(Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools, Bulawayo, Matobo National Park)
Go far beyond the conventional safari experience with this private guided tour showcasing the rich cultural heritage and colourful wildlife of one of southern Africa’s most dazzling countries. Led by expert guide and driver travelers will tour magnificent Victoria Falls, wildlife filled Hwange National Park, the colourful city of Bulawayo and the hills and valleys of Matobo National Park. Enjoy bush walks, go on game drives, trek rhinos by foot, cruise along the mighty Zambezi River, visit a Matabele village, come a face to face with a traditional healer, tour local museums & see ancient San’s rock paintings. Adventurers will be thrilled with the endless parade of wildlife this exotic land has to offer. See lions, zebras, rhinos, hippos, elephants, crocodiles, antelope and much more. Featuring elegant safari camps & colonial hotels, delicious cuisine, private expert guides, driver, vehicle, 24/7 Kensington support & more. Customize your tour with a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls, elephant back safaris or even lion cub encounters.
Upon arrival you will receive all of your necessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary, maps, restaurant suggestions, Top Tips for exploring each city or region and a 24 hour concierge service (for restaurant reservations, spa treatments, child minders, day tours etc).
Includes private transfer between the Victoria Falls airport and your lodge.
This Zambezi River dinner cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the River. In the summer months, you start off under the darkening pink and orange skies of the sunset and you may well see the hippo and crocodile returning to the river banks for the night. Watch as the surrounding trees fill with birds, as they settle to rest. While you cruise along, you can enjoy a light dinner of salads, fresh bread rolls, chicken, beef and vegetables, as well as deserts, tea, coffee, beer, wine and soft drinks. There are great photo opportunities against often-spectacular African sunsets.
The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the grand old lady of the Falls”, is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site. The recently redecorated and refurbished Victoria Falls Hotel combines the charm of the old with the convenience of the new. Set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, it provides the tranquility and seclusion that many guests seek. The 161 Edwardian-style rooms and suites are decorated to reflect the history of Zimbabwe’s colonial era. Enjoy dinner in the elegant Livingstone Room, featuring a 7 course degustation menu and award winning wine list. Dining at the Jungle Junction offers an unforgettable experience with a fusion of African flavours, while Stanley’s Terrace is a must for light meals and high tea throughout the day. Relax with some of the hotel’s famous cocktails at Stanley’s Bar, as you listen to the roar of the mighty Victoria Falls. Cool off and enjoy the splendor of the glorious colonial swimming pool set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens, overlooking the famous Victoria Falls. Relax and pamper yourself by visiting the Spa, featuring a full range of beauty treatments.
Start your day with a guided tour of the Falls by foot, a sight that never fails to impress. Waterproof clothing is provided for the drenching spray as you approach via the Devil’s Cataract, one of the best vantage points. Enjoy a tour where you will have the opportunity to see the falls from several vantage points. This afternoon, you will have the chance to sign up for one of many optional activities that this area has to offer, including helicopter flights over the Falls, elephant back safaris, lion cub encounters, jet boating and a tour of a local village and the craft market.
Sign up for optional activities at your hotel (not included in tour price); helicopter, ultralight, Gypsy Moth flights, elephantback or horseback safari, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, Chobe game park day trip, jet boat, cultural tours, and more.
Enjoy your private transfer from your Victoria falls hotel to Hwange, Zimbabwe’s most famous National Park.
Home to countless elephant, numerous lion prides and rare antelope such as sable and roan, it offers excellent game spotting opportunities around the many waterholes found throughout the Park. Your stay includes two game drives daily with highly qualified rangers as well as bush walk options.
Somalisa Acacia Camp is situated on the eastern side of Hwange National Park. Somalisa Camp is an authentic bush camp which consists of just six elegant canvas tents each of which lies hidden amongst a grove of camelthorn acacias (Acacia erioloba).
Head out today with your expert guide for another game experience - this time by foot! Hwange is great for guided bush walks accompanied by qualified and professional guides. The park is littered with colours from all its seasonal wild flowers that emerge as the first rains begin, and as the grass dries out, the large herds of buffalo, zebra and elephant are in abundance.
Once a royal hunting ground of the Zulu warrior King Mzilikazi, the park was proclaimed in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 100 species of trees and shrubs.
