Explore Zimbabwe on Foot

Zimbabwe: on foot

Take an amazing 17-day walking tour of the country

for only $3500

Explore Zimbabwe on foot over 17 days

Walking safari for individual travellers and groups

17

Days

Route

Harare > Nyanga > Vumba and Mutare > Chimanimani > Lowveld > Masvingo > Matopos > Hwange > Victoria Falls

Overview

Zimbabwe – World of Wonders

Zimbabwe is well-known for its natural and man-made wonders, amongst which are the Victoria Falls, Hwange National Parks and the great Zimbabwe ruins. It is a land of astounding beauty, wherever you go!

Less known, but equally interesting are the Eastern Highlands, famous for its stunning landscapes. Your camera will love this trip.

We have designed this safari for those who like walking. At all destinations there will be a choice of walks, with a variety in duration and length.

Exploring Zimbabwe’s stunning nature on foot will bring you to mountains, rivers, waterfalls, birdlife, rural villages and so much more!

rural-setting-2Above all, Zimbabwe is known for its people – proud, warm, friendly – a people eager to share their country, their culture, and their hospitality with you. We, at Nyati Travel, invite you to share with us, our love for this magnificent land …. Zimbabwe.

This tour combines the most popular highlights of Zimbabwe.

Tour Highlights

At all destinations
a wide choice of great nature walks

Eastern Highlands
stunning landscapes in Nyanga, Vumba and Chimanimani

Wildlife in Gonarezhou, Matopos and Hwange National Parks
See the wonders of Zimbabwe’s wildlife

The Great Zimbabwe ruins
An ancient and mysterious ruined city in beautiful surroundings

Victoria Falls
The Smoke That Thunders! A true wonder of the world

Map
Tour information

The information below is intended to assist you as you consider your travel options with Nyati Travel. In addition to the detailed itinerary there is some useful information to provide you with an overview of your accommodation & meals, all issues concerning money, passports, visas, vaccinations, insurance, clothing, personal equipment and much more to help you with your travel preparations.

How to book

Lie-back-unwind-and-relax-your-soulWrite us an email with your details and requested dates. We simply take it from there.

Standard Accommodation (3 – 4 star)

We have carefully selected all accommodations on the basis of location, quality and value-for-money. All rooms are en-suite. The rating for the standard accommodation is between 3 and 4 stars.

Car hire options

There are some choices available for car hire:

  • car with one of our experienced driver/guide, this obviously provides great convenience to our guests, no worry you will get lost, and feed- back from previous clients show that our drivers/guides are safe drivers, are helpful and friendly and are a great source of information on the day-to-day life in Zimbabwe
  • in Zimbabwe you can drive yourself, many people have done so, all main roads are excellent, the road signage is good, roads are basically quiet, some city roads can be bad, especially in Harare, so we advise you not to drive in Harare, but use our driver, or use taxi’s which are widely available everywhere, and reasonably priced
  • our prices are based on using our own fleet, consisting of good and reliable cars which are very competitively priced, because they are not brand new. In case you want to upgrade your car we can provide you with options using the fleets if our trading partners Europcar and Avis.

Budgeting for your tour

The itinerary details what is included and what is excluded. In all places where meals are not included there is a choice of meals for all budgets. At all destinations additional activities are on offer which can be booked and paid on arrival.

Flight information

flight_info

You are able to book this tour on a ‘land only’ basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Nyati Travel is an IATA licensed travel agent and on request you will be send a quotation from your nearest airport to Harare. Normally we send you options so you can choose based on convenience and budget. The quotation is valid at the time of your enquiry.  Only payment for your ticket will guarantee the fare price. Booking early guarantees the lowest fare. You are free to accept this offer or arrange your air travel yourself.

If you book your own flights please note your airport of arrival is Harare and departure is from Victoria Falls, or Livingstone, which is just across the border with Zambia. From there you connect to the airport from which your international flight departs from: Lusaka, Nairobi, Harare or Johannesburg.

Flexibility and Extensions

Within the itinerary you have flexibility: we can include more options, like Gonarezhou National Park, Chobe National Park, Lake Kariba, Matusadonha National park and Mana Pools.

Our tours are merely examples, and our travel consultants can easily change itineraries to suit all your needs in terms of budget and duration of the trip.

You can also make this tour shorter by excluding some destinations in the itinerary.

