Zimbabwe is a highly rewarding safari destination. It’s home to the mysterious ruined capital, Victoria Falls, and the rugged Eastern Highlands.
Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s most renowned safari attraction. It’s known for its huge herds of elephants (especially during the dry season) as well as its abundance of big cats and other wildlife.
Another gem that offers a unique adventure is Mana Pools National Park. Situated in the northern region of Zimbabwe, on the southern banks of the Zambezi River, Mana Pools National Park will leave you breathless with its beauty. This park allows for canoeing safaris and the chance to roam free among large game on guided walking safaris.
Matusadona National Park is another remarkable safari destination found in Zimbabwe. The park gets its name from the rolling Matusadona hills that form part of its water rich landscape. Matusadona Hills is located on the southern shore of Lake Kariba, in the middle of the Zambezi River.
The northern border of Zimbabwe is traced by the Zambezi River, which flows into Lake Kariba. It then passes through the hot, low-lying Zambezi Valley, and then the World Heritage Site, Mana Pools National Park. The Zambezi River provides water all-year-round for wildlife. On a Zimbabwe safari, you may often see predators like leopard, lion and crocodile. Kudu, impala, zebra, hippo, and waterbuck all live on the nearby plains.
The sable antelope is the national animal of Zimbabwe and considered to be one of the country’s most populated species.
The horns of this species have made them attractive with photographers, but they have also made them a favourite target for prize hunters. Conservation measures have been put in place to prevent the extinction of Sable Antelopes in the wild. It is estimated that numbers might be as low as 1,000.
In Hwange National Park, you will find brown hyena, bat-eared fox, and springhare are all. You may even get to see the critically endangered wild dogs, while nocturnal honey badgers are often seen at night in and around campfires.
Zimbabwe is also home to over 650 bird species and is a great place for a bird-watching safari. No endemic bird species can be found in Zimbabwe, although the Eastern Zimbabwe Mountains Endemic Bird Area (an area of worldwide importance), has numerous near endemics (EBA). For birdwatchers, Zimbabwe’s National Parks offer exceptional service and several options for walking safaris. From November through April, a massive influx of migratory birds may be found here, including the eastern black-headed oriole, greater painted-snipe, livingstone’s turaco, and the southern carmine bee-eater.
The winter months are the ideal time to see animals because of the dry weather (May-October). Animals flock around water sources when it is limited, which is especially true at the conclusion of the Dry season.
Zimbabwe has a tropical climate with distinct rainy and dry seasons. The climate varies considerably depending on the altitude and the region.
In the highlands, including cities like Harare and Mutare, the climate is temperate and the average temperature ranges from 10°C to 23°C. The rainy season in this area is from November to March, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in December and January.
In the lowveld region, including the cities of Victoria Falls and Kariba, the climate is hot and dry with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 40°C. The rainy season in this area is from November to March, with the highest rainfall occurring in January and February.
Overall, Zimbabwe’s climate is influenced by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the shifting of the Zimbabwean Plateau. Climate change is having an increasing impact on Zimbabwe, including rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns.
Zimbabwe is a culturally diverse country with a rich history and a variety of traditional cultures. The two largest ethnic groups in Zimbabwe are the Shona and the Ndebele, each with their own distinct cultural practices, beliefs, and customs. Other ethnic groups, such as the Tonga, Kalanga, Venda, and Sotho, also have their unique cultural traditions.
Traditional Zimbabwean culture places a strong emphasis on family and community, with extended families often living together in homesteads. Music, dance, and storytelling are significant aspects of Zimbabwean culture, and many traditional ceremonies involve the performance of music and dance. Zimbabwean art, particularly stone sculptures, is also renowned for its unique style and beauty.
Christianity is the predominant religion in Zimbabwe, although traditional African beliefs and practices are still widely observed in some communities. The country has a rich history of liberation struggles, and many national holidays and events are celebrated to honor the country’s independence and freedom fighters.
