Hills of Africa

A Taste of an African Safari Vacation to Zimbabwe

Featuring Mana Pools National Park, Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls

10 nights/11 days - Itinerary prices begin at USD$8,000 per person

Day 1 - Mana Pools National Park

On arrival at Johannesburg International Airport, you will be met and assisted by VIP Assistance through Customs & Immigration.

You will then be helped to check in for your flight to Victoria Falls (price of ticket not included in your itinerary price).

On arrival at Victoria Falls Airportyou will need to clear customs & immigration. You will need to obtain a Zimbabwe Tourist Visa at USD30 per person.

You will then be helped to board a shared charter flight to Mana Pools National Park. On arrival in Mana Pools you will be driven to Ruckomechi Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River.

Ruckomechi Camp

On the middle reaches of the Zambezi River, is the Mana Pools National Park situated in the heart of the Zambezi Valley. Ruckomechi Camp lies on the banks of the Zambezi, shaded by a large grove of acacia and mahogany trees and with a superb view of the mountains of Africa's Great Rift Valley across the river in Zambia.

Ruckomechi Camp accommodates guests in ten spacious en-suite tented units, including a honeymoon suite, all of which overlook the Zambezi River. Each tent has both indoor and outdoor showers, and the camp boasts a favourite amongst guests: its outdoor 'bath-with-a-view' in a secluded, scenic spot. The central dining, bar, library and lounge areas face the escarpment and are connected to the rest of the camp by low-level walkways that minimise our environmental impact. There is a separate deck with infinity pool for swimming and sun bathing, and an inviting, cushion-strewn star gazing deck.

Ruckomechi Camp has aimed to be as environmentally friendly as possible - hot water and lighting for each unit is provided by solar power.

The camp vegetation is dominated by broad canopied albida trees, much loved by elephants for their rich nutritious pods; these animals often join visitors in camp for a light meal! The area is renowned for large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, especially in the winter when they concentrate along the river. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are all found in the area. Birdlife is superb, particularly for both mopane woodland and riverine species with numerous local specials like Collared Palm-Thrush, Racket-tailed Roller, Purple-banded Sunbird and Black-throated Wattle-Eyes. Activities include wildlife viewing in open 4x4 vehicles, on motorized pontoon boats, on foot, in hides and in canoes.

Room: 1 x Honeymoon Tent on fully inclusive basis for one night

Day 2 - Mana Pools National Park

Mana Canoe & Walking Trail

Today, you will start your grand adventure of canoeing and walking along the Zambezi River.

This Exploration is perfect for adventurous travelers, allowing guests the closest possible encounters with wildlife on one of the greatest rivers in Africa. This thrilling experience traverses the Mana Pools National Park, through the heart of Mana Pools and along the Zambezi's shoreline, canoeing past countless hippos on the way! Each night is spent camping on the banks of the Zambezi River, ultimately finishing 65km downstream with many adventures to recall. Encounters with animals, whether on canoe or on foot, are up close and awe-inspiring. The Trail is for reasonably fit guests and is led by an experienced guide. Support vehicles and staff assist guests and set up camp each day.

Room: 1 x Tent on all inclusive basis for three nights

Day 5 - Hwange National Park

Today you will fly by shared charter from Ruckomechi to Hwange National Park, landing at the Makalolo Airfield.

On arrival at Makalolo Airfield, you will be met by your guide and transferred to camp.

Little Makalolo Camp

Little Makalolo lies in the heart of Hwange National Park, in one of its best game viewing areas, overlooking a vibrant waterhole. The camp's six rooms have en-suite facilities, with both indoor and outdoor showers. Solar power is used for electricity ensuring a lighter environmental footprint. The living areas include a dining room, lounge, plunge pool and an open fire area for those convivial evening fireside tales.

There is a log pile hide overlooking the waterhole in front of camp where guests can enjoy wildlife viewing during the siesta hours. Activities centre on open 4x4 Land Rover game drives and guided nature walks throughout the Makalolo concession. The area's large number of waterholes attracts game in both quantity and variety, especially in the winter months when Hwange is literally home to a Noah's Ark parade of animals as they come down to quench their thirst.

