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A proud WINNER of the Zimbabwe Achievers Tourism Award!
We promote travel opportunities to the wild areas of the Zambezi Valley
WILD ZAMBEZI invites you to a world of nature where the pace is slow, the sun is warm, the sky is huge and the people are friendly.  Our travel promotion focus is the Zambezi River and its iconic wildernesses, including the Victoria Falls & Zambezi National Parks, Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park and Mana Pools National Park & World Heritage Site .  We provide web-based, up-to-date information on operators, activities, accommodation choices, tours and services in this magnificent area, and offer a reliable, independent travel advisory service.


Explore our travel listings & share your own experiences on our website Wild



- New Victoria Falls airport officially opens its doors!
- A note on currencies, cash and credit cards
- Media Reports:  KAZA UNIVISA to be re-introduced "shortly"
- 2017 Safari Awards:  Congratulations to the winners!
- Latest Travel Reviews
- Travel Specials
- Bumi Hills Safari Lodge joins the African Bush Camps portfolio
- Musango - where dinosaurs roamed...
- Free flights into Changa Safari Camp if you stay 3-4 nights in 2017!
- Re-branding of houseboats - feedback
- Kariba Tigerfishing Tournament - 2017 dates & follow-up decisions
- Help Kariba Town fence its rubbish dump to save elephants
- Mana Pools is "hot", say Experience Africa Safaris!
- Ruckomechi staff member returns to his roots
- Victoria Falls welcomes the first ever across-Africa Vintage Air Rally!
- Full moon dinners at the Lookout Café
- Zambezi Sands offers a little whitewater upstream of the Falls!
- Tail Ender


The new Victoria Falls International Airport Terminal was officially launched on Friday 18th November.   Read more about it HERE.

The $150 million upgrade includes a brand new terminal building and an increased, 60meter-wide, 4km-long runway which is capable of landing bigger, long-haul passenger aircraft.   This now opens up Victoria Falls as a potential tourism hub for the region.  The new airport is expected to be able to handle up to 1.5 million passengers each year, tripling its previous volume. 

The first major airline to announce a new route into Victoria Falls is Ethiopian Airlines, who will begin an Addis Ababa- Victoria Falls route from March 2017.   Meantime, RwandAir, which is to commence four weekly flights to Harare in January, is also looking into linking with Victoria Falls. 

Zimbabwe continues to experience a shortage of US Dollars cash, and there are daily restrictions on cash withdrawals at ATMs.  

Visitors may have read about the recent introduction of a new Zimbabwe-only currency termed "Bond Notes" (pictured at right) which is designed to ease cash-flows internally, and will run in parallel to the use of the US Dollar. The introduction of this currency is controversial, and there is much uncertainty as to how it will be received and how the system will work.  

However, we can assure visitors that you need not be concerned. US Dollars (pictured above at left) are still universally accepted as an official currency in the country. However, it is wise to bear in mind this advice offered by Operators, Wild Horizons, in Victoria Falls:- 

We strongly encourage guests to bring small denomination US$ bills with them for payments where credit cards are not accepted, such as some smaller shops and restaurants, as well as the craft markets. Please note that Euros, Pounds and ZAR are also accepted in cash but exchange rates may not be favourable so US Dollar cash is recommended.

Use of Credit Cards for Visas
Credit cards can be used for payment of entry visas at all ports of entry in Zimbabwe, however this is subject to the machines being on-line. Also please note only Visa and MasterCard are accepted while Amex, Diners and Maestro are not.

According to the online news publication Southern African Tourism Update, the KAZA Univisa between Zimbabwe and Zambia is expected to be implemented "shortly".  

"It awaits only the signatures of the two countries’ Home Affairs departments", says Roberta Katunga in a recent (8th November) report in Tourism Update.

"According to Zimbabwe’s immigration department, 50 000 visa stickers have been shared between Zimbabwe and Zambia are already at the ports of entry.   “Training for the immigration officers from both countries has been done and we are ready,” said Zimbabwe Immigration Principal Director Clemence Masango. “We are now waiting for Minister Ignatius Chombo and his Zambian counterpart Steven Kampyongo to sign the official documents to pave way for the implementation at the ports of entry.”  

