Your road transfer departs VFA at approximately 14h30 – please note this is an outsourced, shared transfer. On arrival at Hwange Main Camp you will meet your Guide and the fun begins! Transfers from all locations in Zimbabwe can be arranged but we highly recommend arriving from Victoria Falls via road transfer or charter flight to Hwange Main Airport.
After the usual formalities of checking in at the Hwange National Park office, guests will be taken on a game drive to sample the splendour of Hwange as we transfer to the riding camp. After a quick but delicious afternoon tea it is time for an important safety briefing followed by an introduction ride. This is a short ride to get partnered with your steed for the safari and to ensure you are comfortable with your tack.
We will be back in camp in time for sundowners and hot showers before enjoying a sumptuous 3 course meal cooked by our talented Safari Chef. Fantastic food and delicious wine enjoyed to the night sounds of the African wilderness. Listen carefully, you never know what you might hear. The distant yowl of a Black-backed Jackal, the sawing grunt of Leopard stealthily walking by or perhaps the click clicks of a big bull Eland giving away his aging joints. The bush is never quiet!
Retire to your tent and slumber the night away in your comfy warm cot, surrounded by the soothing sounds of the African Bush.
This morning will be heralded in quite early by the gentle knock knock on your tent by our early rising staff placing hot water in your hand basin. Tea and freshly ground coffee, as well as a light breakfast awaits you by the morning campfire. Being part of the Kalahari Desert system Hwange temperatures can drop quite low during the evening and early morning during our winter May through August.
After a quick breakfast we mount our waiting steeds and ride off into the wilderness exploring the area around the waterhole where the camp is situated. There are no set routes or paths that we have to follow, which allows us the luxury to explore an area seldom marked by hoof beats and to truly be in tune with nature as we ride according to the weather, wildlife movements and riding abilities of the group, Every day is an exploration as we don’t follow the same well-trodden path left behind after many other horses, there simply are no other horses using the area!
We can expect 3 to 4 hours of riding perhaps following ancient elephant trails that wind their way through the bush linking up pan to pan. As we ride along searching for wildlife, we will also stop, look and learn about the intricacies of the wild African Bush, how every blade of grass, every leaf, every root and every tree have an important part to play in the delicate Circle of Life.
We will arrive back in camp for a refreshing lunch and siesta (compulsory in the bush with all the early starts!) and then later on tea and coffee and a yummy treat - you are on holiday after all - to revive you from your snooze and off to meet the horses again. This afternoon ride will be approx. 2 hours and who knows where will go - we will leave it up the law of the bush! Hot showers and cold drinks await you on your return. Another night under the stars around the campfire talking about the day that was and the days to come.
Each morning will follow the same rhythm, a gentle knock knock and hot water in your basin to help you rise and shine followed by a light breakfast in camp.
Today we will ride out the entire day taking a packed lunch so as not to disturb our pioneering explorations and also to allow our back-up staff time to prepare our camp in an exciting new location in anticipation of our arrival. All luggage is taken with the camp crew to the next site. The guide will instruct as to what needs to be carried on the horses for the day.
Once again, the day is not on a set route but goes according to local conditions with riding done in the morning and afternoon. As we arrive at our new camp in the late afternoon there is just enough time for the horses to be unsaddled, fed and watered before enjoying a hot shower and icy cold sundowners as the sun dips below the horizon in a splendid array of colour.
Another sumptuous 3 course dinner awaits as we dine under a blanket of stars, the sounds of the nocturnal bush echoing around.
Rise and shine - it’s time to go and explore our new area after the morning bush routine of tea, coffee and light breakfast around the campfire.
Our riding playground today is the Umkhawuzane area of the African Bush Camps private Somalisa Concession where we explore numerous waterhole areas and more of the extensive Acacia woodlands in search of wildlife.
Knock Knock – the dawn of another wonderful day of exploring with the horses. This day will either be two rides out or a full day out and may even include exploration of the Kennedy Pan area where it is not uncommon to see large herds of elephant and buffalo taking a refreshing drink.
RIDE INTO SOMALISA EXPEDITIONS IN TIME FOR LATE HIGH TEA - YUM YUM!
This day we ride into the Award Winning Somalisa Expeditions, a camp close to James’ and Janine’s hearts, their all-time favourite Bush Camp that they have loved and visited for over a decade.
