Dates: March 24 - April 2, 2018 ( finishing on April 7 if Gorilla Project included)
Countries/Regions: Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mozambique, Zimbabwe (Optional Extension: Gorilla Project )
• Rhino Project: A hands on experience with our Rhino conservation teams in the wild
• Zulu Culture Tour ( optional add-on tour) • "Big Five" twice-daily game drives
• Bush walks with an armed safari guide • Turtle hatching season • Fat Tire Bike Beach Rides • Helicopter scenic flight over Maputo Reserve • Ocean Safari
• Stand Up Paddle Boarding• Whale Shark Migration • Victoria Falls • Walk with lions in the wild ( Lion Project ) and meet your adopted lion if you sponsored one • Gorilla trekking through Rwanda (Gorilla Project) • Indulge yourself at Africa's most luxurious Safari Lodges.
Group Size: Min 12, Max 20
Waitlist Deposit Due: $500 (waitlist requests are prioritized in the order they are received on a first come first serve basis)
Price: Various packages available. Contact us for more info.
Accommodations: 5-Star luxury Safari lodges: CLICK HERE TO VIEW
Starts In: Durban
Ends In: Johannesburg
Physical Rating: 2/5
Itinerary: Detailed Below
1pm - We depart from Durban King Shaka International Airport and venture out into the land of the Zulu people as we make our way to our host safari lodge for the RHINO PROJECT . Driving time is approx. 3 hours.
4pm - Arrival at our Luxury Host Safari lodge with a scrumptious lunch awaiting, followed by an afternoon & evening Big 5 Safari game drive
Accommodations are poised majestically on the crest of a mountain delivering some of the best views in the world. Balanced between soaring views of the scenery below and the endless blue of the African sky above, each suite opens onto a breathtaking panorama.
With glamorous guest areas and spellbinding views, this bold and stylish Man Expeditions host lodge will truly make you feel on top of the world. Magnificent guest viewing decks and private verandas attached to each suite ensure that there’s no shortage of spectacular locations to drink in the natural luxury of the sensational setting. Each suite has a private plunge pool; outdoor & indoor showers; wi-fi and complimentary laundry service. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL ACCOMMODATIONS
Get "hands on" with our Rhino rehabilitation and research teams in the wild and assist in the conservation of this endangered species. Your participation directly funds and supports our partner research teams in South Africa so they continue to do the great work they do in preserving Rhino populations in the fight against illegal poaching and trophy hunting. This unique adventure allows guests to witness the darting of either a black or a white rhino. A wildlife vet will locate and dart the rhino from the vantage point of a helicopter, while the guests and ground crew will follow in open 4x4 safari vehicles. Once darted, the veterinary team will notch the sleeping animal’s ear for research and security monitoring, as well as insert a microchip into the horn, enabling researchers to correctly identify different rhino on the reserve. Groups of up to 12 guests can participate in this conservation initiative and have the never-to-be-repeated opportunity of touching the anesthetised giant during the notching procedure.
Highlights for today include an early morning sunrise safari drive, a bush walk safari with an armed safari guide and game drive at Sunset with sundowners in a remote part of the reserve.
Day 4: 11am: We depart in 4x4's and cross the rugged border into Mozambique where our private barefoot wilderness get-away awaits us. Here we will enjoy 3 days of Mozambique in its most authentic untouched state and enjoy it all in 5 star comfort. This piece of paradise is off-the-beaten track (literally) and is only accessible with 4x4's or via helicopter.
We arrive at our beach lodge in the afternoon and will enjoy an evening dune walk with a sundowner at the lake.
The accommodations, what we call "Casinhas" (a little home in Mozambique) are nestled in the canopy of the coastal forest just a few steps away from the secluded white sand beach. They blend a small footprint, natural materials and local craftsmanship with simple functional furnishings and fine linen.
Designed to be your home away from home, you will find a well stocked minibar and beverage station, luxury indoor and outdoor showers and a private dining deck en-suite. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL ACCOMMODATIONS
The thatch and canvas design of the Casinhas takes advantage of the cooling ocean breezes and the canvas sides can be rolled up to truly get in touch with the natural surrounds. Outdoor lighting has been kept to a minimum in order to better see the majestic African night sky and so as not to disturb the turtles in nesting season.
Day 5: Ocean Safaris with snorkelling ( 5 pax per Safari for safety reasons). Dolphins are frequent visitors to our shores, as are turtles and the occasional Whale shark & Manta Ray. Subject to sea conditions – the itinerary will be altered to suit favourable sea conditions. Just off shore are numerous shallow reefs which offer amazing snorkelling possibilities and a further chance to explore this underwater wonderland.
As the sun starts to set, we will take you on a guided turtle walk along the beach and look for the hatchlings emerging from their nests as part of a walk & talk with Miguel - a local co-ordinator of our Turtle research (might be done on the first night - or whichever fits in with his schedule)
Day 6: This morning we relax and unwind. There are options to take out our SUP's, Kayaks, Fat Beach Bikes, and do some snorkelling around the rock pools. 12pm we transfer to Maputo Airport in time to make our 5.30pm flight to Johannesburg where we will overnight and connect to our flight to Victoria Falls the next morning.
Day 7: 11.25am - We board our flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe landing at 1.05pm.