This morning you'll fly from Hwange to Mana Pools. Luggage is restricted to 20kg per person.
Game drives generally head out in the early morning and late afternoon when temperatures are cooler. Mana Pools is renowned for large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, especially in the winter when they concentrate along the river. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are all found in the area. Birdlife is superb, particularly for both mopane woodland and riverine species with numerous local specials like Collared Palm-Thrush, Racket-tailed Roller, Purple-banded Sunbird and Black-throated Wattle-Eyes.
Situated on the western boundary of Mana Pools National Park, Ruckomechi Camp is a naturalist's paradise. The mystical Zambezi River forms the northern border of the area with a wide variety of habitats evident - open floodplains, mopane woodland and riverine forest with the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment forming the backdrop in neighbouring Zambia.
Activities at Ruckomechi Camp include wildlife viewing in open 4x4 vehicles, on motorised pontoon boats, on foot and in canoes or simply rest at the camp. The camp vegetation is dominated by broad canopied albida trees, much loved by elephants for their rich nutritious pods; these animals often join visitors in camp for a light meal!
As you enjoy today's afternoon game drive and the day cools, you may just spot the ellusive leopard. This big cat is often one of people's top five sights on safari. You are most likely to see this animal either in the early morning or late afternoon. Ask your guide all your questions as you seek out game, then enjoy drinks back at the camp as the sun sets.
The mystical Zambezi River forms the northern border of Mana Pools. The river and natural forces have carved their way into the land, creating a wide variety of habitats - open floodplains, mopane woodland and riverine forest with the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment. Head out into the waters today and view game from a whole other persective as you glide through the waters.
Mana means ‘four’ in Shona, which refers to the four large permanent pools formed by the middle Zambezi. These 2,500 square kilometres of river create islands, sandbanks and pools which are bordered by forests. One of the least developed National Parks in Southern Africa, Mana Pools has the country’s biggest concentration of hippopotamuses and crocodiles and in dry season there is a large mammal populations of elephant and buffalo.
This morning you'll fly from Mana Pools to Hwange. Luggage is restricted to 20kg per person.
Enjoy your transfer today from Hwange to Bulawayo.
On arrival, join a walking tour of the city, including a visit to the superb Railway museum and the National Art Gallery. Opened in 1972, the Museum displays a wealth of small exhibits and models as well as steam and diesel electric locomotives. The Museum is owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe and is managed by the NRZ Historical Committee, made up of railwaymen from various departments.
Bulawayo Club is a century-old, grand building devoted to colonial endeavours, with photos and paintings of Cecil Rhodes throughout the property. The hotel is the place to stay in order to get a sense of how colonial Zim operated and is ideally located in the centre of Bulawayo. A very interesting property for history lovers and has been restored to near pristine conditions.
Set off after breakfast for the remarkable Matobo Hills National Park, where you will spend three days with your highly qualified guides.
Enjoy a morning walking safari with your expert guide. You could bump into warthog, zebra, klipspringer, kudu, impala, wildebeest, reedbuck, duiker, steenbok, hyrax and a vast variety of bird life. Watch out for the exclusive leopard, although he’ll see you first!
Camp Amalinda is situated just outside Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe. This exclusive safari lodge is tucked away in an ancient Bushman’s shelter, in the Matobo Hills and is within the Matobo National Park. The granite domes and castle kopjes of the Matobo Hills, echo the essence of tranquility and the majesty of untamed Africa. Amalinda’s charm will leave an indelible impression on even the most intrepid traveller.
Choose between a host of included activities, such as rhino tracking on foot, game drives in the Matobos National Park, walks to the numerous rock formations and remarkably well preserved San paintings, as well as sundowner options amongst the boulders. A highlight will be a walk the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and an important colonial figure regionally. His grave site boasts some of the finest views in this National Park.
Take a tour to an African homestead and get down to earth with the local Matabele people. Enjoy their gracious hospitality as they show you around their “pole and dagga” huts. Then move on to the rural clinic and come face to face with a Traditional Healer. With the offer of a few Zim dollars, she may even heal your ailment. The primary school which we move on to next will bring you to understand that no matter what adversity children face, one of their basic wants is to learn.
Transfer between your lodge in Matobo National Park and Bulawayo airport.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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