Luxury & Private Zimbabwe Safaris

Zimbabwe is a destination that offers stunning scenery, excellent game-viewing, and all the activities and warm hospitality you could ask for while on safari. Despite a turbulent political history, Zimbabweans are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Their bright smiles, welcoming attitude, and genuine warmth will have you wanting to come back to Zimbabwe again and again.

Zimbabwe offers a diverse range of safari experiences and offers classic game viewing, plentiful birdlife, and highly professional guiding. In fact, it’s a point of pride that Zim is known to have the most rigorous guide training program in all of Africa. This destination caters to the active and adventurous traveler, as well as offering rich cultural experiences and some of Africa’s most incredible historic ruins.

Zimbabwe is home to five UNESCO World Heritage sites including the majestic Victoria Falls; known by the locals as Mosi oa Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders), Mana Pools National Park, Matobo Hills for its massive granite formations, and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and Khami Ruins National Monument for their historical significance. Zimbabwe’s national parks (Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Matusadona, Matobo Hills, and Chizarira) ensure top game viewing in some of the more remote and truly wild reserves in Africa. In fact, many professional guides across Africa would choose Zimbabwe for their own personal safari when asked.

Positive political changes over the past decade have bolstered Zimbabwe’s growth in popularity and demand for safaris. As a result, there’s been a large investment into the tourism industry and infrastructure, making Zimbabwe a true competitor in the luxury safari market, which we’ve loved to see, and it offers great value for money as well.

What to expect on a luxury safari in Zimbabwe

For the most part, luxury safaris in Zimbabwe focus on game drives as the primary mode of wildlife viewing. Days are typically scheduled around an early morning and an afternoon drive. Sunset is observed with sundowners in-hand—a gin and tonic is the tradition, but you might pick a tipple from a tailgate mini bar—served in a scenic spot. Depending on your camp or lodge, a gourmet, multi-course dinner can be taken convivially with other guests, privately in your room or al fresco in the bush. After dark, you might gather round an outdoor fire, stargaze, enjoy a night game drive (depending where you are), lay out on a star bed, or simply retreat to your room to rest for the next glorious day on safari.

Additional activities like guided bush walks and walking safaris, community or conservation project visits, horseback riding, mountain biking, scenic flights (and so much more) add diversity to the day. If you are staying near Lake Kariba or along the Zambezi River, you might enjoy sunrise/sunset boat cruises, motorboat safaris, canoeing, or fishing.

If your luxury Zimbabwe itinerary calls on Victoria Falls, it’s a nice way to break up time in the bush. Spend a full day or two touring this iconic site (and puttering around Victoria Falls town) with activities that are relaxed or adrenaline-filled—or a bit of both.

Your trip will also include memorable, highly personalizing accommodations. Zimbabwe has no shortage of luxurious tented safari camps and lodges spanning a diversity of landscapes ranging from open savannah to acacia woodlands, grassland, and riverine forest.

Zimbabwe travel tips from our experts

  • Hwange National Park (Zim’s largest and oldest) is driving distance from Victoria Falls, but we recommend taking the short hopper flight on your arrival day to save time and get you settled into camp.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to take a walking safari with Zimbabwe’s highly qualified guides.
  • June, July, and August are cold due to higher elevations. Pack layers!
  • Zimbabwe offers lots of water-based activities to experience the landscape.

Zimbabwe FAQs

Zimbabwe is a wonderful country for those looking for a quality game experience, with the possibility of adding a cultural and historical component to their trip. Zimbabweans are welcoming and hospitable, and visitors will feel at ease in Zimbabwe.

It is all about the wildlife in Zimbabwe and you’ll see for yourself that the Zimbabwean safari guides are truly excellent. Your guide will take you on a “real” safari in wild and rugged terrain, where their expert skills mean you’ll search for game and learn much along the way. It will suit those looking for a safari that is not just confined to a vehicle, as walkingboating, and canoeing are other ways to appreciate this beautiful country.

Zimbabwe is a good choice for those interested in delving into culture, history and archeology. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are the largest ancient city ruins in Southern Africa that date back to the 11th century, and the Matobo Hills National Park is a granite wilderness with San Rock Art of major spiritual and historical importance.

Travelers will appreciate the friendly and attentive service, and high quality accommodations and we love the personal touches at many camps owned by individuals and small companies in Zimbabwe. Travelers will find that Zimbabwe is a fairly laid-back destination that epitomizes old-world safari style and ethos.

