© Back Track Adventures 2024 | ABN: 89 648 174 396
To celebrate our 40 year love affair with Africa, Trish and Jim, your safari escorts have meticulously crafted a never to be repeated once only safari where we intend to surpass the expectations of any first time Africa traveller or the most addicted Africa devotee.
Our Anniversary Safari is centred in beautiful Zimbabwe, a nation of friendly and welcoming people ever prepared to present the visitor with a warm-hearted African experience.
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST, MAKE EVERY SAFARI DAY FUN
LIMITED TO ONLY 14 ADVENTUROUS PEOPLE!
Welcome to Africa and Victoria Falls – Like the famous explorer Dr Livingstone discovered, your first view of the Falls will be mesmerising. On arrival at Victoria Falls international airport you will be met by the smiling faces of your Back Track Safari Crew and transferred to our Victoria Falls home away from home, the very comfortable Amadeus Garden Lodge. This afternoon, time to relax at the Lodge after your flights, get acquainted with your Back Track safari crew and fellow travelers, discuss your upcoming 3-week adventure, and then prepare for a unique, welcome to Africa dining experience at Dusty Road restaurant. Hidden away in Chinotimba, the oldest “Township” in Victoria Falls, you step inside a welcoming and thriving home and experience the vibrancy of the community, while enticing smells waft across from the charcoal fires and your eyes are treated to bright, inventive regional decorations designed with a heavy dose of African humour and ingenuity. Food is cooked the Zimbabwean way, on open fires and in cast iron pots and ovens, providing an authentic, wholesome, and tasty food experience. The Dusty Road style is cheerful, earthy, funky, and full of soul, with a true purpose at its core – empowering the local community. All food is seasonal and locally sourced. One night – superior class ensuite room – Amadeus Garden Lodge (D)
Hwange National Park – Zebra at Chitubu waterhole Although we return to Victoria Falls for 2 nights at the end of the safari, it would be amiss not to visit this amazing spectacle at the beginning of your trip. After breakfast on Day 2, Innocent, our cheerful local guide, will accompany us on a private tour of the Falls. At the time of our visit, the Falls will be at peak flow, which makes for a breathtaking thundering spectacle as the river plunges 100 meters over a span of 1.7 kilometers into the Zambezi River Gorge. On completition of our Falls tour and an early lunch, we depart on a 2-hour drive to Hwange National Park, the largest park in Zimbabwe and renowned worldwide for its diverse wildlife. Henry, our Coaster bus driver who will safely steer and accompany us throughout our journey is both a proud Zimbabwean, excellent driver and a great travel companion. We will be spending 3 nights deeply immersed in the Sinamatella Region of the park at Camp Chitubu – built on a ridge overlooking a natural spring. This spectacular site lends itself to luxury and leisure, surrounded by Zimbabwe’s finest wildlife. The spring from which the camp is named, holds water all year round, and acts as a magnet for wildlife. 3 nights – luxury ensuite safari tent – Chitubu Safari Camp (B, L, D)
At Chitubu Safari Camp, led by professional guides Julian Brookstein and Sibhale “Sibs” Sibanda, our days will be filled with early morning and late afternoon game drives as well as walking opportunities, making awe-inspiring approaches to wild animals. Sunset each day is Sundowners time, an African safari tradition where we settle back with a fine South African wine, or gin and tonic, a few light snacks and enjoy the sunset over the African bush while espousing ‘tales of derring-do’. We finish each Safari Day with a fine candlelit dinner, a quiet drink and chat around the campfire. Back to your tent for a good night’s sleep to be ready for the next day of adventure. For 3 days, Hwange offers you the authentic African safari experience, with Zimbabwe’s best guides. Add this 3-day experience at Chitubu, with our upcoming 3 days at Mana Pools, and 3 days at Matusadona later in our journey and you can expect awe inspiring wildlife encounters on this adventure. Hwange National Park Notes Covering a staggering 14,651 square kilometers, its grasslands and mopane forests are home to large herds of elephants and cape buffalo, as well as giraffes, kudu, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetah, and wild dogs; it has the lot, plus, over 400 bird species – pack your binoculars.