Overall, Zimbabwean culture is diverse, vibrant, and deeply rooted in history and tradition, reflecting the country’s unique identity and heritage.
Zimbabwe is a multilingual country with 16 official languages recognized in its constitution. The most widely spoken language in Zimbabwe is Shona, which is spoken by around 70% of the population. Ndebele is the second most widely spoken language, used by around 20% of the population. Other minority languages spoken in Zimbabwe include English, which is the official language of government, education, and business, as well as Tonga, Chewa, Nambya, Venda, Kalanga, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, and several others. The diversity of languages in Zimbabwe reflects the country’s rich cultural heritage and history.
Lake Kariba, with its 2,000km of shoreline, is the 4th largest man-made lake in the world, and the 2nd in Africa. It’s an impressive destination to visit, especially if you would like to experience authentic wildlife and walking safaris. Lake Kariba National Park is also rich in cultural heritage, which transcends through our safari camps and the indigenous community of Tonga people.
Buffalo, waterbuck, zebra and other impala thrived in areas with abundant water and regenerative grasses. Lions are also coming back to the area This has allowed for incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. The lake is home to huge Nile crocodiles, and the shores offer incredible herds of elephants and other members of the big five. Birdlife is also flourishing in this area. Keep an eye out for fish-eagles and other birdlife.
Situated on the sparkling shores of Lake Kariba
Bumi Hills safari lodge is located in Zimbabwe’s most remote wilderness area, it is truly captivating. This haven of tranquillity overlooks Lake Kariba’s shimmering waters, with the Zambezi Escarpment as its backdrop. Kariba’s shoreline is rich in wildlife. The lodge’s location near Matusadona also allows wildlife to freely roam between Matusadona’s national park and Bumi Hill’s private concession. This creates endless opportunities for game-viewing, guided by our passionate team.
Each of the ten suites is thoughtfully furnished with all the amenities you would expect from our luxury Lake Kariba lodge. Each suite has air-conditioning, an en-suite bathroom with a hairdryer and battery charging points. There’s also a mini-bar and private viewing deck. Baobab Villa is a two-bedroom villa in Bumi Hills. It has a living room bar, outdoor and indoor dining decks, and is perfect for families. The villa offers a personalized experience with a private server, safari guide, and a dedicated safari car.
Our tranquil spa offers a relaxing retreat from the stresses of modern life. The sparkling infinity pool provides cool relief and endless views of Lake Kariba below. Our well-equipped gym offers a great opportunity for active guests. The lodge is close to Matusadona, which allows the animals to roam free between the national park area and the private concession at Bumi Hills. You can spend your days on the water or wandering around the surrounding area on a walking safari. Discover the secrets hidden within the fossilized dinosaur footprints that are unique to this area. Our guides are equipped and knowledgeable of the area. They will make sure your safari experience is a memorable one. Guided walking safaris, boating and birding, day-and-night game as well as cultural visits to the local community are some of the activities you can expect to experience on your trip.
Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It offers a wilderness experience in the most remote areas. Visitors to the park will find a variety of wildlife
Mana, which means “four” in Shona, refers to four large pools found within the park. These are remnants of old oxbow lakes that were created by the powerful Zambezi. The Mana Pools National Park is in the middle Zambezi Valley and offers an incredible opportunity to take part in expertly guided canoe trails, among other activities.
The Mana Pools National Park is renowned for its large elephant herds and for being the best place in Africa to see endangered wild dogs. It’s not just the wildlife that makes the park so appealing, but also how it allows you to live in the bush and experience the wild without being disturbed by large crowds.
Kanga Camp located in a private concession of Mana Pools National Park, is an unspoiled wilderness paradise. Our seasonal Kanga safari lodge is located inland adjacent to Kanga Pan. It offers an authentic Mana Pools safari experience. Kanga Pan, which is located many miles from the Zambezi River, is the only source of water during the dry season. This makes it an ideal haven for wildlife. The diverse area includes a variety of vlei lines, mixed woodland types, ranging from Mopane Forest to Jesse bush and riverine trees. Kanga Camp is well-suited for collaboration with Zambezi Expeditions, where you can experience the thrill of canoeing and catch and release fishing on the Zambezi River.
