Zimbabwe’s Famed Hwange and Mana Pools, plus Victoria Falls

A nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture, Zimbabwe’s status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations was dampened for years by its political instability.

But now that the country is transcending its strife and returning to a state of equilibrium, it is once again emerging as a vacation highlight of the continent

A journey here will take you through an attractive patchwork of landscapes, from Highveld, balancing boulders and flaming msasa trees, to laidback towns, lush mountains and Lifeblood Rivers up north. Here you can spot the Big Five in its national parks, discover World Heritage–listed archaeological sites and stand in awe of one of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls – known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. One of the largest waterfalls in the world, the magnificent body of water cascading over the Batoka Gorge is just spectacular.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and incredibly multipurpose attraction, the activity possibilities are endless. Adrenaline tourism there takes the form of bungee jumping or white water rafting, whilst more laid-back tourism takes the form of fishing for tiger and bream or sunset boat cruises on the Zambezi River or a spectacular helicopter flight or microlight trip over the falls.

You can’t really sum up the magic of Zimbabwe in one sentence, but one thing that really stands out on a safari here is the quality of the guides, their warmth, friendliness and knowledge – one of the best ingredients of any safari, we’re sure you’ll agree!

Safari Highlights

  • Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Zimbabwe will drive and guide us in open vehicles to help us get the images we are after

  • The elephants, wild dogs, leopards, lions, cheetah, roan, sable stand out as the highlights of this safari

  • This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas in Africa, Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park.

  • On foot, up close encounters with elephants

The Schedule

August 11-14, 2019 (3 nights)
Victoria Falls to Somalisa Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe

Upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport, you will be met and assisted onto your scheduled flight at 12h30 to Hwange. You will overnight at Somalisa Camp for 3 nights.

Situated in western Zimbabwe, the Hwange National Park is the country's biggest reserve, home to a profusion of wildlife, including giraffe, lion, zebra and approximately 40,000 elephants. It provides a sanctuary for all the country’s endangered species, including a population of wild dogs thought to be among the most sizeable surviving groups on the continent. The park’s magnificent terrain ranges from desert dunes, savannah lands and mopane woodlands to rocky outcrops and sparse forests. Hwange is also home to two species of antelopes that are infrequently seen in other locations: roan and sable antelope.

During the dry season wildlife is drawn to the area’s water holes, which makes locating and photographing a much richer experience. Our camp has a permanent water hole right outside of camp, attracting our subjects (predator as well as prey) closer to our cameras.

Somalisa Camp is located on the edge of a seasonal floodplain in the heart of Zimbabwe’s world-famous Hwange National Park. Recently refurbished, Somalisa Camp is sure to appeal to travellers seeking an exclusive safari experience. Nestled under a cluster of indigenous Acacia trees, the Camp is positioned to make the most of the phenomenal views. And is an ideal base from which to explore this breath-taking wilderness area, fondly known as the “Land of the Giants” for its prolific elephant herds. Kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, hyena, plus all of the Big 5 are just some of the species you can expect to catch sight of when you stay at Somalisa Camp. The emphasis at Somalisa Camp is on providing the ultimate secluded African adventure. Canvas tented suites are raised up on teak platforms and carefully placed to ensure total privacy. Each elegantly furnished tent features an outdoor shower, ceiling fan, freestanding copper tub and fireplace for those chilly winter evenings. Wide bush paths – which are lit by paraffin lamps come evening – link the tents with the main guest area. Split over multiple decks, the main area offers fabulous vistas of the surrounding plains and the Camp’s natural waterhole – a favourite gathering spot for the abundant resident game. Retire to the lounge where you can relax in complete comfort or the dining room where freshly prepared gourmet meals are served. Escape the afternoon heat with a dip in the small splash pool. Or enjoy a refreshing sundowner cocktail at the intimate bar. Socialising around the fire pit is the perfect way to wind down after another glorious day in the African bushveld. The charming ambience and exceptional service at Somalisa Camp secures its place as a sought-after safari destination.

Discover one of the wildest corners of Africa as you walk Mana Pools National Park on foot

August 14-17 (3 nights)
Kanga Camp, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Today you will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight from Hwange at 13h55 to Mana Pools. You will overnight at Kanga Camp for 3 nights.

Located in northern Zimbabwe, the life-giving power of the Zambezi River makes Mana Pools National Park one of Zimbabwe’s most lush and flourishing regions. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is known for its natural beauty and as one of the continent’s premier game-viewing areas. Mana Pools is all about a balance between game drives and nature walks, where we approach wildlife on foot. Our group will be guided by a professional Zimbabwean guide who will keep us safe during these unique encounters.