480 km scenic drive today to Matobo National Park, situated 35 km out of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city. Joining us for our two days at Matobo will be Paul Hubbarb. Paul is a Zimbabwean born Archaeologist and Historian living in Bulawayo specializing in African culture and history as well as rock art. Voted by Vanity Fair (UK) as one of the top 10 guides in Africa. Paul’s insights will enhance our Matobo experience. The Matopos Hills area, within Matabo, exhibit a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe. The large boulders provide abundant natural shelters and have been associated with human occupation from the early stone age right through to recent historical times. They also boast one of the highest concentrations of rock art found anywhere in the world, which Paul will help to interpret. We will also visit Cecil Rhodes Grave at World’s Views. Rhodes was an imperialist, businessman and politician who played a dominant role in Southern Africa in the late 19th Century, driving the annexation of vast swathes of land. He founded the De Beers diamond firm which until recently controlled the global diamond trade. On our first evening we plan to have ‘sundowners’ at Lightning Rock, where it is said, “you taste the sun with your lips”. The Matopos Hills continue to provide a strong focus for the local community, which still uses shrines and sacred places closely linked to traditional, social, and economic activities. In 2003, Matabo was inscribed onto the World Heritage list by UNESCO. While at Matabo, we will game drive to the Whovi wilderness area. This is a specially protected area for both white and black rhino. This area has the last significant population of rhino in Zimbabwe, and the best way to view…
360 km drive takes us from the rugged rocky hills of Matobo to the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe located in the rolling hills of the midlands area of the country. Once again, Paul Hubbarb will join us at Great Zimbabwe ensuring a unique insight. Great Zimbabwe was part of a wealthy African trading empire that controlled much of the East African coast from the 11th to the 15th centuries, and the site remains an important part of African history and archaeology. The modern state of Zimbabwe is named after this historical city, “Zimbabwe” meaning “house of stone” ” derived from “dzimba-dza-mabwe” from the local dialect. Our accommodation for two nights is situated upon a granite outcrop close to the site of Great Zimbabwe. The lodge has sweeping views of a valley filled with trees and faces in the direction of the Great Zimbabwe monument, so that you can see the Great Enclosure with its famous conical tower from the lodge. The architecture of the lodge is inspired by the monument, capturing, and reflecting the essence of Great Zimbabwe itself. Lodge at the Ancient City offers the perfect setting for us to explore the archaeology of yet another of Zimbabwe’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. 2 nights – comfortable suite at The Lodge at the Ancient City. (B, L, D)
Our personal insight to daily Zimbabwean life. A 350km drive to Musangano Lodge near Mutare, gateway to the Eastern Highlands. We leave behind the rugged bushy plains of the lowlands of the south and visit this beautiful range of mountains that line the eastern border of Zimbabwe with Mozambique. The terrain is characterised by steep mountains, deep valleys, and dense misty forests. Musangano Lodge is our base for 3 nights. Musangano meaning ‘the place where people meet’ in the local Shona language. This charming, small house style accommodation with atmospheric central meeting and dining facilities is the ideal base location from which to explore the magical Vumba and mountainous Nyanga areas, during our stay. Over the next 2 days, we have a choice of activities available. On any day, for anyone wishing to stay in and around the lodge, there are a selection of well signposted easy grade walks from the lodge through the beautiful forest areas and more challenging summit walks for the very fit. Dinners will be a special joy during our stay. The lodge restaurant, the Pamuchakata, is well regarded and offers a fusion of local Southern African dishes with Central European cuisine. 3 nights – private ensuite chalet/house – Musangano Lodge. (B, L, D)
View over Odzi River Valley As a wonderful addition to our stay, our lodge hosts, Gerd and Bigi, together with managers Leonard and Bright, compliment the wildlife and nature viewing aspects of our visit by offering us insights into the lives of local Zimbabweans with the rare opportunities of first hand and authentic experiences with local people in their homes and workplaces. These visits are both welcomed and enjoyed by the local people in the area. On our first outing, we intend to enjoy an easy day exploring the local area. We will visit a successful farmer, a local primary school, and possibly undertake a guided walk along the Odzi River Valley and soak up the ambience of country life. Back at the lodge in time to enjoy sunset drinks and yummy food at the Pamuchakata restaurant. The following day, we will travel further afield and explore the mystical Vumba Mountains, known as the ‘the mountains in the mist.’ We will once again immerse ourselves into the local rural life, visiting a local farmer on his small rural property and then spoil ourselves with sweet treats from a locally famous restaurant. A guided leisurely walk through a subtropical mountain forest in the afternoon will top off another wonderful day. Back to the lodge for more yummy food and a good night’s sleep before our journey continues tomorrow to Harare the Capital of Zimbabwe.
