A Hearty Hop, a sentimental Skip and a Jovial Jump away! Zimbabwe has captured this girls heart!
With much delight, I had the opportunity to host a group of agents and tour operators to visit Zimbabwe, to showcase our latest addition to our portfolio, Pioneers Camp and Miombo Safari Camp.
African Synergy teamed up with FlyAfrica, AdventureZone, Wilderness Safaris and of course Pioneers and Miombo to give our participants a good taste of what was on offer in Victoria Falls and surrounds. It was my first time to Zimbabwe so was really anxious to see what it had to offer. With seven of us in tow we were ready to set off!
FlyAfrica was very pleasant, the aircrafts were clean and the staff very friendly, offering very affordable airfares to Victoria Falls, and now Hwange and Windhoek too.
Our first night was at Miombo Safari Camp, which is situated just outside Hwange National Park, and just over a 2 hour drive from VFA airport. I was very pleasantly surprised by the upkeep of the roads we travelled on, my mind had braced itself for a rocky drive, but this was not the case at all!
Miombo is an intimate 3 star camp offering a total of 10 rooms, with our favourites being the two elevated treehouses and the four raised platform tents, all overlooking a waterhole. Great option for clients looking for an affordable option in the Hwange area.
During our afternoon game drive into Hwange National Park, we experienced an amazing sighting of over about 70 elephants at a hide overlooking a waterhole, paired up with some very relaxed hippos, it was a special sighting, especially accompanied by a refreshing sundowner:)
Early the next morning we set off with Adventure Zone to meet their Elephants (they offer elephant back safaris); visit their Bonis Air Helicopter pad (and luckily quite a few of the group got to experience the Victoria Falls from a helicopter – and they absolutely loved it!), and finally headed off for Victoria Falls town to enjoy a delicious Thai meal at “Namtook” (definitely recommended!), followed by a visit to the Falls (yay!)
The Falls was everything and more than I expected.. as we arrived the heavens opened up for the first rains of the season (although it didn’t last long), so there was an incredibly fresh and and refreshing energy during our walk around the falls. Even a peculiar warthog came out to visit the falls!
We headed off to the Zambezi National Park Gate, to meet the team from Pioneers Camp. Pioneers is situated in the park, which is just 17km upstream from Victoria Falls. The game drive was stopped halfway as we were driven to the riverbank and met by two boats to take us on the final stretch to camp, on the Zambezi River. Wow! this was one of my highlights.. Hippos watched us curiously as we passed, whilst ahead of us we were blessed with the most incredible African Sunset which reflected off this mighty river.. A definite stillframe in my mind forever!
Pioneers Camp is truly something special, with only 6 tents overlooking the Zambezi river, you feel like you have arrived in the heart of Africa. As we arrived on the banks of the river, we were greeted by “Casper, the Friendly Host”, Johannes, and of course Mike and Francie, who run the lodge. This would be our home for the next two nights, and it was great that we got an early night that night in wonderfully spacious and comfortable tents, as the next day was going to be rather adventurous for some!
Sunday arrived, Lance (Rove Africa) and Zahedah (Comair/Holiday Tours) decided to stay in camp and experience all it had to offer, whilst Maveshni (Thompsons Holidays) was anxious for her bungi-jump, and Desire (DesireAfrica), Orisha ( Thompsons), Samantha (Thompsons) and myself decided to go white river rafting down the Zambezi……….
I have to elaborate on my little white river rafting adventure.. I had an idea of what we were getting ourselves into, but had I had the full blown picture, I think I may have chosen bungee-jumping instead! But saying that I am SO glad that I did it and I can say it with pride. Getting up and down that gorge is a challenge in itself, never mind the 24km rafting journey, and a few grade 5 rapids thrown in, and a couple of ladies thrown out (the raft!). What an experience.. Thank you Brent and AdventureZone !
That evening we all enjoyed our final night together, with a wonderful braai under the stars, a few refreshments, and we reflected on the last few days worth of adventures. I slept like three logs in a row that night!
Monday arrived, and we had time for one final activity, canoeing down the Zambezi River. Such a beautiful and calm experience, (once we had passed the one particular nearby hippo which I am sure looked into my soul and actually said a prayer for me!!) and a great way to complete our trip.
Time for goodbyes had arrived, and many sincere and grateful hugs were shared with all the staff involved in our epic African adventure. I have to say that I left a piece of my heart in Zim, I am only saddened that it has taken my 37 years to get across the border and experience this beautiful place. The part that stays with me the most are the people, their warmth and genuine intentions which left me humbled and wanting to return as soon as possible.
Thank you to FyAfrica, Pioneers Camp, Miombo Safari camp and Adventure Zone for hosting the trip, and I hope to be able to pass on my passion for Zimbabwe that I experienced to others, the way you did to us!