On Safari in Four Stunning Zimbabwe Safari Camps

Frank and Alex Taylor

23 Nov 2018

NWS clients Frank and Alex share the incredible wildlife encounters from their safari to Zimbabwe

After two previous amazing safaris with NWS, it was time to indulge in another one – this time Zimbabwe. Well, what can we say; it was absolutely fantastic.

Our first stay was in Hwange. An exceptional camp in a national park with abundant wildlife.  Camp Hwange is right on a waterhole. When relaxing at camp, the waterhole is bustling with wildlife and when the sun sets, more creatures come. After listening to the noises of the night, nothing is better than getting up at 5am and heading to the campfire for a coffee or tea and a quick breakfast, sitting quietly and watching the day starting to stir.

No sooner do we finish our breakfast, we are in the vehicle excited by the prospect of what we are going to see. We follow a cheetah on and off for two days. His two attempts at a kill lead to nothing. He almost becomes part of our group as he always seems to be nearby. 

At another waterhole we are astounded by a herd of buffalo starting to appear. They keep coming and coming. We estimate approximately 400 buffalo around the watering hole. An incredible sight. Hwange is beautiful and after five days here it is time to take the light aircraft to our next camp... Musango Safari Camp.

On a private island on Lake Kariba, Musango Camp is a paradise. A choice of game drives or lake cruising. We did it all. Sipping gin and tonics on the lake watching the sun go down with a heard of elephants watching nearby. A visit to a local village makes you realise how lucky you are to be able to do these trips. We decided to do something for the village and have sponsored a child to go to school for three years (initially) as their parents cannot afford to send them. As we swapped contact details, we will hopefully hear of the child's progress. 

Back on the lake, the death of a hippo in the lake has attracted 20-odd crocodiles. We spend over an hour watching them rip the hippo apart. Nature is both stunning and shocking! As we sip our sundowners on the lake, the silence is deafening. Even the elephants coming to drink at the shore seem to be on tiptoe. An amazing four nights here and it’s time to fly again, to Mana Pools.

Kanga Bushcamp... well, you don’t need to go to the animals, because they come to you. This beautiful camp raised from the ground by a platform is on a watering hole. Elephants, buffalo, impala, baboons, kudu, roan, leopards, birds, butterflies and so much more. Spotting the small creatures is as exciting as the big ones.  

As the elephants come for the freshest water right on the platform edge, you gasp at just how close they are to you. It’s incredible.

The baboons play up and break the silence with their squealing when they start to fight. You could spend hours just sitting on the deck watching the pantomime!

On a game drive just out of camp, two pregnant lionesses greet us. Everything seems to be congregated near the camp. Two awesome nights here and we are off again by road to a mobile tented camp on the Zambezi River.

Wildlife galore in this stunning part of the park. Here we saw what has been on our bucket list: wild dogs – a pack of 17 with pups. We caught up with them three times and on one occasion did a walking safari to get closer to them. Each day is magnificent and ends with chit-chat around the campfire, watching the sun go down and the reflections in the Zambezi.

A canoe trip is also on the cards. We share these waters with hippos and crocs! Scary but the guides have an incredible eye and know exactly what to do. Elephants cross the river right in front of us. The feeling is different being on the same level as these huge beasts in their environment. On the final day we witness the cherry on the cake... a leopard that had just brought down an impala and was trying desperately to hide it in the bushes. To sit and watch for an hour feels like 10 minutes. Our camera is put down to just watch rather than always be behind the lens.

Our amazing trip is now over and we are sad to be home, but excited to plan our next trip! The Zimbabwean people have made it all the more special. Africa has a hold on us, that’s for sure! We will enjoy looking through the 3,000+ photos we have taken!

Where to next?

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