Payment for your tour

Once your bookings have been confirmed, you will be send an invoice with payment instructions. You can pay with credit card using a secure website, bank charges (estimated to be 3.7%) are to be paid for by customers. We require a 10 % non-refundable deposit. If your travel starts within 60 days of booking, full payment will be required at the time of booking.  The balance after paying the deposit is due 60 days before departure. The price paid for our holidays is no longer subject to change. Once you have paid we will guarantee that the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances.

Guaranteed Money Pay-back

Your payment is guaranteed though the SATSA-approved guarantee. Nyati Travel is a member of SATSA, Southern African Tourism Services Association. The association’s “Lost Advance fund” guarantees money back when Nyati travel defaults on its obligations. For more information check the following website: http://www.satsa.com/bonding-2/

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of joining any of our tours that you must have valid travel insurance. It must indicate that you have cover for (at least) medical expenses and emergency repatriation in the event of illness or injury. We strongly recommend that your policy includes curtailment, personal effects and cancellation protection as all deposits paid are non-refundable. You will also need to ensure your travel policy covers you for all activities you intend to do whilst on tour.

Money

Cash can be withdrawn with a Visa and/or Master card at most ATM’s. In all cities you can withdraw cash. It is not common to pay with your credit card in shops, restaurants and fuel stations. The currency used is USD. It is best to take your money in a combination of cash USD and credit card. Carry enough cash (USD) from your home country, in small denominations, it will make your journey much easier.

Medical

Private medical facilities in Zimbabwe, are sufficient for all first aid and common problems. Travellers requiring medical assistance calling for a blood transfusion, or who suffer any serious illness, or who are involved in an accident may require medical evacuation to South Africa. Excellent facilities are therefore one and a half hours flying away. Ensure that you have adequate travel insurance, including medical air evacuation, for the duration of your stay, and be sure to verify which circumstances and activities are excluded from your policy. Almost all medical services, such as doctors, hospitals and air ambulance medical evacuation, must be paid for in cash, as overseas medical insurance payments are not everywhere accepted. An overseas credit card will be very useful. Drink only bottled water which is everywhere available.  In Zimbabwe there is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of the year. December to April are most risky in the lower areas of the country. In the dry season months July to October, malaria hardly occurs. You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent.

In Zimbabwe no cases of Ebola have been reported.  Ebola occurs in the Western part of Africa, a distance from Harare as far as from Amsterdam to New York. Health authorities in Zimbabwe have taken precautionary measures, in line with WHO standards.

Safety

Zimbabwe is generally a safe country to travel. Street crime, such as pick pocketing and bag snatching happens. Ensure that your personal belongings and travel documents are secure, particularly in crowded places, and carry a photocopy of your passport.  Remain vigilant, avoid travelling alone and avoid walking after dark. Photography of people is generally no problem. Photography near government offices, airports, military establishments, in addition to other sensitive facilities, is prohibited. Laws are strictly enforced, and all restrictions should be observed. If in doubt, do not take a picture.

Visa Requirements

Passport must be valid for the period of your stay. Make sure there are some extra available pages in your passport. For most nationalities a tourist Visa can be obtained on arrival at a fee of between US$30 and US $70 payable in cash. The visa is valid for a maximum of 1 month. Keep the address of your first hotel at hand as you need to enter this on your entry form. .  For more information on visa requirements, check the following website: http://www.zimimmigration.gov.zw/index.php/visa-regime.

Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to make sure all the necessary visa and health requirements are fulfilled. We will advise you to the best of our ability but cannot be held responsible for any omissions in terms of visa and health requirements.

Preparing for your tour

Climate The climate 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. The rainy season is typically a time of heavy rainfall from November to March

Equipment you need a torch, water bottle, sunhat/sunscreen and insect repellent. Binoculars are a must for your game drives.

Footwear Comfortable shoes or good walking boots, trainers or sandals for relaxing/travelling.

Clothing should generally be lightweight for the day. Also take a fleece, long trousers, and a waterproof and windproof jacket. During winter (July) we recommend you bring plenty of warm clothing, as temperatures can drop significantly. During spring (September to November) temperatures can drop in the evening, during the day you need a hat and sunscreen to protect you against the strong sun.

Swimming pools can be cold in the winter months as they are outside and not heated.

Luggage. On tour take a soft bag or suitcase. Also take a daypack for items needed during any walks or sightseeing.  Check with your airline the maximum weight of luggage allowed. Generally the limit is 23 kg.

Electric Supply & Plugs 3 Pin Square (UK)

Mobile phone: It is possible to buy a local line. It is best to do that on arrival at the airport at TelOne. Econet is also possible but there you need to submit your address (proof of residence) to buy your line. Roaming on your own line is possible but generally expensive. In some parts of Zimbabwe the signal strength is weak, especially in game parks.

