VIP Zimbabwe: Charter Flights, Private Safari, Expert Guides & Exclusive Camps

A 14 day trip to Zimbabwe 
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Zimbabwe evokes all the spellbinding brilliance of Africa and big-game safari. This VIP 2-week safari makes it all accessible, with charter flights connecting wildernesses, the country’s best camps and guides, plus exclusive activities like tracking black rhinos on foot. Explore Zimbabwe’s highlights, and you discover Africa’s mosaic of experiences and landscapes, from canoeing iconic wetlands to big cats out hunting. This safari represents Zimbabwe, and Africa, at their best.

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General Information

Photos
Elephants stop for a drink in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Matusadona National Park, Lake Kariba, Mana Pools National Park, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Gonarezhou National Park, Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls, Zambezi River

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Harare to Matusadona National Park – The Luxury of Lake Kariba

The tranquil waters of Lake Kariba respond to their nickname as Africa’s Riviera, rippling gently towards rugged cliffs and hidden islands. At first glance, the lake seems to be a classic escape, where tranquility reigns and you can quickly overcome any jet lag. But this is Zimbabwe, so you won’t be alone. Hippos barge across the lake, a host of monkeys occupy the surrounding trees, and you’re never far from buffalo and a vast array of antelopes. Sit back at Musango Safari Camp and the safari has already started. But after the chartered flight from Harare, you can tailor the afternoon to your ideas of exploration, with a choice of boat and canoeing trips, game drives and walks in Matusadona National Park. So if you’re ready to get close, this first day will quickly introduce you to the enormity of Africa’s mammals.

What’s Included: accommodation at Musango Safari Camp, domestic flight, safari, dinner

Day 2: Matusadona National Park – Easy Introductions to Zimbabwe’s Big Mammals

The lush surroundings of Lake Kariba are home to Africa’s Big Five. The main question isn’t if you will see them but how. Boats and canoes explore the lake’s creeks and inlets, mystical journeys that bring high-quality sightings of animals along the banks. Gaze up at elephants, paddle past lions taking a drink, and watch buffalos taking a swim. Game drives can cover a larger area, showcasing dozens of unique species including the camouflaged leopards. With this VIP safari itinerary, you enjoy private activities throughout. Expert guides will tailor the day’s program to you and Musango has quite a reputation for the quality of its guiding. Walking safaris are also an option today, as are everything from a sunset cruise with hippos emerging from the water, to seeking out rival male lions.

What’s Included: accommodation at Musango Safari Camp, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Matusadona National Park – Tracking Black Rhinos on Foot

Through the bushes, you can sense the presence of greatness. Black rhinos are shy creatures, but they respect your patience, slowly recognizing that you’re not a threat. Taking a few more steps forward, you glimpse the horns through the shrubbery, then stand and gawp as two black rhinos emerge. These critically endangered wonders have become one of safari’s rarest sights. And you’re tracking them on foot, sharing the same dusty ground as their one-ton prehistoric frames. White rhinos also occupy the park although you’ll search for these in a game vehicle, as they’re twice the size and far less bashful. Tracking rhinos on foot is part of the offer at Musango Safari Camp, and after today’s walking experience, you can plan an afternoon to your liking, with activities on land and water.

What’s Included: accommodation at Musango Safari Camp, domestic flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Mana Pools National Park – Beautiful Aerial Safari and Exploring a Mosaic of Rivers

Today’s charter flight cruises along the Zambezi River, offering stupendous views over vibrant colors. Touch down in Mana Pools, and you’re immediately immersed in the subtleties of the wetlands, a mosaic of rivers and pools stretching out from Ruckomechi Camp. This opulent lodge has its own private concession, and you’ll create your own program of land and water-based activities. Wildlife is concentrated around the water, and you’ll immediately notice the increase in abundance, encountering a similar set of animals in Matusadona but in much larger numbers. Now it’s hundreds of elephants, insatiable herds of buffalo, several lion prides and an endless procession of zebras, elands, impalas, and kudus. Most guides will recommend a varied program and the day can be as relaxed or as action-packed as you’d like.

