AT A GLANCE
On this 6-Day safari we have combined Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park, two of the must-see attractions in the area. UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sheer power of the Vic Falls and the wildlife paradise in Chobe offers one of the best classic Africa safari experiences you can imagine to embark on.
Start of safari in Victoria Falls, including Zambezi River boat cruise
Welcome to Zimbabwe! Your fantastic wildlife safari will start as soon as you touch down at the Victoria Falls Airport, about an hour’s drive away from the town of Victoria Falls. You will be picked up at the airport by your driver, who will load your luggage into your comfortable, airconditioned vehicle. You will drive to the town of Victoria Falls; remember to look out of the windows too; on this road we have seen some amazing wildlife over the years, including African Elephants, African Buffaloes and many other smaller creatures and fantastic birds!
Although you don’t have a long time in the car, it might be a good idea to learn a bit more about where you are on the way to your accommodation. Zimbabwe, or “Zim” as most people call it, is renowned for being one of Africa’s most beautiful destinations. With a superb year-round climate, friendly locals, a great tourism infrastructure and some truly fantastic attractions, we here at the Nature Travel group have no doubt that Zimbabwe is on the way back to the top!
Protected areas in the country cover an astonishing 12.5% of the total land area. There are around 200 species of mammals that can be found in Zimbabwe, including Africa’s famed Big Five (Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, African Buffalo and rhino), Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Brown Hyaena, Giraffe, Hippopotamus and many species of antelope and smaller mammals. The country also boasts many reptile species, almost 700 bird species, 131 fish species (including the highly prized Tiger Fish) and many other fascinating species of fauna and flora.
Upon reaching the town of Victoria Falls you will check into your comfortable guesthouse or small hotel. The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay. The town is rightly known as “Africa’s adventure capital”, and there are many adrenaline-inducing activities on offer in and around town, including white-water rafting, river-boarding, kayaking, canoeing, bungee-jumping, gorge swings, abseiling, horse riding and many more. But we’ll get to that tomorrow!
Depending on your arrival time you will have lunch or a quick snack, and then proceed to your first exciting activity of this tour, a boat cruise on the mighty Zambezi river!You will make your way to the river and board one of the many comfortable cruisers that do this trip on a daily basis, with staff that know the river intimately. You will be provided with some snacks and drinks while slowly cruising the river for a few hours, a truly unforgettable experience and a great way to start your “Zim” safari!
Remember to look not just at the superb sunset (awesome photos guaranteed!), but also the fauna and flora on the water and at the water’s edge. On previous cruises we have seen African Elephant, African Buffalo, huge Nile Crocodiles, Brown-necked Parrot, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Western Osprey, African Skimmer, African Finfoot and White-backed Night Heron to name just a few. After your cruise you will return to your guest house or hotel and have dinner, before you settle in for a good night’s sleep after your first day.
Victoria Falls, and afternoon optional adventure activity
This morning you will enjoy a cup of coffee and breakfast, before making your way to the famous Victoria Falls where you will spend the morning enjoying one of the natural wonders of the world and walking in the riverine woodland around the falls.
In 1851, Scottish missionary explorer David Livingstone first heard of the great waterfall, but it was only in 1855 that he set out to visit it. He spent the night on Kalai Island a few kilometres upstream of the falls, having come down river by foot, and the next morning set off in a small canoe to approach the thundering smoke he had seen from afar. He landed on the biggest island on the lip of the falls, now called Livingstone Island and from there obtained his first view of the Falls. He wrote, “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
Victoria Falls, known to locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, is one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A staggering 750,000 m3 of water thunders down the cliff face per MINUTE when it is in full flow around April each year, making it the largest waterfall in the world by volume! However, no amount of cold facts can prepare you for the sight of this unfathomably vast and powerful body of water that plunges into the Zambezi gorge. It truly is majestic and unforgettable, and a must-see for adventure and wildlife travellers from all over the globe.
Remember to bring your cameras – it’s impossible to take too many photos of Vic Falls! Also remember to hire a raincoat when entering the small park connected to the falls; even in the dry season the spray form the falls can make you quite wet. You will hike along the footpaths of the park, looking for some of the special bird species that occur in the small park, including the beautiful Schalow’s Turaco, loud Trumpeter Hornbill and quite rare Collared Palm Thrush. There are also Bushbuck and smaller mammals in the park.
You will have lunch somewhere in town close to the falls after an exhilarating morning.
The afternoon is all yours! The town of Victoria Falls is rightly known as Africa’s “adventure capital”, and there is a lot to do here. You can choose from a wide variety of optional activities this afternoon, including
• A helicopter or microlight flight over the falls and surrounding area (highly recommended)
• Bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls bridge
• White water rafting on the Zambezi river
• Birdwatching in the area (over 450 species have been recorded here)
• Abseiling at the Victoria Falls gorge
• Canoe trips on the Zambezi river
• Zipline and gorge swings
After your exciting afternoon you will once again return to the guesthouse or hotel for dinner, chatting about your wonderful day and exchanging stories and photos. Then it’s time for bed, because tomorrow you go to Chobe!
Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park
You will enjoy an early breakfast this morning, and then depart the town of Vic Falls. You are heading west, in the direction of a park that we all love here at the Nature Travel group; Chobe National Park.
You will be transferred across the border to the town of Kasane where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Kasane lies on the south bank of the Chobe river, with the Namibian island of Impalila on the opposite (north) bank of the river. It is the gateway town to several wildlife reserve in the area, including the Okavango Delta and the Caprivi Strip. The town is also at the northeastern boundary of Chobe National Park.
