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Tdgraves posted a topic in ZimbabweI feel that I have to apologise for the severe delay in posting this TR and at least need to START before I leave for Africa again in a few weeks' time. Life has somewhat taken over in the past couple of months. My father in law was admitted to hospital whilst we were away and died two weeks after our return. The 14 weeks since we have been back therefore have been somewhat of a blur, but with the festive season, we have had time to decompress (and process 9000 photos) so now I can start, if not finish, before we go to the Kruger. We were not sure that we could afford a "posh" safari in 2017, given the hammering that the pound received following Brexit. We thought that it may need to be South Africa again, given that all other countries charge in US $, which are now 20% more expensive for us to buy. I had booked flights a year in advance with air miles and had managed a first for us - we would be flying first class! So, when I rang our travel agents with our dates, it was completely without expectation. In fact, my opening line was "I don't think that we can afford this, but give it a go and we'll see what we can do". This prompted a long stay discount for African Bush Camps and free return flights for Matusadona and we did not fall off of our chairs at the cost when she returned with an itinerary! In fact, it was not much more than our first Zim trip cost in 2011 (given that the infrastructure has now improved e.g. scheduled flights), albeit not including the international flights and it would be our longest safari ever - we had a deal! We took a suggested night out at Vic Falls, as we had been there in dry season before and decided to break the journey in Johannesburg, as on our previous trip, the 25 hours of travelling half killed us! So we would stay with our friends overnight in JNB and drive to the airport the following morning. Itinerary 31/8 Overnight LHR to JNB 1/9 Overnight in JNB 2/9 JNB to VFA, internal flight to Hwange Somalisa Main Camp, 4 nights 6/9 Internal flight to Matusadona Changa Safari camp, 4 nights 10/9 Internal flight to Mana Main Zambezi Expeditions 3 nights Kanga Camp 3 nights 16/9 Internal flight Mana to Harare (refuelling at Kariba), Harare to JNB, JNB to LHR (quite tiring) 17/9 Home So 2 nights in the air, 1 in JNB and a massive 14 in the bush. Given it was our first experience of first class, I couldn't resist taking some iPhone photos.... Dedicated check in area Leading to a very quiet dedicated security line, that leads straight into the lounge, where the Concorde room has a restaurant before you then eat again on the plane - starter main notice the proper glassware and table setting! two windows back in Africa Sorry, I realise that this is a safari forum, not a plane spotter's one, but it was all pretty impressive and unlikely to be repeated often (certainly not paying cash!). It is very nice having your bed made for you, with proper linens as well as being in the nose of a jumbo. Being at the front of the plane, we disembarked quickly, but there was still a bit of a queue for immigration, but not too bad. Very slick service at the Avis desk to get our 24 hour car hire (actually managing to use a free rental voucher for once) and despite there being 3 separate accidents on the motorway, we got to the Northern Suburbs of Joburg at about when expected and could chill out and catch up with our friends for the rest of the day.
This report relates mainly to my ten day stay in March this year. I have included pictures, scans of slides, made in May 1998 during a business trip as well as those taken in September 2000 during a ten day stay. In 1998, I spent only one night in Hwange and I completely forgotten where it was (nothing unforgettable, I guess ?). I made one game drive from Main Camp to Robin’s Camp. I saw a lot of elephants and hippos. The following pictures were taken somewhere between Sinamatela and Robin. If I remember rightly, ten days in high season, even with better viewing conditions (less vegetation and no tall grass), sixteen years ago, were not better than ten days in green season, nowadays, but this is only my opinion.
Soukous posted a topic in Lodge, camp and operator newsIf you have been following my most recent TR and are itching to visit Zimbabwe we have a neat little package that offers some pretty special experiences at a very reasonable cost. Victoria Falls, Hwange and Mana Pools – 11 nights / 12 days Our itinerary brings together two of Africa's finest National Parks – Hwange and Mana Pools - with one of the world's natural wonders – Victoria Falls. It runs at a gentle pace that allows you time to settle in and really get to know these great wildlife areas; giving you maximum time and opportunity for photography. Outline itinerary Day 1 Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls Hotel. B&B Day 2 Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls Hotel. B&B Day 3 Victoria Falls – Hwange National Park. Somalisa Camp. Fully Inclusive Day 4 Hwange National Park – Somalisa Camp. Fully Inclusive Day 5 Hwange National Park – transfer from Somalisa to Bomani Tented Lodge. Fully Inclusive Day 6 Hwange National Park – Bomani Tented Lodge. Fully Inclusive. Day 7 Flight to Mana Pools National Park. Zambezi Lifestyles. Fully Inclusive Day 8 Mana Pools National Park – Zambezi Lifestyles. Fully Inclusive Day 9 Mana Pools National Park – Zambezi Lifestyles. Fully Inclusive Day 10 Mana Pools National Park - Kanga Camp. Fully Inclusive Day 11 Mana Pools National Park - Kanga Camp. Fully Inclusive Day 12 Mana Pools National Park – Harare. Click here for a more detailed itinerary. Price per person sharing 2015 Apr – Jun $6,065/£3,760 Jul – Oct $6,300/£3,895 Nov $5,630/£3,490 (These represent a saving of between 10%-13% off rack rate) Price includes: Transfer on arrival from airport to Victoria Falls Hotel Road transfers from Victoria Falls Hotel to Somalisa Camp Road Transfers from Somalisa Camp to Bomani Tented Camp Flight from Bomani Tented Camp to Mana Pools Flight from Mana Pools to Harare Accommodation as follows: 2 nights - Victoria Falls Hotel – double or twin share basis – Bed & Breakfast 2 nights - Somalisa Camp – double or twin share basis – Fully Inclusive 2 nights – Bomani Tented Lodge – double or twin share basis – Fully Inclusive 3 nights – Zambezi Lifestyles – double or twin share basis – Fully Inclusive 2 nights – Kanga Camp – double or twin share basis – Fully Inclusive Game activities in Hwange NP and Mana Pools NP Price excludes: International flights visa costs Travel insurance tips Meals other than those specified above vaccinations, medicines and other items of a personal nature optional activities in Victoria Falls