Deluxe African Safari IVS

11 Days from $7,200

Join us on a unique wildlife safari experience to Zimbabwe and Botswana.

From your first game drive in Chobe National Park, to your dip into the Devil's pool overlooking the Victoria Falls,  your African adventure will be amazing to the last drop! All combined with elegant safari lodges and amazing wildlife!

Deluxe African Safari IVS

Join us on a Wildlife Safari in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Enjoy four unique and luxurious Safari Lodges, and take-in the glory and splendor of the Zambezi river, Victoria Falls and its surroundings.

We spent many seasons working as full time guides on the Zambezi River and have expert knowledge of the river and the surrounding area. August and September are some the best months to see game and experience the Zambezi as it is the end of the dry season and all of the animals come down to the banks of the river to drink, swim and frolic in the shallows. Also, the bush has been either eaten or has died down, so seeing the animals is much easier. (In the wet season there is so much fresh green foliage that the animals hide in the thicket or scatter to drinking holes hidden away).

Zimbabwe has all the infrastructure of a modern country and has a highly developed and protected national park system. This has allowed the wildlife to thrive and the elephant herds of Botswana and Zimbabwe are among the largest and most protected of Africa. The game viewing in Zimbabwe is simply the best, and you will not be overrun by the herds of tourists often found in Kenya!

Itinerary Snapshot

Day 1
Arrive at Victoria Falls Airport (VFA), Zimbabwe. Airport transfer to Imbabala Safari lodge. Group briefing and 4PM Sunset Cruise. Welcome! Overnight at Imbabala Safari Lodge(D)

Day 2
Guests can choose morning, afternoon or evening game drives to get their first look at the abundance of African wildlife. Overnight at Imbabala Safari lodge(B,L,D)

Day 3
Day trip to Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana. Overnight at Imbabala Safari lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4
Game activity at Imbabla followed by breakfast/brunch. Transfer to Victoria Falls and participate in optional activities. Lunch at Wild Horizons Look Out Café followed by a leisurely drive to the Old Drift Lodge, a luxury lodge 7k above Victoria Falls. Overnight at Old Drift Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5
Optional Activities include 4 x 4 land safari, canoe safari or walking safari.  Or Enjoy the vistas and luxury of the Old Drift Lodge.  Overnight Old Drift Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6
Land Transfer to Hwange National Park. Overnight Verney’s Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 7
Verney’s Camp (B,L,D)

Day 8
Verney’s Camp (B,L,D)

Day 9
After morning game drive and breakfast, transfer to Elephant Camp in time for afternoon activities. Overnight at Elephant Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 10
Enjoy a motorboat and short hike to Livingstone Island. Jump into the Devil’s Pool! Afternoon activities at Elephant Camp or take a trip back to Victoria Falls for some adventure activities and/or souvenir shopping. Overnight at Elephant Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 11
Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for travel home, or to another destination in Africa! (B)

(Meals included: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

Day 1 – Arrival
Arrive in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe early afternoon. We meet you at the airport and drive you 40 Km up river to the Imbabala Safari lodge, right on the banks of the upper Zambezi river.

You will have a chance to rest and freshen up before we rendezvous at the bar for a welcome drink and briefing. Our trip leader will give us an overview of what excitement lies ahead! We enjoy a toast after flying halfway around the world to converge on the incredible Victoria Falls or the Mosi-o-Tunya, the smoke that thunders!

At 4 pm, we will board our vessel for a relaxing sunset cruise to enjoy a few drinks while navigating amongst the islands that dot the wide and calm upper Zambezi River. We will be looking for game and will enjoy the beautiful and abundant bird life. Our first African sunset to be enjoyed with our fellow Zambezi explorers while we gently drift amongst the Hippo pods will be unforgettable! (D)

Day 2 – Game drives and walks
Guests can choose morning, afternoon or night drives to get their fill of the wonderful game viewing that is available here. All drives are conducted in open-backed 4×4 vehicles that are suited to the terrain and are perfect to afford the best views of the game.