238 km drive today to Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. April is the start of the “Tobacco Season” when farmers harvest, cure and send tobacco to the auction floors in the capital. We plan to visit a commercial tobacco farm on our journey today. Zimbabwe has a long history of producing and exporting tobacco. Agriculture as a sector occupies a significant role in the country’s economy, contributing on average around 15% of GDP over the past three decades. We have not planned to spend more than today in Harare, as travel time due to road congestion within the capital, forbids easy access for us to sightsee. Our slow journey in and out of the city is truly fascinating as it provides a wonderful view of city life. Be prepared for a fun and potential eye-popping experience. One of many ‘special’ highlights on our journey will be our stay tonight in Harare at Amanzi Lodge. This 5-star boutique lodge, restaurant and landscaped oasis is privately run by husband-and-wife team, Andrew, and Julia Mama. Both are creative in their respective ways. Andrew loves food and gardens; Julia loves interior design and African art. Amanzi was created for guests to experience the beauty of African art, great food, interior design, and spectacular landscaped gardens. “Tonight we have a fine dining experience planned, at Amanzi’s renowned restaurant.” HARARE NOTES 1. Formerly known as Salisbury, Harare was founded in 1890 at the spot where the British South African Company’s Pioneer Column halted its march into Mashonaland. The camp was named after Lord Salisbury, the then Prime Minister of GB. 2. Population approx. 3 million plus. 3. Trish, your tour escort, attended school in Harare. A highlight will be a visit to Trish’s old school to view her school desk, complete with her carved initials. (Definitely joking,…
We hit the road early heading north through the heartlands of Zimbabwe. The journey can be slow, but always fascinating as the highway is a major corridor carrying local traffic and truck convoys from Zambia and beyond. Passing through small villages and towns, we arrive at our transfer point, Chirundu on the Zambezi River. Here we leave our Coaster bus and board specially designed river boats for an incredible 75-minute trip downstream through wild sections of the Zambezi River. Here the Zambezi River forms the border with Zimbabwe and Zambia. Both sides of the river are protected wildlife and national park reserves. Expect to see hippos, crocs, and incredible birdlife before we arrive at our home for 3 nights at Camp Mana. With the Camp Mana staff and guide team lead by Steve Bolnick, one of southern Africa’s most outstanding wildlife guides with Craig Chittenden, founder of the safari company we are in the best of hands. Camp Mana philosophy is ‘to touch the earth lightly’ which is immediately apparent on arrival. The camp operates on solar power with a back up generator for emergencies. Each comfortably furnished safari tent has flush toilet and a hot shower. The camp is seasonal and designed to be completely dismantled ensuring very little impact. Mana Pools is considered one of the best walking safari destinations in Africa. Additionally, our time can be spent on game drives, canoeing, or just sitting and enjoying the endless parade of wildlife that can be viewed from the camp. The abundance and variety of wildlife in the area is breath-taking. This is wilderness in its rawest. The wild-dog pack featured in David Attenborough’s “Dynasties’ pass through the camp frequently and Elephant Waterbuck and Eland are constantly around the camp. There is also a local lion pride that adds…