Masango said the univisa is expected to facilitate the smooth movement of tourists between the two countries as a permanent arrangement.  

The pilot project was conducted between November 2014 and December 2015 with more than 47 000 visitors benefiting from the arrangement during the period.

The two countries have however called on the KAZA-TFCA secretariat to assist in funding the integration of the univisa into the border management system so that it can be issued and cleared from any counter at the ports of entry.

The KAZA-TFCA univisa was initiated to promote tourism through facilitation of easier and cost effective movement of tourists between Zimbabwe and Zambia to stimulate economic and regional integration. The system is also expected to incorporate Angola, Botswana and Namibia once these countries have finalised modalities in their systems."

Wild Zambezi awaits further confirmation of the re-introduction of the much-awaited KAZA UNIVISA.


Congratulations to all the Zimbabwean Safari Camps and Operators who were winners in the 2017 Safari Awards recently announced.  

We are proud to say that the following partners of Wild Zambezi's travel network won the following awards:-
Best Value Safari Property:  3rd PlaceVundu Camp, Mana Pools (Bushlife Safaris)
Best Safari Cuisine3rd Place - Elephant Camp, Vic Falls; Highly CommendedKanga Camp, Mana Pools (African Bush Camps)
Best New Safari PropertyRunner UpZambezi Sands, Zambezi NP (Imvelo Safari Lodges)
Best Design3rd PlaceElephant Camp, Vic Falls; Highly Commended  – Kanga Camp, Mana Pools (ABC)
Best Ecologically ResponsibleHighly CommendedKanga Camp, Mana Pools (ABC)
Best Family Safari Experience3rd PlaceKanga Camp, Mana Pools (ABC);  Highly Commended  – Vic  Falls Safari Lodge (Africa Albida Tourism)
Best  Walking Safari:  Winner  – Goliath Safaris, Mana Pools; 3rd PlaceKanga Camp, Mana Pools (ABC); Highly CommendedVundu Camp, Mana Pools (Bushlife Safaris)
Best Safari Spa/Retreat:  Runner UpZambezi Sands, Zambezi NP (Imvelo Safari Lodges)
Most Romantic Safari Property:  Runner UpZambezi Sands, Zambezi NP (Imvelo Safari Lodges)
Best Safari House:  WinnerNatureways Safaris, Mana Pools
Best Mobile Safaris:  Winner  – Vundu Camp, Mana Pools (Bushlife Safaris); Runner Up Natureways Safaris, Mana Pools
Best Safari Guiding Team:  Winner  – Goliath Safaris, Mana Pools; Highly CommendedVundu Camp, Mana Pools (Bushlife Safaris)
Best Location:  3rd PlaceGoliath Safaris, Mana Pools;  Highly CommendedKanga Camp, Mana Pools (ABC) and Zambezi Sands, Zambezi NP (Imvelo Safari  Lodges)

Click HERE to see a full list of all the 2017 Safari Awards for Zimbabwe 

Wild would also like to congratulate African Bush  Camps for Somalisa Camp in Hwange National Park being named in 3rd  Place OVERALL (i.e. throughout all of Africa) for Best Value Safari Property! 

The annual Safari Awards aim to recognise the best safari lodges and camps for their dedication and excellence.  The judges are highly-respected, knowledgeable, independent tour operators selling safaris, who choose the winners from nominations of safari camps and lodges sent in by over 450 worldwide travel agents and tour operators.   

To be eligible for a Safari Award nomination, a property or operation must be located in or close to a wildlife reserve, and offer big game or wildlife tourism viewing as part of a safari holiday.

