drives
• Nature walks
• Sunrise and sunset cruises
• Canoeing
• Birding
• Fishing

Staying at Little Ruckomechi. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Mana Pools

Overnight at Little Ruckomechi, Mana Pools on an all inclusive basis.

Staying at Little Ruchomechi. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Mana Pools

Overnight at Little Ruckomechi, Mana Pools on an all inclusive basis.

Staying at Little Ruckomechi. Includes Breakfast.

Day 10
Transfer

Transfer to the airstrip to connect to your scheduled air transfer to Victoria Falls. End safari.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Dining verandah at Batonka Guest Lodge in Victoria Falls courtesy BGL
Northern Zimbabwe

Batonka Guest Lodge

Overview

Batonka Guest Lodge is the ideal no-fuss, no-frills yet comfortable Victoria Falls stopover before or after a safari.

Communal lounge at Batonka Guest Lodge in Victoria Falls courtesy BGL
Communal lounge at Batonka Guest Lodge in Victoria Falls courtesy BGL

It serves as an inexpensive base for exploring Vic Falls. Also, ideal as a stopover point before or after a safari further into Hwange or Botswana.

It offers 27 well-appointed rooms. All comfortably elegant. Imbued with a contemporary combination of the town’s colonial past and its natural African setting.

Very conveniently located: 20 minutes from the international airport or 45 minutes from the Kazungula border crossing with Botswana. The lodge is an easy 2km walk or taxi trip into town and the border with Zambia.

All rooms are en-suite and air conditioning is standard. Each includes free WiFi, a mini-fridge, satellite TV, hairdryer, safe and tea and coffee station.

The communal areas include a full restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The outside lounge area has an open fire for cooler evenings. A terrace overlooks lush gardens and the swimming pool.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
27
Facilities

Batonka Guest Lodge is a relatively small and quiet property within the Vic Falls residential quarter. It offers 27 well-appointed en-suite air-conditioned rooms. Set within charming gardens with comfortable communal lounge, dining and terraced areas.

Local Wildlife

Victoria Falls has an interesting variety of resident game. On occasion elephant will pass through town.

Birding is surprisingly good in local environs and the leafy suburbs.

The full spectrum of the region’s wildlife is in easy reach in nearby Hwange, Chobe and beyond.

Optional Activities

The full range of activities available in Victoria Falls can be arranged directly from the lodge.

Usual activities in the area: sunset cruises, helicopter flights over the falls, fishing, golfing and the full range of adrenaline sports from rafting to bungee jumping and more.

Male lion resting up on a late spring evening in Hwange. Courtesy Mike Myers of Wilderness Safaris.
Western Zimbabwe

Davison’s

Overview

Davisons is a classic safari camp in the Wilderness Safaris Hwange collection.

Davison's under the stars. Linkwasha Concession, Hwange. Courtesy Dana Allen for Wilderness Safaris.
Davison’s under the stars. Linkwasha Concession, Hwange. Courtesy Dana Allen for Wilderness Safaris.

The Meru-style tented camp is hidden within the treeline of a grove of Rosewood trees. Alongside a spacious lounge and dining area an expansive deck and open campfire invites evenings of storytelling and stargazing.

A small upper deck offers prime game watching around the waterhole through the day. The communal area includes a plunge pool for relaxation in the heat of the day.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
9
Facilities

Davisons is a classic safari camp in the Wilderness Safaris Hwange collection. The Meru-style tented camp is hidden within the treeline of a grove of Rosewood trees.

Camp consists of 9 airy accommodation units including a family suite. All rooms overlook an open plain with a popular waterhole. Rustic African décor sets a relaxed tone throughout this small and understated camp.

Local Wildlife

Elephant, giraffe and hippo are regular visitors to Ostrich Pan, the Davisons waterhole

Lion are regularly spotted and leopard are resident, more often heard than seen

Roan, sable, zebra and wildebeest are spotted regularly

Large herds of buffalo visit seasonally

This part of Hwange is home to over 400 avian species

Optional Activities

Day and night game drives within the private concession

Walking trails and guided nature walks

Village visits to engage with the local community and its school

Visits to the local Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit (subject to availability)

Lioness portrait at Little Ruckomechi, courtesy Crookes and Jackson for Wilderness Safaris, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Northern Zimbabwe

Little Ruckomechi

Overview

Little Ruckomechi lies in a private concession within Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of exceptional beauty and wildlife diversity.

Elephants barging up a Zambezi sandbank near Little Ruckomechi courtesy Dana Allen for Wilderness Safaris
Elephants barging up a Zambezi sandbank near Little Ruckomechi courtesy Dana Allen for Wilderness Safaris

Little Ruckomechi nestles under iconic albida trees on the edge of the might Zambezi. Its views stretch beyond the Zambezi to the foothills of the Rift Escarpment in Zambia.

This luxurious seasonal camp is a delightful throwback to a classic safari era. Built on wooden decks the camp includes handsome, airy and elegant en-suite rooms. Each with uninterrupted views across the Zambezi River and the floodplain.

This private concession within Mana ensures exclusivity and a range of activities to experience abundant wildlife.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
3
Facilities

Little Ruckomechi is an intimate safari camp comprising 4 deluxe tents if booked out privately – otherwise available to only 6 guests at a time. Stylish living spaces include a tented dining room, bar and lounge with a plunge pool for daytime refreshment and a firepit for end of day relaxation.

Local Wildlife

Western Mana offers large concentrations of buffalo and elephant, while predators such as lion, wild dog, leopard and cheetah are often sighted.

Greater kudu, Burchell's zebra, impala, warthog and common waterbuck can be seen on the surrounding plains and the grunting of hippo can be heard all day.

Birdlife is superb with around 380 species recorded in the area.

Optional Activities

Prime wildlife viewing is available on both day and night drives within this private Wilderness Safaris concession. Guided walking trails are available from camp.

Water based activities are available on the 8-seater pontoon boat. Canoe trails are available on the Zambezi using Canadian standard 2-seater canoes.

Catch-and-release fishing is a seasonal option.

Birding-specific trips by vehicle, pontoon and on foot are especially rewarding.

Route Map

loading map - please wait...

Davisons Camp: -19.013399, 27.310000
Little Ruckomechi Camp: -15.849858, 29.124923
Batonka Guest Lodge, Victoria Falls: -17.929449, 25.827964

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Scheduled flights from Victoria Falls to Hwange, to Mana, return to Victoria Falls are included in the safari

Best Visited:

June to November

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Trish Nethersole Berry

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965