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12 Days Cultural Tour and Wildlife Safari in Zimbabwe

Cresta Lodge Harare, Samora Machel Avenue, Mutare Road, Harare, Zimbabw

Zimbabwe Safaris and Cultural Tour

This tour features the main highlights of the breathtaking country of Zimbabwe. Starting in Harare then making your way to the Eastern Highlands, be amazed with seeing iconic tourist spots and explore wildlife treasure troves through the various national parks. Also get the chance to visit the majestic Victoria Falls, regarded as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. If you are keen to see the best that Zimbabwe has to offer, then this holiday will definitely give you that and more.

Key information

  • Group size: 2 - 20 persons
  • Children policy: Participants with a minimum age of three are allowed on this safari and children need to be supervised under 11 of age.
  • Starting point: Harare
  • Ending point: Victoria Falls
  • Park fees are included

Highlights

  • 4 amazing game drives
  • Cultural tour of Zimbabwe
  • Zambezi River sunset cruise
  • Spot rhinos, elephants, various birds, and more
  • Explore Harare, Eastern Highlands, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, and the Matobo and Hwange National Parks
  • Daily breakfasts and dinners
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Styles


11 activity days
The maximum participants in the group is 20
Airport transfer included: Harare International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-out Time:
10:00

You will be accommodated in single or double rooms in different accommodation venues in Zimbabwe. On the first night, you will stay at the Cresta Lodge Harare. On the second night, you will stay either at the Cresta Lodge Harare again, or the Meikles Hotel. And on the third and fourth nights, you will stay at the Troutbeck Inn. On the fifth night, you will stay at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel.

On the sixth and seventh nights, you will stay at either the Matobo Hills Lodge or Big Cave Camp. On the eighth and ninth nights, you will stay at Sable Sands. And on the tenth and eleventh nights, you will stay at the A'Zambezi River Lodge. Please note that if these venues are fully-booked, Africa Zim Travel & Tours will book other lodges or hotels available in the area.

A'Zambezi River Lodge

Shortly before the mighty Zambezi River thunders over Victoria Falls lies a tranquil spot on the riverbank, where life takes on a different pace. In this place, you can experience the river as it really is under the trees and in harmony with nature. You can feel as refreshed as the resort itself at the finest location Victoria Falls has to offer. The spirit of the river awaits at the A’Zambezi River Lodge, where luxury and style become one.

The lodge has a total of 87 en-suite rooms, the amenities of which include fully-serviced and enclosed balconies, air-conditioning, mosquito nets, satellite television, telephone, in-room safe, hairdryer, minibar, and in-room tea and coffee facilities. The lodge has two restaurants and a bar, and facilities and services include Wi-Fi, swimming pool, same-day dry cleaning, airport transfers, shuttle to town and to the Victoria Falls, a tour desk, and babysitting on request.

Big Cave Camp

Set on top of a huge granite kopje and accessible only by a four-by-four vehicle, this camp commands inspirational views across the famous Matobo National Park. Sophisticated African architecture incorporates colossal boulders into a luxuriously-appointed, thatched lodge, positioned amidst ancient Khoisan rock art. Retire at a day's end to the natural rock-pool and sundeck, the Leopard's Lair lounge and bar, a cave-style boma for pre-dinner drinks, or the popular lodge library.

Seven thatched, A-frame cottages, each with an en-suite bathroom and private balcony, resonate African creative flair. The property also offers a campsite, complete with all the necessary facilities in the most spectacular location, with sweeping views into the valley below. The campsite has a large ablution block with separate ladies and gents' facilities, and a laundry area.

The central living areas in the camp are set against a backdrop of massive boulders that form part of the design of the structures. The Leopard's Lair includes a teak bar, lounge, and communal dining area. The bar and dining area feature a huge rock enclosed in the room, with trees growing through the roof creating a natural atmosphere. Dining is a relaxed affair where guests and the lodge managers all sit around the dinner table together.

The adjacent library is a cozy retreat for those wishing to spend a quiet moment learning more about the history of the area. It is a quiet area with a fireplace and adequate local reading material. Outside, the natural rock pool and sundeck is a cool contrast to the warm granite that surround the pool. Refuge can also be taken at midday in the nearby pool boma area, where ice cold drinks are served.

At sundown, the cave-style boma is illuminated by lanterns as guests sit around a traditional fire while recounting stories of the day's activities. Big Cave Camp is the ideal getaway as it is suitable for all travelers. From families to adventure-seekers to honeymooners, this camp has it all. Find solitude within an intimate retreat as secluded as the original Kalanga grain bins that are nestled among the rocks.

