Upcoming and Active Trips | Gen X Travel Club

Adventurers Activate! We're going to Zimbabwe!

Trip At A Glance

  • Trip type: International
  • Category: Active
  • Dates: July 16-26, 2019
  • Duration: 11 days (10 nights)
  • Booking Deadline: January 31, 2019
  • Price: $6,283.00
  • Single Supplement: $1,164.00
  • Deposit: $1,885.00 (30.0%)
  • Group size: 6

Zimbabwe is quietly becoming a must-visit travel destination. It's an under-the-radar, spectacular place that the BBC’s former Africa correspondent Michael Buerk called “the most beautiful country on the continent.” The country made Lonely Planet’s recently released list of Best Travel Destinations for 2019, naming Zimbabwe one of the top countries (#3) to visit this year. Zimbabwe, or just Zim as the locals say, is poised to take off in the coming years. There’s really no reason not to go and every reason to hurry before the rest of the world catches on!

Zimbabwe is on travelers' radar as it offers the ideal combination of everything needed for an unforgettable safari destination with a wealth of wildlife yet a scarcity of visitors, along with exceptional lodges, guides and hospitality and overall striking natural beauty. And with the dramatic shift in its political environment last year, everyone in the know knows it’s time to go!

As Lonely Planet noted, Zimbabwe has always been a country that travelers have raved about – it’s one of Africa’s safest destinations, blessed with ultra-friendly locals, teems with Big Five wildlife in exceptional protected national parks, and boasts World Heritage-listed archaeological ruins, forested mountains, and of course, the incredible freak of nature that is Victoria Falls - one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World!

Considered an exclusive place to travel, the country is a premier safari destination in the continent. If you haven’t experienced the incredible Zim safari scene, this is your opportunity. It’s an experience that will stay with you for life!

You'll leave this unforgettable African country with an overload of amazing experiences, memories and pictures!

A Bit of Background

Once upon a time (in the 1990s), Zimbabwe was a popular safari destination, but the catastrophic political and economic crisis under dictator president Robert Mugabe over the last two decades kept visitors away. The toppling of the Mugabe regime in November 2017 through a peaceful military coup and general elections across the country in 2018 was a turning point. The new President has announced that Zimbabwe is open for business and committed to broad-ranging reforms including the conservation and protection of the country’s natural resources to support tourism as a pillar of economic growth.

A change is underfoot, with Zimbabwe now being considered a must-see destination. Zim is undeniable on its way up with substantial increases in travel bookings over the last year. Travelers are returning with accolades of a country that is hands down one of the safest, friendliest and most spectacular countries on the continent, thriving with wildlife and unspoiled natural wonders. Word on the street – visit now before the trickle of visitors becomes a torrent - you won't be disappointed!

Why Go to Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe is a compact country yet offers: unparalleled wildlife & natural wonders; unique adventures with few tourists; incredibly warm, welcoming people serving up the friendliest hospitality; highly educated, amazingly knowledgeable guides; fascinating culture including numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites; impressive & inspirational conservation & environmental protection; exclusivity & top quality experience and service; and remarkable value for the money.

- Zimbabwe boasts a stunning safari scene and overall natural beauty, which is pretty much unparalleled on the continent. You don't really even have to seek out wildlife - it's quite literally on your doorstep!

- The country’s national parks are among the best including Hwange National Park (the third largest in Africa), Matobo National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site) that is unlike anywhere else in Africa, and of course, Victoria Falls National Park - home of one of the most spectacular waterfalls on the planet and one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.

- Yet to be discovered by the masses these days, you’ll experience excellent safari game-viewing without the crowds. The remoteness of many of Zimbabwe’s National Parks means high wildlife numbers and low visitor numbers.  You'll never find masses of people or vehicles converging around wildlife or heritage sites like in other neighboring countries.

- Unlike some other African safari destinations, Zimbabwe offer different ways to enjoy your safari experiences – on land by vehicle or foot and from the water by boat or canoe.