The solar-powered Kanga camp consists of six tents, each raised on wooden platforms to provide an elevated view of the Kanga Pan. The Meru-style tents are simple but elegant. They have floor-to-ceiling mesh windows to let in natural light and a breeze. Each tent has fans, an en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower and hot running water. Kanga also offers a family tent with a wrap-around terrace that faces the pan and has private seating and dining areas. A rolltop bath is available on the adjacent secluded deck in the honeymoon tent, making it a perfect spot for starlit nights. The upper deck lounge, which is shaded by a mahogany tree, is a great place to relax and unwind. Our plunge pool offers a refreshing oasis for the warmer, summer days. This Kanga safari lodge offers every comfort of home, including a charging station for your cameras and devices.
Guided walking safaris are one of the many activities on your Mana Pools safari. Our passionate guides take great joy inleading thrilling game drives. They will be happy to share their love and knowledge with you. You don’t need to worry about the kids while on safari, at Kanga camp children over seven years old are welcome African Bush Camps prides itself in its family-friendly safari camps. Walking safaris at Kanga are not permitted for children under 16. This is due to their adventurous nature. Kanga Camp is closed during the dry and shoulder seasons, which runs from April to November.
Zambezi Expeditions boasts one of the most stunning settings in Zimbabwe’s famous Mana Pools National Park. The camp is classic and comfortable, yet it offers a sense of intimacy with the natural world. You will fall asleep to the sounds of the river flowing with the chuckles of the hippo and wake-up to the spectacular African sunrise. Zambezi Expeditions will help you connect deeply with nature.
Each tent is set under the shade of winter thorn and ebony trees. It has an en-suite bathroom with hot bucket showers. The main area also has charging points for your cameras. A game drive in an open 4 x4 along the floodplains and into the Mana Pools UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must on your trip.
Nyamatusi Mahogany is the latest addition to African Bush Camps’ family-focused safari camps. It offers a luxurious safari experience that families will love. The camp features two tented suites as well as two family suites, nestled under old mahogany trees along the banks of the Zambezi River.
Nyamatusi Mahogany’s experience is solar-powered and made from all-natural, locally sourced materials. You can enjoy uninterrupted views of the river, floodplain, and escarpment from the lounge, dining area, fire circle, plunge pool as well as your private suite. Our Mana Pools camp features two tented suites as well as two family suites All situated beneath the ancient mahogany trees along the shores of the mighty Zambezi River. The camp’s thoughtful and bespoke design captures the beauty and serenity found in its natural surroundings. Mana Pools is a paradise for explorers. It’s one of the few pioneer parks in the great African Rift Valley. You can expect maximum flexibility when you stay in a private concession within Mana Pools National Park.
Children are welcome at this camp with their special Ngwana club starter pack. Children of all ages can visit our Mana Pools camp. However, because of the nature of the activities, only children 16 years and older are allowed on walking or canoeing safaris.
Nyamatusi Camp is our flagship in terms of its eco-conscious style. This camp is set in one of the wildest and most remote parts of Africa, on the banks of the Zambezi, one of the world’s oldest rivers. Embracing comfort, this property embodies sustainable design. Fully solar-powered and built from all-natural materials it encompasses its wilderness location in the most elegant way. Here, your Mana Pools safari plays out against a sweeping riverine landscape, where epic encounters of the giants that roam this land await.
Consisting of six luxury tented suites, with uninterrupted views of the river and escarpment beyond, our Mana Pools safari lodge invites a blissful escape to nature. Each romantic guest tent is adorned with soft drapery and is replete with air-conditioning, indoor and outdoor shower and a private viewing deck, and a plunge pool. Thoughtfully located charging points are placed in your guest tent for those all-important cameras. Your Mana Pools safari follows the gentle ebb and flow of life on the river. Marvel at the incredible sights and sounds of one of Africa’s last remaining wilderness hinterlands from the cozy bar or, refreshing pool.