We also have a chance to offer guests a walking safari. Your professional guide will show you some of the large and small wildlife of Imbabala’s private concession area, highlighting species that might get missed if on a drive. The chance to get up close and personal with the larger species is also very exciting and who can ever forget their first elephant encounter while walking. The walks usually last for 3 hours and guests will normally walk for about 5km during that time. The fully qualified professional guides are armed and experienced with the animals that occur on the concession. Overnight Imbabala Safari Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Day trip to Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, in northern Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. Often described as one of, if not the best, wildlife-viewing area in Africa today. Chobe boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife left on the African continent. Animals are present during all seasons, and at certain times of the year their numbers can be staggering. A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population currently estimated at around 120,000. Overnight Imbabala Safari Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Transfer to Vic Falls and then Old Drift Lodge
Morning Game activity at Imbabala followed by breakfast / brunch. Then, we will transfer to Victoria Falls where you can participate in activities at Vic Falls (such as gorge swing, bungee jump, etc).

We will then enjoy a leisurely lunch at The Wild Horizons Look Out Café. After lunch, we will be transferred by 4 x 4 vehicles into the park to the Old Drift Lodge.

Old Drift Lodge is actually one of Zimbabwe’s newest and more deluxe lodges on the Zambezi River just above Victoria Falls.

Upstream from the iconic Victoria Falls in the Zambezi National Park lies a pristine piece of land on the banks of the Zambezi River. The untouched natural beauty of the park is sprawled over 56 000 breathtaking hectares. The activities offered at Old Drift Lodge emphasise the rich natural environment, focusing on the abundance of wildlife that roam through the Park and swim the Zambezi River. The Zambezi National Park can be explored by road, river or on foot, satisfying guests needs to experience every aspect of this natural utopia.

The main lodge area has 360-degree views, north facing onto the Zambezi & south facing onto a water hole. Only 4.5 kilometres from the town of Victoria Falls, Old Drift Lodge is the closest lodge within the National Park to Victoria Falls. Luxury boats transport guests to our natural utopia where we are able to accommodate safari goers in 10 double suites and 4 family suites.
Old Drift Lodge offers family friendly accommodation, with each air-conditioned suite decorated with stylish furnishings, fitting of the bygone eras, which blend in seamlessly with the natural environment. The spacious canvas en-suite rooms all have a private lounge, viewing and “sleep-out” deck, indoor and outdoor showers, plunge pool and an outdoor bath overlooking the Zambezi. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Day at Old Drift Lodge
Optional Acitivies include Canoeing, walking safaris and driving safaris. Many will opt to stay and enjoy the luxury and comforts of this iconic lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Transfer to Hwange National Park
3 hour transfer to our hotel for the next 3 nights: Verney’s Camp in Hwange National Park. There we will enjoy an afternoon game drive, relax with some sundowners and potentially go on a night drive. Over night Verney’s Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Hwange National Park
Just before the sun rises your day on safari begins. After a wakeup call, everyone gathers at the camp fire to have a light breakfast before setting out on the morning’s activities. We usually leave by Land Rover for a game drive to a designated area chosen earlier, where you will be briefed by your guide and then all set off on a safari walk. On completion of your walk, you will return to camp in the late morning, for a brunch, and a time of relaxation, where you can return to your rooms for a siesta, or sit and watch the activities at the waterhole. We do have a unique log pile hide in the shade near the waterhole which you guide will be happy to take you – so that you may have a close up view of all the visitors needing to drink and carry out their ablutions.

Mid-afternoon we will gather at the main area again to discuss the afternoon’s activity. Please note that there are no time restrictions to our activities, the walks/drives will be governed by what you see and not meal times. Hampers of delicious foodstuffs and refreshments will accompany every adventure into the bush, be it on foot or vehicle. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – More Hwange National Park
Again we will wake early, enjoy a very light breakfast and enjoy the coolness of the morning while observing the animals of Africa. Walking and Driving Safaris available. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Transfer to Elephant Camp
A 3 hour transfer back to Victoria Falls and relax into our lodge Elephant camp for the next two nights. Once at Elephant Camp, you have a range of afternoon activities to choose from, including introducing yourself to Sylvester, the ambassador cheetah. After your afternoon activity, relax with a sundowner, the breathtaking views of the Victoria Falls’ spray, and the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Devils Pool
After breakfast we will head out by vehicle, cross into Zambia to the boat jetty on the Zambezi where a small motor boat will ferry us out to the middle of the Victoria Falls and take us to Livingstone Island. From here we hike a short distance to the upstream edge of the Victoria Falls and from there will traverse a pool of calm water by swimming and then we climb onto a rock outcropping that allows us to jump into the famous Devil’s pool! This natural “tea cup” allows you to literally sit on the edge of the falls as water spills over the edge of the cup where you jumped in! It is a truly amazing and unforgettable experience that will set the tone for the exciting fun held in store for you! After the refreshing “dip” we swim, hike back to the tented “tea room” for a light, late morning snack of crumpets and tea. We return to the lodge for lunch and rest.

