Unlocking the Best of Zimbabwe and Zambia

Goway Africa Expert Laura Vagners recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe and Zambia. Laura shares her insights into what she learned from this once in a lifetime experience.

Seeing elephants during a Lower Zambezi boat cruise

What do you think is the biggest misconception about Zimbabwe & Zambia?

That it is only worth the visit for Victoria Falls. Both countries have lots of interesting history, natural sights, incredible game viewing, and lower tourist numbers then South Africa. The experience is a lot more intimate and feels like one of a kind.

What was your favourite hotel / lodge and why?

Khulu Tented Camp, Hwange National Park. At this family run business, you get to enjoy dinner/sundowners with family members, often because they treat the camp like their home. They are on a unfenced private concession neighbouring the park, which sees tons of animal activity each day. Elephants come to drink from the water hole mere feet from you.

What was your favourite unique stay / experience?

Johns Camp, Mana Pools National Park. It offers a true tented camp feel with all the amenities to make you very comfortable, with exceptional food and service. Our guide here might be the best I’ve encountered in all my trips to Africa – incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. Great for a third or fourth trip to Africa, Johns Camp is all about the walking safari and getting to know the bush.

As a Goway Africa Expert, was there anything that surprised you?

How unspoilt a lot of the country/parks are. You feel like you are in ‘the real’ Africa! The parks were also fairly empty of fellow visitors, so we could easily go a day without seeing another vehicle.

Walking Safari, Lower Zambezi

What area would you recommend if clients wanted to extend their trip?

Lower Zambezi and Hwange, both of which are easily reached from Victoria Falls, the most likely starting point for an extension. For those who have been to Africa a few times, Matopos National Park offers rhino tracking and ancient bushman rock art. Gonarezhou National Park is famous for its elephants and natural formations.

Are there any tips for travelling to Zimbabwe/Zambia that agents might share with their clients to make their trip even more enjoyable? 

Always pack less than you think you’ll need, especially if moving around with early mornings and late nights. Zimbabwe’s guides are known to be some of Africa’s best with years of training. Their knowledge really is inspirational and as a visitor, you learn so much. Be ready with questions and a pair of binoculars!

Do you have a favourite local dish?

Not really! We had sushi at sundowners at Johns Camp, which was an unexpected delight.

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