Zimbabwe wildlife holidays
Description of Zimbabwe wildlife holidays
This Zimbabwe wildlife holiday serves up the absolute best of Zimbabwe in an 11 day nutshell. See the spectacular Victoria Falls and enjoy an exciting range of wildlife viewing and cultural experiences, including walking safaris, game drives, boat cruises, canoeing, birding, cultural visits, fishing and dinosaur fossil trips.
The tour begins at Victoria Falls, where you can try a host of exhilarating adventure activities as well as taking a guided tour of the waterfall itself. Then, by road, you move on to Hwange National Park. This iconic park is renowned for its large populations of elephants and lions and here you’ll stay at an authentic bush camp overlooking the savannah plains of the Kennedy Vlei Line. Next, take a light aircraft flight to Matusadona National Park, where your accommodation is a privately run camp on an island in Lake Kariba. Finally, fly to the World Heritage area of Mana Pools and stay on the banks of the Lower Zambezi River. Game drives along the floodplain in open 4x4 vehicles are a highlight of your time here.
PlanetOn this fantastic trip to Zimbabwe you will witness the remarkable scenery and lands that make this country such a pull for visitors across the world, and it is priority to ensure that your trip not only causes as little disruption to these environments, but actually creates a positive impact. Before and throughout your tour you will be offered advice on how you can travel in Zimbabwe in an environmentally responsible manner. The ecosystems of Zimbabwe have often been under threat from drought, so you will be given information on responsible usage of water, and also advice on recycling and appropriate waste disposal. We also ensure that all of the lodges and camps you will be visiting have responsible environmentally friendly practices and processes in place.
For example, the Somalisa Camp where you will be staying for the Hwange portion of your tour was the first camp in Zimbabwe to be awarded the Gold certification from Green Tourism, the largest internationally recognised sustainable certification programme of its kind. Upon receiving the award the camp’s operators stated, “Recent years have been some of the hottest on record and over the last 40 years we have lost an estimated 50% of the abundance of wildlife through habitat destruction, pollution, climate change and the over-exploitation of natural resources. It has become imperative for every safari operator to look at their own carbon footprint to ensure they are operating in a sustainable manner so that these incredible habitats and the wildlife can be conserved for future generations. We are continually working towards more sustainable methods to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure the long term conservation of Africa’s wildlife and habitats.” To receive the award the camp was graded on-site by qualified and independent environmentally friendly assessors against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and social involvement and communication. Green Tourism has three graded award levels based on the assessments carried out on-site. Achieving a Gold Certification Award means that Somalisa Camp, which runs entirely on solar power, is recognised as “Outstanding / Inspirational” by the Green Tourism Team.
Likewise, the operators of Gorges Lodge pride themselves on being a true eco-lodge company and are 100% committed to the ongoing conservation efforts throughout Zimbabwe. The lodge has been built solely using indigenous hardwood and a large proportion of the company’s profits are filtered through to conservation initiatives. The lodges which they operate have been awarded a silver certification from Green Tourism and take their responsibilities to their surrounding environment very seriously.
As well as our commitment to ensuring that your tour is run in an as environmentally friendly way as possible, we firmly believe that environmental responsibility starts at home (and the work place of course). We encourage recycling of waste as a company and as individuals. Where possible for business use we use public transport. We are also heavily involved with a project to recycle used or damaged binoculars, which are then sent to conservation projects across the world.
Alongside the remarkable landscapes that Zimbabwe is famous for, one of the stand out features of the country is the abundance of wildlife that roams free throughout the lands and national parks, and it is imperative to us as wildlife conservation advocates that your tour has only a positive effect on the conservation efforts that are currently in place throughout the country. Throughout your tour you will gain insights into the practices in place and we also ensure that the owners and operators of the lodges and camps you will be staying in are fully involved in the fight to protect the habitats and ensure the ongoing survival of the country’s wildlife population.
The owners and operators of all of your accommodations are 100% committed to the flight to protect the country’s wildlife. This includes the owners of Gorges Lodge who spend over $100,000 each year to pay for the maintaining of 15 waterholes in and on the borders of Hwange National Park. These waterholes are absolutely essential to the abundance of wildlife that congregates here. The company also take responsibility for a network of fireguards around the national parks which help to protect the food sources for herbivores and they have numerous projects in place for improving the relationship between the local people and the wildlife.