In the afternoon, we can enjoy more of what the Elephant Camp has to offer and meet some of the rescued wildlife up close and personal, or take a trip back to Vic Falls for some adventure activities, souvenir shopping …the choice is yours, but we’re betting you are not going to want to leave. Tonight will be our farewell dinner as we share great stories and make plans for our next Adventure. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Depart
By now, your new home in the bush will feel so comfortable that you will begin to ponder ditching the real job back home and opening your own lodge in Africa. But while you are fantasizing we will transfer you to the Victoria Falls Airport for a mid-day flight out. You will connect with your international flight home, and you will still be dreaming and reflecting on one of the best experiences in your life and the new friends made. You might already be scheming a timely return to the African wilderness and its supreme river – the inimitable Zambezi…(B)

Elephant Camp Zimbabwe

Situated on a private concession within and bounded by the Masuwe River and the Zambezi gorges, The Elephant Camp has breathtaking views of the Victoria Falls’ spray, and the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Elephant Camp is a luxury and intimate lodge under canvas within easy reach of Victoria Falls and all its attractions and activities.

Imbabala Safari Lodge

The Imbabala main lodge is a charming thatched structure, consisting of a lounge, dining room and bar area. This offers fantastic views of both the river and a nearby waterhole, which attracts game throughout the year. A swimming pool and al fresco eating area nestle under ancient trees. There are no fences to prevent animal movement, so expect to see game and wonderful birdlife along the river bank as well as in and around the Lodge.

Old Drift Lodge

Upstream of the iconic Victoria Falls, on the banks of the Zambezi River, lies Old Drift Lodge. The lodge boasts luxury accommodation overlooking the pristine Zambezi National Park, a mere 7 kilometers from the mighty Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Old Drift Lodge is nestled within a wild paradise frequented by elephant, buffalo, herds of sable, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and impala.The main lodge area will have 360 degree views, North facing onto the Zambezi & South facing onto a water hole. A 7 kilometre stretch of river flows between the camp and the town of Victoria Falls, making Old Drift Lodge the closest lodge within the National Park to Victoria Falls. The symphony of birdsong and calls of wildlife create a choir that enraptures all listeners and accompanies guests on this idyllic African experience.

The spacious canvas en-suite rooms exhibit and air of elegance that blends in seamlessly with the natural environment. The suites are resplendent with stylish furnishings and fittings, accentuated by an indoor and outdoor shower, private plunge pool and bath with a view.

Old Drift Lodge offers family friendly accommodation with an air of opulence and grace, in a wild and exuberant Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls.

Verney’s Camp

Located in a typically un-used part of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Verney’s Camp is a beautiful amphitheater fringed by teak forest that opens up onto an impressive waterhole that is a playground to the famous elephant herds of Hwange.

Verney’s Camp is built in keeping with the winning recipe that matches the timeless wonder of a classic safari to Africa, for both the novice and the well seasoned safari traveler.

Departure Dates:

2019
August 27 – September 6

Trip Length: 11 Days
Trip Price:

$7,200 per person, based on double occupancy

CE credits (optional): $795

Deposit: $600

What To Bring

The climate is hot and dry, so for the most part, you will live in shorts and a t-shirt. For sun protection and to help keep you cool while on the river, we recommend a long sleeve button down shirt made of a light colored, light and quick-drying fabric. August and September are the dry months so there should be very few mosquitoes to worry about. There are certain dining rooms in Victoria Falls that require “smarter” attire – for men, long pants and a button down shirt, and a dress for women.

