This morning, you land in Harare and transfer onto a light aircraft, bound for the southeast of Zimbabwe and Malilangwe, a wildlife reserve at the northern perimeter of the Greater Kruger ecosystem. This compact reserve sometimes feels like a roll call of an African safari, with so many different mammals converging in an area that’s surprisingly compact. Safari favorites like giraffes, zebras, and buffalos are never far away. Nor are the Big Five, the premium sights of any safari. But in Malilangwe, there’s also the Little Six, a collection of charming animals that bring surprise and delight to every game drive.
While Zimbabwe may have slipped off the tourist trail, conservation remains strong in this country that values its wilderness. Check into Singita’s Pamushana Lodge, and you’ll see dozens of hippos wading in the lake below. Throughout the day and night, this water source is visited by a large proportion of Malilangwe four-legged residents, so you just need to sit back, recharge the batteries after the flight, and enjoy your first impressions of the Kruger’s diversity. An afternoon game drive will provide exhilarating sights as you come face to face with rhinos and lion prides for the first time, along with the enchanting cast of antelopes. Although you’re on the edge of the Kruger ecosystem, at Malilangwe you’re already immersed in the wonders of wild Africa.
Day 8 - 9