The operators of the Somalisa Camp are also heavily involved in these conservation efforts, having their own non-profit foundation which strives to, amongst much more, minimise the carnivore and human conflict which poses a significant risk to the survival of all carnivores in the wild. Together with Elefence International and the Wildcru Hwange Lion Research Project they have over the last 15 years more than halved the cases of lion-human conflict. On your tour you will be invited to learn more about these projects and become involved if you so wish.
As a company we support many wildlife organisations worldwide. Further to this the ground handlers that we use for this trip are 100% committed to ensuring the ongoing protection of wildlife by supporting wildlife charities throughout southern Africa.
The pre-departure briefing on this tour will also include information on respecting the wildlife which you will encounter, including keeping a safe distance and ensuring not to encroach upon their habitats or do anything which may put the animal under any stress or danger. In most game reserves tourists are not permitted to leave their game vehicles, this is for the safety of both the tourists and the wildlife, and our local partners will ensure that the strict measures in place to conserve the habitats of this wildlife are stringently enforced.
PeopleHelping the people of the countries we visit to sustain the revenue streams created from tourism is exceptionally important to us. We take every step necessary to ensure that the tours we provide create a 100% positive impact on the communities of the regions we visit. As a company we believe in promoting tourism as a sustainable natural resource with the power to conserve, protect and improve lives, and this is particularly relevant on our Zimbabwe itineraries.
Solely using local agencies to provide the elements of your tour means we have up to date & relevant local information that we can pass on to you. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in, information on cultural etiquette and advice on how to engage with and help the local communities. We offer first-hand advice on creating meaningful and respectful relationships between tourists and residents and suggest local areas and communities to visit gaining cultural insights along the way, along with advice on where to buy souvenirs (to ensure the proceeds are going directly to the vendors), where to eat & where to drink.
The local providers that we use are also exceptionally passionate about protecting the communities, wildlife and landscapes of this remarkable country. They are committed to creating and upholding transparent and honest relationships with local communities and suppliers. We use small, local management companies so that not only do they hold intimate knowledge of the regions and how to protect them, but also so that as much of the revenue created as possible is filtered straight through to the local communities. The suppliers that we work with ensure continued revenue streams for local communities and only hire local people. Our agents provide career opportunities that without the tourism aspect would not be possible, and through established in-house training programs, mentoring systems and ongoing training the local people of the communities we visit are encouraged to prosper.
On top of this we are also committed to ensuring that on all of our tours we only use lodges and hotels that have a proven track record of treating staff well and fairly, and which have processes in place for giving back to the local communities. The owners of Somalisa Camp have their own foundation which is a registered non-profit charity committed to sustainable community development in creating opportunities that empower rural communities located in vulnerable wildlife areas around their Safari Camps in Zimbabwe and Botswana through education, community empowerment, community Infrastructure and conservation. The Foundation has many projects which support vulnerable children within primary schools as well as AIDS orphans through scholarships and funding for secondary schooling. The Foundation’s Community Empowerment Projects have been developed locally. Communities are encouraged to train and support each other through capacity building – eliminating the need for highly paid specialists or staff. This in turn allows for communities to have sole ownership of projects, making them self-sustaining and independent, whilst also promoting community spirit. They support multiple infrastructure projects such as repairs and additions to existing school buildings as well as the construction of new schools in under-served areas. They also install solar power and boreholes in these communities as well as providing access to water for the elderly.
Likewise, the operators of Gorges Lodge are exceptionally committed to their social responsibility programmes and have a number of community initiatives in place. Gorges Lodge is part of Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE initiative. This natural resource management project looks at local community involvement in tourism and wildlife conservation. CAMPFIRE is the acronym for Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources. The philosophy underlying the project is: the people living within the natural resources are best placed to manage them and when doing so in a positive way, should reap the benefits directly. Over the past five years, the owners of Gorges Lodge have contributed over US$ 1.5million into local communities. The money is distributed to where it is needed most - education, providing clean water and developing initiatives to ensure the local people are benefiting directly from tourism. Their work includes drilling and fixing boreholes in local communities to supply local people and their livestock with reliable sources of clean water, providing mobile dentistry, building secondary schools, and large donations and education provision to local primary schools. Your stay in these lodges and camps will be directly helping towards these ongoing initiatives, though donations are always welcomed.
As a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers.
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From £4350 10 days excluding flights
A captivating trip visiting some of the gems of Zimbabwe