- Animal encounters
Expect to see elephants, lions, buffalo and leopards.
- Lake Kariba cruiser
Experience the world’s largest reservoir from our luxury 4 star cruiser.
- Game drives
Discover Africa’s most pristine wildlife reserves and National Parks by 4x4.
Intrepid Collection Standard
Charting the Mighty Zambezi
Zimbabwefrom £3,999 per person 14 2 Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required
- Small Group 17 or less
- VIP door to door
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An unique road and water safari of Zimbabwe
Charting the Mighty Zambezi is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover Zimbabwe, its wildlife and monumental Lake Kariba by road and water.
12 nights in lodges, tented camps and on a 4-star Cruiser, 2 in flight
35 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners
- Free bar on the Lake Kariba cruise and at all hotels
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Local expert guide
- Sundowner drinks at a memorable location
- Return flights and transfers
- Porterage at all accommodation
Excursions and visits
- Traditional dance performance
- Pamuzinda safari, with walk, drive and horseback options
- Visit to Chinhoyi Caves, including the Wonder Hole and Sleeping Pool
- Game drives in the Zambezi Valley
- Three-night cruise of Lake Kariba, the largest man-made reservoir in the world
- Game spotting on the banks of Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River
- Game drives in Greater Mana Pools
- Visit Kariba dam, the Church of Santa Barbara on Kariba Heights and the Mahombekombe flea market
- Matusadona National Park combined walk and drive game safari
- Tender boat exploration of Sengwe Basin
- Binga town excursion, including quaint Tonga tribe museum, hot springs and geyser and school (during term time)
- Matabeleland North road trip
- Guided walk of Victoria Falls
- Victoria Falls sundowner cruise
Day 1 - 2 UK to Harare, Zimbabwe
After taking Saga’s included door-to-door service to the airport fly to Harare.
Transfer to the locally rated 3-star Pamuzinda Safari Lodge on the banks of the Serui River, in 13,000 acres of pristine bush and savannah, for a two-night stay.
Relax after your journey or get stuck into the experience of a lifetime with a range of activities, before a complementary ‘Welcome to Africa’ barbecue and traditional dance performance. D
Day 3 Pamuzinda
Savour the first morning in Zimbabwe from the luxury of a private balcony overlooking the Serui River.
After breakfast, canoe the gentle waters of the Serui River or go out game spotting in the Pamuzinda Game Reserve by 4x4 or on foot or, for the truly adventurous, experience the beauty of this immaculate reserve on horseback.
After lunch and a siesta set out on an afternoon game drive to see the abundant plains game and end the day with sunset drinks at ‘Ayres Rock’. B, L, D
Day 4 Pamuzinda to Mana Pools National Park
After an early breakfast, travel by road to one of Zimbabwe’s best-kept secrets, the eerily beautiful Chinhoyi Caves.
The jewel in the crown of this network of caves, tunnels and sink holes is the Wonder Hole and its cobalt blue Sleeping Pool. Visibility in its cool depths can exceed 50 metres and it is popular with technical divers and sightseers alike. After lunch in Chirundu, take a 90-minute boat ride into Mana National Park, scouting the banks for wildlife.
Late afternoon arrive at the locally rated 4-star Mana Pools Safari Lodge, for a two-night stay. Enjoy a sundowner drink on a sand bank on the banks of the Zambezi River before supper and bed. B, L, D
Day 5 Mana Pools National Park
After breakfast, relax in camp or head out on fishing and walking excursions, boat trips or guided game drives around one of the most remote and unspoilt parks in Africa.
After lunch, board safari 4x4s and set out in search of the abundant wildlife of this Mana Pools concession, including plains game, rhinos, elephants, crocodile, hippo and lions.
Night-time wildlife dives are also available after dinner. B, L, D
Day 6 Mana Pools National Park to Kariba Town
After some more early morning animal exploration, return by boat to Chirundu and after lunch take a scenic two-hour drive through the Zambezi Escarpments to the locally rated 3-star Kariba Lodge, for a two-night stay.
Relax and enjoy welcome snacks and drinks on the elevated Kariba Safari Lodge deck, which boasts outstanding views of Lake Kariba, this afternoon before sipping a sundowner in front of an open air barbecue on the beach on the lake shore. B, L, D
Day 7 Kariba Town
Spend the day getting to know Kariba, including a visit to the 128-metre dam and Santa Barbara church, which was built for project workers and dedicated to those who lost their lives during the build. Perched 600m above the lake, on Kariba Heights, the church provides stunning panoramic views of the lake and surrounding countryside.
After, venture into the suburb of Mahombekombe for a spot of shopping in its bustling flea market and colourful local shops. End your day with more breathtaking sunset views across the lake. B, L, D
Day 8 Kariba Town to Three Finger Bay
After a leisurely breakfast board your locally rated 4-star cruiser and sail along Lake Kariba to a secluded inlet in Three Finger Bay. Lunch is served on board before setting out on a unique safari experience to discover the abundant wildlife and emblematic submerged forests of Lake Kariba and the Matusadona National Park. As the sun sets drinks and snacks are served before dinner on the cruiser. B, L, D
Day 9 Three Finger Bay to Crocodile Creek
After breakfast, transfer by tender boats to the mainland for a combined walk and drive safari around a private concession and Matusadona National Park, including a visit to a forest of 220-million-year-old petrified trees. After lunch, return to the vessel to relax as it sails on to Crocodile Creek. Marvel at the quintessential Kariba sunset while you enjoy drinks and snacks before dinner. B, L, D
Day 10 Crocodile Creek to the Sengwa River
Your cruiser leaves its mooring before dawn, embarking on a 13-hour voyage into the Sengwe Basin, through the Kota Kota Narrows. Relax and take in the immensity of the lake and its breathtaking vistas. Once the cruiser has reached the Sengwa River System, board tender boats to explore the remote wilderness of the Sengwe Basin, with its rich bird life and stunning scenery. B, L, D
Day 11 Sengwa River to Binga
Continental breakfast is served on board tender boats as they navigate the Sengwe river in search of hippo and crocodiles. Back on the cruiser, lunch is served while the boat completes its voyage to Binga, the heart of Tonga tribal land.