Why choose Nyati Travel

We’ve been creating adventure holidays for nearly 25 years in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia, earning the trust of hundreds of delighted customers. You feel safe in our hands. Our tour leaders and drivers have expert local knowledge and our tours are designed to take you off the beaten track to see the most exotic, inspiring and dramatic places in Zimbabwe.

  • With over 20 years’ experience, we are passionate about what we do.
  • Pioneering small group adventures, self-guided, private journeys & tailor made holidays.
  • Tour leaders who you can trust.
  • Responsible travel is and always has been one the driving principles of Nyati Travel.

Our adventure holidays are full of exciting things to see and do, exploring in small groups travelling by bus, 4×4 vehicles or train. Often you will stay in family run hotels and village houses and enjoy authentic local cuisine. In this way, it’s easy to discover the true heart of the people and the place you travel to – and make some new friends along the way.

Our commitment to the environment

We are passionate about sustainable travel and work hard to create tours where your holiday delivers real benefits to the local communities.  We minimise our impact by travelling in small groups, respecting local cultures and tradition.

Peace of mind - book with confidence

You can book your Nyati holiday with confidence, as all payments made to us for your trip are fully protected. Nyati Travel is a fully bonded tour operator with 24 years of reputation to go for it.

Agents can sell this tour

We are offering the “Exclusive Wildlife Tour” to approved agents anywhere in the world.

Please follow the following simple steps:

  1. Send us an e-mail showing your interest to sell the tour to your clients.
  2. Mention your website to us, if you have one. You can use your website to market our tour.
  • After we have made an agreement you will be responsible for getting all the details from your client, exactly as we would require them from somebody booking directly with us.
  • Non-refundable deposits – 10% of the full amount – and full payment (less your commission) 60 days before departure, it all applies in the same manner.

Itinerary

1 Harare: Welcome to Zimbabwe!

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You will be met upon arrival at the Harare International Airport, from where you will be transferred to a very comfortable guesthouse.

One of our experienced travel consultants will meet you, to advise you on everything you want to know about your trip.

You will receive all your travel documents, i.e. vouchers for accommodation, a road map, a detailed itinerary, a list of phone numbers and contact details of all service providers.

Walking choices:

  • A guided city walk (1.5 hours) around Africa Unity Square which is located near some interesting historical sites like the Parliament Building, the Anglican Church and the beautiful court buildings. If time permits you can add a light walk (1.5 hours) in the Botanical gardens.
  • The Domboshava rock paintings are well known for its quality and its magic surroundings, the guided walk takes about 2 hours. You will be silenced by the great views.

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2, 3, 4 Nyanga: Beautiful Mountain Wilderness

After breakfast you drive (2.5 hours) to Rusape, a small town on the highway to Mutare. You will visit a typical rural setting, where you will walk around with a local guide. Nothing surprises visitors more than walking around villages, meeting the local people who simply do what they always do: work on their small agricultural plots. It is another world, but it is a reality for half of Zimbabwe’s population.

The leisurely walks last 2 hours and a traditional and healthy lunch will be served.

After lunch a 2 hour drive will take you to a magical destination, relatively unknown, The Muturazi National park. The views here are awesome. You will stay in a charming cottage in the midst of a place called Far and Wide, a paradise, with a myriad of walking trails. This is mountainous forest area.

On arrival you can make a leisurely stroll of less than 1 hour to the escarpment which overlooks the Honde Valley.

On day 3 The trail to the Mutarazi Falls takes participants from FAR and WIDE along the Mutarazi escarpment via the Honde View point, one of Zimbabwe’s most wonderful look outs with views down into the Honde Valley and on into Mozambique, through mountain forest and to the Falls themselves.  The walk is of medium difficulty and takes about three to four hours.

Day 4: The Turaco Trail is an iconic hiking trail of Zimbabwe.  This section of the trial is of medium difficulty and takes about five to six hours.  It sees participants start out from FAR and WIDE and walk through wild primary mountain forest, mountain grassland, valleys and mountain ridges to the summit of Chikorokoto and back to FAR and WIDE.  Lunch is had along the way.  The summit ridge provides exquisite views of the Pungwe Gorge and Mt Nyangani, Zimbabwe’s highest mountain.

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5 and 6 Misty Vumba

After breakfast you will drive to the cosy town of Mutare, the gateway to the Vumba Mountains. On the day of arrival, in the afternoon, you can have a 1 hour easy unguided walk on the greener then green premises of the lodge.