Hwange National Park, which covers an impressive 14,650 square kilometres of land, is the largest park in Zimbabwe. It’s located approximately two-hours drive from Victoria Falls and a 30-minute flight away. Named after a Nhanzwa chief, the park was once the royal hunting ground of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi before it was designated a protected National Park on the 29th of September 1929.
The park’s diversity of wildlife species is impressive, as you would expect. Nearly 400 species of birds and mammals can be found here.
Hwange’s dry season, which runs from July to October, is the best time to visit. Large numbers of wildlife, including elephant herds, descend on the area to drink at the waterholes. This allows them to survive in the harsh environment. The wildlife will disperse in the park due to the heavy rains that fall from December to March, making it harder for them to be seen. However, the summer showers bring out stunning vegetation. As the local population of birdlife is bolstered from the Northern Hemisphere, as yearly feathered visitors migrate. This which creates amazing bird-watching opportunities. Hwange National Park is truly a year-round paradise.
The most important symbol of Africa is the Acacia tree. Its silhouette is iconic to the African landscape, especially when watching a sunrise with vivid orange and pink hues.
Somalisa Acacia offers a memorable family-friendly safari experience. This camp is suitable for younger children and smaller groups of safari-goers. The camp is located just to the west of its sister camp, Somalisa Camp and sits at the edge of Hwange National Park’s seasonal floodplain. Your chances of sighting elephants from you room is very high. Since your backyard is the largest natural reserve of Zimbabwe and is known for its diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out the swift cheetahs, graceful giraffes, honking hippos, and the dazzling zebra that might make an appearance.
Somalisa Acacia can be accessed from Victoria Falls International Airport by a 45-minute light-plane-flight landing at Manga Airstrip. A 30-minute game drive transfer will take you to the camp. You can also access the lodge by road, which is only a 4-hour drive away from Victoria Falls. Somalisa Acacia is open to children of all ages. It’s a great place for authentic and meaningful memories under the African skies with your family. Our camp has eco-conscious, functional design. A lounge, dining area, boma, and an elephant drinking pool make up the main camp area. The space is surrounded by Acacia trees, which create a gentle stream of light that reflects off the deck. This creates a feeling of security and tranquillity. The Somalisa Acacia splash pool borders wild elephant waterholes, which are frequented by these magnificent gentle giants.
Somalisa Acacia can accommodate a maximum of 12 guests. The camp is composed of two-family tents that have inter-leading walkways connecting the children and parents’ rooms. There are also two separate canvas guest tents. Every guest tent has gauze sliding doors that lead to a private deck with 180-degree views over the surrounding bush. This camp is a blend of different textures, from copper to natural wood and face brick. It has a truly organic feel. The modern amenities in your guest tent include a fan and a battery charging station. There is also a wood-burning fireplace, a bathroom with a roll-top bathtub, and a fan. Your Hwange safari activities include game drives, walking safaris and birding. These activities are all included in your stay, and lead by passionate and qualified guides. They are natural storytellers and eager to share their passion for the bush with you and your family.
Somalisa Camp provides guests with breath-taking views of the golden savannah plains of Hwange. A place where, one moment you are sipping on your gin and tonic listening to the distant baritone roar of a lion coalition on the hunt, and the next, you’re gazing over at a congregation of elephants mere meters away, peacefully sharing a sundowner with you.
Hwange National Park is a land of contrasts from dense teak and acacia forest to vast open savannah, offering guests an exhibition of raw and diverse Africa. Somalisa Camp enjoys pride of place as our first-ever Hwange safari lodge. It was built by our owner, Beks Ndlovu and is home to the quintessential African Bush Camps experience. Tucked away under the dappled shade of an Acacia grove, along the edge of an ancient seasonal floodplain.
