Best Of Zimbabwe And Kruger – 3 nights Hwange National Park ∣ 3 nights Victoria Falls ∣ 1 night Mpumalanga Lowveld ∣ 3 nights Sabi Sand Game Reserve ∣ 4 nights Kruger National Park
Anny initially indicated interest in visiting Victoria Falls and Kruger National Park with her friends. I sent them a proposal for the two and suggested maybe adding Hwange National Park to their stay as this is an incredible area and one of the lesser known parks in Zimbabwe. As they were already interested in Victoria Falls, the Hwange safari seemed to be the perfect pairing. Anny accepted the proposed itinerary and as a result had a much more extensive Kruger and Zimbabwe experience than initially expected. It was such a pleasure planning and getting excited with these clients who reported to have had a wonderful time which is all we aim for!
Arriving in Johannesburg at OR Tambo International Airport, you are met airside from your International arrival flight and assisted through customs and luggage collection. Our representative will hand over your travel documents and assist you with your connecting flight to Victoria Falls.
Arriving at Victoria Falls International Airport, you are met by your driver and transferred by road to your luxurious tented camp ideally located in the Hwange National Park. You are met with a refreshing beverage which can be enjoyed overlooking the wildlife-rich waterhole which is situated in front of the camp. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, getting settled in and enjoying the comforts of your tented camp before a delectable dinner is served under the African Starry night.
Flight Time: OR Tambo to Victoria Falls – approx. 1 ½ hours
Road Transfer Time: Victoria Falls Airport to Hwange National Park – approx. 2 ½ hours
Hwange National Park is a dedicated nature “nirvana” consisting of 14,651 unfenced square kilometres in the west of Zimbabwe. The Park extends westward to link with the Kasane Forest and Chobe region of neighbouring Botswana.
This glorious National Park rightfully boasts the highest concentration of wildlife species (mammals, birds, reptiles & insects) of any safari region in Africa. Hwange National Park has earned a world-wide reputation for its large herds of resident buffalo, its predators & more especially so, huge numbers of African elephant.
This morning can be spent at leisure or you may decide to enjoy a final exploration in the Hwange National Park with a Walking Safari and morning game drive. Brunch is served at the main lodge prior to your road transfer to your next Tented Camp located on the outskirts of the Victoria Falls town in the Victoria Falls National Park.
You are met at reception on arrival and assisted to your Luxury Twin Tented Suite for your three night stay. You have the remainder of the day at leisure, you may decide to rest in the comfort of your Suite or explore one of the activities included in your package.
Road Transfer Time: Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls National Park – approx. 2 ½ hours
Besides being one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is the unchallenged adventure capital of Africa with more than 50 activities available.
At 1708 metres wide, Victoria Falls is the most expansive curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 metres into the sheer Zambezi Gorge. Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, these Falls and the Zambezi River are the central points in an area of spectacular scenic beauty: from the Falls themselves to the broad, picturesque course of the Zambezi River upstream, the rainforest adjacent and the stark jagged gorge downstream, the power and timelessness of nature’s forces are evident throughout.
This morning you enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking the Victoria Falls National Park. You are met at reception and transferred by road to Livingstone International Airport for your direct flight to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
Arriving at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, you are met by your driver and transferred by road to your Luxury Tented Retreat located on a tranquil estate just outside the quaint town of Hazyview.
Flight Time: Livingstone to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport – 1½ hours
Road Transfer Time: Kruger Mpumalanga Airport to Hazyview – 40 minutes
Arriving at your Retreat, you are assisted to your Tented Twin Suite and settle in for the evening. The afternoon and evening can be spent at leisure to enjoy the surrounding gardens, a gin tour or to indulge in the unforgettable views of the estate. Dinner is enjoyed this evening at the River Café.
Breakfast is served in the River Café this morning prior to your collection and road transfer to your Game Lodge located on the banks of the Sand River, in the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Road Transfer Time: Hazyview to Sabi Sand Lodge – 1 ½ hours
On arrival at your Game Lodge, you are met at reception with a refreshing beverage as you enjoy a leisurely check-in. Once you have been briefed on the days ahead, you are assisted to your twin Chalet for your three night stay. There is time to settle in before departing on your first afternoon game drive in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Reserve has no fences, and the wildlife is able to cross freely between the Sabi Sands and the rest of the Greater Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sand Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Close contact encounters are guaranteed as the animals are not threatened by the presence of vehicles thanks to sound conservation management policies. Exceptional sightings of leopard (usually the most elusive of cats), lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo during game drives – visitors are never lacking in exciting photographic content.
