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In Harmony with Nature

All across Zimbabwe there are pristine wilderness areas, botanical gardens, forest sanctuaries, lakes, savannah plains, forested hills, and vibrant modern cities which all come together to make Zimbabwe a land of stunning contrast and endless delights. Zimbabwe’s most important treasures lie in its great wilderness areas and we can’t wait to share Hwange National Park with you!

Wildlife + Ecology

Southern Hwange

Northern Hwange

When to Visit

The climate in Zimbabwe is tropical, although markedly moderated by altitude. There is a dry season, including a short cool season during the period May to September when the whole country has very little rain and nights and mornings can be as cold as 5°C/41°F to freezing, but daytime temperatures are still pleasant with a great deal of sunshine. In the late dry season, the landscape becomes stark, dry, and dusty, with all the grass having been grazed down to its roots. It is in the dry season when Hwange’s giants (the elephants) are seen in huge numbers, up to 1000 elephants on a single day!

The rainy season is typically from November to March; rain usually falls in heavy afternoon showers, but they can sometimes be lighter and continuous for a couple of days. Zimbabwe experiences winter and summer at opposite times of the year to Europe and North America and they roughly correspond to the dry and wet season. The green season is gloriously lush and green with lots of surface water, fewer elephants but an abundance of migratory birds. And of course, plains game species birth the next generation of offspring, which in turn makes for phenomenal predator viewing including lions, cheetahs and wild dogs.

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Hwange, ZW
04:44, June 16, 2024
temperature icon 11°C
clear sky
Humidity 61 %
Pressure 1022 mb
Wind 2 mph
Wind Gust: 3 mph
Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise: 06:43
Sunset: 17:45
To give you a clearer idea of what to expect during your own visit, here’s an idea of some highlights of what you are likely to see from month to month:

JANUARY – Warm and green

FEBRUARY – Warm and green

MARCH – Warm and green

APRIL – Dry or green and warm

MAY – Dry and cool

JUNE – Dry and cool

JULY – Dry and cool

AUGUST – Dry and warm

SEPTEMBER – Dry and warm

OCTOBER – Dry and hot

NOVEMBER – Dry or green and hot

DECEMBER – Warm and green

Getting Around

With the ease of flying in and out of the Victoria Falls International Airport, and the myriad experiences to be enjoyed around the Falls, it tends to be the chosen hub for pre and post Hwange activities. To get from Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park, we can arrange a four-hour road transfer in a comfortable vehicle, a one-hour charter flight, or a helicopter ride. Once inside the park, it is surprisingly easy to connect our camps around Hwange National Park.

Northern and southern Hwange can be linked by a game drive across the park that can easily turn into an all-day adventure.

Try our unique rail car—The Elephant Express. Along the northeastern boundary of Hwange is the railway line built just after the turn of the last century that crosses the bridge at Victoria Falls. Hwange’s first warden arrived by train, and today it is still a feature.

Small charter flights are available to connect our camps and are often featured as a one-way experience.

With most itineraries within the park ranging from three to ten days, we’re adept at making the most of your time here. Let us know what your interests are and we’ll map out the most impactful, and efficient, itinerary.
Zimbabwe Quick Facts

 

Zimbabwe is central within southern Africa; it has no coastline, with neighbours Zambia in the north, Mozambique in the east, South Africa to the south, and Botswana to the west.

Our population is estimated to be between 14-16 million.

The capital is Harare, with Bulawayo the second largest city and Victoria Falls the hub of tourism in the northwest.

If you have never been to Zimbabwe before, you’re in for a treat: it is one of the most beautiful, enigmatic, and diverse countries in Africa and its most important treasures lie in its great wilderness areas. Almost 50,000 square kilometres—around 30% of Zimbabwe’s total land area—is protected as wildlife estate without equal. These spectacular and varied landscapes teem with a rich array of African flora and fauna.

Then there are the people! Zimbabweans are known for their warmth and hospitality and wherever you decide to go you will be met with friendly faces and welcoming attitudes. Zimbabwe’s main languages are English, Shona and Ndebele.

Forming the northern border of the country is the Zambezi River, boasting Victoria Falls, a World Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Above the Falls the river winds sleepily past the Zambezi National Park where elephant and lion roam today as they have for thousands of years. Below the Falls, the river is trapped in the chasm of the Batoka Gorge and thrashes wildly between rocky cliffs before it escapes into the inland sea which forms Lake Kariba.

