OFF THE BEATEN TRACK IN WESTERN ZIMBABWE

TRAVEL ACROSS THE WILD WEST OF ZIMBABWE - FROM THE LEAFY LANED SECOND CITY BULAWAYO TO THE VICTORIA FALLS VIA THE LITTLE VISITED MATOBO NATIONAL PARK AND HWANGE

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Where
ZIMBABWE
When
MARCH TO NOVEMBER
How long
7 DAYS
How much
£2,200 PP
why
TRACK RHINO IN THE REMARKABLY BEAUTIFUL MATOBO HILLS - THEN HEAD UP TO HWANGE, ZIMBABWE'S LARGEST AND MOST VARIED NATIONAL PARK
staying in
SAFARI LODGES

FEW PEOPLE MAKE THE JOURNEY TO THE MATOBO HILLS ALTHOUGH IT IS NO WAY ARDUOUS AND THE AREA TREMENDOUSLY REWARDING, COMBINING EASILY WITH HWANGE AND THE FALLS

IF YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF TAKING THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED BUT STILL BEING REWARDED BY FIRST CLASS SIGHTINGS THEN WESTERN ZIMBABWE HAS MUCH TO OFFER

For reasons unclear Matobo never really hit Zimbabwe's conventional safari circuit even when the country was being particularly well-trodden in its tourism heyday in the eighties and nineties. It may be due to the lack of elephant and lion - however their absence does allow you to explore the rocky hills on your own which for some will be a huge, and uncommon, attraction.

Even more unusal is the possiblility to track rhino (both Black and White)

Combining one of Zimbabwe's smallest and most beautiful national parks with the largest and most game rich offers an unconventional overview of this remarkable country.

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DAY 1

IN TO THE MATOBO HILLS

Arrive at Bulawayo airport where you'll be met by your vehicle and driver after clearing arrival formalities. It's an easy drive to the Sandy Spruit Dam which serves as the park's main entrance point in to the northern wilderness zone.

DAYS 1 - 3

EXPLORE MATOBO

You'll spend three nights in the lovely Amalinda Lodge. Set within a 300 acre private concession within the National Park, Amalinda commands a truly spectacular location. The rooms are cleverly intergrated in and amongst the massive granite boulders and each room is different and original. There is large infinity pool to enjoy during the time that you are in cmp and not in pursuit of rhino and other animals. The Matopos Hills are not entirely wildlife-focused though and of cultural interest are the many San bushman rock paintings (among the richest areas anywhere) and the graves of Cecil John Rhodes and Leander Starr Jameson. 

DAY 4

TO HWANGE FOR BIG GAME

It's another straightforward road transfer from Matobo to Hwange National Park. Hwange is particularly famous for its large herds of elephants but with over 100 mammals there's a huge amount to see - both great and small.  

DAY 4 - 6

EXPLORE HWANGE

Situated in the Sikumi Forest Reserve adjoining the park, Ivory Lodge will be your base for the next three nights. The large waterhole that the camp stands on regularly attracts elephants in their hundreds and with the "tree houses" designed to look over this it may not even be necessary to leave your room to enjoy an awe-inspiring wildlife spectacle. Lion, buffalo and an array of antelope are also known to visit the waterhole although for the best chances of great game-viewing you'd be well advised to go in to the park itself. 

DAY 7

TO VICTORIA FALLS

Hwange is a particularly important stronghold for the endangered and ephemeral Wild Dogs aka Painted Dogs and a visit to the Painted Dog Centre en-route from Hwange to to the Victoria Falls is very worthwhile in order to understand this critically endagered species' plight.

Depending on the departure time of you flight from Victoria Falls Airport it may be possible to nip down to the falls for a quick look - and if you'd like to spend longer in the vicinity of the falls we can of course arrange that.

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Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
Rod Tether
Rod Tether

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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Perfect family Safari!!

"Our family Kenyan safari trip to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary was perfectly planned by Catherine from the moment we landed in Nairobi, to our last day. We traveled to Ol Malo in Laikipia, Lewa House in Lewa Downs, and Tangulia Mara in the Maasai Mara. Each place offered incredibly talented and informative guides, and gracious, loving staff. The variety of animals we saw was breathtaking. Our grand daughter celebrated her 14th birthday with special pancakes and singing in Ol Malo, and then a beautiful candlelit dinner under the starry night in Lewa. Our 50th wedding anniversary was celebrated at Tangulia Mara with an amazing day watching the migration of the wildebeest in the Maasai Mara, and beautiful intimate dinner party and dancing with the entire staff during the evening.
Thank you, Natural High, for the best trip of our lifetime!"

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"We cannot thank Natural High and Catherine enough for such a fantastic holiday. During the planning, Catherine answered endless questions from our family and supported us every step of the way in coordinating our separate itineraries (which can't have been easy when we were a party of 11 and all travelling from different locations!). The South Luangwa has become our favourite Africa destination - and Flatdogs our favourite camp! Catherine was very thoughtful in arranging extra surprises for our group as we were celebrating a special birthday. The staff at Flatdogs treated us so well, and they were very open to letting us have large family dinners at various locations around camp. The guides were so enthusiastic the entire week!
We had our own separate holiday afterwards for just the two of us at Chongwe River Camp in the Lower Zambezi. Catherine was so supportive and flexible in helping us identify a suitable camp within an easy distance of Flatdogs, which also provided a different range of activities (boat safaris, tiger fishing and canoeing in addition to game drives!).
All in all a brilliant holiday (Flatdogs and Chongwe were the perfect combination), and everything went so smoothly. We are very much missing enjoying our G&Ts whilst watching elephants in the sunset...!"

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"Outstanding service from Catherine who really understands what we want from our holiday. Catherine always goes the extra mile to choose the very best camps for us; to make sure all arrangements are in place; and to make sure we are treated as special guests when we arrive. This trip was an extra challenge given the size of our group - 11 with age range from 4 to 64 and wide range of "Africa experience" and in choosing Flatdogs, she made the best call possible - it was an amazing trip and could not have been better! Jess, Adrian and all the staff made sure our stay was fabulous; the guides were superb; the accommodation wonderful; and the "treats" -sundowners; brai; pimms; picnic; evening meals together (with hippos, bushbabies and elephants in attendance) and drinks at the fire were all that we could have hoped for - all in all, a really special family holiday."

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