• Cheetah in Zimbabwe

Grand Tour of Zimbabwe

Your 14 day Grand Tour of Zimbabwe adventure starts in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city. Moving on from Harare to the rolling hills of Nyanga National Park, in Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands, you’ll discover a multitude of scenic rivers and breathtaking waterfalls. Nyanga National Park boasts both Zimbabwe’s highest mountain peak and its highest waterfall, and the elevated altitude provides a cool, pleasant climate and fresh mountain air. This makes it the perfect place for your rest and relaxation, and you can enjoy outdoor adventure activities, including fly fishing, sailing, canoeing and hiking.

From nature to culture, your tour will then take you to the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe, the biggest and most significant stone archaeological complex in sub-saharan Africa. Composed entirely of rectangular granite blocks stacked on top of one another without the use of mortar, you can look forward to wandering through the ancient stone structures and immersing yourself in the history of this important UNESCO World Heritage site.

Idyllically located in the spectacular Matobo Hills, the renowned Matobo National Park is known for its rich human history, its remarkably diverse flora and fauna, and its magnificent rugged terrain. This reserve is home to an impressive range of African wildlife, including the highly endangered black and white rhinoceros, zebra, wildebeest, cheetah, hippo, warthog and crocodile, as well as Africa's largest concentration of leopard and black eagles. Moving on to Hwange National Park, the country's biggest reserve, you can look forward to game drives, guided walks and horse riding safaris.

Your Grand Tour of Zimbabwe ends at Victoria Falls. Known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, this stunning waterfall is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable, creating the perfect conclusion to your 14 day tour of Zimbabwe.

Duration
14 days
Best time to go
May to October
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a lion lying down in the dirt

Trip highlights

  • Explore this Big Five safari destination, best known for its large herds of elephants and other rare wildlife
  • Discover the abundant wildlife of Matobo National Park and observe the balancing rock formations and Stone Age rock art of Matobo Hills
  • Spend the day in Hwange National Park, home to a wide range of large African mammals, especially elephant, buffalo and lion
  • Explore the seventh wonder of the world - the thundering Victoria Falls - and enjoy activities around the falls and Zambezi River such as elephant encounters and white-water rafting

On arrival in Harare, you will be met and driven to Armadale Boutique Lodge, which is located in the northern suburbs of the city. Built in 1904 as a farmhouse, Armadale Boutique Lodge has a cozy residential feel, and its historic integrity has been maintained, making the lodge a charming venue. Set across two and a half acres of landscaped gardens, and featuring a lovely swimming pool and extensive verandas, there are plenty of hideaways to find peace.

The birdlife around the lodge is prolific and there is a library with a section dedicated to bird watching, as well as a checklist with updated sightings. You can tour Harare and take in city highlights including the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences, the Chapungu Sculpture Park, and the National Botanic Garden.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Armadale Lodge
Deer in Zimbabwe

After breakfast, you will be picked up from Harare and taken on a three and a half hour journey to Nyanga in the Eastern Highlands. This rarely visited and very scenic part of Zimbabwe homes the town Mutare, the Chimanimani Mountain Range in the East, and Nyanga National Park. There are also various botanical gardens and stunning golf courses throughout the area.

Your trip from Harare to Nyanga passes through various panoramic landscapes and ensures you will have plenty of photographic opportunities en-route. You will also stop at Nyangombe Falls, near the beautiful surroundings of Udu. The views from this location are breathtaking. The rocks here look like they were man-made because of their rectangular structures.

Nyanga National Park lies in the north of Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands. One of the first locations to be declared a national park in Zimbabwe, it contains the highest land in all of the country and is dotted with green hills and perennial rivers. Most of the park terrain consists of rolling downland, some of which is lightly wooded. Mount Nyangani, the highest point in Zimbabwe, lies in the centre of Nyanga National Park, and Mutarazi Falls, Zimbabwe's highest waterfall, is located in the south of the park.

Spend one night nestled in the Eastern Highlands at Troutbeck Resort, where you will stay in a deluxe or lake-facing room with en suite facilities on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. Zimbabwe’s highest peak, Mount Nyangani, provides a stunning backdrop.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Troutbeck Sun Resort
tea plantation cameron highlands

After breakfast, you will be picked up and taken to Mutare via Honde Valley and the Mutarazi Falls for a full day of sightseeing (kindly note that lunch and applicable entrance fees are not included). Your sightseeing trip will include a full day of activities, including a visit to the Mutare Museum and The Cecil Kop Nature Reserve. You’ll spend two nights at Musangano Lodge in a standard room on a dinner/bed and breakfast basis.

