7 DAY BUDGET BOTSWANA & ZIMBABWE SAFARI

HWANGE – MATOBO – NATA
CHOBE RIVER – CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Spectacular two country safari
Cultural & wildlife experiences
No booking fees!
Private guide
Wonder of the World

Why is this safari better?

A camping safari for the budget conscious, wo still want the thrill of an African safari. This one-week Zimbabwe & Botswana budget camping safari takes you on an exciting journey of discovery through Zimbabwe and Botswana, exploring top wildlife, cultural and historical highlights.

Starting and ending in world-famous Victoria Falls, this affordable camping safari takes you on a wildlife viewing extravaganza in the top Zimbabwe game park – Hwange National Park. Visit Bulawayo to meet the friendly people of Zimbabwe and experience their vibrant-rich culture. Explore the fascinating history and cultural heritage of Zimbabwe’s people at Khami Ruins and go wildlife viewing in Matobo National Park, host of rich animal and bird species.

We then cross into Botswana and stop over at Elephant Sands (Nata), where game and birds can be spotted up close, before continuing to Kasane. Here we take a sunset boat cruise along Chobe River and venture into Chobe National Park on a morning game drive – superb for bird and wildlife watching.

Sustainability: Your booking supports local guides and communities through eco-conscious travel and supporting local enterprise through community visits and purchasing of local crafts.

When to travel?

Both Zimbabwe and Botswana are year-round destinations, depending on your availability, you will enjoy a spectacular safari regardless of the time of year.

The Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe are Botswana’s most popular parks. The best time to visit them is from May to September, during the Dry season and winter, resulting in more moderate temperatures. In addition, the Okavango is flooded from June to October. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks. The best time to visit Zimbabwe is from May to September. At this time Victoria Falls is most impressive and wildlife viewing is excellent as animals congregate around the rivers and waterholes. This is especially true in Hwange where the artificially pumped waterholes attract big herds of elephant.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Victoria Falls – Hwange National Park

This Southern Africa Camping Safari sets off from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on the first morning, travelling south-east to Hwange National Park. Zimbabwe’s largest and best-known game park, Hwange was once the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king, Mzilikazi. We arrive in time to embark on a thrilling night game drive in a wildlife concession area adjacent to the national park. Our first game drive takes us in search of a variety of nocturnal animals, including the evasive leopard.

Hwange National Park covers over 14 600 sq km’s of grassland plains, scrub bush and salt flats close to the Kalahari Desert. The park boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, hosting around 400 bird species and 105 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five. The wilderness area is known for its vast elephant herds claimed to be one of the longest surviving elephant populations in Africa. Hwange, located in western Zimbabwe, and Chobe Park, in eastern Botswana, form part of an extensive wildlife corridor that enables elephants and other wild animals to migrate across vast areas.

Activities : Afternoon game drive
Meals Included: Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Hwange National Park Main Camp or similar – Camping in twin-share dome tents with shared facilities. Travel: about 200km / 2.5 Hours

Day 2: Hwange National Park

On day two we venture into Hwange National Park in open safari vehicles for an adventure-filled day of game viewing in Zimbabwe’s flagship national park. During the heat of the day, we make our way back to camp for lunch and a rest, before returning to the bush to explore further. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times for game viewing, because many of the large animals are most active at these times, with grazers and predators generally stirring around dusk and dawn.

Hwange is known for its cheetah sightings, and also protects an abundance of buffalo, giraffe and zebra. This is the only protected area in Zimbabwe that is inhabited by sizeable populations of brown hyena and gemsbok. Hwange National Park is home to all of the specially protected wild animals of Zimbabwe, including one of Africa’s largest groups of endangered African Wild Dogs. While at Hwange we visit the Painted Dog Conservation Project to find out more about these threatened canines and the efforts to save them.

After our afternoon wildlife exploration in Hwange Park, we head back to the camp at dusk and settle in for the night.

Activities : Afternoon game drive
Meals Included: Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Hwange National Park Main Camp or similar – Camping in twin-share dome tents with shared facilities.

Day 3: Hwange National Park – Bulawayo

Leaving Hwange Park, we drive further south-east to our leafy camp near Bulawayo – Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

Bulawayo’s wide tree-lined avenues and attractions make for a pleasant visit. Go to the bustling curio market at the Old Town Hall to browse the wide array of locally made handicrafts and artworks created by skilled Zimbabwean craft-makers, even trying your hand at bargaining. Revisit Zimbabwe’s past, journeying back in time to colonial and tribal times at the National History Museum.

This afternoon we visit a significant archaeological site near Bulawayo – the Khami Ruins. The ruins are of notable cultural value to the people of this region and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The former capital of the Kingdom of Butua under the Torwa Dynasty, Khami dates back to 1450 AD when it replaced Great Zimbabwe as capital.