FAQ

In this section we aim to give you the answers to some of the most common questions, but if you have any additional queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

VISA’S, TAXES AND LUGGAGE

Do I need a visa to enter Zimbabwe?
Yes. The rate varies from country to country, but a visa can be obtained with the Zimbabwe Embassy in your country of residence or upon arrival at Immigration at airports or borders. Always check the visa requirements and prices for your nationality prior to travel.
Is there a Departure Tax for leaving Zimbabwe?
Yes, and this is usually included in the price of your air ticket, but double check with your travel agent. If it is not included in your ticket, you will have to pay US$ 20 per person in cash when you leave.
Who will meet us at the airport?
If you choose to book your pickup and drop offs through us, an Imvelo representative or a representative from our sister transfer company Batoka Safaris will be at the airport to meet you. We will also gladly take you to the airport for your departure.
What is the weight limit on small aircraft charter flights?

Each passenger is limited to one soft-sided bag, weighing no more than 26 pounds (12 kgs) plus a typical size camera bag. If necessary, extra luggage can be stored by prior arrangement in Victoria Falls until the end of your safari.

What should I pack?

Clothes:

  • Light-weight cotton garments in neutral colours are recommended for day wear (khaki, beige, olive green – avoid white or red on game drives)
  • Long sleeves are advisable to help protect the skin from the harsh African sun and insects, but sunscreen with SPF 30+ will suffice if short sleeves are preferred.
  • A bathing costume and light fast-drying clothing for water activities.
  • A light jacket or sweater may be necessary for the summer evenings, and a heavy jacket and sweater are recommended during the winter months of May – August.
  • A hat to help protect you from the hot sun.
  • Strong sturdy shoes for walking are essential.
  • A light raincoat for the wetter months (usually November through to April).
  • ‘Smart casual’ is generally the required dress code at most hotels and casinos in Victoria Falls. However, at all our camps casual is just fine.

Essentials:

  • A camera is a must for capturing your African memories.
  • A good pair of binoculars, ideally in the 10×40 range.
  • A high factor sunscreen is always recommended.
  • A small flashlight or head torch is a good idea when you’re in the African bush (don’t forget extra batteries).
  • Toiletries should be purchased before you travel as most of our lodges are in remote areas and any ‘local’ village shop will carry very few western products.
  • Mosquito repellent is an essential as parts of Zimbabwe are high risk areas for malaria during certain times of year.
  • A small personal medical kit containing any prescribed drugs as well as plasters, headache pills and antihistamine is always useful. Your guide and camp will also carry First Aid supplies.
  • Lip balm is a good idea; the sun can leave lips feeling dry.
  • Sunglasses are crucial for protecting your eyes and enabling you to see everything without squinting.

CURRENCY AND MONIES:

What currency should I bring?
The US Dollar is the most widely accepted currency throughout Zimbabwe.

Cash tends to be the easiest way to pay and is welcomed at all hotels and shops as well as with vendors and at marketplaces. Hotels, transportation, activities, and curio shops will charge sales tax, regardless of what currency is used.

Can I use traveller’s checks?
Traveller’s checks are easily changed at many local banks, exchange bureaus & licensed dealers throughout Zimbabwe, but note that sales tax is charged on payments in traveller’s checks.

Currency regulations can change from time to time, so it’s worth double-checking that this information is still current prior to your arrival. We will do our best to notify you of any changes.

Are credit cards accepted in Zimbabwe?

Credit cards are still not widely accepted in Zimbabwe. Cash can be drawn from ATMs in Victoria Falls and we do accept Mastercard and Visa at Bomani, Camelthorn, and Nehimba (not at Jozibanini) though we also recommend you travel with some extra cash as connectivity is sometimes limited.

HEALTH

Do I need to worry about malaria or other health concerns?
Zimbabwe is a malaria area and we therefore recommend you start a malaria prophylactic before you visit. You will have mosquito nets or mosquito proof tents to sleep in but be sure to bring personal repellent and longs, as these are effective in protecting you from bites when outdoors.

At present, Zimbabwe requires no injections or vaccinations before entering the country. However, you should consult your local health authorities prior to your holiday for any updates.

Do I need medical insurance?

We suggest you take out medical insurance that will cover medical evacuations, hospitalization, and doctor’s fees.

Is water safe to drink?
Yes, the water we provide is either from a local borehole or water that is boiled and chemically treated. There is also bottled water available if you prefer.

PERSONAL BELONGINGS AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Do I need insurance?
As well as medical insurance, we advise you to take out travel insurance for theft, loss of property and protection from flight delays and cancellations as well as lost luggage.

