- Tick a Serengeti safari off your bucket list and spot the Big 5
- Go on an epic game drive through the diverse ecosystems of the Ngorongoro Crater
- Enjoy views of Mt Kilimanjaro from your boutique lodge
- Kick back on the paradise beaches of Zanzibar
- Sail and snorkel through the north coast of Zanzibar on a traditional dhow boat
- Explore the historic streets of Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site
Take in the thunderous splendour of Victoria Falls by helicopter, and follow the rainforest trails that snake around its mists. Venture deep into iconic Hwange National Park in search of Africa’s Big Five. Cross the border into Botswana and see elephants roam the banks of the Chobe. Dine under the stars overlooking the African bush, picnic on the curves of the powerful Zambezi, and sip sundowners as the plains cool under a dusky pink sunset.
When it comes to bucket list trips, few countries can offer a spoil of natural splendours to rival those of Zimbabwe, especially for animal lovers in pursuit of an intimate encounter with Africa’s big five. Though the country has struggled with a chequered past, like much of South Africa, a steadier political climate in recent years has made way for a new dawn in vibrant adventure tourism. Meaning that if you want to visit before the crowds catch on, now’s the time to pack your bags and head for the rugged banks of the Zambezi. Whether you’re longing for the thrill of Victoria Falls’ thundering waters spraying cold mists onto your bare skin, or a chance to look a wild lion, leopard or elephant in the eye, glorious Zimbabwe has just what you’re looking for. Our nine-day escape to the wilds of Zim and Botswana begin at Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Take in the gargantuan proportions of the ‘smoke that thunders’ by helicopter, and follow the rainforest trails that snake around its mists. We’ll venture deep into iconic Hwange National Park on game drives to spot lions, leopards, elephants and more, before crossing into Botswana to explore Kazuma Forest Reserve see the elephant herds that roam the banks of the Chobe river. Dine under the stars overlooking the African bush, picnic on the banks of the powerful Zambezi, and sip sundowners as the plains cool under a dusky pink sunset. Like all developing countries, travelling around Zimbabwe can come with its own particular quirks and challenges, especially since we’ll be crossing the border into Botswana on this safari extravaganza. Bumpy trails, flooded back roads, dusty jeep rides and slow immigration checks are all par for the course, not to mention last-minute changes to even the best-laid plans and long patient stints waiting for animals to stalk past our chosen hide-outs. But if you’re ready for an adventure like no other, we’ve got your ticket right here.
The Flash Pack promise
Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.
- See the thunderous splendour of Victoria Falls and soar above the mists for panoramic helicopter views
- Spot Africa’s Big Five; lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo, plus giraffes, zebra and more in iconic Hwange National Park
- Get up close with animal tracks and ancient wildlife trails on a bush walk through Hwange’s wilds
- Cross the border into Botswana and stay in a luxury eco safari lodge
- Watch an epic sunset over a busy watering hole in Kazuma Forest Reserve
- Sip sundowners under the stars as you gaze out across the South African plains
- Watch elephants splash in the famous Chobe River as you glide along the water on river safari
- Master the art of a sizzling Zimbabwean dish in a hands-on cooking masterclass, before dining as the sun sets over the banks of the Zambezi
Day 1: WELCOME TO ZIMBABWE
Touch down at Victoria Falls Airport, take a private transfer to your hotel on the edges of the African bush, then prepare to toast your arrival with a group dinner in the hip bar scene of Vic Falls town. Craft beers, good food and a new set of travel buddies – here’s to day one of an epic adventure!
Flashpackers, welcome to Zimbabwe, a true bucket-list haven famed for its wild adventure and immense natural beauty. Touch down at Victoria Falls Airport where a private transfer will be waiting to whisk you off to your first night’s accommodation; our hotel is sandwiched between the fringes of Vic Falls town and the thunderous waters of Victoria Falls itself – yep, you may even see some of mist in the distance during the high water season. Settle in, meet your new travel buddies, and prepare to celebrate the start of an incredible adventure with a first group dinner at a hotspot in Victoria Falls town. A hub of bohemian cafes, fun bars crammed with chilled craft beers, and restaurants serving up everything from traditional local fare to stone baked pizzas, this is the perfect place to raise a toast to the epic eight days that lie ahead.More +
Day 2: VICTORIA FALLS BY HELICOPTER
Feel the sprays of Victoria Falls land on your skin and follow the rainforest trails that snake around its mists. Get a bird’s eye view in a helicopter ride above the formidable heights of the Falls, then eat lunch with a view you’ll never forget. Later, sample local craft ales and toast to another epic day of adventure.