Eight to 10 days is a good amount of time to experience luxury safari in Zimbabwe. This allows you two nights in Victoria Falls, and two or three nights in two different safari locations.

Zimbabwe is a malaria endemic country and visitors are at risk of contracting the mosquito-transmitted disease.

The CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Zimbabwe take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Consult your doctor to assess which antimalarial is the best option for you.

Zimbabwe has a wide range of accommodation at different price points throughout the different seasons.

There are great camps at mid to upper range which boast safari-chic style, warm hosting and top-notch guiding. If you are seeking luxury, Singita PamushanaLinkwasha, or Mpala Jena are top choices.

While not a cheap destination due to the small plane flights required to travel around, Zimbabwe offers great value for money when compared with Zambia or Botswana, it’s neighboring countries.

Want to stretch your travel dollar? Zimbabwe is a great option for secret season safari travel.

Many of our luxury Zimbabwe safari itineraries arrive in Zimbabwe via Victoria Falls. You could fly into the capital, Harare. Although, the country’s larger cities (including Bulawayo) have shopping, restaurants, and nightlife, but we don’t consider them classic ‘big city’ destinations. For that reason, you won’t find them featuring prominently on our itineraries. Of course, all of our trips are custom-tailored so we can accommodate all arrivals.

Wildlife in Zimbabwe

  • Zimbabwe is home to classic big game animals, in addition to numerous other mammals and birdlife.

  • Hwange is a Big Five reserve and sable, cheetah, brown hyenas and wild dog are found in good numbers in the park.

  • Mana Pools is a prime location to see elephant and buffalo in the dry season and hippopotamus and crocodiles year-round.

  • The Matobo Hills National Park has breeding programs for the endangered black eagle and rhino which makes for a really special game-viewing experience.

When is the best time to go on safari in Zimbabwe?

There is no “bad time” to go to Zimbabwe, although November through March gets very hot and this might be uncomfortable for some. During this time it can also get rainy which makes the scenery beautiful and lush, but game-viewing can prove to be a bit more challenging.

Best
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Good
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  • Zimbabwe’s dry season runs between May-October which is our most recommended time to visit.
  • From mid-November onward Zimbabwe can get quite hot, although the game viewing is good during this green season.
  • April, May, and June are great months to visit for game viewing, although the evenings can get cold – even down to freezing.

What to do on safari in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe offers a variety of ways to experience the country, and a mix of accommodation types to fit your taste and budget.

On safari, game drives and bush walks are the main game-viewing activities in the reserves, but there are also photographic hides, fishing, boating and canoeing. Up in Matopos, you can track rhino on foot and visit ancient rock art sites.

Break up your safari with a couple of nights on a houseboat on Lake Kariba. Activities for the more adventurous are clustered around Victoria Falls and can include white water rafting, swimming in Devil’s Pool, and helicopter flights over the Falls.

Where to go on safari in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has a range of fascinating national parks, historical ruins, iconic falls, and areas of incredible scenery. Victoria Falls, Hwange, and Mana Pools are musts for first-time Zimbabwe safari-goers, but we also love recommending Matobo Hills, Gonarezhou, and Matusadona/Lake Kariba for those looking for more unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Victoria Falls

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Hwange National Park

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Mana Pools National Park

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Matobo Hills National Park

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Gonarezhou and Malilangwe

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Matusadona and Lake Kariba

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Our favorite luxury Zimbabwe safari itineraries

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Odyssey Through Africa

From gorilla trekking to the great migration

16 Days | $11,900 per person
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Old-World Glamour: Africa by Rail

From Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa

10 Days | $12,250 per person
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Family Fun Safari Across Southern Africa

Top safari experiences in Botswana & Zimbabwe geared toward young families

13 Days | $11,750 per person
Cheetah at African Bushcamps
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Ultra-Luxury Safari to Zimbabwe and Botswana

Wildlife, local communities, and Victoria Falls

14 Days | $31,300 per person
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Zambia & Zimbabwe: Barefoot Luxury Adventure

Prime wildlife locations, activities, and adventure

10 Days | $7,750 per person
Plan your Trip, Vumbura Plains Camp
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Classic Botswana Safari with Victoria Falls

Incredible wildlife and plenty of adventure

9 Days | $10,900 per person

Our favorite luxury safari camps & lodges in Zimbabwe

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IMG_8462 copy Tamara Ferdman