Cresta Lodge Harare

Set in beautiful and tranquil surroundings, and located on the outskirts of Harare’s dynamic city center, you’ll find the beautiful Cresta Lodge. The property is the idyllic setting for the most memorable events with superior levels of comfort, attention to detail and top quality facilities all topped off with the true warmth of African hospitality. The hotel recently underwent a complete refurbishment, including the upgrade of its 171 bedrooms and suites.

This establishment provides an environment to suit the needs not only of tourists but also of business clients, having taken into account all the latest trends in business travel. The rooms are now more spacious, have individually-controlled air-conditioners, minibar fridges, and in-room safes. Each room has a balcony, affording the traveler scenic views, as well as tea and coffee-making facilities, a flat-screen, digital satellite television, and a king-sized bed.

The en-suite bathroom configurations have been changed to include glass panels, vanity tops, bathroom extraction fans, and up-to-date vinyl floor tiles. Feel surrounded by modern styling and ultimate comfort. The lodge also has a 24-hour front desk. The Chatters Restaurant, with it’s recent face lift, is still known for its famous gourmet dishes and imported wines. The Cool Beans coffee shop is a must visit for some of the best coffee in Zimbabwe, with free Wi-Fi available.

Great Zimbabwe Hotel

You won’t find any accommodation closer to the Great Zimbabwe ruins than this hotel. They are located less than a kilometer from Zimbabwe’s famous World Heritage Site, and offer you the opportunity to see as much of the remarkable place as possible. The Great Zimbabwe Hotel is only 20 kilometers from the town of Masvingo.

The hotel offers spacious and comfortable accommodation through its 38 rooms. In addition, it offers a family suite, a deluxe suite, and a number of standard suites in nearby satellite buildings. The rooms all overlook a courtyard with lush gardens. The suites and rooms are all en-suite and equipped with tea and coffee-making facilities, telephone, digital satellite television, and hairdryer. Room service is available from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., as well as laundry service.

It is therefore not surprising that celebrities such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II have stayed in this hotel before. The Great Enclosure Restaurant serves delicious, a la carte and buffet menus. The decor in the restaurant echoes the distinctive stonework of the Great Zimbabwe ruins, and the service is warm and friendly. The Cocktail Bar serves a full selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as a snack menu.

If you're visiting for the first time, remember to ask for the Great Zimbabwe Rocks cocktail. If you're planning a day trip, you can ask for a packed breakfast and lunch. Although the purpose of staying in this hotel is obviously to explore the ruins, guests also have the use of a swimming pool, tennis court, and volleyball pitch. These are a short two-minute walk from the main hotel complex. There are also two curio shops where you can buy interesting gifts for people back home.

The Great Zimbabwe Hotel is also able to host conferences. There are two conference rooms - a smaller venue for up to 100 delegates, and a larger venue for up to 250 delegates. Standard equipment includes televisions, VCR/ DVD units, overhead projectors, white boards, and flip charts. The close proximity of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site also makes the hotel a very popular wedding venue in Zimbabwe.

Matobo Hills Lodge

This lodge is situated within a private wildlife reserve bordering Matobo National Park, 50 kilometers outside the city of Bulawayo. The Matobo Hills Lodge is in an area of exquisite beauty, where accommodation units are built upon a granite outcrop with sweeping panoramic views commanding over the Maleme valley. You can enjoy some luxury on a romantic getaway, relax around the pool, feeling free to take a wild hike through the hills.

The lodge has 34 beds in 17 luxury hilltop lodges. All rooms have a shower, toilet, basin, and wall-to-wall carpet. Extra beds are available on request. It’s the perfect wedding spot and, with free Wi-Fi, the most peaceful place to have a productive and enjoyable conference. There’s so many reasons to visit the Matobo Hills Lodge.

Meikles Hotel

For over 100 years, this hotel has been acclaimed as Zimbabwe’s premier luxury, five-star hotel, its gracious charm and silver-service style reflected in its membership in the prestigious, invitation-only Leading Hotels of the World. Situated in the heart of the capital city, Harare, Meikles is a legendary meeting place for international business executives, dignitaries, leisure travelers, and celebrities.

The Meikles Hotel features 312 rooms in two luxurious, multi-story wings (north and south), offset to afford the north-facing rooms of both wings superb views of the gardens and trees of Africa Unity Square. The north wing's air-conditioning is individually-controlled, while that of the south is centrally-controlled. As a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, this hotel is renowned for impeccable service, luxurious accommodation, and exceptional facilities.