Check into the locally rated 3-star Masumu River Lodge for one night, then go exploring Binga town and its quaint Tonga tribe museum, hot springs and geyser and school (during term time). After lunch, there’s time to relax before the spectacle of a stunning Lake Kariba sunset over the islands and bays of Binga, accompanied by sundowner drinks. B, L, D
Day 12 Binga to Victoria Falls
After breakfast, embark on a five-and-a-half hour drive through the wilds of Matabeleland, passing the Gwaai and Kamativi river gorges.
Check into the locally rated 4-star Elephant Hills Resort, perched on a bluff upstream from the mighty Victoria Falls, for two nights. B, L, D
Please note: wine is not included in the free bar at your resort.
Day 13 Victoria Falls
After breakfast, join a guided walk of Victoria Falls, taking time to marvel at the raw beauty of the falls from the best viewpoints. A sundowner cruise in the afternoon provides the opportunity to spot hippo and other wildlife before returning to the hotel and dinner. B, L, D
Day 14 - 15 Victoria Falls to UK
After breakfast transfer to Victoria Falls airport for your overnight return flight to the UK. Arrive the next day for your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Post-holiday extension - Full-board
Day 1: Victoria Falls-Chobe National Park, Botswana. On day 14 of your tour, transfer from Victoria Falls for a three-night, full-board stay at the locally rated 4-star Chobe Safari Lodge close to the Chobe National Park, which is renowned for its elephant herds. Guest accommodation is in thatched buildings looking out over the lawns of the grounds in which there is a swimming pool. All guest rooms have air-conditioning, ceiling fans, a satellite television, telephone and safety deposit boxes. Mosquito nets and mosquito repellent machines are provided, and there are hairdryers and tea and coffee-making facilities. D
Day 2-3: Chobe National Park. Enjoy an included game drive and a river cruise during your stay. B, L, D
Day 4: Chobe National Park-Addis Ababa-UK. Transfer to Victoria Falls airport for an internal flight to Addis Ababa then on to the UK. B
4 nights, full-board pre-extension
Day 1: UK-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, depart on your overnight flight to Addis Ababa. The capital of Ethiopia is the third highest capital in the world at 2500 metres above sea level.
Day 2: Addis Ababa. Transfer to the locally rated 4-star Golden Tulip Hotel for an overnight stay. The modern hotel has 70 air-conditioned guest rooms, all with satellite television, direct dial telephone, safe, tea and coffee-making facilities and a hairdryer. This afternoon, after lunch, an included tour visits the National Museum, home to many archaeological and historic finds including the famous fossil remains of ‘Lucy’ locally known as ‘Dinknesh’. Afterwards, head to Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa where a vast range of goods from all parts of the country are bartered over. Return to the hotel for dinner. L, D
Day 3: Addis Ababa-Lalibela. Check out after breakfast and fly to Lalibela for a two-night stay at the locally rated 4-star Maribela Hotel which is surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery. There's a restaurant and bar and each of the 25 bedrooms has a fridge (extra charge), complimentary Wi-Fi and a private balcony. An included afternoon tour reveals the first group of the churches which represent the earthly Jerusalem, including Medhane Alem. Standing 38 feet tall with seventy-two pillars, is not only the largest in Lalibela, but it is the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world. Return to your hotel for dinner. B, L, D
Day 4: Lalibela. After breakfast, visit the second group of the churches representing the heavenly Jerusalem, including the the incredible cross-shaped church of Bete Giyorgis (St George) which is said to symbolise Noah’s ark. The interior is dominated by depictions of Saint George killing the dragon. This afternoon, visit a local household for the chance to try cooking Ethiopia’s traditional cuisine, a spicy mix of vegetable and lentil stews and slow-simmered meats. B, L, D
Day 5: Lalibela-Addis Ababa. After breakfast, fly back to Addis Ababa and the Golden Tulip Hotel for an overnight stay. This afternoon, visit the Ethnological Museum to view collections that describe almost all the tribal groups in Ethiopia and gain an overview of the history, culture and traditions of the people of Ethiopia. This evening, you will have a farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant in Addis Ababa accompanied by traditional dance. B, L, D
Day 6: Addis Ababa-Harare. After breakfast, fly to Harare where you’ll meet up with the main group and begin your tour of Zimbabwe itinerary as of Day 1. B
After your tour, stay one night at Gorges Lodge (4Q), just 22 kilometres from Victoria Falls.
The Lodge is set on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, and enjoys stunning views, with the Zambezi river flowing 200 metres below. There's a central dining area and bar, serving local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The accommodation consists of thatched chalets and tented suites located within a garden of indigenous plants. Each has a private shaded veranda or balcony and views across the gorge. Facilities in the chalets and tented suites include an en suite with shower, a hairdryer (on request), minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities.
The next day transfer by road to Camelthorn Lodge in Hwange, where you will spend three nights. Situated within a patch of woodland on the edge of the Ngamo Plain, beside the ancient camel thorn tree from which it takes its name, the main lodge consists of a U-shaped stone building enclosing a patio area, shaded by the camel thorn. There’s an open-fronted lounge area, dining room and open-fronted bar with a raised deck, serving local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Accommodation consists of eight forest villas, each with an en suite with shower and a bath set beside a large picture window, a balcony with hammocks, minibar, hairdryer, safe, and a tea and coffee tray.