4 Days from$1020 p/p in USD
With a reputation as one of the best guides in Africa, Leon is a highly experienced walking guide and has personally led over 300 safaris. He believes the only way to truly see Africa is on foot and operates his safaris in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s premier and largest wildlife area, in an area of the park with a healthy population of game including black rhino, which you may be lucky to track and see in their natual habitat.
Safari types:Camping Safari, Guided Safari, Walking Safari, Wildlife Safari
You will visit:Hwange
Start/end:Start/end in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park encompasses 14,500 square kms of which only the northern third is used for commercial purposes. The northern central area, around Sinamatella, is prolific in natural features including permanent water holes, natural springs, mineral and salt licks and underground water sources which are used by the wildlife especially in the dry season, June to November, when the resources become scarce in the south. This is where Leon Varley concentrates his safari operations. It is not as accessible as the east of the park and so is less utilized by the tourist industry, ensuring a more satisfying wilderness experience.
Hwange has a healthy population of the main southern African game species such as buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, kudu, sable, rhino, impala, wildebeest, zebra, eland and the smaller mammals but as an elephant viewing destination it stands on its own. The elephant population is conservatively estimated at over 35,000 and during the dry season it is not unusual to count over 1,000 animals at some waterholes over a 24 hour period. This area is also a protection zone for black rhino and it is still possible to track these magnificent animals.
There are a number of camps in the Sinamatella area which we use. They all overlook the Lukosi River and are chosen because of their proximity to either pools or underground water sources that are used by game during the dry season. Known as Eco Camps, these camps have no permanent structures and everything must be taken in and then removed after every safari.
Our camp is comfortable with traditional large walk in tents which have bush bathrooms en-suite and proper beds and bedding. Dining is either around the campfire or in a dining tent well placed to overlook the river bed. All camp chores, food preparations and laundry service are carried out by experienced camp staff.
Transport is by open game viewing vehicle and each safari is taken by Leon Varley and a traditional Matabele tracker. The guide is fully licensed armed and carries a well stocked first aid kit and satellite phone. The tracker carries a back up weapon and extra water.
Walks are taken in the morning after an early breakfast and late afternoon when it is cooler. Participants must be fit enough to be able to cover 15 -20 kms in a day split into two or three separate walks. Much of the time on the ground is spent tracking and stalking large game, mainly rhino and lion as they are the more elusive and unlikely to be come across by chance. Leopard is notoriously hard to track but is an animal of habit and tends to be found in the same areas. Other game is prolific enough to chance on or see at the water holes.
The middle of the day is spent either in camp or at a waterhole where lunch will be served. We return to camp 30 minutes after sunset for sundowners, a hot shower, dinner and drinks around the fire.
RATES – PER PERSON USD
From USD 1,020 per person – 4 day backed up walking safari
From USD 1,275 per person – 5 day backed up walking safari
- There is no single supplement
- There is no high or low season rate
- The safari will be guided by Leon Varley unless otherwise stated
- Bookings will be done on a first come first serve basis and special requests will override scheduled
safaris if there are no bookings
Other Safaris – contact us for more details
- Per day tailor-made safaris can be booked in Chizarira and Hwange National Parks
- Special safaris into Gonarezhou National Park or Expeditions into Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Madagascar and Ethiopia
- All food and drinks
- Transfers from Victoria Falls
- Parks fees USD 10.00 per day entry and USD23.50 per night camping fee – these fees are subject to change and must be paid direct on entry into the park
- Comprehensive medical and travel insurance – it is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the client to ensure that they carry the correct insurance
- This itinerary is owned and delivered by ‘Leon Varley Walking Safaris‘
- All prices are ‘From’ and may vary at the time of booking
- Display price is usually based on two people sharing
- ‘Leon Varley Walking Safaris‘ reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
- All itineraries are subject to availability
Day by Day Overview
You will be picked up from your hotel in Victoria Falls at 08.00 for the start of your safari. The drive to Hwange National Park takes about 2 hours. Once you enter the park you take a slow drive deeper into the park game viewing along the way until you reach Vikani, our campsite on the edge of Lukosi river. The Vikani camp is a great location with a small cliff overlooking favorite waterholes for elephants and other wildlife and it is not unusual to have elephants digging and drinking directly below the dining tent.
Before your arrival a full camp will have been erected by camp staff and on arrival you have a chance to settle into your tents and have lunch. After lunch and relaxing, a short walk will be taken along the river bed to see what wildlife is around. You will return to camp just after sunset where you will be greeted by snacks and sundowners around the campfire. Time for a hot shower before dinner.
An early start after a light breakfast. The day’s activities will depend on what might have gone on during the night. You could have possibly heard lions calling close to the camp during the night so we’ll go on a walk in search of them. The river bed will be checked for rhino spoor, that could possibly have been drinking there during the night, if found you’ll spend the morning tracking them. Late morning you will return to camp in time for lunch and a siesta during the heat of the day. In the afternoon you will take a short drive to one of the spring lines and mineral licks and continue walking, game viewing and tracking along the way. You return to camp after sunset.
Early start and a walk depending on game activities of the night. After lunch you take a slow drive out of the park returning to Victoria Falls late afternoon.
NB: this is only a guide and the itinerary remains flexible depending on conditions and movement of game. You can add an extra day to this safari so you spend 3 days exploring Hwange.