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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 3 Involves a high level of physical activity over an extended period, in terrain that may often be uneven, slippery and steep. You would be expected to carry your own backpack and equipment. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: Zimbabwe Ivory Trail Safari and Beach
Duration: 10 days
Pickup location: Johannesburg International airport

Overview

This is for intrepid adventurers who don’t mind compromising on luxury in order to get right off the beaten path. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with time to relax on the beautiful beaches of Mozambique.

The Ivory Trail Adventure is an iconic trip that embodies the true spirit of a safari. Tracing the history of bygone ivory hunting days, it takes safari enthusiasts on an extraordinary journey through remote parts of the unique Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, famous for its large herds of elephants as well as other game. In this rarely explored African park, your safari route will be planned to follow the seasonal movements of wildlife. The mobile camp uses comfortable dome tents, that enable you to be totally at one with the beautiful natural world that surrounds you.

At the end of your expedition you will finish your trip in stunning Vilanculos in Mozambique, with dazzling white sand beaches and pristine islands to relax on.
Although the Ivory Trail Adventure operates year-round, the dry season from April to October provides the best time to enjoy this adventure.

Itinerary

Itinerary summary:

Day 1 - Gonarezhou National Park
Day 2 - Gonarezhou National Park
Day 3 - Gonarezhou National Park
Day 4 - Gonarezhou National Park
Day 5 - Gonarezhou National Park
Day 6 - Vilanculos
Day 7 - Vilanculos
Day 8 - Vilanculos
Day 9 - Vilanculos
Day 10 - Vilanculos and home

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Full Itinerary

Day 1 - Gonarezhou National Park

Arrange your flights into Johannesburg International Airport in time to connect with your included flights to Zimbabwe. Your connecting flights from Johannesburg to Buffalo Range operate on Mon & Thu only at 12h15 and 14h00 (subject to change) and you will be met on arrival in ZImbabwe and transferred to Gonarezhou National Park in South East Zimbabwe.

Meaning "Place of many Elephants" it is full of rugged and scenic landscapes and is home to many unique species including the endangered African Wild Dog and the rare King Cheetah. As its name implies, Gonarezhou is famous for its elephants, and many of the largest-tusked elephants in the region may be found within the Park. One of the most prominent and enduring natural features of Gonarezhou National Park is the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs. These magnificent red sandstone cliffs have been formed through eons of erosion and overlook the scenic Runde River valley.

Included meals: Dinner
Accomodation: CHILO GORGE SAFARI LODGE

Day 2 - Gonarezhou National Park

The route chosen and camp sites utilized are planned with seasonal game movements and weather conditions in mind and are flexible, allowing the mix of game drives and game walks to be determined by guests’ preferences. Camp sites are usually moved daily but occasionally more than one night may be spent at one site. The safari will cover areas such as the famed Chilojo Cliffs as well as the confluence of the Save and Runde Rivers.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accomodation: CHILO GORGE mobile fly camp

Day 3 - Gonarezhou National Park

A professional safari guide and vehicle are dedicated for the duration of the Ivory Trail Adventure while a support vehicle transports all camping equipment, luggage and camp staff to each camp site. The staff set up each camp and prepare all meals in advance of guests’ arrival. Camera batteries may be charged via an inverter system on the game drive vehicle.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accomodation: CHILO GORGE mobile fly camp

Day 4 - Gonarezhou National Park

Three comfortable dome tents allow for enough room to stand up in, with stretcher beds with foam mattresses. Each campsite has shared ablutions consisting of a bucket shower enclosed by canvas for privacy and a well-constructed bush toilet. Breakfast and lunch are set up in shady or covered areas, whilst dinner is served beneath starry skies, weather permitting.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accomodation: CHILO GORGE mobile fly camp

Day 5 - Gonarezhou National Park

Return to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. This elegant is located on a gorge overlooking the Save River, home to resident hippos and crocodiles and visited by elephant, buffalo and plains game. It is the perfect place to relax after your adventure, either by the shaded swimming pool, in the lush gardens or in the sumptuous bar and dining room. Activities on offer here are game drives and walks, bird and game viewing, photography, Mahenye cultural village visit, boat cruises and fishing. There is also a lovely walk to visit the iconic Chilojo Cliffs and Chivilila Falls.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accomodation: Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

Day 6 - Vilanculos

Transfer to Buffalo Range Airport [BFO] and fly to Vilanculos [VNX] A representative will meet you on arrival and transfer you to your hotel.

Vilanculos (or Vilankulo) is a coastal town in Mozambique, gateway to the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago, where traditional Dhows and fishing boats dart over the clear turquoise waters to the dazzling white sand islands.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accomodation: Santorini Boutique Hotel
Optional extras: spa treatments, boat charters, scuba diving, bill fishing, horse riding, kite surfing, dhow trips, scenic helicopter flights and beach biking

Day 7 - Vilanculos

Nestled above the red cliffs of Kingfisher Bay in Vilanculos, Santorini Boutique Hotel has unsurpassable views overlooking the Bazaruto Archipelago. It’s elegant villas have stylish and luxurious decor, lush, landscaped gardens, air conditioning, en suite bedrooms, and some have private pools. Welcoming staff attend to every requirement and serve outstanding meals and there are bars and restaurants nearby if you are looking for a more local flavour. There is a lounge, library, outdoor cocktail bar, wine cellar, and pool courtyard, where you can relax as well as the hotel’s own stretch of pristine beach.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accomodation: Santorini Boutique Hotel
Optional extras: spa treatments, boat charters, scuba diving, bill fishing, horse riding, kite surfing, dhow trips, scenic helicopter flights and beach biking

Day 8 - Vilanculos

Relax by the pool, or on the beach, or try one of the optional activities available at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accomodation: Santorini Boutique Hotel
Optional extras: spa treatments, boat charters, scuba diving, bill fishing, horse riding, kite surfing, dhow trips, scenic helicopter flights and beach biking

Day 9 - Vilanculos

Day at leisure to enjoy the final day of your vacation.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accomodation: Santorini Boutique Hotel
Optional extras: spa treatments, boat charters, scuba diving, bill fishing, horse riding, kite surfing, dhow trips, scenic helicopter flights and beach biking

Day 10 - Vilanculos and home

After breakfast transfer to Vilanculos airport for your onward international connection.

Included meals: Breakfast

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Ground transfers as specified
  • Accommodation, meals and local drinks as specified
  • Safaris and activities specified
  • Gonarezhou Park & conservation fees and guided activities
  • English speaking guide
  • Domestic flights to Mozambique

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Zimbabwe and Mozambique visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (unless specified)
  • Phone calls
  • Laundry
  • Personal purchases
  • Tips and gratuities

Important information

  • Vaccinations are recommended for Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Please consult your doctor for advice.
  • US Passport holders require a visa to visit Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • Please let The Big Safari Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Cancellation 90 - 0 days prior to departure: cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable. Balance payments due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Safari Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

talk toll free to our well travelled team of experts

Call us on:UK 0800 048 5698
USA 1 800 949 3295

Monday to Thursday 09:00am - 8:00pm. Friday 09:00am - 05:30pm. (London time)

or Send us a message

Anytime, day or night

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Safari Company - a subsidiary of The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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