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Cruising the Best of Zimbabwe Circuit

Day by day Summary 

Best of Zimbabwe Circuit: Detailed itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Harare – Overnight at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge:

On arrival at Harare International Airport, a Zambezi Cruise & Safaris representative will meet you, for an approximate one and half hour transfer to Pamuzinda Safari Lodge in Selous.

Spend the afternoon relaxing or choose to take part in one of the available activities, before a welcome braai (Zimbabwean style barbeque) to celebrate the start of your African adventure.

Day 2 – Pamuzinda Safari Lodge:

After a restful night’s sleep, enjoy the untamed bush seen from your room’s private balcony, overlooking the Serui River before joining everyone on the river deck for breakfast. Your guide will offer you a choice of optional game activities in the 13,000 acres of a private game reserve.

Or, we can visit to the children at Chengeta Primary and Secondary Schools, where Zambezi Cruise & Safaris educates over 700 pupils as part of their commitment to the local rural community.

We end our first day of this Zimbabwe circuit with a drive to our version of ‘Ayre’s Rock’ for sundowners around a fire for a ‘Mongolian Braai’ (stir-fry barbeque) as our last night at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge.

Day 3 – Depart for Masvingo and Great Zimbabwe:

Say goodbye to Selous today and set out from Pamuzinda Safari Lodge with your ZC&S Tour Guide to the town of Masvingo.
This journey will take approximately four hours in a comfortable bus, after which you will check-in and settle into your accommodation.

We will spend the afternoon on a bus tour around beautiful Lake Mutirikwe, you will then return to the hotel for dinner and a restful night’s sleep.

Day 4 – Great Zimbabwe:

In the morning your guide will take you to the nearby Great Zimbabwe Monument, one of Zimbabwe’s most popular tourist attractions. These ancient city ruins are shrouded in mystery and have intrigued visitors for centuries. A local National Monuments guide will take you on a culturally fascinating tour and share with you the history of the site. This part of our Zimbabwe circuit will take approximately two and a half to three hours and will involve an invigorating walk.

Day 5 – Depart for Matobo National Park – Overnight Shashani Matobo Hills:

After breakfast, we will have a four-hour road transfer trip which will take us past the town of Zvishavane and through the city of Bulawayo. Approximately an hour’s drive out of Bulawayo and bordering the Matobo National Park lies Shashani Matobo Hills Lodge. Shashani is situated on the edge of a huge rock dome and has the most breath-taking views over the valley and surrounding granite hills. As an optional activity, enquire going to see the ancient rock paintings and the historical grain-bin site.

Day 6 – Matobo National Park:

Our full day in Matobo National Park and local monuments, where we will search for the rhino and share the rich heritage of the area. Our guide takes us to see the fascinating rock paintings at Nswatugi Cave – described as the best-painted site in Zimbabwe. A picnic at one of the recreational spots for lunch and a trip to World’s View and Cecil John Rhodes’ Grave will conclude our day’s adventure.

Return to the lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening star gazing around the fire pit.

Day 7 – Depart for Hwange National Park:

Depart Shashani Matobo Hills after breakfast and begin our journey to Hwange National Park. After check-in at our lodge or camp, enjoy a sundowner game drive on the concession.

Day 8 – Hwange National Park:

An exciting full-day excursion into Hwange National Park with picnic lunch. This is Zimbabwe at its finest, a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a true African Safari.

Zimbabwe’s largest reserve was proclaimed in 1928. Now, thanks to conservation efforts, Hwange National Park has among the highest diversity of animals of any National Park in Africa. With more than 100 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds, this stop on our Zimbabwe circuit will remain a memory forever.

Day 9 – Victoria Falls:

Our transfer to the Victoria Falls will take approximately a two and a half hours. On arrival at our accommodation, lunch will be served and the afternoon will be at our leisure. In the evening, transport will take us to The Boma – Dinner and Drum Show where we’ll reveal in a ‘feast of fun’ – a buffet dinner, spirited dance performance and interactive drum show.

Day 10 – Victoria Falls:

A relaxing breakfast followed by a tour with our guide (your new best friend) to the Victoria Falls is scheduled. One of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and part of everyone’s ‘Bucket List’. We wander the walkways and viewpoints through the rainforest to a scene as described by the famous explorer David Livingstone, ‘Scenes so lovely, must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight’.