- Zimbabwe is a paradise for birders with more than 670 bird species ranging from the tiny common waxbills with their bright blue breastbones to impressive raptors such as the martial and black eagle.

- The hospitality of Zimbabweans will be just as unforgettable as the scenery itself. You’ll find the locals are very welcoming, genuine, and personable. There is a reason why visitors consistently talk about the kindness, friendliness and warmth of the Zim people.

- Safari operators are heavily involved in ensuring wildlife conservation in the National Parks that results in a treasure trove of wildlife and some of the best game-viewing in Africa. Tourism actual funds education and healthcare in rural areas, which promotes the value of tourism to the villagers, who in turn, are invested in the protection of wildlife and the environment.

- Zimbabwe has focused its tourism towards quality rather than quantity, ensuring an exclusive safari adventure. Lodges and camps are small and accommodate a very limited number of guests with creates an intimate, personalized and private experience. It's likely you'll only share your safari experience with a handful of other people. This let’s you enjoy close up encounters with wildlife and truly appreciate the remoteness of the bush.

- A superb safari experience wouldn’t be possible without the highest quality guides who are well-educated and speak excellent English. Zimbabwe has a reputation for some of the best guides on the continent. It is well-known in Southern Africa that the Zimbabwe guides license is not just the most difficult to get, but also the most thorough in terms of training that lasts a minimum of four years. You'll probably find yourself amazed by the amount of knowledge the Zimbabwe safari guides will be able to share with you - they will certainly impress with their bush knowledge. 

- If you can tear yourself away from the safari and wildlife adventures, you can enjoy some of the areas of historical importance including UNESCO World Heritage sites. Zimbabwe is full of hidden cultural gems. For example, the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, the remains of which, founded in the 11th century, are breath-taking and renowned since the Middle Ages. The Matobo Hills showcases a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe. This is where you can find Africa's largest collection of rock paintings dating back over 3,000 years.

-While there is no doubt that a safari trip is pricier than many traditional vacation, Zimbabwe comes out on top with affordability not pricing their camps and lodges in the same bracket as their competition in neighboring countries. As Zimbabwe increases in popularity, so will prices. But for now, it remains a relatively more affordable option.

Highlights of this Safari Adventure

We’ll explore some of the country’s most impressive natural beauty: mighty iconic rivers like the Zambezi with the planet’s most famous waterfall, which is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World (Victoria Falls); a magnificent treasure trove of wildlife on game-filled plains in the largest national park in the country (Hwange); and incredible granite boulder fields strewn about & balancing on top of each other throughout the hills that are also adorned with sacred, ancient San rock art (Matobo Hills).

Victoria Falls

The magnificent Victoria Falls is one of the largest waterfalls on the planet and undoubtedly amongst the most spectacular waterfalls in the world with the thrashing waters creating a curtain almost twice the size of Niagara Falls. This freak of nature, located on the mighty Zambezi River, has most definitely earn its place as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nothing can really prepare you for your first sighting of this incredible natural wonder that is nothing less than awe-inspiring. It will leave your jaw open and eyes wide; and almost popping out as you gaze out at the spectacle. The beauty of it – the sweep and scale and bellow of it – makes you shake and its height is dizzying. "It's one of the most extraordinary things I have seen in my life” is a common statement made by those who have visited Victoria Falls. It’s an experience of a lifetime, and a feeling unmatched by any other waterfall. 

Victoria Falls is one of the greatest world wonders - an erosion of the earth’s crust that results in one million liters of water plunging 355 feet down the Zambezi gorge every second making a vast curtain of water more than a mile across and creating what the local indigenous call the “smoke that thunders.” The spray from the falls can be seen rising high above the deep Batoka Gorge from literally 12 miles away or more.

There are many wonderful ways to experience the waterfall – just take a walk up to the falls or view the falls from a helicopter or microlight. Or if you prefer more adrenaline type activities, there is bungee jumping, gorge swings, ziplining, or white water rafting.

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park (pronounced ‘Wang-ee’) is one of Africa's largest national parks and the largest park in Zimbabwe. In Hwange everything is big. Hwange is vast, covering 5,657 square miles, which makes it roughly the size of Wales & Belgium and 18 times the size of New York City.

The Hwange area is heaven to anyone who is nuts about elephants. Its teak and mopane woodland is home to the second largest elephant population in Africa. Up to a thousand have been counted visiting a single waterhole in a day, nearly 40,000 are said to roam the park, and they are regularly sighted in numbers well over 200 at a time.

With 108 species of mammal and over 400 species of bird recorded, Hwange actually has one of the highest animal diversities of any park on the planet. The remote landscape creates great concentrations of game including the “Big Five” – elephant, buffalo, cheetah, leopard and lion. In fact, big cats (such as lion, leopard and cheetah) abound here. Hwange boasts what is believed to be the biggest population of African wild dog left in the world and is also home to massive herds of buffalo. Less common creatures live here too such as African Wild Cat, White-Tailed Mongoose and Bat-eared Fox. Plains game such as impala, kudu, eland, bushbuck and waterbuck are commonly sighted in great number, as well as hyena.

Matobo Hills, Matobo National Park

Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe's oldest being first established in 1926, has an almost spiritual ambience with its inspiring, rambling landscape of whaleback dwalas, precariously balanced boulders and granite kopjes found in the Matobo Hills.

Home to some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world, the Matobo National Park is one of the unsung highlights of Zimbabwe. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a stunning and otherworldly landscape of balancing rocks known as kopjes – giant boulders unfeasibly teetering on top of one another. When you see it, it's easy to understand why Matobo is considered the spiritual home of Zimbabwe.

The Matobo Hills have one of the highest concentrations of rock art in Southern Africa dating back at least 13,000 years. The ancient San people believed the area to be sacred, and more than 3000 of their rock art sites are found here. The paintings illustrate evolving artistic styles and also socio-religious beliefs. The whole area bears testimony to a rich cultural tradition that has now disappeared.

The park is also famous for its high concentrations of Leopard and Black Eagle, as well as for it's healthy population of the endangered Black and White Rhino, making the area one of the most sought after destinations within Zimbabwe. The most unforgettable safari experience offered in the Matobo Hills is approaching this endangered species on foot.

What to Expect on This Trip

This is a high-end, thoughtfully designed small group safari trip that uses locally-owned 4 star luxury camps and provides a non-touristy, intimate and sustainable experience.

You'll travel in the right season for the best weather and to maximize wildlife sightings and other opportunities.

You'll have high-quality, well-trained and very experienced private local guides & drivers, which will enhance your learning experience.

You'll stay in small, highly-rated luxury 4-star lodges for a more comfortable experience, which are located on private reserve or concession within a national park -- both of which place restrictions on the number of people and cars allowed.

You'll visit some of the most important and wonderful areas of the country with truly authenic safari experiences marked by abundant wildlife and lack of crowds that will be far more multi-dimensional than the standard safari offering. 

You'll have comfortable ground transportation in modern, well-maintained private vehicles with a limited number of people per vehicle. You’ll have a 4x4 with max of six people, as opposed to eleven or more in a similar car or SUV (on many trips there is a tendency to pack vehicles with passengers).

Your days will be relaxing and enjoyable with well-planned logistics that will make for a well-paced trip as we move from area to area.

Our accommodations are all locally-owned 4-star luxury lodges. 

Amalinda Lodge (July 16-18)

Amalinda Lodge is a unique four-star luxury lodge in The Matobo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest National Park in Zimbabwe. This exclusive, privately owned & family run safari lodge is the premier accommodation in the area. The Lodge is nestled among the most spectacular rock sceneries in the world, surrounded by the granite domes and castle kopjes of the Matobo Hills.

The Lodge is an African inspired refuge, where world-class facilities combine with the spiritual energy, allure and unique beauty, for which the Matobo Hills is so celebrated. The Matopos is home to the highest concentration of rock art in Southern Africa. Nestled in this unique range of hills is Camp Amalinda, A Wilderness of Granite, only 45 kilometers south of Bulawayo.

Amalinda Lodge has a 5-star TripAdvisor rating and is a winner of the Certificate of Excellence.

Amalinda Lodge1

Amalinda consists of nine individually thatched rooms, which are all set into the huge boulders. Each room has an en-suite bathroom built into the granite rock face, giving a unique accommodation experience. Tea and Nespresso coffee stations come standard in each room.

amalinda lodge boulders

Each room is steeped in African historical artifacts of a bygone era and tucked away into an ancient bushman’s shelter, Camp Amalinda’s charm will leave an indelible impression on every visitor.

amalinda lodge room

Amalinda Lodge boasts a spa, infinity rock pool, library, wine cellar, sunset lounge and bar, and show kitchen. The lounge and entertainment areas are tucked away into a bushman shelter with a panoramic view of the Matobo Hills. Delicious meals are served on a massive teak table in the open air dining room. A cozy library contains some of the old “African Classics” and a secluded chess room, located amongst the tree tops, guarantees peace and tranquility. For the wine connoisseur, we recommend a visit to Amalinda's natural cave wine cellar. Sundowners can be enjoyed around a warm fire in the enclosed “boma” area. At the base of the camp is a large swimming pool with comfortable loungers and a bar, all over-looking a waterhole. Situated near the pool is our Heritage Spa. Spoil yourself with a full Body Massage, Back and neck Massage, Manicure or Pedicure.

Many varied activities are available ranging from game drives to rhino trekking, cultural tours, hikes, to the renowned San bushman paintings and a chance to follow in the footsteps of Cecil John Rhodes at his world famous tomb known as "View of the World.” Famous for its healthy population of endangered rhino, the area is one of the most sought-after destinations within Zimbabwe.

 

Khulu Bush Camp (July 19-21)

Khulu Bush Camp is a small, intimate luxury safari lodge located in breathtaking splendor of Hwange National Park with an unparalleled feeling of seclusion and remoteness in the true African wilderness. The beauty of this camp is that it combines luxurious and private accommodation with old world hospitality. the only thing that beats it's 5-star treatment and accommodation is the remarkable amount of wildlife roaming freely around Khulu’s private reserve. Khulu overlooks an ancient riverbed, in today’s terms called a ‘vlei’, known to attract a variety of the greatest wildlife and bird life in Hwange National Park, right on your doorstep. 

Khuly Bush Camp has a 5-star TripAdvisor rating and is a winner of the Certificate of Excellence.

 Khulu Bush Camp

Khulu’s luxury tented accommodation sleeps a maximum of 12 guests, allowing each visitor to receive the utmost attention and quality service from our warm and welcoming staff. Khulu comprises of 5 bespoke, safari style suites built onto platforms and 1 luxury honeymoon suite. Each tented chalet is slightly elevated facing a waterhole and the open vista of an old riverbed, where you can enjoy endless views of the plentiful wildlife that meander through the untouched property. The suites are elegant and contemporary with minimal impact to the surroundings and environment. Each unit has an indoor and outdoor shower, a private balcony for game viewing, as well as an individual tea and coffee service.

Khulu Bush Camp room outside

The comfortable and elegantly-styled main lounge is the ideal place to start your day with a warm cup of coffee, or wind down with a nice cocktail in the evening, taking in the magnificent scenery surrounding you. Family-style dinners are also served here, giving you the opportunity to reflect on the day’s adventures and allowing you to get to know our Khulu family while indulging in the delightful cuisine prepared by our skilled chefs. Take a dip in the pool located on the deck of the main area overlooking the pan. Or gather around the fire pit underneath the brilliant African night sky, where new acquaintances become friends, and friends become like family.

Khulu Bush Camp room

 

Zambezi Sands River Camp (July 22-25)

This tented lodge is situated within the western area of the Zambezi National Park on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River upstream of the Victoria Falls. Zambezi Sands is unique in that it features not only the Zambezi River and water-based activities and some glorious wildlife and scenery, but is also close to the Victoria Falls. 

Zambezi Sands has a 5-star TripAdvisor rating and is a winner of the Certificate of Excellence.

Zambezi Sands

Zambezi Sands offers a wealth of picturesque game viewing opportunities – whether you chose to drive or walk – experienced guides take great pleasure in introducing you to the camp’s pristine and tranquil surroundings. You can even explore the Zambezi River by inflatable canoe or motorized boat.

However, relaxing in your private deck splash pool – whilst overlooking the Zambezi – is perhaps just as enjoyable. Elephants can be found loitering on the mainland or in the river, while hippo, waterbuck and bushbuck frequent the reed banks and islands.  Lions can be heard calling at night and the birdlife is prolific - African finfoot, African skimmer, pratincoles and Pel’s fishing owl all occur here.

At the center of the camp is the main area where the dining room, lounge and bar areas are all housed. This, like the rest of the camp is raised up on stilts and is right on the banks of the river with water views and private sun decks.

Zambezi Sands1

There are 10 secluded Bedouin luxury tents - offering complete privacy – dotted along the river bank with views of the Sansimba Rapids and the main channel of the Zambezi River as it flows by at a fast pace. All of the tents have beautiful panoramic views of the Zambezi – large sliding doors lead from a small lounge area at the front of each tent (a great place to relax), out to a private deck. The late-afternoons and evenings are usually accompanied by the sound of hippos wallowing in the nearby pools and streams.

Zambezi Sands room1

Rooms have twin double beds, a lounge area, mini-bar, ensuite bathroom, outdoor shower, private splash pool and electricity by diesel/solar generator. They are decorated in a classic style, dark wooden furniture is in contrast to the canvas, and light colored rugs on the polished wooden floors. Despite the traditional feel they are very modern, with solar powered bedside lamps and overhead fans.

 Zambezi Sands room2

Summary

  • Day 1. Arrival day - Bulawayo Airport to Amalinda Lodge
  • Day 2. Matobo National Park (Amalinda Lodge)
  • Day 3. Matobo National Park (Amalinda Lodge)
  • Day 4. Amalinda Lodge - Khulu Bush Camp
  • Day 5. Hwange National Park (Khulu Bush Camp)
  • Day 6. Hwange National Park (Khulu Bush Camp)
  • Day 7. Ivory Lodge - Zambezi Sands River Camp
  • Day 8. Victoria Falls / Zambezi National Park (Zambezi Sands River Camp)
  • Day 9. Victoria Falls / Zambezi National Park (Zambezi Sands River Camp)
  • Day 10. Victoria Falls / Zambezi National Park (Zambezi Sands River Camp)
  • Day 11. Departure day - Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport

Details

Tue, Jul 16 Day 1. Arrival day - Bulawayo Airport to Amalinda Lodge

Welcome to Zimbabwe! You arrive into Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport aka Bulawayo Airport. Transfer from the airport to your accommodations at Amalinda Lodge located in Matobo National Park. Bulawayo Airport is only 60km from Amalinda Lodge. Relax at the lodge including dinner.

Overnight Amalinda Lodge

Wed, Jul 17 Day 2. Matobo National Park (Amalinda Lodge)

Enjoy your first full day at Amalinda Lodge. There are numerous camp activities to choose from that are included in your stay. Most notably game drives in Matobo National Park, which occupies a total area of 44,500 hectares and is a World Heritage Site. The park is an Intensive Protection Zone for endangered black and white rhinocerous. You'll find that the park is home to a wide variety of other animal species including: zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, eland, sable, klipspringer, leopard, hyena, cheetah, hippo, warthog, rock dassies, waterbuck, wildcat, springhare, common duiker, crocodiles, baboons and monkeys.

