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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Our experienced travellers include:
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.