Set in the most remote part of the World Heritage Site in Mana Pools is the Kanga Pan. The camp offers 6 tents with en-suite bathroom facilities with outdoor showers overlooking the water hole. The main area has a comfortable lounge and dining area offering you views of a very active water hole. Relax in the lounge under the shade of a mahogany or sit on the deck below near the splash pool and enjoy Kanga − the old Africa in a new era.

The diverse area has multiple vlei lines, river systems of the Ruckomechi River, and mixed woodland types from Mopane woodland to Jesse bush and riverine forests. Kanga Pan itself is the only known water source in the area available throughout the year, making it a hub for wildlife and a delight to explore on foot. Pristine and undeveloped, this area gives you a pure, unspoilt, private African safari experience. Besides game drives and walking excursions, an hour’s drive brings you to the Zambezi flood plains.

August 17-19 (2 nights)
Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zambia
This morning you will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight from Mana Pools at 07h30 to Victoria Falls arriving at 11h30. You will then be met and transferred by road to Royal Chundu where you will overnight for 2 nights.

One of the original natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourist attraction. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal place to combine game viewing and water sports. There is excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial whitewater rafting in the world.

Protected by two sets of rapids, on a private stretch of the Zambezi River, Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge offers its guests a foray into peace and tranquillity that is only 30-km away from the majestic Victoria Falls.

Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge appeals to anyone who wants to experience the thrill of the Victoria Falls but prefers to stay in quiet seclusion.

For those who want to optimise their African experience sunset cruises, fishing, picnics at Victoria Falls and the wildlife of Chobe National Park await. Guests can absorb the pulse of the river from their private decks and or go exploring on a river canoe before enjoying a pampering session at the floating river spa.

Royal Chundu has a choice of two sophisticated lodges: River Lodge and Island Lodge.

The thatched villas at Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge are exquisitely decorated, reflecting a glimpse into a bygone era in the comfort of the wild. Island Lodge’s private suites are located on Katombora Island and offer respite from the African sun from under the shade of 2000-year old Jackalberry trees.

August 19, 2019
Royal Chundu to Livingstone Airport, Zambia

Today you will depart Royal Chundu to Livingstone Airport for your scheduled flight home.

NOTE: Customized extensions to this safari, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and other destinations may be arranged through Andy Biggs Photo Safaris as desired. Ask us for further information.

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $9,990 per person. The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals.

Due to the limited number of spaces available, if a solo guest is willing to share a room and we can match with another guest of the same gender, we will do so. If a solo guest is unwilling to share, then a single supplement of $1,800 will be charged.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant

What Do I Do Next?
Our groups are small, so space is limited. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they're spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to info@andybiggs.com.

Extension Option

We are offering a 4-night pre-safari extension to South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, prior to the beginning four trip in Zimbabwe. The dates are August 7-11, 2019. Blessed with awe-inspiring natural wonders, an abundance of wildlife, huge water bodies and vast open spaces, Zambia offers unforgettable holidays exploring the real Africa.

Acknowledged as one of the safest countries in the world to visit, Zambia's welcoming people live in peace and harmony. And here, in the warm heart of Africa, you will find some of the finest Safari experiences on the planet, including face to face encounters with Nature at its most wild.

We have 2 private vehicles throughout the entire safari for our small and private group, with only 1 person per row of seating (the vehicles have 3 rows behind the driver, plus a seat next to the driver if you want to be lower down to the ground)

  • Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Zambia will drive and guide us in open vehicles to help us get the images we are after.

  • The leopards, elephants, wild dogs and the beautiful landscape of the Luangwa River stand out as the highlights of this safari, combined with the very small camps (4 rooms each), lack of other safari travelers make this safari destination unique.

  • This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas in Africa.

The cost of this all-inclusive safari extension is $4,600 for 7-8 participants, $4,750 for 5-6 participants and $5,000 for 4 participants. Fewer than 4 we will need to assess whether to run the extension or not as a guided trip by Andy.


Trip Details

Safari Leader: Andy Biggs

Dates: August 11-19, 2019

Cost: $9,990. Single supplement $1,800


What's Included?

  • Accommodation on a shared basis

  • Meet and greet at Victoria Falls Airport

  • Flights between Victoria Falls / Hwange / Mana Pools / Vic Falls

  • All safari activities

  • Services of the lodge guides & staff

  • All park fees

  • All meals and drinks (excluding premium brands)

  • Daily laundry

  • The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Taxes

What is Not Included?

  • International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Travel Insurance

  • Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)

  • Gratuities for staff and guides

  • Pre- and post- safari tours