2.30pm - Arrival at our Luxury Host Safari lodge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The Man Expeditions Host lodge boasts 9 miles of private Zambezi River frontage with easy access to the majestic Victoria Falls
Take in the exceptional views of the Zambezi River from the comfort of your suite. We have nine river-facing luxury suites with 9 miles of private Zambezi River frontage for your viewing pleasure. Clad in an intricate woven pattern that calls to mind the country’s rich heritage, the cool and spacious suites boast contemporary interiors embellished with natural finishes, and decorated with abstract pieces of art created by a renowned local artist. Set in the deep shade of riverside trees, each camp has a dedicated guest area with sweeping views of the Zambezi. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL ACCOMMODATIONS
Day 8: Enjoy a variety of safari activities. You will be spoiled for choice at the wonderful selection of land and water-based safaris.
- Discover the wonders of the Zambezi River on sundowner boat cruises or canoeing adventures.
- Twice a day, you will enjoy the opportunity to set off in search of wildlife in an open-air safari vehicle, accompanied by a ranger and tracker. Traverse the magnificent, varied landscapes and marvel at vast herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as the elegant and majestic sable antelope and a variety of big cat predators.
Early morning game drives begin as the sun peeps over the horizon and the dark of the night fades slowly into grey. Inhale the fragrance of the morning dew as you set off into the cool dawn, alert for signs as the inhabitants of the bush begin to stir. Watch as a herd of buffalo begins to stir, hundreds of animals heading to the nearest waterhole amidst a chorus of grunts, and hooves scuffing the dust. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the sheen of a glossy mahogany hide betrays the presence of the rare sable antelope, with its elegant, sweeping horns.
Sunset/night game drives: Starting in the late afternoon, the second game drive of the day may head down to the banks of the Zambezi, catching a herd of elephant as they head down to the waters to bathe the dust of the day off their flanks. Thrill to the excitement of the chase as you follow hot on the trail of a pack of wild dogs in pursuit of their prey or sit quietly and watch a lion pride stir and stretch as they prepare for the night’s hunt. Stop for sundowners as the last rays of the sun colour the sky in shades of orange and purple. Keep an ear open for the distant yipping of hyenas, trying to gauge direction and distance as you prepare to follow by the glow of the tracker’s spotlight.
You are in for a treat with spectacular dining experiences alongside the tranquil Zambezi River. Mouth-watering flavours are created in an interactive kitchen and served next to the quiet murmur of the running Zambezi river waters, punctuated by a choir of frogs and the throaty chuckling of hippos.
Day 9: Lion Project: For those who adopted a Lion through our Lion Rehabilitation Project we will take you out to visit your adopted lion after breakfast. You will also have the opportunity to engage with our lions from the pre-release rehabilitation stage of the program out in the wild (not in a cage). This is definitely one of the highlights of the Zimbabwe trip.
Through your support we have been able to fund your chosen lion to be part of the release phase of our rehabilitation program to help grow the ever dwindling African Lion population due to illegal trophy hunting and poaching. Your support has allowed us to rehabilitate these adopted Lions as part of a pride so that their cubs can be released into the wild naturally without human interference. **If you opted to not participate in the Lion Project you will have a morning Safari to enjoy after breakfast today while the others are out with the Lions. At 4.30pm there will be a Sunset/Evening Safari for all guests.
Day 10: Early morning game drive or relax at the lodge.
11am: Departure for the airport where we will bid those in the group farewell who are not continuing on with us for the Gorilla Project Expedition.
For those continuing onto the Gorilla Project extension our flight departs at 1:30 PM via JHB and lands in Kigali at 8:45 PM where we will overnight.
Day 11: Today at 10am we begin our journey to engage with the endangered mountain gorillas and the local community. Your participation in this leg of the itinerary directly supports the research teams in Rwanda focused on protecting these magnificent animals.
- Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans (PNV)
- Golden monkey tracking in Parc National des Volcans (PNV)
- Hike to Dian Fossey’s grave and visit the Karisoke Research Centre
- Intore dance group performance
- Local Community visit
You will be welcomed by our expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Set off for the Man Expeditions Host Luxury Mountain Lodge in the Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy your pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL ACCOMMODATIONS
Approximate Travel Time: Driving 3 hours
It is an early start for gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the enchanting bamboo forest on the slopes of the Virunga range of volcanoes. After a gentle climb of between one and three hours, you will spend one hour in the company of these gentle apes before returning to base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy.
Today choose from one of the optional activities:
- Go for a second gorilla trek (additional permits required)
- Trek to the grave of pioneer primatologist Dian Fossey and visit the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favorite gorilla, Digit, and many other gorillas.
- Visit Lake Kivu, location of the finest inland beaches in Africa.
- Take a guided walk to Lake Bulera, to experience village life.
- Tour the former Imbabazi Orphanage and beautiful English cottage gardens.
Drive to Kigali, and time permitting, enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial before your international flight. For those who prefer to overnight in Kigali due to limited flight options we will arrange this for you.
• Luxury Lodge accommodations.
• All meals, house wines, beer and spirits included.
• Activity transfers to/from accommodations
• Group leader from beginning to end of tour
• 4x4 Safari drives
• Guided Safari Bush walks
• Sunset Safari River Cruises
• National Park Permit fees
• Wildlife Conservation Permits ( Rwanda Gorilla Permit, Golden Monkey Permit)
• International and local Airfare
• Airport Arrival Transfer on day 1 and day 15
• Gratuities for the Tour Leaders at each Lodge ($50-$100 USD per person)
• Travel Insurance