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Our Zimbabwe Safari Itinerary- any advise

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[Hiroko40]
Hiroko40
27 minutes ago

Please comment or give us your advise on our Zimbabwe itinerary. We are traveling to Zimbabwe end of August and we are about to finalize our below itinerary with the operator called ThisAndThat Safaris ( www.thisandthatsafaris.com)

below is our proposal:
- arrive in Bulawayo with Inter cape(coach) from South Africa
- sleep in Bulawayo (Burkes Paradise Lodge)
- Visit Rhodes Matopos National Park ( Cave Paintings & Rhodes Grave)
- next day drive to Hwange National Park, arrive in time to do afternoon drive in the park.
- sleep at the main camp in tents.
- Following day, do another early morning drive into the park till lunch time.
- Out of the park, have lunch at the main camp, relax and drive to Victoria Falls.
- Arrive in Victoria falls, sleep at the central camp site.
- In the morning, visit the falls, after lunch, walk with lions.
- On that same day, we intend to do sunset cruise.
- Following day, drive to Botswana and Zimbabwe boarder, our Guide from ThisAndThat Safaris drops us.

We are not very sure, if it is good to do this safari the other way round starting with Botswana or we can start with Zimbabwe. Or we can start in Victoria falls, then go to Hwange park, then to matopos and then we go to Botswana through Francis town?? But we seem not to find a reliable coach to Francis Town from Bulawayo ??

If you have experience on this kind of the trip, your advise will be much appreciated as we will not have any chance to visit Africa again.
Arigato gozaimasu !

Hiroko

  • Report Abuse

    Hiroko-

    You call this a safari, but there is only one night, two game drives, that are safari. The company you are using, This and That, has very limited itineraries. I'm not sure you are getting a good value. You don't say what you do after you get dropped off at the Botswana/Zimbabwe border. That is a huge concern. Personally, I would not do that trip. Not enough wildlife, too much time driving around and too many unknowns for me.

    Please don't "walk with lions". Those poor creatures are young and once old enough to be prized by hunters, will be shot by some rich guy to hang its head on a wall who pays a lot to kill them.

    It looks like you are flying in/out of Johannesburg. I suggested this very affordable itinerary earlier this week in another thread, but it doesn't include Zimbabwe or Victoria Falls. It does, however, include many nights of safari and transportation. It can also include the caves and museum at the Cradle of Humankind (to replace Matopos) in Joberg, which we enjoyed a lot. Look into www.wild-wings-safaris.com. They have a few very affordable safaris to Kruger National Park, with transportation, game drives, food, lodging and safaris. They can include the very beautiful area called the Panoramic Route on the way or on return. Upon return to Joberg before your flight home, visit the Cradle of Humankind.

    It is unclear how many nights you have, but I count 6 with only two wildlife game drives. The itinerary I suggest has much more:

    1- Arrive JNB, meet with Wild Wings guide, drive Kruger, game drive, dinner, sleep in park.
    2-4 (or more!) Game drives AM, PM, breakfasts and dinners included for three nights (or more!). Real safari game walks and night drives can be arranged.
    5-6 Include Panoramic Route, drive JNB, sleep near airport
    7- day trip to Cradle of Humankind. Fly home late or next day.

    I know this doesn't include Victoria Falls, but Wild Wings can arrange anything you'd like. They do have an itinerary that includes Victoria Falls, Chobe (a fantastic safari destination in Botswana) and Kruger (or skip Kruger if you don't have time) if that would be better for you, and add the Cradle of Humankind. Not knowing your budget or time, it's very difficult to help more. But I really don't think your itinerary makes a lot of sense.

    Please ask any questions you may have.

  • Report Abuse

    Hiroko,

    If you decide to stick with your existing itinerary, you may also want to look into a place called Gwango, www.gwango.com just outside Main Camp. They can arrange your game drives, bush walks and they have a cultural centre so you may be able to fit more in.

    Also, Bulawayo has 2 museums that you may want to look into.

  • Report Abuse

    Hi Hiroka40

    I work with injured/orphaned animals in both Zimbabwe and South Africa and cannot really comment on the travel side in Zimbabwe as have only done some over the years.

    I will comment though on the "walking with lions". This really is a hideous practice and I would strongly advice against it. As mentioned by Christabir, these lions will end up, once they have grown, as no use to these people, and they will be sold to be hunted and killed. Not the existence that a lion should be living! It is inhumane and cruel and regardless of what you are told will happen to them, it is not true. Look at the documentary "Blood Lions" going around the world at the moment, then you will understand what I am saying.

    Kind regards
    Kaye

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    - arrive in Bulawayo with Inter cape(coach) from South Africa
    - sleep in Bulawayo (Burkes Paradise Lodge)

    - Visit Rhodes Matopos National Park ( Cave Paintings & Rhodes Grave)
    This is a great park for rhino. You can track black or white rhino on foot with a guide. You may wish to include a day for that.

    - next day drive to Hwange National Park, arrive in time to do afternoon drive in the park.

    - sleep at the main camp in tents.

    - Following day, do another early morning drive into the park till lunch time.
    Hwange really merits more than 2 drives

    - Out of the park, have lunch at the main camp, relax and drive to Victoria Falls.

    - Arrive in Victoria falls, sleep at the central camp site.
    - In the morning, visit the falls, after lunch, walk with lions.

    Please don’t do the Walk with Lions. These creatures you walk with when they are young will likely end up being shot dead when they get a little older in a canned hunt in which they have no chance to survive. Please don’t perpetuate that cruel practice. Plus it is dangerous. Within the last few years a woman was killed doing this.

    If time on safari in the bush is not your primary goal, then I think you'll have a nice time (if you drop the lion walk.) But at the outset you mention safari and there is not much of that here.

    Here's one way to get a little more time in the bush. While in Vic Falls, you can easily go across the border to Zambia to visit Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park which has rhinos, among other animals. In a stark contrast from the walk with lions, let me propose a different activity: accompanying the Vic Falls Anti-poaching unit in Mosi-oa-Tunya in Zambia. If I can get back to the Vic Falls area with a day to spare I will definitely do this activity.

    Also to increase safari options, you could do a day trip from Vic Falls to Chobe in Botswana; or preferably stay a night or two.

    Have a good trip but just look at the lions, please don't walk with them before their slaughter.


    - On that same day, we intend to do sunset cruise.
    - Following day, drive to Botswana and Zimbabwe boarder, our Guide from ThisAndThat Safaris drops us.

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