A Family Experience in Zimbabwe, Hwange & Kariba

A Family Experience in Zimbabwe, Hwange & Kariba

Trip highlights

  • Perfect for families or groups of friends
  • Exclusive use of properties & houseboat
  • 3 of Zimbabwe’s grandest natural spectacles
  • Mix adrenalin & history at Victoria Falls
  • Search for the Big 5 in Hwange
  • Unwind by cruising Lake Kariba

Best time to go:  May – October

Tour at a glance

Zimbabwe has Southern Africa’s most beautiful scenery. This journey, great for families of six or more, visits Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, and Lake Kariba. The Falls are Africa’s largest waterfall, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park, and Kariba is the world’s largest artificial lake.

Victoria Falls Town is known as the adrenalin capital of Africa for its white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and other exhilarating sports.

A guided tour will take you to the best viewing areas and discuss the Falls’ geology, history, and how they change based on Angolan Highland rains. February to May is the rainy season of the year, when waters and spray are maximum (your guide may deck you out in raincoats and umbrellas, and be sure to protect your camera from the moisture). When the moon is full and the spray is high, you may view a lunar rainbow over Batoka Gorge.

Look for acrobatic monkeys, shy antelope, and vivid flowers among the emerald foliage. As with many creatures in Africa, keep your distance while watching the tame warthogs’ antics.

A sunset sail on the Chobe River is a highlight of Victoria Falls. Late afternoon on a roomy cruiser, you and your family can enjoy armchair game viewing: Matriarchal herds of elephants cross the river, protecting the babies by keeping them in the middle of the group and helping them up the slippery, muddy slopes; pods of hippos blow bubbles and show off their impressive jaws; implacable Nile crocodiles lie on the shores, warming their massive bodies under the African sun.

Birders should watch for terns, waders, spoonbills, and the African fish eagle, which has an outstanding cry as it searches for tigerfish and Zambezi bream.

From there, you travel to Hwange for traditional morning and afternoon game drives in search of the Big 5 — wild dogs and leopards are making a comeback thanks to conservation programs.

Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park and reaches to the Kalahari Desert, combining scenery and animals. There are 100 animal and 400 avian species. Hwange’s wild dog and leopard populations are thriving thanks to conservation efforts.

Your time at Somalisa Acacia will fall into the eternal rhythms of safari: up before dawn to witness animals drinking, back to the lodge for lunch and relaxation, then out into the bush in the late afternoon to see nocturnal predators revving up for the evening. In a private concession, you can take nocturnal rides and nature excursions with a guide. Night drives give owls, porcupines, and anteaters; nature walks offer animal spoor, excrement, hollows, insects, butterflies, and birds.

Finally, relax aboard a luxury cruiser on 226/140mi long Lake Kariba. As you sail, look for African fish eagles, cormorants, hippos, elephants, and the occasional Nile crocodile. Lake Kariba crosses the Zimbabwean-Zambian border and is the world’s largest dam by volume. You can observe game and birds from the decks of The Matusadona, a luxury safari cruiser.

While the chef prepares meals and snacks, you’ll explore Kariba on speed boats and pontoons and attempt tiger fishing. As a water source, Kariba attracts plenty of game. You may witness buffalo, impala, giraffe, zebra, and elephant quench their thirst. If your boat passes Matusadona National Park, look for lion and leopard on the shore.

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