Top Experiences – Zimbabwe

February 19th 2019  |  Travel, Zimbabwe  |  by  Alice Gully
Top experiences Zimbabwe - leopard in a tree Little Makalolo

Zimbabwe is a staggeringly beautiful country with exquisite national parks and magnificent wildlife.  Richard, Alice and Francis have all worked here and cite it among their favourite safari destinations.   It’s truly diverse too, with ever changing landscapes and a rich variety of animal, plant and bird life so is ideal for visitors wanting to combine different areas and activities into their holiday.  Here are some of our favourite memories

Francis – Walking with bull elephants in Mana Pools

Elephants usually command respect and guides rightfully give them space in most National parks but a handful of elderly resident bulls in Mana Pools are content to tolerate humans. I spent half an hour sitting in the presence of one, with its trunk snuffling about in the leaves around my feet searching for seed pods, close to tears at the emotions this encounter conjured up. He towered over me, could have crushed me in an instant but at no point did I feel anything but respect for a fellow sentient being coming from this marvellous animal. This will remain one of the best experiences of my entire life, a moment of connection showing the intelligence elephants are well known for.

Lucinda – Tracking rhino on foot at Singita Pamushana

Participating in a guided bush walk is as exhilarating as it sounds and this particular episode is one of my standout safari experiences.  We tracked a rhino for some time as it meandered on a haphazard route through bush.  Once spotted, we were able to hide, downwind, behind a small tree watching the magnificent white rhino graze only metres away.

Tracking rhinos on a bush walk at Singita Pamushana

Tracking rhinos on a bush walk at Singita Pamushana

Alice – Sundowners on Lake Kariba

Kariba will always have a peaceful place in my heart as it is where I started in Africa.   The sunsets, punctuated by the dead trees, are the best and the bird life is incredible.  The wildlife never fails to disappoint either

Extraordinary scenery around Lake Kariba, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Extraordinary scenery around Lake Kariba, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Francis – Walking safaris in Hwange, looking for lion on foot

We stopped by a waterhole, spotted lion tracks in the mud, and got out of the Land Rover. Clive took his rifle from its holder and said ‘shall we go for a walk?’ Following fresh tracks, we carefully walked up the slope, gradually approaching the margin of  grass and woodland that crowned the ridge. As we stepped into the bush, we slowed down, stopped, listened, scanned ahead and to the side. An ear twitched, then a second, we turned to look, and as we did she leapt to her feet, turned and vanished further into the trees. Intense, exhilarating, and only about 10 minutes in all, the best walk ever.

Lioness in Hwange National Park

Lioness at Linkwasha Camp, Hwange National Park

Lucinda – Sundowners in Matopos National Park at Cecil Rhodes’ grave

The extraordinary rock formations that characterise the Matopos National Park provide endlessly wonderful views.  The best of all, though, was that from Cecil Rhodes’ grave.  Walking over the boulders to this scenic spot it was easily apparent why he’d been laid to rest here.  A beautiful and thought provoking spot for a sundowner.

Sunset in Matopas National Park

Sunset in Matopas National Park, Amalinda Camp

Lucinda – Sleeping under the stars in Mana Pools – Sapi Concession

I always sleep well in Africa, but one of my best nights must have been in Zimbabwe last year.  Beds on raised wooden platforms, covered by a mosquito net so you could fall asleep under the stars and wake with the sun peeping over the horizon.  Magic – and given the chance, the style of ‘tent’ I’d always choose.

Star beds in Sapi Springs Camp, Sapi Private Reserve, Mana Pools’

Star beds in Sapi Springs Camp, Sapi Private Reserve, Mana Pools

Rich – Rafting the Zambezi

As a video kayaker in the 1990s I had a part to play in billing the rafting on the Zambezi River in the Batoka Gorge as ‘the best one day white-water adventure in the world’. With huge rapids, dramatic scenery, and warm water there’s no doubt in my mind that it fully deserves that title and is something no adrenalin junkie should miss.

White water rafting at Thorntree River Lodge

White water rafting down the Zambezi

Any questions?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

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