After our tour of the Falls, we head back for some curio shopping and lunch either in town or at one of the restaurants on the banks of the Zambezi River. This afternoon is free to either relax around the hotel pool or partake in the vast list of activities available which can be booked with the help of our guide.

Dinner will be at a boutique restaurant in town before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep, in preparation for our onward journey to Binga in the morning.

Day 11 – Depart for Binga – Overnight Masumu River Lodge:

After an early breakfast, it is time we say good-bye to the legendary Victoria Falls. After a five and a half hour scenic drive through remote rural lands with ever-changing scenery, we will arrive at the next destination on our Zimbabwe circuit, Masumu River Lodge or Kalizwe Marina Lodge near the small town of Binga. Check-in and settle into our overnight stay, on the western end of Lake Kariba’s shores.

Enjoy a sundowner beverage from the bar, which offers wide panoramic views of Lake Kariba.

Day 12 – 15 Begin your Lake Kariba Cruise:

We will set off on a morning tour of Binga, which includes visiting a quaint museum dedicated to the Tonga people, a basket weaving craft market and a local rural school or Tonga village.

Later, we will make our way to the harbour where we will embark on a 3-day cruise to up the Lake to Kariba town. We will cast off and begin our four-hour cruise through to the remote Chete Safari Area for our first evening of mooring.

Relax and enjoy the beginning of our 270km cruise on this iconic Lake, built on the mighty Zambezi River. There will be beautiful ever-changing scenery and wildlife sightings during our journey. Morning and afternoon activities of game viewing and birding, or try fishing for the famed Tiger Fish or the indigenous Bream (tilapia) whilst listening out for the Fish Eagle’s cry.

Day 15 – Arrive at Kariba – Overnight Kariba Safari Lodge:

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before our final cruise into the harbour. We will arrive at the stunning Kariba Safari Lodge, in time for lunch, all the while taking in the incredible view of the lake and the majestic Matusadona mountain range from the elevated deck.

After lunch we will set off to explore Kariba town – visiting the impressive dam wall, the church of St Barbara – a memorial to those workers and engineers who lost their lives building the wall and the heights viewing point – 600m above the lake.

We return to the lodge for sundowners on the deck, whilst reminiscing about the time spent traversing this magnificent body of water, before dinner in the open-air dining area or on the lodges private beach.

Day 16 – 18 Depart for Mana Pools National Park – Overnight Mana Pools Safari Lodge:

After an early breakfast, our will set off for Mana Pools Safari Lodge. Together with our guide, we will descend the Zambezi Escarpment to Chirundu, approximately a 2-hour journey. There, a boat will take us on an exciting trip down the famed Zambezi River into Mana Pools National Park.

Elephants, hippos, crocodiles and incredible birdlife sightings abound on this section of our Zimbabwe circuit. On arrival at Mana Pools, 4×4 game drive vehicles will meet us for a late afternoon game viewing activity and a sundowner on the banks of the river.

Game drive vehicles will take us on morning and afternoon excursions in this UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will find abundant photographic opportunities. Lunch will be served back at the Lodge.

Day 19 – Overnight Chengeta Safari Lodge – Overnight:

Today, we bid farewell to Mana Pools Safari Lodge and travel to Pamuzinda Safari Lodge near Selous.

After an early breakfast, we will depart via speedboat out of the Zambezi Valley to Chirundu and continue our journey back through the twists and turns of the escarpment, passing through the towns of Makuti and Karoi, with a short visit to the Chinhoyi Caves. These limestone and dolomite caves and tunnels branch out from the Wonder Hole and Sleeping Pool, a natural sinkhole with striking cobalt blue crystal-clear water believed to be at least 90 metres deep.

A final two-hour drive will see us arriving at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge in the late afternoon.

Day 20 – Depart for Harare International Airport:

After a restful night’s sleep, enjoy a leisurely breakfast depending on the time of your return flight, there may be an opportunity for a last (optional) activity, either a game drive or a visit to the children at Chengeta Primary and Secondary Schools (where the Zambezi Cruise & Safaris educates over 700 pupils as part of our responsibility and commitment for the local community).

We bid farewell to Pamuzinda Safari Lodge with an hour and a half transfer to Harare International Airport for the start of your onward journey home.

Cruising the best of Zimbabwe Circuit Highlights

Great Zimbabwe
Matobo National Park
Hwange National Park
Victoria Falls
Lake Kariba
Mana Pools National Park

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Cruising the Best of Zimbabwe Circuit

Cruising the Best of Zimbabwe Circuit
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