What’s Included: accommodation at Ruckomechi Camp, domestic flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Mana Pools National Park – Exclusive Big-Game Wetland Safari

Walk out at sunrise, exceptional guides leading you across big-game country to a heart-raising proximity with large elephant bulls. The pachyderms rise on their hind legs, stretching for albida seed pods, raising themselves many meters above you. Switch to a game vehicle and find a handful of lion prides, the number of cute cubs an indication of the predators’ health. Continue by canoe, paddling along the banks to see giraffes and zebras from close quarters. Then return to camp by motorboat, passing hundreds of antelopes before a lavish lunch. Rest for a couple of hours, perhaps with a siesta, and then continue the adventure in the afternoon, maintaining your connection with all these treasured animals. But all this is just a suggestion. The camp’s excellent guides will tailor the day to exactly how you’d like it.

What’s Included: accommodation at Ruckomechi Camp, domestic flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve – Zimbabwe’s Most Opulent Lodge

The Greater Kruger is one of Africa’s most revered ecosystems, a massive savannah that’s larger than the Netherlands in size. Few people even know that it reaches into Zimbabwe, where Gonarezhou National Park celebrates the essence of an undeveloped wilderness, packed with tall grass and dense bush. For the next two nights, you’re staying in the private Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve – a concession within the park – where the delightful Pamushana Lodge exudes an opulent atmosphere. Permanent water attracts thousands of animals to this unfenced reserve, creating one of Zimbabwe’s easiest big-game experiences. Touch down and today is as relaxed as it comes, a gentle game drive interspersed with cocktails overlooking a lake filled with hippos, then canapés while exploring the magic of the Greater Kruger.

What’s Included: accommodation at Pamushana Lodge, domestic flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7: Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve – Pure Untouched Wilderness in Gonarezhou National Park

After yesterday’s serenity comes an intrepid adventure, a full day immersed in the untamed wilderness of Gonarezhou. Bumping through the bush, you encounter the rare and secretive nyala, a new antelope added to your collection. Amidst vast swathes of rising grass, you find predators on the prowl, leopards, and cheetahs amongst those who alert the eyes of expert guides. Huge elephant bulls pass the vehicle, and you keep a safe distance as their aggressiveness creates an unforgettable display of power. Zebra and wildebeest congregate beneath dramatic sandstone cliffs while buffalos and rhinos can be found when you journey away from the tall stands of ironwood and mahogany trees. But for all the intimate encounters, it’s the atmosphere of the wild that makes Gonarezhou so special, the feeling of exploring a land that’s hardly ever been interrupted by man.

What’s Included: accommodation at Pamushana Lodge, domestic flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8: Hwange National Park – Flying Across the Landscapes of Zimbabwe

With charter flights, you hop from wilderness to wilderness, never interrupting your connection with nature’s rhythm. You also get to savor the complex colors and delicate landscapes of a country that’s always been amongst Africa’s most beautiful: rugged ochre trails winding beneath thick forests, mountains falling down to yellow savannah, rivers twisting between the thatched roofs of villages. Sometimes elephants and buffalos occupy the airstrips, and you touch down to wild animals. Other times you admire the herds as they crisscross the wild. Today’s aerial safari brings you to Hwange National Park, the largest and best known of Zimbabwe’s safari destinations, where The Hide provides three days of classic safari under canvas. Set in a private concession, in the park’s most prolific big-game area, the camp ensures you’re fully surrounded by Hwange’s charms, including the massive elephant herds that rumble past. Like always on this VIP safari, a private guide tailors the day to your interests.