Your day begins as the first rays of the African sun embraces this natural nirvana. Returning from your morning game drive, you enjoy a grand brunch before being met by your driver for your road transfer to your tented camp located along the N’waswitsontso River.
Road Transfer Time: Sabi Sand to Central Kruger Lodge – approx. 3 hours
Step back in time as you arrive at Hamilton’s Tented Camp, a elegant camp with fine luxury in the true “Out of Africa’ Style”. You are met on arrival and assisted to your Tented Suite for your 4-night safari in the Central Kruger National Park. There is a short time to settle in before embarking on a memorable afternoon game drive, returning to camp for a elegant meal under the African Sky.
A private concession within the Kruger National Park comprising three lodges – Imbali Safari Lodge, Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge and Hamilton’s Tented Camp, Mluwati Concession was born out of a spirit of ensuring the future sustainability of the national park.
As one of the first private concessions in the Kruger National Park, Mluwati has worked tirelessly to ensure the sustainability of this pristine wilderness that for over 100 years has been a sanctuary for over 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians and 147 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five.
The Kruger National Park is one of the biggest National Parks in Africa. It is situated at the North-Eastern tip of South Africa and spans over the Mpumalanga and Limpopo province. The parks surface area spans 19633 km² as many of the surrounding private reserves have removed their fences, allowing wildlife to roam freely between reserves. This has created a wildlife area like no other, as its beauty soaks itself into anyone who visits this diverse place.
Your final day in Southern Africa has arrived, as we bid you farewell!
As dawn breaks, you head out on your final morning drive in the Central Kruger National Park. On arrival at camp, you enjoy brunch before you are met and transferred to Hoedspruit Airport to connect with your onward journey and flight home.
Hwange National Park: The Hide Safari Camp
Situated on a private concession on the Eastern boundary of Hwange National Park and with stunning views across a natural waterhole, The Hide enjoys a perfect location. There are eight standard tents and two luxury or honeymoon tents. Each tent is mosquito-proofed and has an en-suite bathroom, a fan for your comfort in summer and extra warm blankets and hot water bottles for the cool winter months. The hub of the camp is the signature “A” frame, which houses the dining room, a downstairs sun lounge and a large comfortable lounge/viewing area upstairs. There is also plunge pool near the main lounge and dining room.
Most meals are served in unsurpassed elegance and style, at the Main A Frame, around the magnificent 22-seater teak dining room table. Tea and cake is best enjoyed upstairs, in the A-frame, overlooking the water pan. Meanwhile, breakfast can be served Alfresco, under the Acacia trees.
The new Wine Cellar and Underground Hide at The Hide were planned, designed and created for the adventure-takers, the thrill-makers and the pleasure-seekers out there. Along a tunnel, you’ll walk for about 10 metres under the surface of the earth – and then emerge into a “window on the waterhole”, where you can sit quietly, the unobserved observing. It’s a special new addition and makes the experience of “game viewing” more intense and personal.
Along the same tunnel, guests are delighted to find, hidden away in the wall, a real wine cellar. Perfectly cooled at a steady 17 degrees Celsius, ambient-lit and stocked with a small selection of fine wines from around the world, this is a welcome addition to an already all-sensory experience at The Hide. Guests are invited to choose the wine they’d like with dinner – or suggestions are made based on wine pairing experts’ recommendations.
Victoria Falls: Elephant Camp
Situated on a private concession within the Victoria Falls National Park and bounded by the Masuwe River and the Zambezi gorges, The Elephant Camp has breath-taking views of the Victoria Falls’ spray, and the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Elephant Camp is a luxury and intimate lodge under canvas within easy reach of Victoria Falls and all its attractions and activities yet secluded in its own private game reserve so as to allow close-up encounters with wildlife.
