Zimbabwe Safari Holidays

Anyone wishing to do more on safari than view wildlife from a vehicle should seriously consider Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe offers world-class, well maintained parks and reserves combined with a distinctly can-do guiding style

Bordered the mighty Zambezi River to the north and Limpopo to the south, this rich and diverse country has all of Africa's big-game species, including the continent's second largest population of elephants.

With a long and proud tradition of first-class guiding Zimbabwe offers the finest walking and canoeing safaris in Africa.

Mana Pools has been well-protected for decades with negligible human-wildlife conflict, the possibility to walk ridiculously close up to elephant bulls and packs of wild dog is unrivalled here. Combined with the best canoeing on the continent, Mana may be nirvana for those seeking an active safari. 

Hwange National Park is a couple of hour's drive from the Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe's largest park contains an unusually wide range of plains game, including sable, roan, eland, kudu and giraffe as well as excellent predators - lion, leopard, cheetah and hunting dogs. With no rivers and only a few streams in the east, Hwange could not be more different from Mana and the two areas can combine well as part of any safari holiday.

Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe's second largest national park (after Hwange), known as "the place of the elephants" it is wonderfully wild and rugged, situated in the south-eastern corner abutting the Mozambique border. Mercifully free of tsetse flies (which were cleared in the 1950's and have never returned) this is a fantastic area for a foot-safari and getting off the beaten track.

Malilangwe is probably the finest private reserve in Africa covering 666km of scenic savannah to the north of Gonarezhou. The wildlife diversity and concentration is spectacular with excellent chances of encountering both Black and White Rhino.

Finally the iconic Victoria Falls - a mile wide and twice the height of Niagara "the Falls", which are shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe, need little introduction. A great start or end point to any Zimbabwean safari there is a huge amount to see and do here, from white-water rafting and bungee-jumping to more sedate wildlife watching in the Zambezi National Park upsteam of the falls. The falls are a particularly fine spot for active families to spend a few days.  Take a look at a sample trip that combines excellent wildlife with Victoria Falls

The whole scene was extremely beautiful; the banks and islands dotted over the river are adorned with sylvan vegetation of great variety of color and form…no one can imagine the beauty of the view from any thing witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

- David Livingstone

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top trips in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE'S WILDLIFE & VICTORIA FALLS

Highlights:

Combining the Falls, Hwange, Mana Pools and Gonarezhou encapsulates the very best of Zimbabwe: superb wildlife, first-class guiding the freedom to walk and proper wilderness.

View sample trip
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top trips in Zimbabwe

WALKING SAFARI IN ZIMBABWE'S MANA POOLS

Highlights:

Few places are better suited for a foot safari than the Zambezi’s riparian woodland and rich grazing plains; nowhere are they more enthusiastically facilitated by specialist outfitters.

View sample trip

When to go where in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe sees its dry season from April to late October with its wet season filling the months of November to March.

However, it is not always that simple as we do see local differences from park to park.

Victoria Falls - The best time to visit Victoria Falls is between April and November.  You can go at any time of the year, but it will be very hot and humid between November and March when it is the wet season. Make sure you pack your wet weather gear during the wet season with spray from the falls engulfing all who visit. For an unobstructed view of the falls visit between July and September. 

Hwange National Park - As part of the Kalahari eco-system, Hwange can be visited at any time of the year, as it doesn’t have the intense heat and humidity during the summer months that you do find in the Zambezi Valley – home to Victoria Falls, Kariba and Mana Pools.  Prime time in Hwange though is in the dry season, which is between May and October.  Much of the wildlife relies on the man-made waterholes during the dry season and there are huge numbers of elephants from about July – November.

Mana Pools - A visit to Mana Pools is optimum during the dry season when the wildlife is well and truly on show. The best time is between May and late October but note it gets really hot in mid to late October. All camps and safaris close in late October/early November.

Matusadona National Park - The best time to visit Lake Kariba is between May and late October. For anyone that loves a photo opportunity or time-lapse video, you get the most wonderful sunsets in September and October. October is known as “suicide” month because of the heat and humidity in the build-up to the rains.

Gonarezhou National Park  - possibly the wildest park in Zimbabwe, the best time to visit Gonarezhou is between May and November, again in the dry season when it becomes a regular occurrence for hundreds of elephants to be frolicking in the low rivers – a lovely, heart-warming sight to behold.

in the dry season it becomes a regular occurrence for hundreds of elephants to be frolicking in the low rivers – a lovely, heart-warming sight to behold.”

Zimbabwe's parks that shouldn't be over-looked

Matobo National Park boasts the extremely rare treat of being able to offer rhino tracking on foot. It also supports the highest concentration of eagles anywhere in the world with Africa’s largest, the Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle, being particularly conspicuous. This UNESCO World Heritage site is surprisingly little-visited given its stunning landscapes comprising granite outcrops topped with balancing rocks, many of which are adorned with ancient Bushman rock art - and excellent wildlife, including lots of leopard, kudu and giraffe.

Matusadona National Park is a game-rich wilderness on the southern shores of Lake Kariba. Here you can undertake safaris both on and off the water - walking safaris along the foreshore are always rewarding, as is exploring the nearby islands by boat or canoe. Elephant and buffalo are especially numerous and there’s a very healthy population of lions living off the buffalo herds. Somewhat off-piste, the rewards for anyone making the effort to get here is richly rewarded, not least by the scarcity of other visitors.

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Zimbabwe's Top wildlife areas

Hwange National Park

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Zimbabwe's Top wildlife areas

Gonarezhou

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Zimbabwe's Top wildlife areas

Mana Pools

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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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