November 2016  

Read what people are saying about their travel experiences in the latest Travel Review postings on    Follow the links below:-
Andrew Smith Safaris - ethical, photographic wilderness adventures with a pro-guide.
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge - exclusive, hilltop safari lodge overlooking Lake Kariba
Baobab Bookings – agency for accommodation, houseboats, transfers and activities throughout Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba specialists.
Have something to say about a place you have visited or a service you have experienced?  Tell others about it by submitting a Travel Review on the relevant page on Wild


There is a fantastic array of great SPECIALS currently on offer from some of Wild Zambezi’s network partners.  
For costs and more details, check out the Specials on each of these page links (scroll down and to the right):-
African Bush Camps  MANA MADNESS SPECIAL – stay min 3 nights at one of these properties (6 nights altogether at African Bush Camps facilities) and get FREE flights in and out of Mana Pools. (Valid November 2016 and 1 April - 30 June 2017)    LONG STAY SPECIAL – at any combo of African Bush Camps – 5% discount for 6+ nights; 10% discount for 9+ nights.  LOVEBIRD SPECIAL - spend your honeymoon at any African Bush Camps properties and get 1 Night FREE when you spend 6 nights or more. 
Changa Safari Camp (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):   FREE FLIGHTS SPECIAL: Valid for Mid and High Season 2017 (1st April - 31 Oct 2017) Stay for 3 nights and receive ONE free flight into Changa. Stay for 4 nights and receive free RETURN flights to and from Changa.   EARLY BIRD BOOKING SPECIAL - new bookings made and confirmed up to Dec 2016 for travel dates throughout 2017 will receive a 10% discount;   WILD LOVERS SPECIAL – couples who stay 4 nights or more will both receive one night free! Valid for the whole of 2017; COMBO SPECIAL with The Hide (Hwange) - stay 6 nights (3 in each camp) and pay for 5.  ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIALS special rates available on request.  LAST MINUTE DECEMBER DEAL (5-18th December); BUDDY MOON GROUP PACKAGE: Special rates for groups of 12 people or more staying for 2 nights or more.
Elephant Camp (Wild Horizons) (Victoria Falls):  ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIALS: special rates available on request: 2 nights at The Elephant Camp; 5 night combo safari - 2 nights at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge + 3 nights at The Elephant Camp . Valid until 31 December 2016.
Gorges Lodge & Little Gorges (Imvelo Safari Lodges) (Outside Victoria Falls):  Green Season Safari Special - Stay 3 nights, pay 2 (All inclusive rate only)  Valid 1 Dec 2016 - 28 Feb 2017.
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge (Wild Horizons) (Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls):  COMBO SPECIAL.  3 nights Imbabala, 1 night The Elephant Camp. Includes tour of Vic Falls.   ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIALS: (rates available on request):2 nights at Imbabala; 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights Ursula's Camp; 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights Stanley & Livingstone Safari Lodge; 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights The Elephant Camp.   Valid until 31 December 2016.
Jecha Point Fishing Lodge (Zambezi River, Chirundu):  GREEN SEASON SPECIAL for self-catering chalet accommodation.
Musango Island Safari Camp (Lake Kariba):  Cool Waters Package (Vic Falls/Kariba/Mana Pools) and Get a Night on Us (Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3)
Rhino Safari Camp  (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):    ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS - LOW SEASON SPECIAL.  Two Night Package (self-driving to Kariba) includes transfers, accomodation, meals, two activities/day (drives & cruises). Valid until 31 Mar 2017 (excluding Christmas and New Year). 
Spurwing Island Lodge (Lake Kariba/Matusadona):  SIZZLING SUMMER SPECIAL -  Includes all accommodation and meals.  Special transfer rates available.  Valid until 8 December 2016.
Victoria Falls River Lodge (Zambezi National Park/Victoria Falls):  FAMILY VALUE SPECIAL  Share a Family Suite with 2 or more children (4-17 years) and the youngest child stays for FREE. In the case of a twin or a triplet, 1 x child stays for free. (Valid between 1 Nov & 20 Dec 2016 and 7 Jan - 31 March 2017.)
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge group   AFRICAN ROMANCE FLASH SALE - 50% discount on your partner's accommodation.  (Valid till 30 Nov 2016 for travel up to 31 Mar 2017.)
Victoria Falls Safari Suites:  ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS SPECIAL -  Pay2 Stay3 with Complimentary Food & Beverage Credit. (Valid 26 Nov - 20 Dec 2016 and 04 - 31 Jan 2017). 
Wild Horizons (Victoria Falls environs):  ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS LODGE SPECIALS for 2 night stays at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge; Ursula Camp; Stanley & Livingstone Safari lodge; or The Elephant Camp.  Also 5 night safari - 2 nights Imbabala + 3 nights Ursula's Camp (or  +Stanley & Livingstone Safari Lodge or +The Elephant Camp.)   Special rates available on request.  Valid until 31 December 2016.
Zambezi Cruise Safaris (Lake Kariba) ZIMBABWE RESIDENTS Special rates for private houseboat charters. (Valid till 26 Dec 2016)
Zambezi Sands River Camp (Imvelo Safari Lodges) (Upstream of Victoria Falls): Stay 3 nights, pay 2  (all inclusive).  Valid until 31 Dec 2016.

