14th July - 21st July 2001
We flew to Zimbabwe via South Africa and arrived in Victoria Falls. The town of Victoria Falls was very quiet compared with the last time we had visited five years ago.
Here you can see an ariel view of the falls, known locally as 'The Smoke that Thunders'. In the right of the picture you can see the famous bridge.
We stayed on the Zambian side of the falls at The River Club which is on the banks of the Zambezi River.
We flew from Victoria Falls to our first camp at Matusadona by Cessna 152.
The Matusadona Water Wilderness camp is on a river near the shores of Lake Kariba.
All the rooms are floating 'chalets' with a balcony deck to watch the world go by. Transport to and from your room is either by motorised boat or you can paddle your own canoe like Simon did.
At Matusadona we saw elephants, a few hippos, baby rhinos at a conservation project, elephants and lots of different types of birds.
Click here for Matusadona Wildlife photos.
The Chikweyna Camp is situated on the bank of the Zambezi River in the Mana Pools area.
There are so many hippos in this part of the river that the locals call it Hippo City. Here we explored by landrover, canoe, boat and on foot.
The day we arrived we were fortunate to see all the big five in one day.
We saw the baby rhinos in Matusadona in the morning and on our evening drive we saw elephants, buffalo, a leopard and two young male lions.
The leopard was a particularly special sight as the last one we had seen was over 10 years previously in the Serengeti.
We came across a leopard in the early evening just after sunset where it was lying in wait to hunt impala.
We sat in the dark (so that we did not give its position away to the impala) waiting for it to make its move, we could hear but not see it hunting.
The leopard was unsuccesful on this occasion, but we did manage to watch it resting for a while.
Then we noticed behind the landrover there were two young male lions resting behind a hillock. We had a leopard in front of us and lions behind us!
Canoeing at Chikweyna proved interesting due to the large numbers of hippos we had to navigate around, we made sure we kept well clear of them.
Click here for Chikweyna wildlife photos .
Our final camp was Makalolo Plains in the heart of Hwange National Park.
This picture is a view from the deck of the main camp across the concession. Here we saw wildlife on foot and in a landrover.
We got quite close to a herd of buffalo on one walking safari.
The animals we saw here included lots of different antelope, sable and rowan as well as the usual waterbuck and impala.
We saw lots of elephants, some of which enjoyed drinking from the swimming pool in the camp. There were also giraffe, wildebeast and zebra.
Click here for Hwange wildlife photos.
Following our trip to Namibia last year with Wilderness Safaris we again booked a Wilderness tour. This trip was the Best of Zimbabwe Wing Safari and included transfers between the camps by light aircraft.
We flew in Cessnas 152, 206 and a very luxurious Caravan. Wilderness do not advertise directly you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or book through a travel agent.