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Southern Africa Safari Cruise

A Romantic Adventure by Riverboat, 4x4 & Scenic Flights in Zimbabwe's Premier National Parks
11 Days From $13995 (+internal air)
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 cruise on Lake Kariba, at the heart of this exclusive Zimbabwe safari. Aboard an elegant new riverboat built for African waters, access a vast wild expanse far off the conventional safari circuit, including Matusadona National Park bordering the lake. Our singular itinerary also features Hwange National Park, famed for its big game, and Mana Pools National Park, a secluded wildlife haven on the Lower Zambezi floodplains—plus Victoria Falls! If it's a truly distinctive African safari you're seeking, this is it. 
    African elephant, Hwange National Park, ZimbabweAfrican elephant, Mana Pools, ZimbabweAfrican lion, Hwange National Park, ZimbabweSaddle-billed stork, Lake Kariba, ZimbabweDavison's Camp, Hwange National Park, ZimbabweAfrican lion, Mana Pools, ZimbabweHippopotamus, Lake Kariba, ZimbabweHwange National Park, ZimbabweAfrican fish eagle, Lake Kariba, ZimbabweRuckomechi Camp, Mana Pools, ZimbabweAfrican elephant, Matusadona National Park, ZimbabweMana Pools, Zimbabwe

Trip Highlights

  • A Pioneering Safari CruiseThis innovative safari features a private cruise on a small luxury ship for just 16 guests, our base for exploring the islands, inlets and inland wildlife realms of Lake Kariba 
  • Outstanding Wildlife ViewingDiscover Hwange National Park—Zimbabwe’s largest protected area and wildlife crown jewel—while staying on a private concession for a truly secluded experience
  • Diverse Adventures in Four ParksExplore by boat, on foot and by 4x4 safari truck, on a comprehensive Zimbabwe itinerary that includes four national parks—including Victoria Falls

A Unique Land- and Water-Based Safari Exploring Less-Traveled Parks

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. And while you’ll find other Zimbabwe safaris, none we know of offers an itinerary as wide-ranging and distinctive as this one.

  1. Explore One of the World’s Largest Lakes Aboard a Deluxe Riverboat
    The centerpiece of this exclusive safari is a private 3-night cruise on Lake Kariba, the largest manmade lake in the world. Cruising aboard the Zimbabwean Dream, an elegant new riverboat built for African waters, we have access to a vast, wild 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 16 guests.
  2. Bookend Your Cruise with Some of Southern Africa’s Best Wildlife Viewing
    Before and after our cruise on Lake Kariba, engage in land safari activities in Zimbabwe's two most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries. Start in Hwange National Park, famed for its huge herds of elephant and buffalo, and its healthy predator populations—and finish up in Mana Pools National Park, a secluded wildlife haven on the Lower Zambezi floodplains that's home to prolific hippo, crocodile and diverse hoofed game.
  3. Visit Four of Zimbabwe’s National Parks
    This comprehensive Zimbabwe immersion showcases four distinctly different national parks: Hwange, Matusadona, Mana Pools and Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls), offering a tremendous diversity of wildlife, habitats and dramatic landscapes. 
  4. Travel with Just 16 Guests 
    A small group is essential to the best safari experience, allowing us to get closer to wildlife without disturbing it, and enhancing a sense of isolation in the wilderness. With our group size limited to just 16 aboard the riverboat, we further assure a limited impact by dividing into two smaller groups for most safari activities. 
  5. Chartered Flights Maximize Your Time on Safari
    Traveling between safari locations by chartered flights, rather than long, dusty drives over rough dirt roads, allows us to spend more time watching wildlife on safari, rather than in transit. We make four different hops by light aircraft on this journey, giving you a scenic aerial view over Zimbabwe as we skip slow, bumpy overland travel.
  6. Stay in Seclusion at Deluxe Camps on Private Concessions
    We retreat to private concessions within or adjacent to national parks wherever possible, where visitor density is very low. Intimate safari camps in secluded environs allow us to feel alone in the wilderness amidst an abundance of wildlife. Yet despite these remote locations, surprising luxuries await—you'll lack for no comfort. 
  7. 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 NHA Expedition Leader will accompany your group from start to finish, ensuring a superior safari experience. Our guides average 15 years' experience, with additional training and resources provided by WWF’s top scientists. Our philosophy on this is simple: an African safari is only as good as the guide, so we provide the very best! See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  8. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Superior Safari Experience
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, which clearly states that we will meet the lofty expectations we set in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  9. Feel Good About the Way You Travel
    We care deeply about our planet, just as you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset— Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company and a leader in sustainable travel practices worldwide.
  10. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund—the world's leading environmental conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
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