The iconic Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, situated atop a range of remote hills adjacent to the Matusadona National Park on Lake Kariba, has joined the portfolio of wilderness operators, African Bush Camps.  

This lodge, situated on its own concession, is famous for its incredible panoramic view over the game-rich shoreline below and the waters of Lake Kariba stretching across the flooded Zambezi Valley to the Zambian hills on the other side.   

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge will now "fill the gap"  between the African Bush Camps properties in Mana Pools National Park  (Kanga Camp & Zambezi Expeditions) and in Hwange National Park.   Its sister company, Safari Logistics will facilitate air access links between all the properties.

A full refurbishment of the existing infrastructure is planned, to put the African Bush Camps stamp of authenticity on Bumi Hills. will keep you up to date on progress.

For more information and new contact details see Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Tell us about your experience of Bumi Hills under the new management - submit a Travel Review on HERE


Steve Edwards (right), counts paleontology among his many talents as a very experienced professional guide and owner of Musango Island Safari Camp on Lake Kariba.   

He has long been a passionate collector and researcher of the fascinating fossils of  dinosaurs and other pre-historic creatures  found in and around the area of his camp.

In a recent short video, he highlights some of his latest finds, including the one pictured above left.  He tells us that this fossil is the upper mandible of a dinosaur called a Thecodontid ( which means "socket-toothed").  It is very likely related to the modern crocodile.  The picture shows the teeth sockets of the creature. These dinosaurs apparently had their teeth stacked up on top of each other like ice cream cones - allowing for instant replacement when one wore out or was broken !   

Other recent finds include some armoured plates from an as yet unidentified dinosaur, and teeth from a Phytosaurus group of dinosaurs which were erroneously classified in the 1800s as plant eaters (Phyto means plant).  The fossils of these in fact have very distinct carnivorous serrated edges to the teeth, making them more likely to be from flesh eating dinosaurs.

You can watch the video on the Facebook link for Musango Island Safari Camp under Contact Details on their Listings Page on .

Have you seen the dinosaur fossils near Musango, or stayed at this safari camp?  Tell us about it in a Travel Review HERE


Changa Safari Camp, in the Matusadona National Park on Lake Kariba's southern shores, has introduced an amazing FREE FLIGHTS SPECIAL for visitors during next year's mid-high season  (April - Oct 2017). 

Stay for 3 nights and receive ONE free flight into Changa.
Stay for 4 nights and receive free RETURN flights into and out of Changa. 
Minimum 2 pax.

The relevant charter flights will be on Safari Logistics or  Wilderness Air from Victoria Falls, Hwange or Mana Pools into Kariba (and from Harare, depending on which charter company is used). 

Accommodation prices are at the camp's standard issued International rates for 2017. Normal net rates apply.  Boat and road transfers, National parks fees, childrens' rates and family tent rates are not included in the special.

For more information and contact details, see Changa Safari Camp.

Been there?  Tell us about your experience in a Wild Zambezi Travel Review.  Submit it online HERE


Thank you to those of you who responded to's recent Blog  Time to Re-brand Houseboats - Help us do it!
We have received some interesting feedback from agents selling the concept (see below), but would be keen to hear some more from you:-  

Says Jeany from Zimba Safaris:- 
"You are very right you know. And houseboats in Europe are considered exactly what you show on the photos. In general people have no idea about the concept houseboat & safaris. Most of our clients also assume there will be other guests on board. So we sell it as a Private Lake Cruise & safaris. Safari Cruise ..or Safari Lake Cruise sounds nice too"

And from Marieke of Jenman Safaris:-
"We market them as "luxury houseboats" to communicate the experience!"

To view all the comments (or to submit one of your own), click HERE and scroll down the page.  We'd really like to hear from you!


The dates for next year's KITFT (Kariba Invitation Tiger Fishing Tournament) have been announced as 18th - 20th October 2017,

Meanwhile, the top winning teams from this year's tournament taking part in the "Test of the Best" on 24th and 25th February 2017.  (This year's winners, Fin's Fishing Safaris are pictured).

The fish catches for this year's 2016 tournament were disappointing - some describing them as the "worst on record".  As a result, in mid-November, the KITFT committee organised a meeting in Harare for anglers to share ideas on the possible reasons for the decline in fish numbers in Lake Kariba and to try to plan measures to prevent this happening in the future.

The meeting set up an Operations and a Fundraising Committee and agreed that work should begin immediately on monitoring the illegal netting of the river estuaries on Lake Kariba, to protect fish during the up-coming spawning period.  This would be done in conjunction with current anti-poaching efforts (for example through MAPP and Bumi Hills).  By the end of the meeting a total of $32,600 had been donated and a number of commitments were given for items and services at cost. 

There was a general consensus that all anglers should begin a culture of fish conservation, incorporating “catch and release” and support of anti-poaching efforts.

If you can help at all, please contact 


The Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust (KAWFT) which does an amazing job protecting the wildlife in and around Kariba town, is deeply concerned by the recent deaths of a number of elephants which have ingested poisonous toxins, plastic, glass and other rubbish from the town dump.

They are campaigning urgently to raise funds towards the high cost of erecting an electric fence around the rubbish dump by January 2017.    So far, they have generous assistance towards half of the cost from The German Development Agency GIZ,  but an estimated further $20 000 is still required.

During the very dry, hot months of the year there is very little grass and browse available for the animals to eat.  So, in a place like Kariba, surrounded by wild lands, urban settlement and the garbage that it generates is a tempting food source for elephants, baboons and other wildlife. While KAWFT has been working tirelessly in recently years to educate the people of Kariba to collect and contain their personal rubbish, the municipal dump, situated a little out of town, remains a problem.    Autopsies on at least half a dozen elephants found dead in the area recently show that their stomachs contain large quantities of plastics and other non-natural substances which are toxic.   Their deaths have been slow and extremely painful.

With escalating elephant poaching statistics in Southern Africa's wild areas, Kariba cannot afford to lose these magnificent creatures due to careless management of its human waste.  

If you can assist with a donation towards this very worthwhile cause, please contact KAWFT

NOTE:  Conservationists in Victoria Falls are currently constructing a similar rubbish-dump fence to protect elephants in the vicinity of that resort town.


Zimbabwe-based operators Experience Africa Safaris are raving about their latest visit to a few of the safari camps Mana Pools National Park.  They chose to travel in October - the hottest time of the year (temperature-wise), but their verdict was that the place is "HOT" in more ways than one.  Their wildlife experience was SUPERB.

They stayed at African Bush Camps' two camps: Kanga Camp and Zambezi Expeditions as well as at Wilderness Safaris' newly-refurbished Ruckomechi Camp.

".....We were kept riveted in our seats for hours, with barely time to eat our dinner.  Six leopard and four lion in all, not more than 30 metres from our table."......

"Imagine waking up to the sounds of lion on a buffalo kill??  Its true.  It happened!"

Read the full Guest Blog on at this link:  Mana Pools in October - HOT (in the best sense)

If you have travelled with Experience Africa Safaris, tell us about it in a WildZambezi Travel Review HERE

In a recent blog for Wilderness Safaris, Eddie Mudzimu, (pictured below) Assistant Camp Manager at Ruckomechi Camp in Mana Pools, describes how his job has brought him back to his roots.  