• Safari clothing: cotton button down shirt , Khaki trousers & shorts – the best colors are those that blend in with the Bush, don’t scare away the animals
• T-shirts, white or earth colors
• Comfortable walking shoes or boots
• Socks
• “Smart Casual” attire for Hotels
• Sweater or fleece for cool mornings
• comfortable clothing for camp
• Long sleeve quick-dry shirt
• Swimsuit
• Sunglasses & straps
• Insect repellent
• Toiletry kit
• Wide brimmed hat, strap
• Flash light or headlamp and extra batteries
• Camera, extra memory, batteries
• H20 bottle
• Bandana

Optional
• A good book
• A journal and pens
• Cards, fun & games
• Music, or instruments
• Binoculars
• Bird book

Additional things you might consider bringing:

Bring clothes that you are planning to discard and trade in for curios in Vic Falls. For example, trade old T-shirts for fine woodcarvings.

Essential Travel Documents

Your Passport – If you do not have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement.

Check your passport for blank pages. If you do not have a least two blank pages in your passport, we recommend that you apply to have additional pages added.

Please do not pack your passport in your check-in luggage. You may be asked for your papers not only upon departure but a various times during your trip.

Visas – Visa costs can often change at the last minute. It’s best to have adequate US cash on you in small denominations. You should also check the country’s embassy / consular website before leaving your country.

Zimbabwe
Entry requirements: A passport, return ticket, and adequate funds. Canadians and Americans are required to pay visa fees at point of entry. A multiple entry visa is US$60.
http://zimbabwe-embassy.us/index.html 

Botswana
A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required.
botswana.usembassy.gov/
travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/botswana.html

Travel and Evacuation Insurance

Travel insurance is highly recommended for this trip.  Please see the top right of our website for a link to our preferred Travel Insurance: Travelex.

Getting There

You will be flying in and out of Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA). The first day of the trip is an arrival day. The last day of the trip is your departure day. Be sure to email your entire flight itinerary and we will arrange an airport pick-up.

*There is an airport departure tax, payable in US dollars.

Money Matters

You should bring plenty of US dollars. Crisp, clean, new bills are best. Small bills come in handy for tipping hotel staff, taxis and buying small things off the street. ATMs are readily available and the easiest way to get cash.

Travelers Checks are not recommended as they are difficult to cash. A money belt worn under your clothes is highly recommended.

Immunizations

We suggest you check with your family doctor at least 2 months before your trip to find out the latest requirements for shots when traveling to Africa. Recent information on required vaccinations can be obtained by calling the Centers for Disease Control international travelers hotline at 877-394-8747. You can access their website by directing your browser to http://www.cdc.gov/. You should particularly look into the following vaccinations:

• Hepatitis A or Immune Globulin (IG)
• Typhoid
• Yellow fever
• Rabies
• As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious disease that is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Symptoms may include fever and flu-like illness, including: chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice. Malaria, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, coma, and death. Malaria can often be prevented by using anti-malarial drugs and by using personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites. However, in spite of all protective measures, travelers may still develop malaria. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and should tell the physician their travel history.

Malarone is the drug of choice for Malaria prevention as it has fewer reported side effects than other drugs and, according to various studies, is more effective.

In addition to using drugs to prevent malaria, travelers should protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing clothing that covers most of the body, using bed nets, and applying insect repellent to exposed skin, particularly between dusk and dawn. The most effective repellents contain the active ingredient DEET. When using DEET, follow these precautions:

• Always use according to label directions.
• Use repellent only when outdoors and wash skin after coming indoors.
• Do not breathe or swallow repellent or get it in the eyes.
• Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
• Adults should use DEET at a concentration of 30% to 35%.
• DEET should not come in contact with rubber elements for they will melt.

For greater protection, clothing can be soaked in or sprayed with permethrin. Permethrin will repel insects for several months. Repellents containing DEET, and Permethrin can be purchased in hardware, camping, and military surplus stores.

Water

Although it takes a little extra caution when drinking fluids in Africa, it is essential to stay well hydrated. We advise that you not drink any of the tap water in most of Africa. Bottled water is fine to drink and can be ordered at most restaurants. When ordering sodas, it is best to request them without ice as the ice can be made from tap water.