Our intimate bush camp is perfect for a relaxing Hwange safari with friends and loved ones. The elegant style is infused by natural wood and organic features of the bush. Kudhinda, the Zimbabwean national material, is thoughtfully paired with modern decor influences, creating an authentic contemporary African style. A full solar power farm and water purity system allow the camp to recycle 80% water used.
Somalisa Camp leads the way in eco-friendly safari accommodation. It has been awarded the first GOLD Green Tourism Certification in Zimbabwe. Our seven tastefully furnished sailcloth tents are set on a private concession in the heart of Hwange National Park. This is where you will find nature and luxury seamlessly entwined. Your guest tent is replete with modern amenities such as a fan, a battery charging station, wood-burning fireplace and private viewing deck. Your bathroom, worthy of a special mention, is inspired by the romance of yesteryear, boasts an indoor and outdoor bathroom and features a copper slipper-style bathtub and endless views across the vast plains beyond. Perfect for a romantic safari experience.
Explore legendary Hwange National Park through a variety of pursuits while staying at Somalisa Camp. Activities include walking safaris, game drives, birding and cultural visits. All are included in your stay and led by our qualified and passionate guides. These natural storytellers enlighten our guests by sharing their wonder and wisdom of the African bush.
Experience the thrill of the wild and come face-to-face with Africa’s greats at Somalisa Expeditions. From the comfort of your armchair, nature will unfold before your eyes, making this camp a perfect spot for the ultimate “arm-chair safari.” Excitement and adventure await with game drives, bush walks, and bird watching included in your stay. Our experienced guides don’t just offer passive observation of sights; they ignite your passion for the beauty and wonder of the African wilderness, making each experience awe-inspiring. Whether you’re exploring on foot or by vehicle, your curiosity will be rewarded with unforgettable encounters.
Embrace the spirit of adventure with all the comforts of home at Somalisa Expeditions. These authentic expedition-style camps capture the essence of a mobile camp, providing a genuine connection to nature without sacrificing luxury. Honest and unpretentious in design, our camp invites you to discover the heart of Africa. Each Serengeti-style tent is modern and comfortable, ensuring that you have a peaceful and restful retreat after a day of exploring the wilderness. Relax in style, surrounded by the sounds and sights of the African bush, and discover a new level of immersion in nature.
Matobo National Park can be found in southwest Zimbabwe. The park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, including several endangered or threatened species such as black eagles, leopards, rhinos, and Cape vultures. Matobo National Park is also characterized by its distinctive granite rock formations, including the Matobo Hills, which are considered sacred by the local Ndebele people and contain numerous rock art sites that provide insight into the lives and beliefs of the San people who lived in the area thousands of years ago. In addition to its natural and cultural significance, Matobo National Park is a popular tourist destination, offering a range of activities such as game drives, guided walks, and rock climbing. Overall, Matobo National Park is a unique and important resource that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding universal value.
Nestled amidst the Matobo Hills just outside the national park’s boundary lies Khayelitshe House. The iconic balancing stones and natural amphitheatres of colossal boulders encircle this abode. The house’s name, derived from the Ndebele words “Ekhaya” and “Litshe,” meaning “Home in the Rocks,” aptly describes its location.
Khayelitshe House‘s charm lies in its simple and organic design, drawing inspiration from Africa’s travels to evoke energy and tranquillity during your stay. This off-grid haven promotes peace and harmony with nature, seamlessly blending with the magnificent ancient landscape. With four fully-serviced bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, the property offers breathtaking vistas from every window, creating an unrivaled sense of seclusion. Over 1200 acres of awe-inspiring wilderness surround Khayelitshe House, providing an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
When packing for a safari in Zimbabwe, it’s important to keep in mind the country’s climate, the activities you’ll be doing, and any specific requirements of the lodges or camps you’ll be staying at. Here are some essential items to consider packing: