Travel Experience & Advice needed for Zimbabwe

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Travel Experience & Advice needed for Zimbabwe

1. Posted by BestieSafari (Budding Member 3 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

My best friend and myself are planning a Safari Trip to Zimbabwe. Number of persons: 2 ladies, aged 34 and 44, healthy, sporty, no co-morbitities, both covid vaccinated).
Duration: 4-6 days
Season: August/September 2021
Budget: averag. 300-400 USD/per person/per day

Itinary:
We were thinking of taking a flight to Lusaka and start from there with a trip to "Mana Pools". Stay over night, ideally in a tree house camp/slep out accomodation and then move on to Lake Kariba. Maybe do several safaris along the lake with overnight stays in different camps along the lake and/or camping. My fiend is really keen on at least 1-2 overnights in a camping trailer roof top or a simple tent away from tented camps or lodges, since she used to do that all her childhood in Australia. I am a bit more up for glamping though, so we agreed on alternating simple accomodations with more eco-friendly lodges on a day by day basis.
Antilope Island sounded nice as well, or maybe a boat trip (daytrip). All in we were thinking if 4-6 days and would then return back to Lusaka.

What do you think?
Sounds reasonable?

I am planning to meet my friend on the weekend to go through various websites. It seems they all offer minimum package stays rather then just overnight booking. I was hoping, we could book an independant tour guide who accompanies us all the time, providing car/equipment etc and with whom we built our own individual tour. Is that a reasonable approach at all or non-practical....

Thank you so much for your kind feedback and personal advice...

2. Posted by Khaki_Clare (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Are you planning to do this trip by self-driving? From Lusaka to Mana Pools is not very simple and the road is pretty horrible. You would need to drive to Chirundu and cross into Zimbabwe from there. Easiest then to do Lake Kariba first, and then to Mana Pools and out to Harare if possible.

For that budget, you would need to be careful about balancing safari camps with self-driving / camping as August / September is peak season and the most expensive time to be on safari in the region.

Lake Kariba is not very strong for a safari experience, so Mana Pools is the better choice of the two for this.

4 - 6 days is not enough time for both, due to travel time and logistics.

If flying into Lusaka, I would recommend going to the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side instead of Mana Pools (landscape is the same, though steeper river banks on the Zambian side, and more open floodplain by the river on the Zim side)

If you pay for a driver, you have to pay for their daily rate & overnight accommodation as well, so this would end up being quite expensive.

You might be better off booking a more affordable fly-in safari. If you can go longer, I'd suggest combining South Luangwa National Park with Lower Zambezi National Park, as this makes more sense from Lusaka. Particularly if neither of you want to do the off-roading / 4x4ing yourselves.

3. Posted by BestieSafari (Budding Member 3 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for all the valuable advice!
Brilliant.
That helps a lot.
Will look into all points raised and edit itinary plans!
Amazing.
Cheers

4. Posted by DAOonVT (Full Member 1941 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hello,

Zimbabwe and Zambia are in different car insurance treaty/reciprocal arrangement blocs. At least they were when I visited and I believe this is still the case. You would need to find a company that will 1) let you take their vehicle across the border and 2) insure it. Zimbabwe is in the same area as Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland (eSwatini).

If you are doing the driving, you want the owner of the vehicle to cover this ahead of time. Never underestimate the hassle you can get from the Zim side at any of their borders. The Zambian folks at Vic Falls were great....

Have a great adventure!

DAO

[ Edit: Edited on 25 May 2021, 14:59 GMT by DAOonVT ]

5. Posted by BestieSafari (Budding Member 3 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Once again
Thank you for all the valuable advice!
Amazing.

much appreciated