Secret safari to Amalinda Camp in Matopos courtesy Amalinda Collection
Zimbabwe, Wildlife Tours

Secret Safari into Zimbabwe

Tailor-Made Tour
7 Days
From 2530
Big Cat Safari
Culture and Archaeology

Tour Introduction

7 Days from  2530 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

This week-long safari is like a secret back door into Zimbabwe.

It’s the ideal way to combine Matobo Hills and Hwange and the easy way to see wild rhino and complete a big five safari in Hwange. The tour is also a smart way to combine a safari deeper into Hwange or further afield from Victoria Falls.

There’s lots more to this overall experience than wildlife, as legends of old kings and deadly wars merge in the historical background to Matabeleland during the first part. The latter part of the trip is then about intense game viewing in the famous Hwange National Park.

With simple access from Bulawayo this Matobo and Hwange combo works  well all year round. Traditionally, it is recommended for July to October but is also excellent from January to March.

From Bulawayo it’s just a 45km drive to Amalinda Lodge, where the granite boulders loom large over the vast plains below. The area is excellent for wildlife and known for its leopards. It’s also home to black and white rhinos, cheetah, hippo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, crocodile and warthog. Amalinda gives you the chance to explore hidden treasures in an unspoiled wilderness of boulders and wooded valleys where towering granite rocks stand tall above the wildlife-rich plains. The Matobo is known for several rock art sites of the ancient San Bushmen and the grave of Cecil Rhodes.

After 3 nights at Amalinda comes Khulu Bush Camp and the iconic Hwange National Park.

Hwange is a national park of many contrasts. Adjoining the Chobe ecosystem, it is the biggest and oldest game reserve in the region: that’s 14,650km² worth of raw wilderness, roughly the size of Belgium or Wales. It is home to some of Africa’s largest elephant herds and renowned for its wild dog packs. Predators are common, buffalo and other big game is exceptional, rhino are present there but elusive. With 108 mammal and over 400 bird species, the sheer size of the wildlife populations gives this area an edge over other regional safari choices.


Full Itinerary

Price from  2530 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1

Fly into Bulawayo International airport. Transfer directly to Amalinda Lodge.

Explore Amalinda for the rest of the day and arrange activities for next few days.

Staying at Amalinda Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 2

Optional Rhino Tracking by Vehicle or Foot.
The Matobo Hills are one of the last bastions of both black and white rhino in Africa. The most unforgettable safari experience will be approaching these endangered species. The encounter is offered with the skills and knowledge of our experienced guides. Please note: For rhino tracking on foot, a National Parks Scouts need so be pre-arranged.

Optional exploration of San Bushman Cave Paintings
Explore the hills where mysterious nomads once held their sacred ceremonies. The rocky granite topography boasts more than 2,000 sites of the San Bushmen. The area and several famous rocks found here tell of bygone rituals and hold spiritual significance for the Ndebele people. You can learn about their trials and tribulations, hopes and aspirations.

Optional visit to the tomb of Cecil John Rhodes
Drive through the granite hills in the footsteps of Cecil John Rhodes. Visit his world famous tomb known as “View of the World”: it’s an historical experience not to be forgotten. Leander Starr Jameson is also buried here and many British soldiers killed in battle by Matabele warriors: there is a definite spiritual presence here. This “dwala” is known as “the dwelling place of spirits” or rather “Amalindidzimu”.

Optional Cultural and Village Visit
Visit an African homestead and engage with the local Matabele people. Enjoy their gracious hospitality as they show you around their “pole and dagga” huts. Use this opportunity to gain an insight into their way of life and experience their culture. Perhaps visit a clinic, traditional healer and local primary school where one begins to understand that, no matter what adversity children may face, one of their basic needs is to learn. Many projects at the school, clinic and orphanage have been completed and others are in the building process, all brought about through Amalinda's social responsibility program, The Mother Africa Trust.

Staying at Amalinda Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3

Optional arrangement with a local historian or professional archaeologist can possibly be pre-arranged (subject to a suitable experts being available).

Three- and five-day trips could possibly include presentations on "Umvukela! Battlefields of the Anglo Matabele War, 1896", and additional tours such "All Rhodes Lead to Matopos" and "The Mzilikazi Footprint".

Staying at Amalinda. Includes All Meals.

Day 4

Road transfer to Khulu Bush Camp, seeing local villages and farms along the way.

Choice of game viewing activities on the private Dead Vlei concession or within Hwange National Park.

Staying at Khulu Bush Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 5

Activity choices include private guided experiences with half- or full-day game drives, night drives, visits to the Painted Dog Research Centre and walking safaris.

The local community receives vital support from the Amalinda family of properties: visits to the Mother Africa Trust project, local school and clinic come highly recommended.

Staying at Khulu Bush Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 6

Game viewing activities at your own pace.

Staying at Khulu Bush Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Victoria Falls

Transfer to Victoria Falls and overnight either as a stopover en route to other safari options or as the final night before the safari ends.