What’s Included: accommodation at The Hide, domestic flight, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Days 9 – 10: Hwange National Park – Sublime Safari Under Canvas in Zimbabwe’s Flagship Destination

You’re deep in the bush, hiding out in a photography hut next to the waterhole. The animals can’t see you and they walk straight past, giraffes stretching their necks, zebras playing adoringly, a rhino coming to drink from the shrinking waterhole. These hides are perfect for photography and gaining a new perspective, keeping your safari experience fresh after over a week in the wild. But they’re just one option. Spend a day in the park’s Kalahari-style plains, where big cats prowl, and there are fabulous opportunities to see them on a hunt. Like the photography hideouts, these scenes reward patience. Watch the lionesses creep closer as the zebras graze nervously. A sentinel alerts the rest, and the zebras are off, a rumble of hooves kicking up spirals of dust, then a strangled yelp suggesting a kill. You hadn’t seen the ambush, and neither had the zebra; half the lionesses had channeled a panicked calf into a frenzied set of jaws.

When dusk descends, you stay out, and it’s a whole new world after dark. A spotlight illuminates a leopard’s blue eyes, then a herd of buffalo whose nervousness turns to aggression. Caracal and mongoose emerge, along with black-backed jackals who hunt in the dark. Echoed calls reverberate across the land, and you discover the culprits, a group of spotted hyenas battling over territory. Nighttime drives are the premier time for the big cats to hunt and you’ll continue the thrilling predatory moments with Africa’s most majestic characters. They’re also a time to encounter the unusual mammals of Hwange, and on a 3-day safari, you could expect to see 60 – 70 of the park’s more than 100 mammal species.

What’s Included: accommodation at The Hide, safari, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11: Victoria Falls – A “Flight of the Angels” Over the Majestic Falls

The final charter flight brings you north to Victoria Falls, where you transfer from the plane into a tiny three-seater for a mesmerizing journey above one of the world’s seven natural wonders. When describing his discovery of Victoria Falls, Livingstone declared, “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” You enjoy the same bird’s-eye view, the plane swooping above the canyon and sprays of mist dappled with 360-degree rainbows. After the remarkable visuals, you savor an insatiable power by walking alongside the falls, feeling the gaze of baboon troops from the trees above. Stepping closer and closer, you become consumed by the growl of nature, the unstoppable rumble likely to stay with you for eternity. After exploring Victoria Falls, you’re transferred to The Elephant Camp, where your tented chalet has a private plunge pool overlooking a waterhole.

What’s Included: accommodation at The Elephant Camp, domestic flight, tour, transfer, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12: Victoria Falls – Exclusive Boat Trip and Adventure Along the Zambezi River

Wildlife remains a permanent part of your day. Listen to monkeys and the odd hippo from your bed, spot an impala herd grazing close to the camp, and keep your eye out for Nile crocodiles sunbathing on the banks. Exclusivity has been retained as well, and you plan a day of adventure and relaxation on the Zambezi River. With a private boat, you can explore the banks of the river and the islands next to the precipice, where you’re tantalizingly close to the 1,000 tons of water that drop over the edge every single second. Cruise at sunset, uncorking a bottle as the hippos start to graze. Or perhaps spend the afternoon catch-and-release fishing on this epic waterway.

What’s Included: accommodation at The Elephant Camp, tour, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13: Victoria Falls – Free Day Along the River

This final day is at your leisure and can be tailored to your interests upon your arrival. A number of optional activities can be enjoyed around Victoria Falls, including the famous bungee jump and a day-trip to neighboring Zambia. You can spend the day on the river or just relax at camp, watching the odd four-legged mammal come past, preparing for the journey back home. If you’re craving a final safari, then it’s not far to Chobe National Park or the rhinos of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. As with every day, your accommodation is full board, and you can expect sublime cuisine served in the most unique of settings.

What’s Included: accommodation at The Elephant Camp, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 14: Victoria Falls – Departure

Leave Zimbabwe from Victoria Falls International Airport, which is a very short transfer from The Elephant Camp. You can enjoy all the camp’s facilities, including your private plunge pool until the airport transfer.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Price 

Your custom trip package will include accommodations, transportation within the country, guided tours and activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. 

Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates!