A deluxe tour starting in the scenic Matobo National Park near Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, and then taking in iconic Hwange and World Heritage Mana Pools Parks, before a spectacular climax at the mighty Victoria Falls. An unforgettable wildlife, scenery and culture extravaganza.
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Arrive at Bulawayo Airport. Met and transfer to Camp Amalinda for two nights. The camp is nestled in the granite domes and 'kopjes' of the Matobo Hills in an ancient bushman's shelter with majestic rock views.
There is prolific wildlife within the park, including breeding colonies of both black and white rhinocerous and high concentrations of leopard and black eagle. At the summit of the hill known as Malindidzimu is the tomb of the explorer Cecil Rhodes: this is known as 'View of the World' and is carved from the solid granite hill.
After breakfast, transfer by private vehicle to Halfway House to join a safari vehicle to Camelthorn Lodge for three nights. The lodge is located on a private concession in one of Hwange's last remaining unspoilt acacia woodlands bordering the south eastern corner of the park.
The woodlands are dotted with small water holes attracting an abundance of animals and birds - there is also an underground hide by a waterhole where elephants can be viewed and photographed at toe-level - a breathtaking experience. Hwange Park is Zimbabwe's largest and is especially famous for its massive population of elephant, as well as many other animals and up to 400 species of birds.
Other activities include day and night game drives locally and into the park, game walks, birding and village/school visits.
After breakfast, transfer by road to Bomani airstrip for light aircraft flight to Mana West airstrip. Drive to Ruckomechi Camp for three nights. The camp is on the banks of the Zambezi on the western boundary of the Mana Pools National Park, with long views across the river to the mountains of the Great Rift Valley. Along with its scenic location, the camp has lots of comfortable amenities, including indoor and outdoor showers, bar, lounge, library, decks and an infinity pool.
Activities here include wildlife viewing on foot, from open 4 x4s, canoes and motorised pontoons. The wildlife is prolific with large and small mammals as well as more than 350 species of birds.
After breakfast, return to Mana West airstrip for flight to Victoria Falls and transfer to the Victoria Falls River Lodge for two nights. The lodge is within the Zambezi National Park and right on the banks of the river, with a plethora of animals right on the doorstep. Activity options are river cruises and 4 x 4 day or night excursions into the park - as well as the animals, there are 415 bird species recorded in the park.
The lodge offers complimentary scheduled transfers to and from Victoria Falls town, from which the Falls themselves are within walking distance. There are lots of activities available from the town, including kayaking, bungee, white water rafting, helicopter rides, etc.
On the morning of day 11, transfer by road to Victoria Falls airport for onward or return travel.