Tucked away amidst the magnificent green hills of Africa, Musangano is a three-hour drive from Harare and located 30 minutes from the border town of Mutare. Musangano’s location makes it ideal for exploring all the attractions of the Eastern Highlands, including the Vumba Mountains, Nyanga National Park and Honde Valley. After you’ve enjoyed a cooling dip in the swimming pool and if you feel like stretching your legs, there are a variety of activities at Musangano Lodge that you can enjoy depending on your interests and fitness level in the surrounding area, such as golf, horse riding or taking a nature or culture tour. For example, you might like to wander through marked nature trails. Or you might wish to discover the area with a mountain or road biking tour or explore Chikundu Game Park and Osborne Dam.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Musangano Lodge
Cameron Highlands

Following breakfast, your day will be spent exploring highlights of the Eastern Highlands that one seldom sees,including Nyanga, Vumba and heading as far as Leopard Rock. You will enjoy a treat en route at the ‘must-do’ stop of Tony’s Coffee Shop. Tony serves an impressive list of fresh gateaux and various different teas, coffees and hot chocolates. In the late afternoon you’ll venture back to rest your head for the evening at Musangano Lodge.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Musangano Lodge

Once you have had breakfast, you’ll depart Mutare and journey to Masvingo. The drive will take approximately four and a half hours and you can enjoy a few stops for sightseeing en route. In the afternoon, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This ancient granite structure made up of rectangular blocks skillfully placed one upon the other without the use of tools will give you an idea of expert stone masonry that few could emulate today. This is a unique historical, cultural and archaeological landmark and there are many unusual artifacts on display and birdlife to be found there too, including the Zimbabwe bird, the national emblem and the subject of its own myths and legends.

After a day of sightseeing you’ll spend a night at Norme Jeane’s Lakeview Resort in a standard room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis only.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Norma Jean's Lakeview Resort
A sunset jeep safari

In the morning, depart Masvingo and embark on a three and a half hour journey to Bulawayo. On arrival in Bulawayo, we recommend you take a short walk of the area and pay a visit to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe. From here, our friendly team from Amalinda Lodge will meet you and drive you the 45 minute journey to Matobo National Park.

You will spend two nights at Amalinda Lodge in a standard suite with en suite facilities. This exclusive, privately owned safari lodge is tucked away in an ancient Bushman’s shelter in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Matobo Hills, situated less than 28 miles from Bulawayo.

Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite castle kopjes and wooded valleys in southern Zimbabwe. Matobo Hills must be one of the most spiritual and beautiful places in Zimbabwe. The granite domes and castle kopjes of the Matobo Hills are among the most majestic rock scenery in the world.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy here, including some cultural tours of local Ndebele villages, a visit to Cecil John Rhodes grave and other monuments at World’s View. There are several chargeable optional activities also available for you to choose from, including rhino tracking in Matobo National Park, taking the ‘My Beautiful Home’ cycle tour through local villages in Matobo Hills, or enjoy a sunrise or sunset walk to key points of interest with an expert naturalist.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Amalinda Lodge
Elephants in Hwange National Park

Following breakfast, you’ll depart Matobo National Park with a local driver from Amalinda and embark on a three and a half hour journey to Hwange National Park. Spend three nights at Khulu Bush Camp, Hwange National Park’s quintessential luxury safari lodge. Inspired by the breath-taking splendour of its natural surrounds, Khulu Bush Camp reflects Africa’s timeless wonder and natural beauty, providing you with an ultimate and utterly unforgettable safari experience. The camp attracts Hwange National Park’s unique inhabitants as it overlooks an ancient ‘vlei’ or riverbed, where a variety of native wildlife and birdlife gather.

You can enjoy game drives, a visit to the Wild Dog Conservation Centre, or help with expert naturalists with their wildlife counts. If you wish to meet local people then you can visit local villages and meet residents of an elderly home. For a unique experience and a close encounter with Zimbabwe’s wildlife, you have the opportunity to reserve a walking safari when booking this tour, although please note that these are dependent on the weather.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Khulu Bush Camp
Victoria Falls

In the morning, after breakfast, you will be picked up from Khulu Bush Camp and taken to Hwange Main where you will be met and driven the two and a half hour journey to Victoria Falls.

You’ll spend three nights at Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel in a luxury en suite room on a bed and breakfast basis. Situated a short 15 minute drive from Victoria Falls, Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel is located in a 6,000 acre private game reserve of the same name, and borders Zambezi National Park. You can either unwind in the tropical and lush gardens or enjoy a final African safari experience in the national park.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel

After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and taken to Victoria Falls Airport for your international flight home. This marks the end of your Grand Tour of Zimbabwe.

Included

  • Board basis is Full Board: breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Armadale Boutique Lodge, Troutbeck Resort, Musangano Lodge, Norme Jeane’s Lakeview Resort, Amalinda Lodge, Khulu Bush Camp; Breakfast: Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) and park fees for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Cost of accommodation (based on two people sharing a standard double room) for a total of 13 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)

Not included

  • International flights
  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel, unless specified
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)
  • Wild Dog Conservation Centre, charitable donation entry fee, which is payable locally
  • Applicable entrance fees for monuments and visit to Cecil John Rhodes, which are payable locally