The main camp complex is a tented structure with a spacious deck, lounge, bar, dining area and a sun-kissed pool, offering sweeping vistas of the Batoka Gorge and the magnificent spray of the Victoria Falls. The Elephant Camp overlooks a waterhole that is fed by natural streams in the rainy season. With an emphasis on exclusivity, the 12 luxury tented suites all have private decks with magnificent views and plunge pools. The suites are all equipped with indoor and outdoor showers, huge baths, private lounges, mini bar and tea/coffee stations, overhead fans plus air conditioning and are all mosquito proofed.
The Elephant Camp offers close interaction with wildlife and all guests staying at The Elephant Camp will have an opportunity to meet the elephants at the Wild Horizons Sanctuary. Selected Spa Treatments are available in the privacy of your suite.The Elephant camp is situated only 10 minutes from Victoria Falls and complimentary shuttle transfers operate throughout the day.
Mpumalanga Lowveld – Hazyview: Summerfield’s Rose Retreat & Spa
Kick off your shoes and your worries in the “barefoot luxury” of Summerfield’s Rose Retreat & Spa. This sweet-fragranced ambience is found on Summerfield’s’ resplendent rose farm. Born out of a vision to create an environment where active farming and caring hospitality co-exist, this accommodation will reignite your senses and refresh your mind.
Summerfield’s Rose Retreat & Spa is a stylish and sophisticated boutique property located on the banks of the Sabie River. The 12 safari-style luxury tents all feature en suite bathrooms and viewing decks with either forest or river views. The luxury tents also have outside baths and private wooden walkways.
The retreat is set in a 100-acre macadamia, granadilla, and litchi farm, and will envelop you in lush trees and regal rosebushes. Soothe your soul in natural rose and macadamia oils with a head, feet and hand massage at the Summerfield’s Spa; relax around the pool; enjoy guided tours of the rose farm; and, embark on balloon and microlight flights over the valley.
The property has a highly regarded onsite spa (pre-booking is advised) as well as two restaurants and a bar. The swimming pool overlooks the river, where hippo and crocodile can often be seen when the water is high enough.
Sabi Sand Game Reserve: Inyati Game Lodge
Inyati Game Lodge is situated in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Wildtuin which is a private game reserve sharing a common unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park. It spans 50 000 hectares and is renowned for providing some of the best game viewing in Africa. The reserve is not open to the general public with each private lodge having exclusive traversing rights over their area.
Inyati can accommodate a maximum of 25 guests maintaining the family ambience it’s become renowned for. The lodge consists of three luxury family chalets and eight luxury standard chalets, all tastefully furnished with uninterrupted views of the African bush overlooking the Sand river. Each air-conditioned chalet features en-suite bathroom with twin hand basins, separate bath, shower and toilet. Other facilities in each room include: a personal mini bar (filled upon request), tea/coffee making station, hairdryers, in-room safe, laundry (at an extra cost) and a telephone. Satellite television and Wifi are available (for free) in the public lounging area.
At Inyati the days are designed to thrill you with intimate wildlife encounters and the nights to delight you with the indulgence and romance of the African night. We offer a range of activities from game drives and guided bush walks, to star gazing, fishing, workouts at the fully-equipped gym, swimming, young rangers’ programmes and community tours.
Inyati has been recognised by the Lilizela Tourism Awards for the best “Visitor’s Experience Award for the Best Wildlife Encounters”. Open game vehicles, which seat up to 10 guests, are driven by experienced rangers and insightful trackers. With over 9,000 hectares of traversing wilderness, no two game drives are ever the same. Game drives are planned for mornings and evenings as this is the time when the animals are most active.
Central Kruger National Park: Hamilton’s Tented Camp
Built entirely of canvas set amidst age-old Jackalberry and Sausage trees, with high wooden platforms linking six elevated tents, Hamilton’s treats guests to stunning views of the Nwatswitsonto River and offers the opportunity to enjoy spectacular wildlife and birdlife sightings. Your encounter with the Kruger bush truly is up close and personal.
Guests are accommodated in six exceptionally private luxury elevated tents overlooking the Nwaswitsontso River. From your own private deck, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush that derives its existence from the river.
