Rwanda & Zimbabwe Safari
Days 1, 2 and 3 - Gorilla Tracking, Volcanoes National Park
After arriving in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, you will be met by your driver who will drive you through lush, cultivated valleys to the Volcanoes National Park for 3 nights. This afternoon you have the time to relax and prepare for one of the most amazing wildlife experiences in Africa – Gorilla Tracking. The Volcanoes National Park is one of the wildlife successes of Africa. Over the years since the Genocide in the 1990s, tourists have been coming to track gorillas here, and the revue generated from this has allowed Rwanda to not only protect but grow the gorilla population. Revenue generated by tourists has also allowed Rwanda to develop other national parks and reintroduce animals that had previously been extinct in the country.
This morning you meet your team, trackers, and guide for your gorilla tracking on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. After a short briefing at the park headquarters where you will learn more about the family of gorillas, you will be tracking, you head off on your gorilla safari. Trackers head out ahead of the team to find where the gorilla family is so they can guide you in the general direction. After you find the family of gorillas, you get to spend 1 hour with them as they go about their daily lives. This is one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa and one that few get to experience.
Tracking on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park can be tough going and so it is recommended to be fit before embarking on a gorilla adventure.
Day 4 - Kigali
This morning you have the chance for additional activity in the Volcanoes National Park before heading back to Kigali. En route to your hotel you can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. This is a moving tribute to the horrific atrocities that took place across Rwanda in the 1990s.
Days 5, 6 and 7 - Mana Pools National Park
From Kigali you get your flight south to the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, landing in time to connect to Mana Pools National Park.
Spend 3 nights exploring one of the iconic national parks of Africa, Mana Pools. Mana Pools in Zimbabwe is renowned as one of the best places in Africa to do a walking safari. The openness of the forests allows you to see for miles and the large ana trees provide cover to get close to lions, wild dogs, and elephants without them knowing. The animals in Mana Pool are used to seeing people on foot and so are generally more relaxed. Aside from incredible walking safaris in Mana Pools, you can enjoy morning and afternoon game drives as well as a canoeing safari along the Zambezi River.
Days 8, 9 and 10 - Somalisa Camp, Hwange National Park
From Mana Pools fly across the country to Hwange National Park. Somalisa Camp must be one of our favorite camps in Africa. Situated in the heart of Hwange National Park overlooking a waterhole that is teeming with wildlife. At the peak of the dry season, Somalisa attracts over 1000 elephants daily to the waterhole in front of the camp. Hwange is renowned as having the largest population of elephants anywhere in Africa and so is a must for any wildlife enthusiast. Being on the edge of the Kalahari Desert means Hwange National Park, has mixed habitats which means there is a wide variety of wildlife to be seen from desert-adapted animals to those reliant on water. When Hwange was created, the park officials sunk boreholes to pump waterholes which now form the lifeline for the animals in the park. Sable, roan, buffalo, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, and wild dog are just some of the highlights guests staying at Somalisa can expect to see whilst on safari. Somalisa is renowned for its exceptional guides who take guests on daily walking safaris as well as morning and afternoon game drives. The camp is situated in amongst an Acacia forest looking out over the natural animal paths leading to the camp’s waterhole. Each of the 7 tents has a large veranda with views over the vlei line. The main area is over a couple of levels that all face the famous elephant pool and waterhole beyond. Somalisa offers guests a unique opportunity to get very close to wild elephants as they come to drink the clean waters of the elephant pool in front of the main deck.
Days 11 and 12 - Victoria Falls
After the excitement of your safaris in Zimbabwe, head to one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the mighty Victoria Falls. There is so much to do in Victoria Falls that can be tailored to suit everyone. Whether you are looking for a heart-pumping bungee jump, gorge swing, or white-water rafting or looking for something a little more relaxing like an afternoon sunset cruise on the upper Zambezi, we can design your itinerary around your interests and needs. One thing we highly recommend is the scenic helicopter flight over the falls. Our top tip for visiting the falls is to go as early as possible to avoid the crowds and heat, but it also offers the best light for photographs. The sun rises over Zambia, so it is possible to take photos with a beautiful pink hue in the sky