Food

Avoid rich food until you acclimatize. If you are wary of getting sick, then play it safe and eat only cooked foods or fresh fruit that you have peeled yourself. The best hotels and restaurants have high standards for hygiene and food preparation. In general, stay cautious, eat what appeals to you and trust your senses.

Diarrhea

Traveling to Africa is going to be a big change on your body. Despite the many precautions we all take to stay healthy, occasionally one may experience diarrhea. The major problem associated with diarrhea is fluid loss leading to severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain plentiful fluid intake. Avoid caffeine and alcohol because they further dehydrate you. The best drinks are weak tea, mineral water, and caffeine-free soft drinks. Although ideally it is best to let diarrhea run its course, on a paddling trip this is uncomfortable. You may want to bring an over-the-counter medication to minimize your discomfort or talk to your doctor about prescribing an antibiotic for traveler’s diarrhea such as Cipro. We also advise that you carry your own supply of toilet paper, as some of the restrooms in Africa may not have TP.

Prescriptions

If you take prescription medications that you need to bring, be sure to have a plentiful supply and the doctor’s prescription in case something happens to them. Along those lines, it is best to carry medications in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage. If you wear prescription glasses or contacts, we advise that you bring a spare set.

Voltage

Electrical current in Africa is 220 volts AC.

Thievery

Although the locals are a warm, friendly, fun-loving people, poverty and therefore thievery, is a problem. Always keep your wits about you and be aware of your surroundings. When with other people, watch out for each other. Large crowds are prime locations for pick-pocketing to occur. Keep your money in a money belt or hidden pouch that you wear around your neck and under your shirt. When purchasing items, do not pull out lots of money. We advise that you leave all valuable jewelry, including fancy watches, at home. Thieves often work in pairs or groups – one tries to distract you (i.e.: by squirting food or paint on your clothing) and in your ensuing confusion, another one makes off with your belongings.

Fitness Levels

Our trips are designed for people who enjoy the out-of-doors, rather than for fitness fanatics. Still, they are active holidays. Age is unimportant when it comes to your ability to do the rafting, paddling, and hiking-the more important consideration is your physical condition. If you haven’t attempted the kind of exercise levels required by our trips within the last couple of years, please be aware of the sort of trip you are taking. It’s an active one, and you will enjoy it more if you have been doing some exercise before you go. Activities that involve aerobic conditioning, such as swimming, walking, jogging, squash, and tennis are great for overall physical conditioning.

Etiquette

On our trip, we will be travelling through environmentally sensitive areas. Our excursions are designed to promote an understanding of the delicate ecosystems that make this area unique, while preserving their fundamental integrity. We ask participants to share our concern for the environment by practising low-impact touring in this sensitive area.

Gratuities

The tipping of guides is entirely discretionary, and we feel strongly that gratuities should not be offered to them if they lead anything less than a great trip. However, we expect that our staff will do a great job in making your trip memorable and, when they do, it is not uncommon for our travelers to offer a gratuity. The staff very much appreciates it.

We are often asked what is appropriate. In general, we have found that when our travelers offer a gratuity, it is in the range of a “thank you” to 15% of the trip cost per person. But again, tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Special Considerations

Please let us know if you are having a birthday or anniversary on the trip. We will also need to know of any medical or dietary requirements that you would like us to consider in planning your trip (i.e. if you are a vegetarian or vegan, or if you have any food allergies.). Please note this on the Guest Registration Form (be specific as to what your needs are) and return it to our office at least 60 days before your trip. If you are booking your trip less than 60 days before departure, please make sure you’ve discussed any special requests with our office.

Recommended Reading / Viewing

• Out of Africa, I. Dineson (or rent the video))
• River Gods, R. Bangs)
• The power of one, the movie.)
• Don’t lets go to the Dogs tonight – Alexander Fuller

Helpful Phrases

• Just now = Pretty soon, or later
• Now now = Immediately, on the double!
• Make a Plan = I don’t quite know yet
• Kun-Jhani = Good morning
• Siya Bonga = Thank you

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