Traditional fittings and features such as old brass light switches, steamer trunks with vintage labels revealing exciting journeys and sepia-stained photographs enhance the tradition and style of this ‘turn-of-the-century’ luxury safari tent; modern comforts such as electricity, air conditioning and an outdoor shower the only clues that we live in a different time.
The décor is light and neutral; teak furniture and floors, gilded mirrors and crisp white linens deliver a classy luxury tent experience enhanced by the panoramic bush and river views that begin at the edge of the deck. International cuisine with a South-African twist is served on the poolside deck.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Hwange National Park: Daily Safari Programme at The Hide Safari Camp
The Hide Safari Camp is fortunate to have the best of both worlds. While located within the Hwange National Park, it is also surrounded by a private concession, which allows them to offer activities not otherwise permitted. Hwange is a vast playground worth exploring so you do not have to worry about being bored. Early morning walks are there for the thrill of encountering wildlife on its own terms and exploring the little surprises of the bush.
The rest of the day can be spent further afield on game drives in search of predators and prey alike. The guides at The Hide are very much part of the family and have worked at The Hide for many years. They have undergone some of the most rigorous training in Africa and their passion for and knowledge of the bush is often what makes a safari so special.
There is no typical day at The Hide as it really depends on you how much or little you would like to do. As a general rule, safaris start at the same time as the animals – usually mornings and late afternoons or evenings. However, the scope and scale of Hwange’s wildlife is such that there is generally always something to see. There is no limit on the number of activities you can do, so if you can’t sit still, you could do an early morning walk followed by a morning drive after breakfast. In the afternoon you could head out again, stopping off for a sundowner and a night-drive back to camp.
If you are really looking for value, you could venture out after dinner to see if you can find anything out on the prowl. The waterhole at The Hide is particularly special, being the only source of permanent water for a good-sized area. So even if you don’t feel like venturing out, you will still be able to enjoy the daily visitors to the camp, which often include elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala, waterbuck and kudu. Lion come in from time to time and wild dog have even made kills in full view of the camp.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Victoria Falls: Activities at Elephant Camp
At Elephant Camp there are several different activities available to keep you busy. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience – the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s Supreme Masterpiece. Enjoy a Guided Tours of the Victoria Falls during your stay.
You can meet the Wild Horizons elephant or enjoy Birding and Nature walks. These are offered on the concession where an experienced guide will make the bush come alive. Guests enjoy a short transfer to a scenic spot on the Elephant Camp concession and enjoy sundowners overlooking the Batoka Gorge and surrounding bush. Guests can enjoy a rural village tour where they will see local villagers going about their daily tasks and will be able to interact with them. This tour will allow you to see rural Zimbabwean life ﬁrst hand.
Lunch at the Lookout Café (Including drinks) – Guests enjoy complimentary transfers and the fully inclusive use of the Lookout Café. Perched 120 metres above the turbulent rapids of the Zambezi River, the café overhangs the spectacular chasm of the Batoka Gorge, just down from the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge, which forms part of its backdrop. The Victoria Falls Canopy Tour offers fantastic views of Zambezi rapids, Victoria Falls Bridge & the spray of the Falls.
Visiting the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – Guests visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (VFTW), a non-proﬁt organisation whose mission is to advance environmental conservation through hands-on wildlife research, the management of a veterinary laboratory and rehabilitation facility and the education of local peoples in the sustainable usage of natural resources.
SUGGESTED Victoria Falls: Sunset & Dinner Cruises on the Zambezi River
The Ra-Ikane is a small luxury cruise boat that is out-fitted to suggest, in exquisite detail, an ambiance of a bygone era. This cruise boat is exclusive (14 guests only) and personalised – period decor, historic memorabilia, fine cuisine and refreshments offer a level of comfort and grace unsurpassed on the Zambezi. As afternoon fades into twilight, animals come down to the river to drink as you go by.
The dinner cruise is an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend your evening in Victoria Falls. It truly is a luxury safari on water. Enjoy a Zambezi style gourmet dinner above the Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls dinner cruise serves a four course meal that includes drinks (wines, local beers, coffee) delicious starters, soup, main course and dessert.