Makalolo is one of the best areas for seeing impressive herds of buffalo and elephant as well as apex predators such as lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. Other general game is very abundant in the Park.

Room: 1 x Suite on full-board basis for three nights

Day 8 - Victoria Falls

Today you are driven back to Little Makalolo's airfield to fly from here to Victoria Falls.

Your guide will be waiting for you as you enter the Arrivals Hall and will transfer you to your hotel.

At 4:00pm, this afternoon, you will be collected from the hotel lobby and driven to the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls for a sunset cruise. Look for wildlife while you watch the African sun set over another day in Africa.

Victoria Falls Hotel

The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as "the grand old lady of the Falls", is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site, and is a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World group. It is one of only three 1S0-accredited hotels in Zimbabwe.

The Edwardian-style five-star hotel, built in 1904, was recently redecorated and refurbished and now combines the charm of the old with the convenience of the new. Set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, it provides the tranquility and seclusion that many guests seek.

The famous Victoria Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel's private pathway, and "the smoke that thunders" or "Mosi-O-Tunya" in the local dialect, is clearly audible and visible from this luxurious landmark.

World-class service, and food and beverage choice and preparation second to none, make the hotel a magnet for international visitors and locals alike. There are a variety of restaurants to choose to eat at and there will always be something to please everyone. The Livingstone Room for fine dining and dancing; the Jungle Junction with its famous breakfast and dinner buffets and ethnic entertainment in the evenings; Stanley's Terrace, with its clear view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, is renowned for its cocktails and afternoon teas. The Terrace has been a rendezvous for adventurers in Africa for over a century.

Room: 1 x Honeymoon Suite on bed & breakfast basis for 3 nights

Day 9 - Victoria Falls

Today you will be collected by your private guide and taken on a tour of Victoria Falls. The tour will begin with a visit to the world renowned Victoria Falls where you will explore the geological pre history of the area that created this magnificent spectacle. It's a truly awe-inspiring experience - the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature's Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality and nothing prepares you for your first sight.

To discover how the Victoria Falls were formed and what local customs and traditions surround them it is well worth taking a guided tour. These tours of the Victoria Falls are extremely informative and end with a visit to the local art and crafts centre.

Afterwards, with your private guide, we will take you into a local village to interact with the community and take a tour of a real-life African village to experience their daily life. The Monde Village Tour is not only recognized for the quality of its content, but also for its inclusion of the local people in a real and beneficial manner. The Monde Community is a shareholder in the tour and the guides are local villagers.

Day 10 - Victoria Falls

Today you will be collected from your hotel to go on a half day canoe trip along the Upper Zambezi River, stopping for breakfast on an island in the Zambezi.

The Canoe safari operates above Victoria Falls on the 15km (9.3 miles) stretch of the Upper Zambezi River between Simonga and Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, running between the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia.

Enjoy your breakfast on an island in the middle of the Zambezi.

This afternoon, your Hills of Africa Travel representative will transfer to the Wallow, a sanctuary for elephants where you will begin your afternoon with an elephant back safari. This safari is not just a ride on the largest animal in Africa, it's an unforgettable experience where you will get to interact with the elephants as well as enjoy a ride through wilderness areas and beautiful riverine scenery.

Each of the elephants here were orphaned at a very young age, and would have died if not saved by this program. The elephants have been given a second chance at life and you will get to enjoy it. They take 2 daily walks through the national park, which is an integral part of their day.

Game viewing from the back of an elephant is very different from the seat in a vehicle. The animals that you encounter see the elephant and not you, and react the way they would react to another animal in the bush, not a human.

Whilst on the ride, you may see other wild elephant as well as buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and a host of other plains game. Along the Zambezi River, hippo and crocodile are common and there is a wide variety of bird species. Each elephant has its own handler and you will leave having witnessed the elephant's incredible skills, intelligence and willingness to respond to instruction.

Day 11 - Victoria Falls

Today you are driven to Victoria Falls Airport to connect to your onward flights home.

Safe travels and we hope you have lived the Magic Of Africa.

Hills of Africa