You will be led by our knowledgeable and professional guides doing your choice of activities:

• Historic trek to Rhodes’ grave and “View of the World”
• Sunset hikes to the tops of granite dwallas
• Walks to world renowned caves and bushman paintings
• Game drives into the National Park
• My Beautiful Home - Bicycle ride
• Spa salon with a professional masseuse.
• Rhino walks (on request)

Of course you can also just relax on the property.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Amalinda Lodge

Thu, Jul 18 Day 3. Matobo National Park (Amalinda Lodge)

Enjoy a full day in Matobos Hills. The national park is separated into two sections – the recreational park and the game park. The recreational area includes World’s View (a scenic viewpoint and burial site of Cecil Rhodes) and ancient San rock art caves. The majestic and rugged terrain of the park is a hikers paradise and the diversity of the vegetation supports a wide range of wildlife.Take your pick on what area to explore today.

Among your choice of activities:

• Historic trek to Rhodes’ grave and “View of the World”
• Sunset hikes to the tops of granite dwallas
• Walks to world renowned caves and bushman paintings
• Game drives into the National Park
• My Beautiful Home - Bicycle ride
• Spa salon with a professional masseuse.
• Rhino walks (on request)

Of course you can also just relax on the property.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Amalinda Lodge

Fri, Jul 19 Day 4. Amalinda Lodge - Khulu Bush Camp

Today, have breakfast and finish up any activities you wanted to do before leaving.  Then, we'll have a private transfer from Amalinda Lodge in the Matobo Hills to Khulu Bush Camp located in the Hwange National Park.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Khulu Bush Camp

Sat, Jul 20 Day 5. Hwange National Park (Khulu Bush Camp)

Enjoy your first full day in Hwange National Park. The Park, set aside purely to protect wildlife in its natural habitat, is one of Africa’s biggest conservation areas. The level of conservation means an opportunity to see many sightings including lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, sable, Painted Dog and a variety of other plains animals. Morning, afternoon & full day game drives can be arranged.

You can also spend the day, or half a day, relaxing at the lodge with full service and watching the animals as they meander by.

Evening game drives can be arranged with a sunset stopover for sundowners and your choice of beverage. Returning to the lodge by spotlight to find those elusive night animals & arriving back in camp in time to freshen up for dinner.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Khulu Bush Camp

Sun, Jul 21 Day 6. Hwange National Park (Khulu Bush Camp)

Enjoy another full day in the Park. Perhaps journey into the bush on foot with your professional guide on a walking safari. Enjoy the early crisp mornings as you discover the wonders of the African bush and witness its wildlife come to life. Walking safaris were perfected in Hwange and our guides offer guests the opportunity to view creatures great and small whilst on foot. 

If you're interested in the cultural aspect of the area, through the Lodge's non profit project “The Mother Africa Trust,“ they offer visits to local clinics, rural schools and the Dete Old Age Home. It's a fantastic way to get to know the friendly people and culture of Zimbabwe. You can also visit the Hwange Research Centre to learn more about the beautiful wild dogs and the rehabilitation, research and conservation efforts in the area. 

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Khulu Bush Camp

Mon, Jul 22 Day 7. Ivory Lodge - Zambezi Sands River Camp

Finish up any activities you still wanted to do and then you'll be transferred via private vehicle from Ivory Lodge to Zambezi Sands River Camp, located in the Zambezi National Park and approximately one hour from Victoria Falls.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Zambezi Sands River Camp

Tue, Jul 23 Day 8. Victoria Falls / Zambezi National Park (Zambezi Sands River Camp)

For your first full day at the Lodge, enjoy a safari wildlife outing via vehicle, foot or canoe. Fishing is another available option.

Safari Drives
• Morning and afternoon game drives with snacks in traditional open safari vehicles.
• All day game drives with a packed lunch and snacks in traditional open safari vehicles.
• Land Cruisers seat up to 9 guests and Land Rovers seat up to 7 guests.

Safari Walks
• Conducted by a fully licensed and highly experienced professional guide.
• Usually undertaken in the mornings and ideal for photography of big game on foot.

