Limited to 14 Travelers
A Romantic Three-Country Adventure by Riverboat, 4x4 & Scenic Flights
The history of early expeditions in Africa is replete with tales of its storied waterways. Victorian explorers like Speke and Livingstone met unfathomable hardships as they sought the source of the Nile, yet less than a century later, the continent’s major rivers and lakes were mapped if not tamed. In a far more luxurious mode, we hark back to that exploratory era with a private voyage on Zimbabwe's Lake Kariba at the heart of this exclusive safari. Aboard an elegant new vessel built for African waters, we access a vast, wild expanse well off the conventional safari circuit. Our grand adventure, which includes a stay in Namibia's Caprivi Strip, visits four diverse national parks including Zimbabwe's famed Hwange, renowned for its big game and Botswana's Chobe, both celebrated wildlife havens along important rivers that sustain a profusion of species. Plus Victoria Falls!
This trip will be hosted by a SDZWA Wildlife and Conservation Expert
The host for this trip will be an SDZWA expert on wildlife specific to the region. They will be with you every step of the way, to educate and inspire you, and to share their passion for nature! Check back for more details.
On a private voyage aboard a small luxury ship for just 14 guests, explore the islands, inlets and inland wildlife realms of Zimbabwe's vast Lake Kariba
Among many noteworthy highlights, discover Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest protected area and wildlife crown jewel, from the seclusion of a private concession
Explore by boat, on foot and by 4x4 safari truck on a comprehensive itinerary that features four national parks in Botswana and Zimbabwe—including Victoria Falls!
A Unique Combination Safari on Land and Water
Whether you’ve been on multiple safaris or this is your first, you won’t find another itinerary offering this much variety in a safari destination that features exceptional wildlife but very few crowds. Check our distinctive features of this wide-ranging adventure:
- Explore One of the World’s Largest Lakes Aboard a Deluxe Riverboat
The centerpiece of this exclusive safari is a private 3-night exploration on Lake Kariba, the world's largest manmade lake. Aboard the Zimbabwean Dream, an elegant new riverboat built for African waters, we have access to a vast expanse far off the conventional safari circuit—including Matusadona National Park bordering the lake. With eight cabin suites, the ship accommodates a maximum of just 14 guests.
- Bookend Your Time on the Water with Top Wildlife Viewing Locations
Before and after our voyage on Lake Kariba, enjoy land safaris in two outstanding wildlife sanctuaries. Discover Hwange National Park, famed for its huge herds of elephant and buffalo, and its healthy predator populations. Then, depending upon your route, finish up in Mana Pools National Park, a secluded wildlife haven on the Lower Zambezi floodplains, or Chobe National Park in Botswana—both are home to prolific hippo, crocodile and diverse hoofed game.
- Visit Four Different National Parks
This comprehensive immersion showcases four distinctly different national parks: Hwange, Matusadona, Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls), and either Mana Pools or Chobe, depending on the route you've chosen. Together, the parks showcase a tremendous diversity of wildlife, habitats and dramatic landscapes.
- Travel with the World's Finest Naturalist Guides
Our guests enjoy the personalized service of some of the best-trained, most experienced naturalist guides in all of Africa—a Nat Hab hallmark. Your SDZWA Host and Nat Hab Expedition Leader will accompany your group from start to finish, ensuring a superior safari experience. Our guides average 15 years' experience.
Kaza Safari Lodge
Impalila Island, Namibia, adjacent to Chobe National Park
The Kaza Safari Lodge sits near the point where four countries—Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe—come together, close to the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers in Southern Africa. Located on Namibia's Caprivi Strip adjacent to Botswana's Chobe National Park, the lodge is shaded beneath a 700-year-old baobab tree on the site where explorer David Livingstone reputedly camped. Eight individual thatched chalets face the river, with expansive views from private decks. All have en suite bathrooms with showers and hair dryers, tea and coffee-making facilities, overhead ceiling fan, safe and mini bar. Wi-Fi is available in the common lounge. The main area is a large mukwa wood-and-thatch structure, built around a pair of ancient baobabs. The bar and lounge feature comfortable sofas and armchairs, and a small library and curio shop are also available. Meals are served on the open-air deck overlooking the Zambezi River where hippos often provide entertainment. An outdoor swimming pool offers refreshment, and guests will also enjoy the bird-viewing platform overlooking the Zambezi floodplain.
Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
The elegant new Zimbabwean Dream, sister ship to the famous African Dream, offers just 16 guests the optimal way to explore vast Lake Kariba and its wild surroundings. The 108-foot ship has two decks plus a topside sundeck, with panoramic windows throughout so travelers never miss a minute of the passing view.
On the main deck, eight air-conditioned cabins have two twin beds that can be joined to form a single larger bed, en suite bathrooms with shower, TV, and safe. Two cabins have private balconies on either side of the bow. The upper deck, where the public spaces are located, is virtually surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The casual yet stylish restaurant located aft features creative international cuisine served in a bright, airy setting, while the forward lounge bar, designed with contemporary flair, invites relaxing on sectional sofas positioned for maximum viewing. The sundeck on top offers a 360-degree panorama of the lake, and the birds and wildlife that inhabit its lush shorelines, while the upper deck features a shaded aft deck area and a Jacuzzi plunge pool with a forward-facing 270-degree view over the bow.