All our rooms have small safes in which to store valuables. We recommend you do not travel with expensive jewelry or unnecessary valuables.

What are your terms and conditions for booking?
For full terms and conditions please contact your travel professional. However, in summary: guests booking directly with us are required to pay a 20% deposit to confirm a booking. All bookings will be considered provisional and will be subject to cancellation until confirmed. The remaining balance is due 30 days prior to travel.
Cancellation Policy:
  • 30 days + before travel = 75% refund
  • 16 – 29 days before travel = 50% refund
  • 8 – 15 days before travel = 25% refund
  • 0 – 7 days before travel or non-arrivals = no refund
What do you assume responsibility for?
Imvelo Safari Lodges are not responsible for any loss of property, injury, medical costs, loss of life, delayed or cancelled planes or lost luggage. The client must take full, sole, and absolute responsibility for seeing to the proper supervision and safety of person and property.

POWER AND INTERNET:

Is there electricity?

The voltage in Zimbabwe is 220 volts so you need to bring all converters and adaptors with you to charge any electronic equipment. Bomani, Camelthorn and Nehimba run off solar with backup generators. At Jozibanini there is limited solar power only for lights in the rooms.

What plugs do you use in Zimbabwe? (universal?)

8M Square
16A RSA
Standard – Multi use
16A US/EUR

Bomani, Camelthorn, Nehimba all have 8M Square, 16A RSA, Standard – Multi Use and 16A US/EUR plug points. Jozibanini has no plug facilities in the rooms; gadgets can be charged on request. Whilst we try to cater for everyone, it’s best to bring an extra adaptor just in case. At Bomani, Camelthorn and Nehimba we have a multi socket adaptor with 4 options being, USB port, two-pin universal socket, three-pin square plug (multi use) and a standard round socket.

Is there internet at the lodges?

There is free Wi-Fi in the main lodge areas at Bomani, Nehimba, Camelthorn. Jozibanini does not have internet access.

IMPORTANT OTHER QUESTIONS:

Can you accommodate guests with disabilities?
Allowances have been made for previous disabled clients, but the lodges and bathrooms are not set up for wheelchair access. To see if your needs can be met, please contact our reservations office with all your questions.
Do you accept children?

Due to the location of our lodges, we do not generally accept children under the age of seven years, however exceptions are sometimes made by special arrangement. Please enquire with our reservations office for more details.

Are you able to offer special dietary requirements?
We are able to accommodate just about any special dietary requirement, but advance notice is required as local supplies can be short and we need time to organize them.
Is there a laundry service at Imvelo’s lodges?
Laundry is done daily at all our lodges.
Are my guides licensed professionals?
Yes. It is law in Zimbabwe for your guides to pass stringent and detailed exams both theoretical and practical. Depending on your itinerary, if any game walks are to be done, you will have a licensed guide who will carry a weapon for your security.
What vehicles will we be using?
At Bomani, Camelthorn, Nehimba, and Jozibanini game viewing is conducted in open Land Cruisers or Land Rovers.
What game can I expect to see in Hwange?
Our area offers an array of exciting animals including plains game such as sable, giraffe, buffalo, and zebra; birdlife in the form of crowned cranes, ground hornbills and Kori bustards plus a huge variety of other species. The cats, of course, are ever-popular, such as lion, but our main feature is the majestic elephants of Hwange.

Remember – we’re dealing with wild animals. Every day is a new and exciting adventure where you can never be sure what you’ll see next.

Will we see any snakes?
Snakes are generally shy in nature and more intent on avoiding you than you are them. They are elusive and seasonal and the chances of seeing one are slim.
Do you have a dress code?
The dress code at all the camps is casual but if you plan on visiting any hotels or casinos in Victoria Falls, smart casual is necessary.
How much should I tip?

Tips are not included in the cost of the safari. Tipping is purely discretionary, however if you would like to show your appreciation to our lodge staff, we recommend the following as a guide. Note that all tipping is in USD.

  • Lodge staff: $10 – $20 per guest/per day, paid in the communal tip box at reception

  • Guides: $10 – $20 per guest/per day, paid directly to the guide (more for a private guide)

  • Cobras: $10 – $15 per guest/per activity with the Cobras, paid in the communal tip box at Cobras HQ

  • Elephant Express driver: $5 per guest/per ride on the Elephant Express, paid directly to the driver

  • Transfer drivers: $2 – $5 per guest/per vehicle transfer, paid directly to the transfer driver

  • Spa ladies: $5 per spa treatment

 

What about single travellers?

Yes we welcome single travellers—please contact our reservations office for pricing and availability.

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