A Private Wildlife Experience

A Private Wildlife Experience

Trip highlights

  • Discover the Okavango Delta on a mokoro
  • Marvel at the Victoria Falls
  • Game drives & nature walks in Hwange & Matabos
  • Private guide accompanies you all the way
  • Can be tailored to specialist interests
  • Excellent birding

Best time to go:  May – October

Tour at a glance

You and your family will spend two weeks in the expert hands of a private guide who will bring you to some of Southern Africa’s greatest natural beauties. Ideal for intrepid travellers who prefer walking safaris, your guide will also be able to customise your experiences to fit your interests, whether those are Africa’s majestic big cats or its stunning collection of hundreds of bird species.

You’ll board a plane in Johannesburg, South Africa’s OR Tambo International Airport, and travel to Maun, Botswana, the entry point to the enormous and incomparable Okavango Delta. Little Vumbura, which borders the Moremi Game Reserve, like a place where time has stopped still: sable antelope leap gracefully through the clear water, African wild dogs hunt during the day, and tiny marbled reed frogs warble at night. By mokoro (a traditional dugout boat steered by a strong staffer, much like a gondolier paddles a gondola in Venice), 4×4 game drives, and good, old-fashioned foot power on nature walks, you and your individual guide will explore this incredible area. Children can enrol in the Bush Buddy programme, which will teach them everything they need to know about living in the Delta through entertaining and instructional classes and expeditions led by a qualified staff member.

Enjoy your first cup of coffee in the morning on your private deck while watching the rising sun tint the water pink; in the evening, take pleasure in the completely private outdoor shower as the stars come out in the sky.

The first place you visit in Zimbabwe is Hwange National Park, a traditional grassland filled with wildlife and probably the nation’s flagship reserve. Zimbabwe boasts a moderate climate and an intriguing geographic diversity. You can choose to be as busy or calm as you’d want at Tongabezi, a remote lodge with an award-winning honeymoon suite. White-water rafting, bungee jumping, and micro-light flights above the Victoria Falls are available for thrill-seekers, while game drives in Mosi-au-Tunya National Park, birding excursions, and sunset river cruises are more leisurely options. A voyage by boat to Livingstone Island, the little island where explorer Dr. David Livingstone first saw Victoria Falls, is a highlight. The island is home to the well-known Devil’s Pool, a turbulent area that attracts daring swimmers.

Once you’ve had your fill of Victoria Falls, it’s time to switch your outfit and get back to the real safari. You’ll fly from Zambia to Zimbabwe in a small plane, and then you’ll fly to The Hide in Hwange National Park.

The largest reserve in the nation, Hwange is home to the second-highest number of elephants in the region, after Chobe National Park in Botswana. Numerous African buffalo herds, at least 30 000 pachyderms, and robust populations of predators, including smaller species like serval, bat-eared foxes, and civet cats, are all said to thrive in this area.

The camp’s covert viewing spot, known as The Hide, gives you unobstructed views of the game as they descend to the waterhole for a drink. To get that once-in-a-lifetime image of a newborn elephant splashing its siblings or a wary leopard gracefully kneeling to quench her thirst, keen photographers will likely want to spend hours here.

Every crack in a branch beneath your feet seems to promise the sighting of an elusive nocturnal animal, making night game drives fascinating since your senses are sharpened. Evening drives will be accompanied by your personal guide, who will point out anything from hooting owls to constellations exclusive to the southern hemisphere.

Matabos, a tiny but wonderfully formed island, is home to the largest concentration of Verreaux’s black vultures in the world as well as amazing prehistoric rock art.

In Matabo National Park, which is home to enormous granite boulders and rocky outcrops ideal for little antelope like klipspringers (who form lifelong pairs) and wary predators like leopards, it is believed that hundreds of prehistoric Khoisan rock art sites can be found. With spectacular views of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Big Cave Camp is perched atop one of these massive boulders.

You will have three days to take on the many activities on offer after arriving by car from The Hide. There is a tour to view some of the remarkable rock art at Nswatugi Cave and imperialist Cecil John Rhodes’ grave at World’s View, as well as a guided walk and potentially a visit to a Ndebele settlement. The excursion to find rare and endangered rhinos will undoubtedly be the highlight; despite having very poor eyesight and hearing that is second to none, these gentle giants will likely be aware of your presence before you even see them.

Big Cave Camp is located among the rocks, as its name suggests, and all of the rooms are made of stone and thatch. The swimming pool is constructed from natural granite.

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