Linkwasha Private Concession, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
One of few camps inside the boundaries of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s premier wildlife destination, Davison’s Camp offers a classic bush safari camp experience. The camp is located on the private Linkwasha Concession, one of the most prolific wildlife areas within the national park that surrounds it. With more than 100 mammal species, Hwange has some of the highest mammal diversity of any national park. Davison's is the perfect setting for safari-goers seeking vintage ambience coupled with all the necessary comforts for modern-day travelers. The camp has eight canvas double tents and one family tent, with interiors defined by natural materials that blend artfully with the bush environs—sisal, wicker and wood, and furnishings in a palette of neutral earth tones. The main lounge, bar, dining area and open campfire boma all overlook a busy waterhole where game frequently comes to drink, including large herds of elephant and buffalo, and rare sable antelope. Cushioned sofas and deep leather chairs provide comfortable seating in the lounge. Meals are served on the open-air deck or around the large outdoor campfire area. Reclining lounge chairs invite relaxing on the deck or around the pool, with a constant parade of wildlife on display for entertainment.
A stay at Davison's Camp also contributes to conservation projects and the well-being of local people, with a share of all guest proceeds supporting an elephant movement study, anti-poaching efforts and snare removal, a school nutrition project, teacher training and classroom supplies, and eco-education for local children, who stay at the camp when it is closed to guests in order to learn about and experience the wildlife and ecosystem they live in proximity to.
Victoria Falls Hotel
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Perched above the Zambezi Gorge in full view of the falls, this 5-star colonial landmark hotel offers the same splendid panorama and genteel Edwardian ambience that made it a legend when it opened in 1904. Since then it has played host to royalty, international and local statesmen and global celebrities, among its many guests. The hotel is situated on a sprawling expanse of manicured lawn surrounded by tropical gardens and lies within Victoria Falls National Park. Its incomparable setting and refined elegance have earned it worldwide acclaim for over a century, epitomizing the grace and romance of a classic era of African travel.
While the hotel is replete with its original storied atmosphere, recent refurbishments offer guests all the modern comforts one would expect from a luxury hotel. The property's 161 air-conditioned rooms and suites feature full en suite bathrooms and elegant period furniture including poster beds, dark woods and ceiling fans, as well as digital satellite television, telephone, wireless Internet access and safe deposit box. Traditional high tea is offered each afternoon on the Stanley Terrace overlooking the spray of Victoria Falls and the famous bridge spanning the Zambezi Gorge. Recreation opportunities include tennis courts, croquet and a secluded swimming pool with shaded lounge areas. The hotel also has its own private pathway directly to the falls, which are less than a 10-minute walk away.
Know Before You Go
Learn more about this Southern African adventure.
Trip Price: $16,995 (+internal air) per person based on shared occupancy (Category 1). This price is based on 2024 rates and subject to change slightly.
Internal Air Cost: $2,267 per person (this will be listed separately on our invoicing).
Single Occupancy: For a single room, add $6,280. Contact us to learn how you can avoid the single supplement.
Deposit: $750 per person, non-refundable
Limited to 14 Travelers
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
We use open 4x4 Toyota Hilux vehicles with a suspension system custom-designed for safari terrain, and an open-top, open-sided, tiered seating arrangement designed to maximize game-viewing opportunities and passenger comfort. Typically, each vehicle has one seat in front next to the driver, followed by three rows of two seats each. Each row is raised slightly higher than the one in front of it, allowing for unobstructed views of scenery and wildlife. A cooler box is stocked with cold drinks and each custom-built vehicle sports front bull bars and runner boards, as well as a full recovery kit, including spare tires and a high-lift jack. Vehicles are updated or replaced as needed and meticulously maintained to provide our guests with an unmatched safari experience.
Trip price includes: Accommodations, services of SDZWA Host, Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leader(s), local guides and camp staff, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on final day, some alcoholic beverages, most gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1 and final day, all activities and entrance fees, most taxes, all permits and service fees.
Internal air cost includes: Light aircraft flights within the itinerary (this will be listed separately on our invoicing).
Travel to and from the start and end point of your trip, some alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees (if any), optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, Wi-Fi, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes (if any), required medical evacuation insurance, optional travel protection insurance.
Easy to Moderate
To participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted at a steady pace for at least one mile over uneven terrain, climb steps to get into and out of our raised safari vehicles, and be able to tolerate daily outdoor excursions that may last 4-5 hours or even a full day at a time, sometimes in hot, windy and/or dusty conditions. Wildlife drives pose a particular type of physical demand on the body, as they require long hours of sitting and take place over terrain that is often very rough and bumpy, including dirt roads with many ruts and potholes. Travelers with back or neck problems, or other health issues that could be exacerbated by such conditions, should take this into consideration. While any walking safaris are considered optional, travelers must be able to walk unassisted to and from the vehicle to our camp accommodations, sometimes walking over uneven ground or on boardwalks. Days spent on safari are often long, as mornings typically start before daybreak and evening meals are served after sundown. Safari accommodations and vehicles are not climate-controlled and, depending on the season, temperatures can range from quite cold to extremely hot, so it is critical that travelers come prepared.
On custom or private departures with smaller groups, our ability to accommodate varying levels of physical abilities or interests is limited, since these trips are staffed with a single Expedition Leader who may be assisted, pending availability, by local guides.
Getting There & Getting Home
Mana Pools Route: Please plan to arrive in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe by 1 pm on Day 1. You are free to depart Harare, Zimbabwe anytime after 11:30 am on the final day (we suggest between 11:30-3 pm).
Chobe Route: Please plan to arrive in Kasane, Botswana by 1:30 pm on Day 1. You are free to depart Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe anytime on the final day.
We can best serve you if our Natural Habitat Adventures Travel Desk makes your reservations, as our staff is intimately familiar with the special requirements of these programs and can arrange the most efficient travel. Please call us at 800-543-8917. Note that while we offer you the best possible rates available to us on airfare and additional nights' accommodations, you may find special web rates or better fares online.