After breakfast, we transfer by river boats back to Chirundu, where we board our Coaster bus and depart on a 97-kilometre road journey through scenic wildlife reserves to the small township of Kariba on the banks of Lake Kariba. Here we have lunch and while visiting the Dam wall, learn the story of Nyami Nyami the Zambezi River Goddess as well as the story of what is famously known worldwide as Operation Noah, the most incredible wildlife rescue and human relocation story of all time. Operation Noah rivals the Noah’s Ark biblical story for sheer magnitude and effort. Armed now with this background history of manmade Lake Kariba, our three days will take on a whole new atmosphere and understanding of how remarkable this area is. Returning from the dam wall, we board a Lodge transfer boat and cruise up the largest man-made lake in the world to arrive at Matusadona National Park for another 3-day deep immersion in nature. The lake itself is home for many varieties of fish as well as large populations of hippo and monster size Nile crocodiles which rival the size of our own famous Aussie ‘salties’. Our base is Musango Safari Camp and accommodation is in luxurious safari tents with ensuite bathroom built from stone. Each tent is set in thick forest and face east out over the lake, towards the rising sun. Being another small ‘boutique style camp” our friendly Zimbabwean hosts Steve and Wendy, add so much to our stay with their knowledge and creative daily activity plans. Each day we undertake escapades by land and water to track the large elephant herds, lion, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, and a myriad of smaller game species that live in this area. Birding is spectacular. Musango is rated first in Zimbabwe and third in Southern…
Trish, admiring her High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel with the Falls mist in the background. This morning we transfer by boat to Bumi Hills airstrip on a neighbouring island where we will board our charter flight to Victoria Falls airport. Henry will be waiting to collect us and deliver us safely back to Amadeus Garden Lodge. Once at the lodge we have time to discuss and arrange any optional tours required, and there are many exciting options available. The free “Vulture Show” should be on your list, as well as a helicopter flight over the Falls, which will be spectacularly in full flood at this time. The afternoon would be a good time to enjoy “High Tea” on the cool veranda of the Victoria Falls Hotel, the historic hangout of Kings, Queens, villains and heroes and a marvellous architectural remnant and monument to the days of the British Empire. Dinner tonight at the Lookout Restaurant located on the gorge edge will top off another wonderful day in paradise. 2 nights superior ensuite room – Amadeus Garden Lodge. (B, D)
Unfortunately, our last safari day. Many will still be involved in optional activities, but it’s time now for last minute shopping, and the downtown craft markets are the perfect place to purchase unique gifts and memorabilia. Nearby are great cafes and even a brewery for a relaxed lunch. Lunches in Victoria Falls are the only meals not provided as we all will all be out exploring and shopping. Taxis to and from the lodge and town are safe and with a set cheap price. Late afternoon we rendezvous back at our Lodge and set out for a “romantic” sunset dinner cruise on the Zambezi River for our last night in Africa. Here, surrounded by hippos and everchanging coloured sky, we will say goodbye to our fellow adventurers, and I am confident to predict that many of our team will be making plans to return. We have engaged Sue Cottrell, another historian to join us tonight on the cruise to regale us with the amazing life story of the famous explorer David Livingstone. A group toast, with African water, will be our last official act today. Old African proverb, “Once you have tasted the water from Africa, you will always hold Africa deep in your heart and one day, you will return.”
A final toast to Beautiful Zimbabwe. After breakfast, Henry will transfer you to the International Airport for your onward flights. Sadly, our Safari concludes. Anyone wishing to explore Africa further, should talk with our consultants to investigate the many wonderful add on options available. Please check our Information Nights for dates and times if you wish to join us from anywhere in the world for an exciting 25-minute, computer info session that will be both informative and hopefully, inspiring.
$16,450 per person
This journey has a minimum group size of 10 and a maximum group size of 14
Especially for our Ruby Anniversary Safari, we have added services, when required, of 2 additional ‘escorts’- (historians/archaeologist).
While enjoying our wildlife safari encounters we have chosen only operations providing the best Zimbabwean Wildlife and nature guides many of them personal friends.