Sable Sands

On the edge of the famous Hwange National Park, on a private concession that boasts of stunning views of the dried riverbed named the Dete Vlei, stands a rustic eco-lodge within the pristine teak and mopani forest called Sable Sands. It has 16 traditionally-thatched rondavels with en-suite bathrooms, making your lodge the perfect blend of ancient culture, nature, and modern convenience.

Situated on a forestry concession, the lodge harvests dead wood for cooking and heating water. A generator is run in the evening for guests to charge their cameras, phones, etc., and after the generator makes way for the nocturnal sounds of the wild African bush, there are solar lamps in the rooms for light. All rooms are suitable for single, twin, and double occupancy, and the hotel will be happy to add extra beds for children. Sable Sands is family-friendly.

Laundry service is provided at a cost, and limited Wi-Fi is available in the evenings before and after dinner. This forest home also has a solar-powered swimming pool for those hot, African days, and a tree house to relax in and breathe in the pure, untainted air. In the main gazebo is the dining area, lounge, library, and bar, all overlooking the beautiful, solar-pumped waterhole in the Dete Vlei, which is frequented by a host of wildlife visitors.

You have the exciting opportunity to see sable antelopes, zebras, and thirsty herds of elephants and buffaloes and, if you are really lucky, you might even spot a lion, cheetah, painted dog, jackal, and more. Hwange’s bird life is also renowned for its incredible population of no less than 350 different species. In front of the gazebo is a large, outdoor fire pit, where guests can have dinner under the stars with a glowing red campfire blazing beside them.

Troutbeck Inn

This inn is proud to have been part of the tourism scene in Zimbabwe for more than 45 years. The log fire in the reception area of the hotel is a firm favorite, and guests from across the world enjoy the gentrified, "country club" atmosphere of this premium destination in Nyanga. The Hare and Hound is Troutbeck Inn’s snug bar with glowing log fire, ideal for a pre-dinner drink.

If books, cream scones, and tea are more to your liking, you’ll find the Residence Sun Lounge at the Troutbeck Inn simply irresistible with its comfortable couches and fireplace. The lounge also offers a bar service and snack menu. The inn's garden is the perfect venue for a lovely picnic. With the delicious baskets provided by the kitchen, you will not want for more. If you want to go on a day excursion, the kitchen staff will be happy to provide you a packed breakfast and lunch.

You will be forgiven if you had thought Troutbeck Inn to be in the Scottish Highlands, rather than in the Nyanga moutains of Zimbabwe. The majestic Mount Nyangani of 2,600 meters is in close proximity to the inn, located on the cooler Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, only a three-hour drive from Harare. Guests are accommodated in 73 beautifully-styled rooms, with a number of options ranging from king-sized, double, or twin beds.

Disabled guests are well looked after and for the travelling family, the hotel has a family suite. All rooms offer en-suite bathrooms, hairdryers, tea and coffee-making facilities, satellite televisions, oil heaters, and air-conditioning, as well as telephones. The Beck Restaurant offers superb dining for up to 160 guests and overlooks the manicured gardens of the inn. During Nyanga's summer months, guests love to enjoy their meals on the outside terrace overlooking the magnificent golf course.

Program

Day 1 - Arrival

Upon arrival at Harare International Airport (HRE), you will be met by an Africa Zim Tours and Travel representative and proceed to Zimbabwe's capital city of Harare. This tour exposes an impeccably clean city, bustling with busy shops, wide and open streets, and warm hospitality. Your driver-guide will show you the botanical garden and balancing rocks. You will have dinner and an overnight stay at the Cresta Lodge Harare.

Day 2 - Harare

After breakfast, you will tour and explore Harare some more. Your dinner and overnight stay will be at either the Cresta Lodge Harare again, or the Meikles Hotel.

Day 3 - Eastern Highlands

After an early breakfast, you will leave Harare and head over to the magnificent, mountainous area of the Eastern Highlands, also known as the "little England” of Zimbabwe, through a diverse scenery of farmlands and rocky outcrops. Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be able to take in beautiful, calm views and serene settings. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the Troutbeck Inn.

Day 4 - Eastern Highlands

The day is yours to relax or explore. Enjoy the hotel, stroll down to the dam to watch rainbow trouts diving through the waters, or join the group in visiting the World's View viewpoint and Rhodes Museum. Your dinner and overnight stay will still be at the Troutbeck Inn.

