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The National Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Zimbabwe are teeming with wildlife and cared for by conscientious conservationists. The human footprint is kept at a minimum to protect the areas.


Zimbabwe is enjoying a resurgence. It had been of limited interest to tourists in recent years because of domestic political controversy and runaway inflation that left the currency almost worthless. Victoria Falls and the country's many, large national Parks and wildlife areas have always been immune from domestic disruptions. African Aero Adventures stopped using Zimbabwean destinations around 2000 due to inconsistent availability of avgas.  We, and many touring companies, now send visitors to Zimbabwe regularly. 


With the introduction of the US Dollar as the country's official currency avgas is readily available at many airports. While official entry procedures are more time consuming than at other countries, officials are courtous and pleasant. The lodges are first rate and welcoming and staffed with excellent wildlife rangers. 


The historic 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 Edwardian-style hotel, built in 1904, was recently refurbished and is set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, broad lawns, palm trees and shrubbery. The Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel’s private pathway. Its opulent Livingstone Room is known for fine dining and dancing and the Stanley Terrace, with its clear view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, is renowned for its cocktails and afternoon teas. Enjoy an afternoon walk to the falls and the pleasure of a high tea or cocktails on the veranda. Other activities include white water rafting, zip line, bungee jumping, a river cruise and shopping for curios.


The camp is set amongst the broad canopied ana trees and overlooks the Zambezi River. Activities include day & night game drives, nature walks, game viewing by pontoon boat or from a hide, canoeing, fishing (catch & release only) and birding. Excellent guiding, wonderful food, personalized service. The lounge area is set facing the escarpment and is attached to the rest of the camp via a network of wood walkways. Accommodation is in safari tents on wooden decks with indoor and outdoor showers. One special feature of the camp is a secluded outdoor “bath with a view” that can be reserved.

VUNDU CAMP - Mana Pools

Experience nature on a different level with Bushlife Safaris – from exceptional up-close wildlife encounters with superb close-up photographic opportunities of wild dog, elephant, lion, plains game and colorful birdlife – all with the backdrop of Mana Pools’ breath-taking scenery. Whether on a game drive, walking safari, fishing on an island or gently drifting down the Zambezi River on a canoe or motorboat, be prepared to invigorate your senses on a safari adventure where you truly see, taste, smell and feel real Africa. The wonderfully comfortable camp has a total of eight spacious thatched chalets, one of which is a family room. Each chalet opens out onto the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, located just 10 meters away. Guests can sit outside and relax on their terrace, watching impala, warthog and elephant meander by.


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.

DAVISON'S CAMP - Hwange National Park 

Davison's Camp is located in the south-eastern section of the massive Hwange Park in the Linkwasha Vlei. Getting there is a fantasy of airborne Africa: flying low over golden, flat, savanna grasslands, game in view all around, easing down until your wheels touch, and rolling to a gentle stop. This is an area of large herds of elephant and buffalo, spotted hyena, giraffe, sable antelope and lion and leopard. Activities include day and night game drives, a guided walk in the morning (if you wish) and the luxury of game viewing from your tent’s veranda as animals come to drink from a well-situated water hole. Accommodation is in large walk-in tents with ensuite bathroom.

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.



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.


PAMUSHANA LODGE, Malilangwe Wildlife Reerve , southern Zimbabwe 

Pamushana Lodge is situated in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in southeastern Zimbabwe. The area is teeming with birds and wildlife, including rare and endangered species – such as the Roan and sable antelope, and the black rhino. Huge buffalo herds entice lion to follow. Famous for its cathedral Mopane forests and majestic ‘upside-down’ Baobab trees, Malilangwe is an area where you will also find over 100 Bushman rock painting sites dating back more than 2 000 years. Pamushana Lodge is small with only 6 luxury suites overlooking the Malilangwe dam.

LODGE AT THE ANCIENT CITYGreat 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.

CHILO GORGE SAFARI LODGE, Edge of the Gonarezhou National Park 

Gonarezhou meaning “Place of Elephants”  is a large area with a  diverse array of animals in their pristine habitat. Drives will show you elephant, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles and a variety of antelope as well as the elusive leopard and wild dog, cheetah and lion. The lodge is is perched high on a cliff overlooking the Save River. Rooms are large each with a private balcony. Besides game drives, you can opt for  a 3 k walk to the Chiwilia Falls or a visit to a local Shangan village. 

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