Canoeing
• Guided canoeing in the Zambezi using stable, inflatable 2 man rubber canoes which are easy to manage. Some shallow rapids allow guests to enjoy the excitement of the white waters and is a fun way to experience the mighty Zambezi River!

Fishing
• Basic guided fishing close to the camp - the Zambezi is home to the fierce and powerful Tigerfish and many other species

At the end of the day, you may want to try out what's called "Sunset Drift Among the Islands." This is a wonderful cruise on the Zambezi River among the islands near the lodge – enjoy the river, its wildlife and a Zambezi sunset with complimentary drinks and snacks.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Zambezi Sands River Camp

Wed, Jul 24 Day 9. Victoria Falls / Zambezi National Park (Zambezi Sands River Camp)

Consider spending this day at Victoria Falls. You can take a guided tour of Victoria Falls to make sure you don't miss any of the highlights.

There are plenty of other activities to do around the Falls - something for everyone: white water rafting, bungee jump, river surfing, kayaking, gorge swings, zip wires, bike rides, heliocopter rides, train rides, gorge hikes, river cruises, and local arts, crafts and cultural experiences,

Don't forget you can spend time at Victoria Falls National Park as well as Victoria Falls Town.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Zambezi Sands River Camp

Thu, Jul 25 Day 10. Victoria Falls / Zambezi National Park (Zambezi Sands River Camp)

This is your final full day so opt to use it either in Zambezi National Park, at The Falls, or Victoria Falls town.

You can do activities based from the Lodge such as safari drives, walks, canoeing, fishing. Or you can spend the day at the Falls with the numerous active pursuits available. Or explore Victoria Falls Town.

[All Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Zambezi Sands River Camp

Fri, Jul 26 Day 11. Departure day - Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport

Depart Zambezi Sands River Camp. Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for international flight home. 

[Breakfast]

Inclusions

Services are for 10 nights & 11 days starting upon arrival at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport aka Bulawayo airport on Tues, July 16, 2019 and ending on the depature day, Fri July 26, 2019 with transfer to Victoria Falls International Airport.

Full service during this time period includes guided touring with professional, local Zimbabwe guides and all transportation (while at lodges, transfers between them, and airport transfers) with private van and driver.

ALL meals are included - beginning on arrival day upon check-in at the lodge until breakfast on departure day.

Accommodation for 10 nights:

3 nights at Amalinda Lodge in Matobo National Park including:

  -two activities per day & carried out by a licensed guide on safari. Activities include: Game activities as available by vehicle and/or foot including rhino tracking, historic trek to Rhodes Grave & "View of the World," walks to world renowned caves and bushman paintings, sunset hikes to the tops of granite dwallas, bicycle rides.

  -all meals

  -all local beverages (soft drinks, beers, wines & local spirits)

  -laundry

  -Wifi

  -park fees including National Parks Fee International & Monument Fee Rhodes Grave International

3 nights at Ivory Lodge in Hawange National Park including:

  -two activities per day & carried out by a licensed guide on safari. Activities include: Game activities as available by vehicle and/or foot, local village visit.

  -all meals

  -all local beverages (soft drinks, beers, wines & local spirits)

  -laundry

  -Wifi

  -park fees including National Parks Fee International & Conservation Wildlife Fund International

3 nights at Zambezi Sands River Camp including:

  -two activities per day & carried out by a licensed guide on safari. Activities include: Game activities as available by vehicle/foot/boat, guided tour of Victoria Falls, canoeing, fishing, sundowner drift at the camp, camp pick up and drop offs from Victoria Falls Town, return shuttle to Victoria Falls Town.

  -all meals

  -all local beverages (soft drinks, beers, wines & local spirits)

  -laundry

  -Wifi

  -park fees including Rainforest Entry Fee International & Zambezi National Park entry fee

Exclusions

International flight

Visa

Zimbabwe Airport tax ($10 domestic departure tax + $5 AIDEF payable locally in US dollars cash at the airports)

Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with the group

Gratuities (guides, drivers, etc.)