Your accommodation for your time here is outside the park itself, but overlooks the Chobe river from a high vantage point, offering incredible views of the surrounding landscape. You will check in, have lunch and some time to get used to your surroundings. In the afternoon you will head into the park for your first game viewing activity. This will take the form of either a game drive in a vehicle, or by boat on the amazing Chobe river.
Chobe National Park covers an incredible diversity of ecosystems, ranging from arid plains and dry channels to fertile grasslands, dense woodland and watery swamps. Apart from the lazy, meandering Chobe river, another key feature of the park is the Savuti marsh that is mostly dry and sometimes conjures up memories of the Serengeti. Chobe’s diverse habitats support a high density and rich variety of animals and birds (over 500 species). It was Botswana’s first national park, established in 1967, and covers an area of 12,000 km², making it Botswana’s third largest park.
Chobe, along with much of northern Botswana, is part of the ambitious Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), the planet’s largest area of protected wildlife coverage.
As you will see on your first activity this afternoon, Chobe has one of the greatest concentrations of game in all of Africa; you will love it! Cruising the Chobe, surely one of Africa’s great rivers, on a safari boat is a truly fantastic experience that you will treasure for a long time. You will return to the lodge in the late afternoon and just soak up the views. What better way to welcome you to Botswana than with a sundowner drink in your hand, watching the sun set over the river and the distant landscapes! You will enjoy dinner and good night’s rest at the lodge. Do remember to stand outside your room before retiring and just marvel at the incredible night sky out here in the African bush.
Chobe National Park
You will have your first full “Chobe day” today. Your day will start with an early breakfast, followed by a game drive in the park. You will then return to the lodge for lunch and some relaxation time, before heading back into the park in the afternoon for another fantastic boat cruise on the river.
Remember to keep your cameras ready and charged! The abundance of wildlife, the moderate weather and the incredible sunsets makes Chobe arguably the most photo-friendly game park in Africa. Professional wildlife photographers from all over the world have been known to shoot documentaries in Chobe, so keep your cameras ready!
Chobe is famous for the large number of animals (especially African Elephants and African Buffaloes) along the riverbanks, especially in the early mornings and late afternoons. Besides the pods of Hippopotamus and huge Nile Crocodiles that are always around we should also see massive numbers of Plains Zebra. And where there is food, there are predators; the area has some big Lion prides, along with Leopard, Cheetah, Spotted Hyaena and even African Wild Dog.
The Chobe river is obviously the greatest attraction of the park; nowhere in Africa is better for viewing and photographing African Elephants, as the park has the highest population of these amazing pachyderms in the world, estimated to number about 50,000 individuals. Forming the northern boundary of the park, the vital Chobe waterway attracts animals in great numbers during the dry season when water in the interior of northern Botswana is scarce. The river provides water for drinking, cooling off and even for play for these African giants, while the grass on the floodplains is a vital source of nourishment for them and other animals.
In season, the riverfront is also teeming with thousands of zebras. They spend most of the dry season by the river, attracted by the guarantee of water and good grazing. Hearing the zebras’ far-reaching calls during the night while tucked up safely in your room is one of Africa’s most memorable experiences. Other ungulates present in smaller numbers include Sable and Roan Antelope, Greater Kudu, Bushbuck, Southern Lechwe and other water-loving species. Smaller mammals include Serval, Selous’s Mongoose and African Wildcat.
After an amazing day in Chobe you will return to the lodge to freshen up and relax. This will be followed by dinner and a good night’s sleep under African skies.
Chobe National Park
You will have another full day to enjoy all that Chobe has to offer. Breakfast and lunch will be at the lodge, and you will have two game viewing activities during which to fall (more) in love with Chobe.
Chobe is not only about big game, and incredible birdlife can also be found here. Over 450 species have been recorded in the park. Your guide will keep an eye out for all the impressive species of the area, and you can help him look for specials like Western Banded Snake Eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Red-necked Falcon, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Saddle-billed Stork, Slaty Egret, Squacco and Rufous-bellied Heron, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Trumpeter Hornbill, Allen’s Gallinule, Lesser Moorhen, Greater Painted-snipe, African Darter, White-crowned and Long-toed Lapwing, Collared and Black-winged Pratincole, African Finfoot, Purple-banded Sunbird, Racket-tailed Roller, Swamp Boubou, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Brown Firefinch, Chirping, Red-faced and Luapula Cisticola, Greater Swamp Warbler and many others.
You will return to the lodge in the afternoon to freshen up and have dinner. You will sit on the deck overlooking the river, marvelling at the wonderful scenery around you, then have dinner and final night’s sleep in wonderful Chobe.
Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport and Departure
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, as they say, and your short but fantastic safari is almost finished.
After your breakfast this morning, you will say our goodbyes to the wonderful staff at the camp and make your way back to Victoria Falls Airport via the town of Kasane. You will be dropped off at the airport for your onward or homeward flights.
*Please note: we tried to keep this safari fairly short to enable you to do a possible extension of your choice. We recommend you spoil yourself with a fly-in safari to the famous Okavango Delta. Otherwise we can continue the safari to include Hwange and/or Mana Pools National Parks in Zimbabwe or you can do a pre-safari extension to Etosha National Park or the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. A trip to Kafue or Liuwa Plains National Park in Zambia is also definitely worth considering. Please contact us to assist with any questions you may have and we will gladly assist.
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