On day 6 we created two choices:

A full day in the Vumba with a two hour guided bird walk in Bunga Tropical Forest. Even if you are not a birdwatcher you will enjoy this magical forest and its beautiful viewpoints. Then a climb at Leopard Rock and a visit to a village.

If time permits you can do light 1 – hour stroll in the Vumba Botanical Garden.

Alternatively you can do a 4 to 5 hour guided walk in the Odzi area, through farms and villages.

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7 and 8 Chimanimani: Where the World Peaks

Driving through Mutare you will reach Chimanimani in about 3 hours, though the views and the steep roads will slow down your journey of about 160 km.

A paradise for hikers! The views here are different than those of Nyanga and Vumba. This is raw nature. Nothing rolls here, things peak right up to heaven so it seems.

We love Chimanimani, its skies, its peaks, its walking trails and its independent people.

On offer are various walks of different lengths and difficulty.

On the day of arrival, provided you start before 2 pm, you can do an unguided walk (3 hours) through Indigenous Msasa woodland down to the magnificent Bridal Veil Falls. This is an easy walk unless you choose to climb to the very top of the Falls, which needs an hour extra.

Alternatively you can do a light stroll into the small centre of Chimanimani, bustling with people doing their thing, with in the background the ever present peaks of the mountains.

On day 8 there is a wide choice of walks.

The premier one is the guided walk from Base Camp to the Hut: first a 40 minute drive to the base of a massive mountain, from there, using sparsely marked trails, you go up, mostly through steep riverbeds, sometimes on all fours. It takes about 2 to 2.5 hours, to reach the top. The views are breath taking, and it is worthwhile all the efforts. The descent down takes also 2 to 2.5 hours. It is a heavy challenging walk.

When you are keen to get a taste of the quartzite mountain, you can drive to Outward Bound (about 30 minutes) with a packed lunch. From there you are guided to the Mangowe waterfalls. This is 3 hour walk, moderately strenuous. At the end of that walk you can take a cool dip in Tessa’s Pool and see the San paintings, before returning to the village.

We also designed a guided walk where you will meet local people, the Greenmont walk.

Along the ridge from above the Hotel, going west, you come down through Ngangu township and to the golf course, meeting with the proud, independent and welcoming Matsetso people and walking up through their village.

Overnight in a charming guest house, with a bird filled garden, and locally grown coffee with great hosts.

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9 and 10 Masvingo: Mysteries of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins

After breakfast you depart for Masvingo, the home of the famous Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The drive is about 350 km, and takes about 4 to 5 hours, on a quiet road with great landscapes.

Zimbabwe – meaning big house made of stone – derived its name from the massive stonewalls found at Great Zimbabwe. Historians and archaeologists are still excited about this place. The ruins are surrounded by unanswered questions: Who built them? Where are the graves of the deceased leaders? Why was it abandoned? We advise you to take at least 2 to 3 hours for your visit, guided by one of the excellent local guides.

On day 10 we have organised a guided walk through the rolling landscapes near the ruins. This walk takes you to various villages. Great views! Including views over Lake Mutirikwi, a great man-made lake, which supplies water to the sugarcane fields in the Lowveld.

You finish off this active day with a two-hour boat cruise on the lake, including a shoreline cruise along Lake Mutirikwi National Park, where you may encounter various Antelopes, Rhino’s and giraffes.

Overnight in a hotel near the ruins.

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11 and 12 Matopos National Park: City of Kings & Balancing Rocks

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You depart for Bulawayo, the second city of Zimbabwe; a drive of about 4 to 5 hours. You can do a short walk in the city centre, which has a great variety of historical buildings, one of them the famous national gallery. A visit to the Natural History Museum is an attractive option. The drive to Matopos National Park from Bulawayo centre takes about 45 minutes.

On day 12 you do a full day organised trip inside Matopos national park.

Once you have seen the landscapes In Matopos you will understand why John Cecil Rhodes wanted to be buried in its granite rocks. Worlds View offers views you have never seen before. Another must is to go on foot, with a guide, to trace the White Rhino. It is as exciting as looking for gold or diamonds. Experiencing the expertise and passion of the local guides simply adds joy and awe to your memories. The rock paintings tell you stories of the far behind past. Overnight in a stunning lodge, just a short distance from the park. Built on a granite dome, surrounded by a theatre of tumbling rocks and kopjes with magnificent views.

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13 and 14 Hwange National Park: The Big 5

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After breakfast you will depart for Hwange National Park which will take about 4 hours.

