Travel to Zimbabwe is increasing apace. A vibrant country with dramatic landscapes, welcoming people, abundant wildlife, world-class guiding and charming lodges. Recent developments include:
Victoria Falls’ international airport: Opening this summer, the new airport (costing $150m) will accommodate wide-bodied aircraft, potentially increasing travel options with direct flights.
The Elephant Express: For 20 years a rail transfer option for safari guests to the south-east of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park has been dreamt of, now it is a reality. The Elephant Express, complete with teak tables, transports 22 passengers to a bygone era (when safari by rail was part of the adventure) along the park’s northern boundary.
New lodges: There has been significant investment in new lodges across the country, giving travellers more choice than ever in terms of appealing places to stay.
Zambezi Sands, Victoria Falls: A smart tented safari camp in a remote area beside the Upper Zambezi in the Zambezi National Park, Zambezi Sands is close enough to Victoria Falls for guests to enjoy all of the activities there – including bungee-jumping, white-water rafting and micro lighting – whilst far enough away (about an hour and a half’s drive) to experience a wilderness area.
Camelthorn, Hwange National Park: Opened in 2014, this is a stylish lodge hidden in a forest of camelthorn in a remote spot just outside the south-east corner of the national park. Run by an experienced team, Camelthorn is well-situated for game watching, being only a ten-minute drive from the park’s open plains and network of waterholes.
Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange National Park: Located on its own private concession just outside the national park, Bomani offers an exclusive game viewing experience. The lodge is adjacent to Ngamo Plains – well known for big game, especially elephant. Bomani is simple but comfortable.
Jozibanini, Hwange National Park: Opening in July in a new area of southernmost Hwange, Jozibanini is far from any existing camps and indeed from anywhere. Those building the camp have worked closely with local communities and are focused on safeguarding the park’s wildlife.
Expert Africa offers an 11-day trip from £3,837 pp (based on two sharing) including return overnight flights from London to Victoria Falls (via Johannesburg), two nights at each of the new camps/lodges mentioned above, full board plus most activities and drinks throughout, two two-hour transfers on the Elephant Express, plus all other transfers. Call Expert Africa on 020 8232 9777 (www.expertafrica.com).