" forefathers lived in the area long before it was inscribed as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site...My father was born somewhere in the Zambezi Valley in 1922 and lived here with his parents until they were moved out and settled in the Hurungwe area as chief and headman in the new area." 

Eddie describes his feelings on returning to Mana Pools, where the rich history of his forefathers is still evident in this timeless landscape.

Read his thoughts, reproduced on as a Guest Blog:   My Mana Pools - My Heritage    (with beautiful photographs by Dana Allen).

Stayed at Ruckomechi Camp?  Tell us about it in a Travel Review HERE.



Excitement mounts in Victoria Falls at the expected arrival on 6th December of a fleet of vintage aircraft taking part in the adventurous Crete to Cape Town cross-Africa Air Rally (a distance of about 6000 nautical miles).  This is the first time such an event has been organised.

A total of 15 vintage aircraft (all built before the 31st December 1939) are participating, accompanied by light aeroplanes and helicopters.  The participants are from all over the world, including entrants from Southern Africa.

Take-off was from the island of Crete on 12th November.  The total journey will take about five weeks, following in the footsteps of the first pioneering flights across Africa in the 1920s.    

The rally has followed the route of the Nile River from Cairo to Khartoum, past the Ethiopian highlands and across the plains of Kenya to Nairobi. Then past Mt Kilimanjaro into the Serengeti – and on to the spice island of Zanzibar.   From there, after a short pause to enjoy the Indian ocean, they continue across Zambia to Victoria Falls, before moving on to Bulawayo, across Botswana and South Africa to their final destination in the Cape of Good Hope. 

The rally participants spend two nights in the resort town of Victoria Falls, with a visit to the magnificent waterfall included in their itinerary. was delighted to discover that some of the fund-raising for this Vintage Air Rally is in support of BirdLife International's conservation programme for African Vultures, under the slogan "Birds for Birds".  As highlighted in our last newsletter (A Tale of Two Tags - News October 2016), although culturally unpopular, vultures fulfil an absolutely crucial role in the African eco-system.

You can follow the progress of the Vintage Air Rally via their Facebook page.


If you are due to visit Victoria Falls in the next few months over the holiday season (and beyond), don't miss out on the opportunity to have your dinner at the Lookout Café overlooking the gorges of the Falls with the magnificent natural spectacle of the full moon rising in the background!   Be warned, though.  Prior booking is essential.  

Up-coming full moon dinner dates:-
14th December 2016
12th January 2017
11th February 2017
12th March 2017

Tel:  +263 13 44571

Please share your experience of a Full Moon Dinner at the Lookout Café with other readers.  Submit an online Review HERE


Imvelo Safari Lodges' Zambezi Sands River Camp has recently increased its "navy" of inflatable canoes, which means that guests staying at this award-winning camp can enjoy the exhilarating fun of a little whitewater on the Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls, while taking in the wildlife on the way!  

This is memorable and adventurous activity which is fun for those who perhaps don't quite want to brave the full force of the traditional white-water rapids in the Batoka Gorges (or the steep climb out) just below the Falls. 

Zambezi Sands is situated an hour-or-so's drive upstream from the Victoria Falls at the western end of the Zambezi National Park.   It offers 8 twin-bedded luxury, tented units built into the bush on raised wooden platforms at the water’s edge. Each has its own private splash pool.  A four-bed family suite is under construction.  Various river and wildlife-based activities are on offer.

For more information and contact details, see Zambezi  Sands River Camp.

If you have enjoyed a stay at this camp, please tell us about it in a Travel Review on HERE.


Wild Zambezi really enjoyed this wonderful night image of a lioness spotlit at the pan at  
Kanga Camp  in Mana Pools - taken by Andrew Brown.
Thank you to
Experience Africa Safaris  for sharing it with us.
Can you guess what animal that tail at the right hand side belongs to? 

Have a pictorial advert relevant to travel in the Zambezi Valley?  Like to distribute it through our mailing list?  
Advertise on our shared advertising platform, the BULLETIN BOARD.
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