All activities in Victoria Falls are optional extras. Any full day activities should be pre-arranged. Options include:

• 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

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Amalinda Camp in Matopos courtesy Amalinda Collection
Zimbabwe Western Zimbabwe

Amalinda Lodge


This exclusive and privately owned safari lodge is the premier accommodation in the Motopos area.

Amalinda Lodge is a unique luxury lodge set in the granite boulders of the Matobo Hills. The lodge is a multi-level complex. It makes sympathetic use of these great boulders in which nine en-suite rooms and the communal dining and lounge areas have been created. Amalinda has a large infinity pool which blends in with the landscape. The lodge offers a spa and sauna.

Safari activities in Matobo Hills National Park are fairly gentle. Mostly game drives and walking on which a highlight is the chance to track rhino in this intensive protection zone. Of special interest at Amalinda are several historical aspects.

The Matobo Hills World Heritage Site is home to one of the greatest densities of prehistoric rock art sites in the world. This rocky granite topography boasts over 2000 San Bushman sites. Some of the more famous rocks also hold spiritual significance to the Ndebele people of the area.

Matobo Hills are the most sacred place in Zimbabwe. An area scarred by eons of conflict, most violently during 1896 in the Battlefields of the Anglo Matabele War. Ironically the hill known to local people as Malindidzimu, “the dwelling place of benevolent spirits” is also the final resting place of Cecil John Rhodes, known as “View of the World”.

Swimming Pool
Air Conditioning

Tucked away in an ancient bushmans shelter, Amalinda Lodge has 9 thatched chalets including 3 suites. The Lodge boasts a spa and sauna, infinity rock pool, library, wine cellar, sunset lounge and show kitchen.

Local Wildlife

Warthog, zebra, klipspringer, kudu, impala, wildebeest, reedbuck, duiker, steenbok, hyrax and a vast variety of bird life are regularly seen from within the Amalinda property.

Matobo Hills is one of the last bastions of both black and white rhino in Africa. Rhino tracking is available within the National Park.

Optional Activities

At least a day should be set aside to explore some of the San Bushman cave painting sites.

Historical excursions are on offer - at least one sunset should be taken a the "View of the World".

Visit an African homestead with the local Matabele people for an insight into their ways of life.

Khulu Bush Camp courtesy Amalinda Collection
Zimbabwe Western Zimbabwe

Khulu Bush Camp


Khulu is a small tented camp set in the private Dete Vlei concession within the Sikumi Forest Reserve.

Khulu Bush Camp shares the concession with sister camps, Ivory Lodge and the private villa, Khulu’s Retreat. All adjacent to Hwange National Park with easy access into the bigger wilderness area.

Each tented chalet at the bush camp is well appointed with glass doors and fuller mesh and canvas screening to keep the elements and resident monkeys and baboons at bay. The main communal dining and lounge area leads down to the camp’s pool deck, fire pit and plunge pool. All overlooking an ancient riverbed and productive waterhole.

Morning, afternoon and full day game drives are available. All on the concession and in the wider. Game species are diverse here. And included elephant, lion, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, sable, wild dog, leopard and more. Night drives for more nocturnal creatures are a good option from Khulu. Walking safaris are usually done at first light within the concession.

The Painted Dog Conservation Centre is a must from Khulu. This delivers a meaningful insight into the rehabilitation, research and conservation efforts for painted dogs in this part of Zimbabwe.

The Amalinda team who manage all properties on the Dete Vlei concession work closely with the local community. A visit and support for the Mother Africa Trust project, local school and clinic is highly recommended.

Swimming Pool
Air Conditioning

6 well-appointed, en suite tented chalets on raised stilts. Set within a small camp with a comfortable lounge and dining area above a pool deck. All overlooking a productive waterhole.

Local Wildlife

The private concession and adjacent Hwange National Park offer good opportunities for seeing elephant, lion, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, sable, wild dog, leopard and more.

Around 400 bird species have been recorded in this part of the Park.

Optional Activities

Khulu Bush Camp offers guests a private guided experience with half or full day game drives, night drives, visits to the Painted Dog Research Centre and walking safaris.

The local community receives vital support from the Amalinda family of properties, a visit to the Mother Africa Trust project, local school and clinic is highly recommended.

Zimbabwe Western Zimbabwe

Bayete Guest Lodge


This family-run lodge abounds in warmth and friendliness and is situated in the suburbs of Victoria Falls residential area. It offers 25 en-suite rooms nestled within a beautiful garden, all decorated in a rustic-chic style and fitted with air conditioning. The lodge can accommodate up to 55 guests at a time.

The Caldecott Boma houses the dining room which offers breakfast (included in the rate) as well as lunch and dinner on request. The Ngwezi Bridge Pub, which has a swimming pool, provides guests with the perfect place to relax. Bayete also has a small outdoor gym area.

Swimming Pool
Air Conditioning

Air conditioning, dining room, bar, gym and swimming pool.

Optional Activities

Guided tours of the falls, sunset cruises, helicopter overflight, bungee jumping, white water rafting, high tea.

Route Map

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.

Best Visited:

March 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.

Liz Ferreira

Area Specialist

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