Zimbabwe traveling solo

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Mar 19th, 2011, 01:31 PM
  #1
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Zimbabwe traveling solo

Hi there,
Has anyone ventured into Zim on their own? I want to go to Mana Pools and Hwange and travel overland---anyone know of any great guides?
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Mar 19th, 2011, 07:29 PM
  #2
 
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I would suggest checking out luangwablondes.com.
They are very helpful and can possibly get you started. All the best with the planning.
sangeeta is offline  
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Mar 20th, 2011, 03:45 AM
  #3
 
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travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1063.html

be sure you are up for all the hassle/risk but very pretty.

insuremytrip.com always wise

journeywoman.com good solo female travle info.

Group travel with guide preferred in most areas safer.

affordabletours.com tucantravel.com but quality guides are

good... careful research yields better experience.

Have fun,
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Mar 20th, 2011, 06:42 AM
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I spent a week in Zimbabwe on my own last September (and I'm female.) My safari planner Bill Given at "The Wild Source" set up the arrangements for me. I traveled from Victoria Falls to Hwange NP via auto (local driver) and stayed at Somalisa Camp. I then had to move to Ivory Lodge for one night because Somalisa was full. From Ivory Lodge, I rode with the owner to Bulawayo, then out to their camp, Amalinda, near Matobo Hills NP. After a few days there, they dropped me off at Bulawayo Airport for a flight back to Joburg. During the drives to Bulawayo there were a few police roadblocks, but a few words (and rands) from the drivers and we were on our way. Traveling via road from Hwange to Mana Pools would probably take a couple of days, I'd guess, so I'd suggest flying. I don't know what conditions, fuel shortages, police roadblocks, etc. you might find along the way.
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Mar 20th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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I'm a solo traveler (female) and spent 2 weeks in Zim this past October. I flew to Matusadona, Mana Pools and Hwange. But, did the same road trip as Shaytay from Hwange to Amalinda. After 3 nights at Amalinda, I was driven to Bulawayo for my flight home. My experience was identical to ShayTay's.
This was my 3rd visit to Zimbabwe, with Mana Pools being my favorite park. The guides at Ruckomechi are superb (particularly Kevin and Sean).
I use Ngoko Safaris for the arrangements and cannot say enough about them.
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Mar 20th, 2011, 07:40 AM
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Benson from Ngoko Safaris has an excellent reputation. In fact, I think it was his incoming group that knocked me out of Somalisa. I love Mana Pools, but I had just spent almost two weeks in Botswana and my time (and dollars) were limited. Phernska, where did you stay at Hwange? Wasn't Amalinda magical? I think it's a great place to stay at the beginning or end of a safari, either to get over jet lag or to wind down from a safari.
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Mar 20th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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ShayTay,

I stayed at Little Mak in Hwange, where I've stayed before. It was blistering hot and watching huge groups of elephants wallowing in the water holes was absolutely delightful.
I loved Matobo--the scenery and being able to get close to the rhino. Amalinda Camp totally creeped me out though. I had this humongous room (I think it was the honeymoon suite) and I can't explain why, but I was not comfortable there at all--it was really dank and dark. But, I chose Matobo because I wanted to see rhino, and I was not disappointed.
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Mar 20th, 2011, 02:42 PM
  #8
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To all of you, many many thanks, I will check out all your suggestions.....Shay Tay, I've been in touch with Bill Given and he is so helpful...
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Apr 6th, 2011, 01:57 AM
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There's some good advice here... I just wanted to say that I've spent two weeks traveling in Zim this year, driving a car, on my own, and that it's completely safe. No travel risk, unlike South Africa and Mozambique. The one general rule is: don't bring up politics. Most people will bring it up with you, and that's fine.

Have a great trip!
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 04:35 AM
  #10
 
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hi there,

i'm heading to johannesburg and zim this month. i have a couple of questions:
1. if it's possible to visit the cave paintings in matobo park and victoria falls by oneself?
2. how much does it cost more or less?
3. how much is it to rent a car?
4. did anyone take the train to victoria falls?
maybe i'm making it way too difficult and is it easy and not that expensive to go on a package tour. i have this semigovernmental job and my pay is sufficient and not high.
so many nice things to visit, a month seems way too short
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Bushwoman2002,

I think the only challenge for you will be Mana Pools. It is very difficult to get to Mana Pools by road from Victoria Falls or Hwange. It is doable in about 7 hours from Lusaka, Zambia but then that still does not solve your problem of getting to the rest of the places on your list. I strongly encourage you to book light air (Cessna Caravans or similar) on a scheduled flight to get to/from Mana Pools.

I also agree with the advice above. Shay Tay is referring to Sharon Stead. She owns Ivory Lodge, Khulu Lodge, Amalinda, and Driving you Wild (the transfer company). She stayed at my house in Minnesota a few weeks ago They have very well priced lodges and will connect their properties with their own surface transfer company. After Amalinda, you can fly back to Jo’burg and then perhaps head up to Mashatu the next day to complete your safari skipping Mana.

If you want to up your budget a little bit you can buy an air-inclusive package from Wilderness Safaris to go to Ruckomechi in Mana Pools and Davisons/Little Makalolo/Linkwasha in Hwange OR a package from African Bush Camps to stay at Somalisa and Kanga/Zambezi Lifestyle.

Safety – my 16 year old daughter went to Zimbabwe by herself last year in June. She spent a month in Hwange and Vic Falls town working for a non-profit called Children in the Wilderness. I felt that she was in less chance of danger there than living life as a 16 year old in the US for the same amount of time with the driving accidents etc.

The website for Luangwablondes above is broken. The owner is Robbie and we were emailing each other this morning so I know he is available. His address is [email protected]

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond
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Jul 3rd, 2015, 02:06 PM
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4 year old thread....
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Jul 4th, 2015, 08:08 AM
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Wow - I feel stupid. I did not even notice for some reason! Thanks DebidNM.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Jul 4th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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I happens to all of us, at 1 time or another; just shows your willingness to help others.
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Jul 5th, 2015, 01:47 PM
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Yes -- it IS an old thread but 1maureen registered and topped it to ask new questions . . .

1maureen: Welcome to Fodors. It is MUCH better to start a new thread of your own -- or as you see, others will respond to the original and the new questions will get lost in the shuffle.
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