For the next 2 nights we are the guests of African Bush Camps. Truly authentic, the Somalisa Concession is famous for, amongst other things………Elephants!
After seeing the horses settled into their new abode and you into your luxury tent, high tea will be served. Perhaps there is time for a short nature walk around camp or just chill by the pool - hope you don’t want to swim though, the elephants enjoy popping by for a drink!
OVERNIGHT SOMALISA EXPEDITIONS CAMP
Variety is the spice of life and to sample something a little different today we have the option of taking a game drive to cover some different ground in search of more of Hwange’s famous wildlife. Whilst the horses take a well-earned rest, we venture out on four wheels! We start off with an early morning drive and return to camp for brunch and a siesta. Then it’s back out again for more viewing as there is so much to see and experience.
Camp routine is very similar to the mobile, although here at Somalisa Expeditions you have the chance to recharge all the electrical gadgets!
OVERNIGHT SOMALISA EXPEDITIONS CAMP
All good things must come to an end they say, and today is your final day in Hwange. After a leisurely breakfast, sad and often teary goodbyes are said to new-found friends and of course the fantastic horses. Fly by air-charter into Mana Pools National Park where you will be met by your guide with ice cold drinks. You will then embark on a half hour drive through Jesse bush and Mopane Woodlands to first sign in at the Nyamepi office of the National Park. Then back onto the safari vehicle and drive through the incredible woodlands of Mana Pools to Camp Zambezi arriving in time for lunch.
You may, by then, already have met a few of your new neighbours - elephant, kudu, zebra, impala and many birds! A mobile tented camp will have been set up by the camp staff - walk-in mosquito-proofed tents with en-suite chemical toilet, external long-drop toilets, hot showers and a dining area next to the fire where iced drinks and sumptuous bush-prepared meals will be served. Our chef will have prepared a delicious lunch to give you strength for the first afternoon’s walk - a familiarisation walk to see the lay of the land and to learn the rules of walking in big game territory. Then back to camp for sundowners, a hot (or cold if you prefer) shower, and a fine dinner. Although tempting to stay awake to listen to the neighbours going about their nightly activities, but the beds are very comfortable and warm so it may be difficult to stay awake!
OVERNIGHT CAMP ZAMBEZI
To make the most of your day we suggest an early morning wake up, the hand basins outside each tent are filled with hot water before first light to allow you to shave or freshen up. Enjoy a beautiful sunrise before a light breakfast will be served with tea and freshly brewed coffee. After breakfast, set off on your morning’s activity, you may take to the river for the day (or morning), go by vehicle or on foot to explore the National Park. Whether you opt for land or water activities, half or full day, you can be assured of incredible experiences. The guide will carry a weapon, a first aid kit, a packed lunch and extra water. Clients may carry extra personal water and personal items for the day. Finally, back to camp for the night where a wonderful meal, hot shower, and cold drinks await you.
OVERNIGHT CAMP ZAMBEZI
Another day along the lines of the previous day - the choices are yours to make the most of this amazing spot. This third night will again be spent at Camp Zambezi - with all the trimmings.
OVERNIGHT CAMP ZAMBEZI
Depending upon the guests time of departure, they may either take another early walk before breakfast or have a bit of a sleep in! After that, there will be a short game drive to the airstrip where we bid you farewell before your charter flight to Victoria Falls! You will be collected from Victoria Falls Airport and transferred by road to Bayete Guest Lodge where you will spend the night.
Bayete Guest Lodge is a 25-room family run lodge set in a lush tropical garden in the heart of the Victoria Falls residential area, situated 3km from Victoria Falls Town, and 22km from Victoria Falls International Airport. Bayete is a quiet oasis far removed from the hustle and bustle of the town, and offers a tranquil and comfortable escape for guests. The Lodge offers a fast fibre-optic wi-fi connection covering all rooms and areas of the lodge which is available to guests free of charge. While at Bayete you have the option to visit the Rain Forest, do a helicopter flight over the Falls, a sunset cruise and many other activities (activates are an additional cost).
OVERNIGHT BAYETE LODGE
This morning at leisure after breakfast activities will be depending on what time your international flight departs. You will be transferred from Bayete in time for your flight. As you depart with your memories, we know that this experience will have enriched your life and touched your soul!