Day 5 - Masvingo

After breakfast, you will depart for Masvingo, the Ancient City, where you will be inspired by the ruins of Great Zimbabwe which was built in 1200 A.D. This ruined city is the largest and most significant ancient monument south of the Sahara, second only to the Egyptian pyramids. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel.

Day 6 - Great Zimbabwe ruins

After breakfast, your guide will take you through the Acropolis, the Great Enclosure, and the Conical Tower. After the tour, you will depart for the Matobo Hills, passing through Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe that has wide, tree-lined streets and is surrounded by beautiful parks.

Within the city are many examples of early Victorian buildings, which are maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council and landlords. Your accommodation for the next two nights will be either the Matobo Hills Lodge or Big Cave Camp.

Day 7 - Matobo National Park

A full day will be spent exploring the area, and some highlights include cave paintings and panoramas of the countryside at the World's View viewpoint. Hopefully, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the black rhino and plains game, but this area is actually famous for its dense concentrations of birds of prey.

Day 8 - Hwange National Park

After breakfast, you will depart for Hwange National Park. This is one of Africa's finest havens for wildlife and is home to herds of presidential elephants. It is also home to many predators, endangered species, and varied bird life. Transfer onto an open vehicle and proceed with a game drive en-route to the lodge.

Upon arrival, enjoy lunch overlooking the beautiful plains then proceed with an afternoon game drive. After sundowners, a dinner will be enjoyed to the sounds of the night. Your accommodation for the next two nights will be Sable Sands, a safari lodge.

Day 9 - Hwange National Park

Dawn will break with a morning game drive through the vast plains to experience the drama of the previous night. Hopefully, you will get to view more of the many species that live in the area while exploring the magnificent landscape. Return to the lodge for an afternoon siesta and proceed later on with an evening game drive to view the nocturnal inhabitants of the park.

Day 10 - Town of Victoria Falls

An early rise will be accompanied by tea and coffee before you enjoy a transfer down to Victoria Falls. Your first stop is the Painted Dog Conservation center in Hwange, where you will learn more about wild dogs and the center's efforts to protect these beautiful animals from extinction. After this, you will head over to the town of Victoria Falls.

Your afternoon can be spent at leisure, or you can book one of the many activities available in the area. Upon arrival in Victoria Falls, you will proceed with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River after checking in. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the A'Zambezi River Lodge.

Day 11 - Victoria Falls

After breakfast, you will enjoy a tour of the falls. You will stop at various vantage points to view it, and walk through the rainforest while witnessing the rainbows and feeling the spray and thundering noise of the water falling into the gorge.

The rest of your afternoon will be spent at leisure, and you can book one of the many activities available including rafting, a helicopter ride over the falls, lion walk experience, canoeing, afternoon and nighttime game drives, jet boarding, high wiring, bungee jumping, bridge sliding, and gorge swinging. Enjoy dinner and another overnight stay at the A'Zambezi River Lodge.

Day 12 - Departure

Enjoy breakfast before checking out and being transferred to Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA).

Included excursions

  • Boma dinner at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
  • Guided city tour of Harare
  • Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
  • Tour of Great Zimbabwe
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Visit to the Painted Dog Conservation center
  • Visit to the World's View viewpoint and Rhodes Museum

Location

This safari holiday will take place in Harare, Eastern Highlands, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, and the Matobo and Hwange National Parks, all of which are located in Zimbabwe.

Food

Daily breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of this retreat. One of the dinners will be a boma dinner, which will be held at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. There will also be two lunch meals during the tour.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Book optional tours and activities at an additional cost
  • Capture photos of the sights and scenery
  • Enjoy the game drives and excursions
  • Explore the surroundings
  • Meet and interact with the locals
  • Relax at your accommodation
  • See the stunning views

Spa treatments

You can book spa treatments at the accommodation venues at an additional cost.

What's included

  • 1 boma dinner at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
  • 2 lunches
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Bird watching and game drive in Matobo National Park
  • Daily breakfasts and dinners
  • Game drives in Hwange National Park
  • Guided city tour of Harare
  • Park entrance fees
  • Services of a professional driver-guide
  • Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
  • Tour of Great Zimbabwe
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Transfer from Harare International Airport (HRE)
  • Transfer to Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA)
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned minibus
  • Visit to the Painted Dog Conservation center
  • Visit to the World's View viewpoint and Rhodes Museum

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Any additional activities, services, or trips
  • Beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal insurance costs
  • Remaining lunches
  • Spa treatments
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Visa costs

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Harare International Airport (HRE). Transfer from the airport is included. Africa Zim Travel & Tours will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Harare International Airport Airport transfer included: Harare International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

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