Personal expenses and anything not listed in the “Inclusions” list

Trip Price (based on double occupancy): $6,283 

Booking Deadline: January 31, 2019

Single Room Supplement: $1,164

Deposit: 30% of trip price or $1,885 (due at booking)

Final Balance due: May 16, 2019 (60 days before departure)

Estimated Airfare: $1,400

Cancellation policy: Only 100% refundable within two weeks of paying your deposit.

We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe, which can be booked easily from our trip booking website. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. These premium policies must be paid for within 10-14 days of your initial trip investment.

While a 30% deposit is due at booking, the balance can be paid over time up until departure using our self-service payment feature. You can make payments of any size at anytime by logging into your account on the Gen X Travel Club website. This is a great way to finance/budget for the cost of a trip - instead of paying a larger single lump sum payment for the balance, you can make smaller ad hoc (e.g., monthly) payments over time. 

International Flights

For your international flight, you'll need to buy a one-way flight to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport BUQ (aka Bulawayo Airport) to begin the trip. On the return, you'll need a one-way flight departing from Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA). 

Estimated international airfare is $1,400.

Visas

Zimbabwe classifies American nationals as "Category B" tourists. A resident of the United States needs a visa to enter Zimbabwe but does not need to apply for one ahead of time. Instead, pay for your visa when you enter the country and have the visa stamped inside your passport.

When you arrive at the airport arrivals hall or border post in Zimbabwe, you will be given an ‘Immgration Declaration Form’ to complete (it is not a long form; a sample of the form can be viewed here), and you will need to pay the visa fee in cash

It's always recommended that your passport valid is valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry with a couple of blank pages remaining in your passport to allow for the required entry visa. 

Money - Cash/Credit Cards/ATMs

The US dollar is the official currency of Zimbabwe. 

Almost all hotels, shops, restaurants and activity operators now accepts credits cards; MasterCard and Visa only - NOT American Express. Make sure you contact your bank to make sure your credit card will work in Zimbabwe. However as with everywhere occasionally a card machine won't work so it's always best to have a reserve of cash in these instances. 

All banks have ATM machines however there is a CRITICAL shortage of hard cash within the country. You must bring enough cash with you (& in small demoninations), as there is typically none available in the ATM's.

Tipping

Hotels - Lodges and camps often provide separate envelopes to provide a tip for staff and guides if guests wish to tip.

Restaurants - A 10% tip is very appreciated for good service, though if restaurants include a 10% service charge, an additional tip isn’t required.

Safari Guides & Drivers - Around US$5 to US$10 to the driver and guide per day is appropriate, with a higher amount if you’re happy with their service, knowledge and guiding skills.

Seasons

The dry season, which is prime for wildlife viewing, generally lasts from May to November. Rainy season runs from December to April, and due to weather and access issues, some lodges close during this time.

Recommended Vaccinations

The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends the following shots for most travelers to Zimbabwe.

[All travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.]

Hepatitis A - CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Zimbabwe, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Malaria - You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria. 

Typhoid - You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Zimbabwe. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

We always recommend trip insurance & suggest TravelSafe insurance - a reputable company with competitive pricing and great coverage options.

Here are a few reasons to get trip insurance:

● Reimbursement for cancellation penalties (which can be 100% of your investment) in the event of an unforeseeable illness, injury or death of you, your travel companion or a family member.

● Reimbursement for cancellation penalties if you are called for jury duty, your home is damaged due to fire, windstorm, flood or vandalism or military leave cancelled.

● Reimbursement for unused portion of your trip if it is interrupted.

● Medical evacuation/repatriation expenses to an appropriate medical facility or back home in the event of a serious illness or injury while traveling.

● 24-hour help line for any travel emergency, such as medical, lost tickets, lost passports, and other travel documents.

We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. Note: The 'Cancel for Any Reason' premium policy must be purchased within two weeks of your initial trip deposit.