Madikwe is South Africa’s most recently eablished game reserve.
It is a malaria free area located in the northwestern area of South Africa along the Botswana border. It is home to the Big Five and is in a bio-diverse area. Madikwe is home to a tremendous diversity of fauna and flora, including both the black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog.
IMPODIMO GAME LODGE
Impodimo takes its game viewing very seriously and uses trackers to help find the game on this very large preserve. There ability to locate game assures excellent game vewing here. Suites are lovely with mains electricity (220V) and ensuite bathrooms. www.impodimo.com
THE BUSH HOUSE LODGE
The Bush House is located next to a wonderful watering hole. It is small with six en-suite rooms. Open vehicle game drives, walks, and stargazing. - besides sitting by the waterhole. Www.bushhouse.co.za
LODGE AT THE ANCIENT CITY – Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Masvingo
Masvingo Airport (FVMV), tar, 5600 ft, elevation 3596 ft. ground transfer to hotel.
In Shona (the local language), "Zimbabwe" means venerated houses of stone. "Masvingo" means "place of enclosures". Here, you will walk among venerated stone enclosures, better known as "The Great Zimbabwe" - Africa's oldest known ruins (second to the Egyptian pyramids). This was the site of a great civilization that rose in the 12th Century - an ordered, prosperous world for its 20,000 people. The former Rhodesian government declared it off-limits fearing it would inspire the masses to regain lost empire. They regained power anyway. The ruins are now open and, aptly, a World Heritage Site. The regal Lodge of the Ancient City is your base: spacious, grand, and of palatial proportions. Sculpted thatch, massive walls of hand-cut granite, and rock monoliths festooned with the motifs of the ruins. Trained historical guides escort you on foot through the passages of Great Zimbabwe.
CHIKWENYA - MANA POOLS – Zambezi Valley
Private airstrip, gravel. No fuel.
Chikwenya is located at the confluence of the Zambezi and Sapi Rivers. Guests are housed in 8 thatched semi-open chalets with en suite facilities, sited along the river bank. The dining and lounge area is beneath the canopy of beautiful mahogany shade trees. The camp is well known for its bush walks, but open vehicles and boats are also used for game viewing. The camp atmosphere is extremely relaxing and throughout the day and evening the hippos serenade their inimitable style.
LITTLE MAKALOLO PLAINS -- Hwange National Park
Linkwasha airstrip, grass, 3200 ft. , elevation 3000 ft.,19* 07.22 S, 027*12.12 E
It's a fantasy of airborne Africa: flying low over golden, flat, savanna grasslands, easing down until your wheels touch, and rolling to a gentle stop. Linkwasha Vlei, deep within Zimbabwe's renowned Hwange National Park is as close to the real thing as Chris and I have found. South of us, on approach, we saw elephant -- lots of them. On the ground, we wasted no time. Our driver whisked us to a watering hole where herds of elephant drank and played. Before sunset, we meandered through acacia forests back to the elegant, and newly constructed Makalolo Plains Lodge where a warm fire, a hearty meal, and a lively evening awaited us. Spent for the day, we strolled back to our tent and soothed our muscles with a steaming shower under moonlight. Makalolo Plains is one of the few camps situated in Hwange Park.
RUCKOMECHI CAMP – Zambezi Valley
Private airstrip, gravel, 3200 ft., elevation 1300 ft., S15*46.0' E029*23.0'
Nestled under a grove of massive acacia trees along the Zambezi River, Ruckomechi combines game walks with game drives and canoe trips for a complete game viewing experience. For the romantic in all of us enjoy a unique bathing experience in an outdoor tub overlooking the river. Architecturally enchanting cottages. One of our favorite places.
The central and southern highland regions of Zimbabwe are largely well populated and intensively farmed although several wildlife areas exist. Bulawayo is a usual Port of Entry and Departure with ATC, avgas, and Immigration and Customs services.
South of Bulawayo is the Matobo Hills National Park – not a big game area but remarkable for its rugged landscape of huge granite boulders. If you haven’t done so elsewhere, here you track rhinoceros on foot or in vehicles. Here you can visit the grave of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes.
Along Zimbabwe’s southeast border with Mozambique is the Gonarezhou National Park – a low-lying plain whose rivers have been harnessed for irrigation. The surrounding land yields bountiful crops of sugar cane, citrus, and winter wheat. The area was a battleground during Zimbabwe’s war for majority-rule and the animal population was heavily poached. The elephants and other game are making a comeback.
Beit Bridge is a small town on the Zimbabwe side of the Limpopo River. The town exists as a border crossing for the major north-south highway but telephone communications (necessary to book Customs and Immigration services) can be difficult. Adventurous pilots may elect to process in or out of Zimbabwe here but by prior arrangement only. The Beit Bridge airfield is a sloped, rough, gravel strip with no telephone, ATC, or avgas. Often there is a crosswind. Pilots must be punctual in making their ETA. However, there is a risk of indefinite delays if the Zimbabwean authorities fail to arrive at the expected time.
Recommendation: Enroute viewing. If you are game viewing in the area spend two nights at one venue. "Great Zimbabwe" can be viewed with a single overnight stop.