Flashpackers, it’s your first full day in Zimbabwe and we’ll be making the most of an early start. One of the seven wonders of the world and Zim’s most iconic landmark, it’s only right we dedicate an entire day to the spectacle of Victoria Falls, known to locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘the smoke that thunders’). At 1700 metres wide and standing over 100 metres tall, your first glimpse of the falls and its surrounding rainforest bathed in mists is sure to be a breathtaking moment – not to mention a major photo opportunity, so don’t forget your camera! At their most powerful, normally between February and July, spray from the thundering plunge can rise as high as 500 metres, so prepare to get wet as we take to trails that snake along the Zambezi, stopping at marked vantage points for the best views. We’ll take time out for lunch at the famed Lookout Café, which serves up fresh seasonal dishes with an incredible backdrop looking over the giant Batoka Gorge and Victoria Falls Bridge (bring your selfie skills). Next up, it’s time to take to the skies for a helicopter view you’ll never forget. Known as the Flight of Angels, helicopter trips over Vic Falls book up fast, so don’t be slow to save your seat. Soar above the splendour of the Falls and winding Zambezi, snap a bird’s eye view like no other, and make a first tick on your Zimbabwe bucket list. Later, we’ll head to Victoria Falls The River Brewing Company to sample local craft ales and toast an epic first day. Dinner is at your leisure, we’d suggest exploring more of what the tasty dining scene in Victoria Falls town has to offer.More +
Day 3: FIRST SAFARI AT HWANGE
Say farewell to Victoria Falls and prepare to set off on in search of the amazing wildlife. Transfer to Hwange National Park, the largest wildlife sanctuary in all of Zimbabwe, and settle into your hotel. Eat lunch overlooking the vast woodland, then jump aboard a jeep for your first game drive.
Today we’ll pack up and say farewell to Victoria Falls, as we head 110 km south to the iconic vastness of Hwange National Park. The oldest and largest national park in all of Zimbabwe, Hwange plays home to some of Africa’s most famous big animals; lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo. Prepare a strong playlist as the drive will take between two and three hours – plenty of time to kick back and soak up the views as we drive through west Zimbabwe. Arrive at Robins Camp in the northern Basalt area of the park, and check in to your private chalet. We’ll tuck into a lunch of fresh local fare at the camp, complete with incredible views stretching right across the woodland – you’ll want to keep your camera on hand every minute you’re here, as wildlife sightings could happen at any moment. Come afternoon, we’ll jump into a jeep and set out on our first game drive of the trip. As well as the Big Five, Hwange is home to zebra, giraffes, hippos, cheetahs, wildebeest and over 400 species of birds, so keep your eyes peeled. Later, we’ll eat dinner back at the camp where you can enjoy an ice cold sundowner as the sun sets over the South African plain.More +
Day 4: HWANGE BUSH WALK
Rise early at your safari camp and set out on a sunrise bush walk to get up close and personal with the wild landscape, while spotting animals enjoying the serenity of daybreak. Tuck into a late brunch at camp, then cruise through the woodland on an afternoon game drive taking in Hwange’s top wildlife hangouts.
Wake up to the sounds of early morning birdsong as daybreaks over your safari camp. We’ll be heading out before 6am today for an off-road bush walk, as our guide takes us along fresh animal tracks and popular wildlife routes by foot. Get an intimate look at the wild landscape, and if you’re lucky, an up close encounter with animals enjoying the serenity of cooler morning temperatures. After a late brunch back at camp and a little time to relax with a coffee or a beer, you are on holiday after all, we’ll take to the jeeps to cruise through the woodland and venture deeper in the park on an afternoon game drive. From sunbathing lions and leopards on the prowl, to elephants hunting for the refreshing splash of a cool watering hole, our pro-guides will show us around Hwange’s key wildlife hangouts. Covering some 14, 650 square kilometers the sheer size of Hwange is a feast for the eyes, and with over 100 species of mammals inhabiting teak forests, bushland and arid open spaces, not to mention the world’s largest elephant population, every drive is bound to be full of surprises.More +
Day 5: BORDER CROSS TO BOTSWANA
Tuck into breakfast overlooking the bush of Robins Camp, then jump aboard the Flashpack safari vehicle to begin our journey into Botswana. We’ll be crossing the Pandamatenga border as we leave Zimbabwe, so bring a good book for the ride. Check in at your luxury eco lodge, and enjoy a traditional Motswana dinner under the stars.
Pack your bags Flashpackers, today we’ll be leaving Zimbabwe and driving across the border into Botswana, where even more incredible safari action awaits. Rise early and enjoy one last breakfast overlooking the bush at Robins Camp. Jump aboard the Flashpack minibus, and prepare to kick back as we drive the 2-hour stretch towards the Pandamatenga border. Although this is the most direct route for us to take, border control here can sometimes be slow, the roads may be bumpy, and depending on weather conditions we may even need to skirt flooded sections; so bring a good book and enjoy the mini-adventure. Once in Botswana, check in at your eco lodge wonderfully located in the middle of nowhere. Built on tribal land near the village of Pandamatenga in the Chobe Region, the area surrounding the lodge is steeped in culture and history. We’ll take a sun-drenched stroll towards the village, taking in Motswana architecture and passing by some of the area’s oldest ruins, before heading back to the lodge to relax with a chilled sundowner and tuck into a traditional dinner under a star studded night sky.More +
Day 6: KAZUMA GAME DRIVE
Rise with the larks and head out on an early morning game drive through the tree-lined expanse of Kazuma Forest Reserve. Make like the wisest of Botswana’s wildlife and spend the afternoon taking a siesta in the shade or cooling down in the pool, before jumping back in the jeeps for an epic sunset at a popular Kazuma watering hole.
Rise with the larks Flashpackers, we’ll be heading into the tree-lined expanses of Kazuma Forest Reserve on an early morning game drive. Sandwiched between the borders of two vast national parks, Zimbabwe’s Hwange to the west and Botswana’s Chobe on the east, Kazuma has a prime position on one of the key elephant corridors roamed by over 200,000 tuskers. Fuel up on coffee, grab your camera, then jump into the jeep ready to spot nocturnal predators heading home and early morning birds chorusing the dawn. We’ll spend around four hours traversing popular animal trails, before heading back to camp for a well-earned brunch. Since much of Botswana’s wildlife seek out a shady hiding spot during the midday temperature spike, take a tip from the wise and cool down in the outdoor pool (you’ll have a clear view of the bush and a local watering hole often visited by elephant herds), or head for a siesta in your private chalet. As the sun moves east we’ll take to the jeeps once more for a late afternoon game drive across the open plains, heading for Kazuma’s main water pan for an incredible view of the evening sunset. If you’re lucky, you’ll also glimpse elusive lions, leopards, jackals and honey badgers, as they set off for the nightly hunt. Back at camp, gather in the boma for belly-warming sundowners and enjoy another Motswana dinner under the glow of the Milky Way.More +
Day 7: CHOBE RIVER SAFARI
Kick off the day with a transfer to Chobe National Park, then hop aboard a pontoon to glide along the Chobe river spotting large elephant herds splashing in the water, plus clusters of hippo and even sunbathing crocs. Break for a picnic lunch on the picturesque banks of the river, before heading back to Victoria Falls come evening.
Our final day in Botswana, we’ll kick things off with a transfer to Kasane town just an hour or two away, sitting on the edge of the great Chobe river and National Park. Hop aboard a pontoon and set off for an early morning glide down the mighty waters that separate Botswana and Namibia, before flowing into the powerful Zambezi. A river safari throws up the chance to put your, now well-honed, photography skills to the test, and get an up close look at the huge herds of elephant that make a beeline for the Chobe every day, drinking their fill, splashing in the cool waters, or crossing the breadth to reach Sedudu Island. As we cruise along the water look out for clusters of wild hippo grazing on the banks, plus huge crocodiles lurking in the waters or sunbathing in the shallows. Come lunchtime, tuck into a delicious picnic as the Botswanan marshland and snaking Chobe make for an idyllic backdrop. Later, we’ll travel back to Victoria Falls, where the rest of the evening is yours to spend how you wish. Relax after a busy day animal spotting, or head into Vic Falls town to sample more delicious Zimbabwean cuisine washed down with a chilled craft beer or crisp Sauvignon. Zambezi bream served with fresh greens is a favourite, while sadza (a white maize-based porridge or mash) dished up relish or gravy is a local staple.More +
Day 8: PADDLE DOWN THE ZAMBEZI
Take a well-earned late start to the day and spend the morning relaxing by the pool or just kicking back; you are on holiday after all. Come afternoon we’ll head to the banks of the Zambezi for a South African cooking masterclass, and raft down the water.
It’s your last full day in Zimbabwe Flashpackers, so spend the first half of today as you wish. Sleep in, enjoy a late breakfast gazing at the views and relax by the pool. If you have itchy feet keen for more adventure Victoria Falls is the place to be, from paragliding to white water rafting or a bungee jump for the brave. Come afternoon, we’ll regroup and head to the banks of the Zambezi, where you’ll get a masterclass in South African cooking as you learn to whip up a spicy potjie dinner. While your handiwork sizzles away in a cast iron pot, take to the water in our rafts to paddle your way down river for one last wildlife spotting session with pro-guides from Zambezi National Park. After working up a sweat, glide your way back to the river banks and prepare to tuck in to a tasty three-course meal with your potjie as the star dish. Wash it all down with a well-earned glass of wine and excellent company, as a dusky pink sunset glows over the Zambezi backdrop.More +
Day 9: BYE BYE ZIMBABWE
The time has come to close the door on your Southern African safari adventure. After breakfast at the hotel you’ll need to arrange a transfer to the airport – we’re here to help if you need a hand. What an epic eight days it’s been!
Flashpackers, the time has come to say farewell to Zimbabwe and close the door on your South African safari adventure. You’ll need to arrange your own transfers to Victoria Falls Airport – your guide will be on hand if you need some help. Wherever you’re headed next, you’re sure to be approaching life with a brand new perspective and sense of adventure. You’ve seen the thunderous splendour of Victoria Falls by helicopter and felt the sprays of plunging water land on your face. You’ve watched an epic sunset over iconic Hwange National Park and tracked animal trails by foot through the wild South African bush. You’ve spotted the lions roaming through Zimbabwe and Botswana, watched nocturnal predators stalk the forests of Kazuma, and seen elephants up close at the famous Chobe river. You’ve paddled your way along the waters of the great Zambezi and learnt how to master a sizzling Zimbabwean potjie. You’ve dined under the stars, sipped coffee at daybreak to a chorus of birdsong and toasted sundowners with a crew of new friends for life. All in all, we’d say it’s been one immense trip.More +
Fly into: Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA), Zimbabwe
Fly out of: Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA), Zimbabwe
Please try to arrive before 4pm on day 1 (although we can pick you up anytime on this day) and you can leave anytime on day 9.
We would always recommend booking this adventure sooner rather than later as there are limited spaces on the helicopter and lodges that we stay in.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.
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Depending on how soon your adventure is, you’ll either need to pay a deposit (which can be refunded within 7 days) or the full balance.
International flights aren’t included, but we’ll help you to find the best options from anywhere in the world.
To avoid single supplement charges, we’ll pair you up with a same-sex roommate who shares your interests and values. If you prefer your own room, you’ll just need to pay the extra charge shown below.
Please read the “Important Notes” section of the itinerary before booking and act fast to avoid disappointment; our adventures sell out quickly.
If an adventure is marked “Final call”, you should book asap – but please wait for our team to confirm your place before arranging your flights.
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