Day 1: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

We will all arrive from our international flights and spend one night at Batonka Lodge in Victoria Falls Town to recover from our long journeys before starting our safari in earnest the next day. 

We will have a welcome dinner at Batonka with your guides for the trip, Phil Bennett and Lewis Mangaba.

Days 2 - 4: Eastern Hwange National Park

Today we will head to South Eastern Hwange National Park. Starting with a couple of hours drive to Dete village where we shall join the unique open Safari train carriage: The Elephant Express. We will lunch on the train as we do our first game viewing through the national park, stopping off along the way at the tree where Cecil the lion was poached by a trophy hunter and then on to a railway siding near Bomani Tented Camp, where we will join our safari vehicles.

This luxurious tented lodge is situated in a private concession of the magnificent Ngamo Plains, on the edge of the remote and unspoiled southeastern corner of Hwange National Park. Bomani is famous for its unique scenery, large herds of elephants, and all other animals and bird life resident in Hwange. Fully licensed and knowledgeable guides will treat us to an unforgettable safari experience!

During these days we will take advantage of the various safari activities on offer at Bomani Tented Lodge. 

Hwange National Park, at 14,500 sq km, is one of Africa’s great parks, home to over 100 species of mammals, including nineteen large herbivore and eight large carnivore species, and nearly 400 species of birds. 

Hwange is elephant country giving magnificent viewing opportunities of the largest land mammals and many other iconic African animals in a completely wild state. Activities on offer to us here include game drives, walking safaris, night drives and a photographic hide.

We will have the opportunity to visit the local village and the school that the lodges support here. This is a really important component of our safari, as it affords us the chance to understand how the local population live, the challenges associated with living alongside wild animal populations and how that affects their lives. 

We shall learn the challenges that need to be overcome to mitigate human/wildlife conflict and how the community is key to the health of the greater ecosystem. Imvelo Lodges (our lodge hosts here in Zimbabwe) have been central to uplifting the local community and pioneering projects which enrich the lives of the locals, whether human or wild. We shall learn about these projects and also visit Imvelo's newly formed anti poaching unit, The Cobras, who will be protecting the White Rhinos soon to be introduced to a secure location in the park, to learn about conservation of these highly poached species and how they are being protected.

Days 5 - 7: Southern Hwange National Park

On August 6th we will do a full day game drive deep into the remote south of the park where there is only one seasonal camp, Jozibanini, where we will be really deep into the wilds.

As we transfer lodges and game drive along the way, we shall take the opportunity to do a "pump run", visiting the waterholes and dropping off fuel and oil for the water pump motors, as well as rations and supplies for the pump attendants. We shall also visit the rangers station, a southern outpost in the rugged wilds, to understand their role in protecting the wildlife, before arriving to our remote tented camp - Jozibanini- in the afternoon.

Jozibanini Camp is situated in the remote southwest of Hwange National Park in a wilderness unused for nearly 20 years; only the wildlife and the Parks rangers who look after it frequent this area, once roamed by San people. This is a small, genuinely exclusive camp in a truly wild place, providing a unique, untamed wilderness experience. In this remote area, we will be truly off the grid with no electricity or WiFi. Our light will be provided by individual solar lanterns and the evening camp fire.

The ecosystem here is semi-desert, akin to the Kalahari in neighboring Botswana. Ancient windblown fossil sand dunes are separated by shallow valleys where elephant paths have compacted the terrain, providing us with the opportunity for a unique game viewing experience by mountain bike. Imvelo Lodges is breaking new ground delving into Hwange's remote location and unique environment. 

Over these next couple of days, we will explore this landscape on game drives, night drives, game walks, using the sunken photographic hide and uniquely by mountain bike! This is rugged elephant country where we will spend lots of time watching these beautiful giants, understanding their intelligence, both emotional and of memory. We shall also continue to discuss the plight of the elephant, in particular the challenge of illegal poaching driven by the ivory trade, and also the paradigm of overpopulation in some areas, while being in danger of local extinction in others.

Days 8 - 9: Western Hwange National Park

On the 9th August we will be heading to our last lodge in Hwange located in the north of the park. From our remote southern location it is most practical to fly by light aircraft to Nehimba Lodge.

Deep inside a private concession, nestled inside the remote northern region of Hwange National Park, hides Nehimba Lodge. By combining luxury living with ultimate elegance and lashings of African charm, this lodge is designed to create the most exceptional safari experiences. The main guest area and 9-spacious guest accommodations are thatched tents built on teak decks overlooking the magnificent lodge pan – a favored spot frequented by a variety of wildlife and large numbers of elephants, particularly in the dry season. 

Nehimba is situated on a private estate within the national park and wild animals including lion, leopard, buffalo and hyena wander freely through the area. A different and complementary habitat to the south of the park, the area around Nehimba completes the natural overview of Hwange's diverse landscapes. We will explore and understand its differences from other visited areas during our safari, and how these differences effect the flora and fauna of the area. Our explorations will be on game drives, night drives and game walks here.

Days 10 - 11: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

Having spent 2 nights at Nehimba, we will be transferring by game drive through the park and then by road back to Victoria Falls and the Zambezi National Park to Old Drift Lodge.

This luxurious tented lodge is situated within the western area of the Zambezi National Park on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River upstream of the Victoria Falls. Zambezi Sands uniquely features the Zambezi River with water based activities and some glorious wildlife and scenery.

We will spend our last full day viewing one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and UNESCO world heritage site: Victoria Falls! There is a lot of spray from the falls so we might get a bit wet! We will likely then return to the lodge in the early afternoon to enjoy an afternoon activity before a wonderful dinner.

Day 12: End of Itinerary

Today we say our goodbyes and transfer to Victoria Falls International Airport for our journey home.

End Services.

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