Accommodation: Backpackers Lodge or similar – camping twin share dome tents with shared facilities
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Travel: about 300km / 4 Hours

Day 4: Bulawayo – Matobo National Park

Today we take a short drive to Matobo National Park accompanied by knowledgeable local guides. On our half-day trip to the scenic Matobo Park, we experience the tranquil beauty of this diverse park, visiting the sacred Matopos Hills. One of the largest concentrations of endangered black and white rhino in Africa is found in this reserve and we take a thrilling guided bush walk (conditions allowing) in search of these pre-historic looking creatures. The park is also known for the dense population of leopards, so we keep an eye for these and other wildlife found in Matobo National Park. This geologically unique game park is home to a variety of other wildlife, including various antelope species, giraffe and zebra. Matobo also hosts an exceptionally high number of black eagles, as well as an abundance of other bird species.

It is said that the boulder-strewn landscape of Matobo, which means “Bald Heads” in Ndebele, was formed by river erosion over 2000 million years ago. The spirits of deceased Ndebele chiefs are thought to dwell among these wind-sculpted granite hills making Matobo an important place in indigenous folklore. Hundreds of San (Bushman) rock paintings are also found in Matobo Hills adding to the cultural significance of the area. Imperialist and mining magnate, Cecil John Rhodes, is also buried at Matobo, at his request.

You have the option of upgrading to a full day tour which includes a village visit and historical highlights of Matobo Park. After exploring Matobo, we return to Bulawayo to experience the city’s nightlife after encountering the creatures and cultural gems of Matobo Park.

Activities: Matobo day tour
Accommodation: Backpackers Lodge or similar – camping twin share dome tents with shared facilities
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Travel: about 100km / 2 Hours

Day 5: Bulawayo – Nata

On day five we travel from Zimbabwe into Botswana, making our way to our overnight lodge near Nata, in the north-eastern part of central Botswana. We arrive at our next stop, Elephant Sands, in the afternoon. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax, rest and swim in the pool, watching out for wildlife at the watering hole in front of the lodge.

The lodge is unfenced allowing wildlife to roam into the area and visit the waterhole, often resulting in unforgettably close wildlife encounters.

Accommodation: Elephant Sands Lodge – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Travel: about 420km / 8 Hours

Day 6: Nata – Kasane/Chobe River

This morning we drive north to Kasane, the closest travel hub to Chobe National Park. This scenic game park is reputed to host one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa.

Later this afternoon we take a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River, an excellent way to get up close to the wildlife and birds of Botswana’s leading national park. As we cruise along the river large mammals, various reptiles and an array of birds are frequently sighted. The easier sightings being hippos, elephants and crocodiles, as well as buffalos and baboons. Also watch for lions, bushbuck, kudu, sable and giraffe, possibly even puku antelopes found nowhere else in Botswana.

The Chobe River Cruise offers exceptional bird watching opportunities, from fish eagles, plovers and spoonbills to ibis, storks and other waterfowl. Simply watching the scenery go by as the sun sets over the bush is a beautiful sight.

Accommodation: Riverside Lodge – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Travel: about 270kms / 5 Hours

Day 7: Chobe/Kasane – Victoria Falls

On our final morning, we embark on an open vehicle game drive in Chobe National Park – one last chance to spot the wildlife of Botswana. After our last foray into the African wilderness, we leave Chobe and Kasane behind, crossing back into Zimbabwe.

A short drive later we reach Victoria Falls where this fabulous journey ends. We highly recommend that you book an extra day or two at Victoria Falls to enjoy adventure activities and explore further.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Travel: Morning game drive & about 80km / 1.5 Hours
Accommodated Option: This Zimbabwe & Botswana budget camping Safari is also available as an accommodated tour. Please contact us for more details.

PRICE FOR YOUR SAFARI

4 or more guests
from
$1,395
  • per person, inclusive
2 guests
from
$1,645
  • per person, inclusive

OUR PRICE INCLUDES

  • Camping accommodation
  • Three meals a day while on safari
  • Airport picks up on arrival in Victoria Falls
  • Professional safari guide
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary, cultural visits, tours and wildlife game drives
  • Air conditions bus transportation between destinations
  • Clean mineral water during your safari

OUR PRICE EXCLUDES

  • International airfare
  • Visas and other entry costs
  • PCR testing for your journey home (if applicable)
  • Personal expense such as phone calls, curio shop purchases
  • Drinks such as sodas, water, beer and wines
  • Gratuities for your tour driver/guide, waiters/staff at accommodations
  • Laundry
  • Optional extension in Victoria Falls or Cape Town

Let’s talk and plan your exciting safari in Africa.
No obligation free quotation and absolutely NO BOOKING FEES!

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