This is Big 5 country!

Hwange National Park is the largest national park of Zimbabwe (1.5 million hectares). It has a great diversity of wildlife, and has more than 200 bird species. The standard of professional guiding in Zimbabwe is very high. Full of passion and knowledgeable about every living thing: wildlife, insects, grasses, flowers and birds. With their guidance you may encounter elephant, buffalo, sable antelope, lion, wild dog and with some luck the leopard. But don’t be surprised to spend 15 exciting minutes near an ant-hill to hear the amazing story of what‘s going on inside!

It is this unique wildlife experience which will make you come back to the magic of Africa!

A game walk will provide you with an opportunity to get close to nature and appreciate the sights and sounds of the African wild.

Overnight in a private game lodge situated on its own concession.

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15 and 16 Victoria Falls: Mosi O Tunya - The Smoke that Thunders

After breakfast you depart for the journey of about 3 hours to the Victoria Falls.

The Victoria Falls don’t need much introduction, they are known all over the world.

This is adrenaline territory: rafting, kayaking, canoeing, horse riding, and other exciting activities with weird names: Bungi Jump, Zip Line, Cable Slide and the Gorge Swing.

For the less adventurous there are boat cruises, game drives in Zambezia National Park, interaction with elephants and lions, and helicopter rides over the falls. There is simply too much to mention all.

All activities can be booked at the tour desk of your hotel, you can also pre-book activities at time of booking this tour.

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17 Departure: Take your memories with you

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From here you can start your extensions. If you are not extending your stay you will be collected for your transfer to the airport for your flight back to Harare or Johannesburg.

Your visit to Zimbabwe will undoubtedly have made lasting memories! Share them with others!

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Your choices

Accommodation

The carefully chosen accommodation in the standard option is rated between 3 and 4 star. On request we can upgrade the accommodation, except in Nyanga.

Car Hire: self-drive

Our prices for car hire are based on using our own fleet, consisting of good and reliable cars which are very competitively priced, because they are not brand new.

In case you want to upgrade your car we can provide you with options using the fleets if our trading partners Europcar and Avis.

Includes:  standard car, Toyota Harrier or similar, day 2 – day 15, unlimited mileage, one-way fee, fully comprehensive insurance

Excludes: fuel, toll – fees, excess USD 500

Car Hire: with experienced driver/guide

We will be using our own cars as described above. Driven by an excellent driver who is also your guide. The feedback we get from our clients about our drivers/guide has been excellent.

Includes:  standard car, Toyota Harrier or similar, day 2 – day 15, unlimited mileage, fuel, one-way fee, fully comprehensive insurance, all costs for driver (accommodation, meals, wages, overtime), toll fees.

Flight Options

Depending on your return flight to your final destination it may be more convenient to fly to either Livingstone, Lusaka or Harare. Our office will be happy to advise you on the best options.

Price list

  • prices per person, based on 2 people sharing.
  • all prices are indicative prices, depending on availability of accommodation.
Self-driveCar with driver/guide
$3500
$4450

from only $3500
per person*

* based on per person sharing, self-driving.
Excludes supplement for driver/guide.
Excludes international flight.

Why book this tour

  • This tour covers virtually all top destinations of Zimbabwe
  • A tour designed by a Zimbabwean Operator with 25 years of experience
  • Maximum driving distance 300 km per day, about 4 to 5 hours, some days less
  • The best of Zimbabwe: nature walks, wildlife, activities, arts and culture, and the Victoria Falls
  • Carefully selected accommodation based on location and value-for-money
  • Most meals are included

Includes

  • Accommodation: 16 nights lodges/hotels (a mix of 3, 4 and 5 star)
  • Meals: 16 breakfasts + 7 lunches + 14 dinners
  • Transport: self-drive with SUV or 4 x 4 or vehicle with driver/guide

The trip was absolutely fantastic. Herbert is an excellent driver and a very nice person, too. He definitely contributed to making this tour a tremendous success.

AnnedoreGermany

Yes, Woow Alec is a wonderful person. We are at a loss of words to describe him. What a careful, defensive and helpful driver, very friendly and patient gentleman. He is one out of a million. Thank you for giving us Alec for that trip.

WinnieThe Netherlands

Thank you so much for sending us John and for the amazing city tour he took us on! He seems to know Harare like the back of his hand and took us to see the market at Mbare with many interesting sights in between. One thing we certainly have learned from that whirlwind tour: We must come back and see more!

Many thanks again and I will keep in touch!

SabineGermany

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