The dinner cruise departs from the Zambezi River cruise terminal and initially cruises downstream towards the Victoria Falls. As the sun goes down you are served the first course of your dinner. You will continue to cruise upstream as you enjoy the warm African evening, and you are served your delicious dinner. All the meals served have been freshly prepared on board by the experienced chefs.
SUGGESTED Victoria Falls: Adventure Activities
Victoria Falls is the unchallenged adventure capital of Africa with more than 50 activities available. Here is our selection of the best:
Paddle slowly down the Zambezi River in a canoe with some of the best wildlife guides in Africa and enjoy the beauty, peace and wildlife of this unique place. Explore islands and waterways and learn about the birds and animals you come across along the route.
Flight of the Angels Helicopter Flip:
At ground level you can feel the enormous power of the Victoria Falls as tremendous volumes of water pound into the chasm below. But it is only when you take to the air that you can take inthe whole panorama and enormity of this mighty spectacle.
Jet Boat Extreme:
Speedboats powered by huge jet engines shoot down the rapids below the Victoria Falls at 100 km an hour. Enjoy a thrilling half hour spent “flying” over the water.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Sabi Sand Game Reserve: Daily Safari Programme at Inyati Game Lodge
Day and night safaris in open Land Rovers, led by highly trained Game Rangers and qualified Trackers, follow the animals on and off-road, deep into the heart of the wild African Bushveld.
The morning safari starts at first light, when the bush is already alive, the air filled with birdsong as the rising sunlight dances off beads of dew on spiders’ webs. The tracker will watch the road for spoor, leaning forward intently to find any print left by a predator during its hunt in the dark. You return to the lodge for a grand brunch.
After brunch walking safaris allow guests to feel the pulse of untamed Africa through the soles of their feet. As evening falls you depart on the night safari. As the fierce heat of the day cools, the inhabitants of the bush become restless, and the animals move out of the shade of the trees. As the sun dips behind the horizon your Ranger will choose a spot where you can stretch your legs and enjoy sundowners alongside the vehicle.
There is a lull as the animals sense the transition into a time of increased danger. It is during evening safaris that the nocturnal hunters start stirring, and their prey needs to be alert for survival through the night. You return to the lodge for a safari cuisine supper.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Central Kruger National Park: Daily Safari Programme at Hamilton’s Tented Camp
Hamiltons Tented Camp is situated within the Kruger National Park, which boasts one of the most diverse game viewing experiences in South Africa and is home to an estimated 1,500 lions, 12,000 elephants, 2,500 buffalo, 1,000 leopards and 5,000 rhinos. The “Talamati Pride” are frequent visitors to the area. Leopards are shy animals that hunt at night. Hamiltons is fortunately in a high leopard density area and sightings are frequent. Spotting the tawny-yellow body with black rosette spots, as it blends in perfectly into its surrounds is a definite highlight of any nocturnal safari.
This provides ideal habitat for large herds of zebra, wildebeest and other plains animals. White rhino enjoy the numerous pans and wallows, whilst the shyer and more elusive black rhino can be found in the more thickly wooded areas. Herds of buffalo roam through grasslands seeking the succulent grasses, before moving down to rivers to amble slowly through the reeds. Elephants can frequently be seen all over the concession and in the river in front of the lodge is a favourite place for them to spend hours at a time. Guests relaxing at the lodge pools can find themselves enthralled, watching elephant families equally enjoying their own pools, particularly if the families include endearing babies.
Where you find animals, you find the predators. Tracking lions in open vehicles is one of the most exciting things to do and guests will never forget the spine chilling and awesome sound of a lion roaring at close quarters. Leopards are also found at Lukimbi, more difficult to spot, but guests are rewarded with the sight of one of the most beautiful animals in the world. Twice-daily game drives are conducted in open vehicles, led by an experience field guide and local Shangaan tracker.
Anny G & Friends, UK ,15th February 2020
All we can say is – Thank You – to Anya for her amazing communication, excitement and perfect planning of our trip! We had the most wonderful time in the Kruger, Victoria Falls was as we expected – beautiful! – and the safari in Hwange was better than we could have hoped for. We loved the combination of luxury and wildest Africa that Zimbabwe offered and would not have known about it without Anya’s suggestions. We cannot wait to come back to Africa soon and will be sure to recommend Pembury to our friends and family. Thank you once again.