For those that do not know, they often tell me: Zimbabwe is a dangerous country! I would like to write this edition around the theme of misinformation and ignorance in the judgment. Rather than a philosophical sermon, a demonstration of facts, seems much more befitting.

Yes, Zimbabwe is back! Although the media talk more about an old dictator described as senile, Zimbabwe has not lost its attraction. It was one of the most visited Southern African countries in the 80’s and 90’s. The dictatorship is fading slowly and I invite you to participate in the “renaissance” of this fabulous country.

Zimbabwe is a land of culture, the “breadbasket” of Africa. Fertile land where basic products are sourced from the region and also a land rich from a rich historical past. Footsteps left by David Livingstone and local art recognized as unique masterpieces in an unpublished exhibition on Zimbabwe in Paris.

The country is also the land of incredible landscapes, a high density of wildlife and of course, the breathtaking Victoria Falls… which we invite you to discover or re-discover in this newsletter.

Yes, Zimbabwe is back… and it is well informed professionals that tell you this.

S.C.
Well informed pro.

Yes, Zimbabwe is back! Click the different flags on the map and rediscover what made it (and still does) one of the most beautiful country of southern Africa.

Don't miss out on the 2 exclusive itineraries...

Mana Pools and Lake Kariba

Let me tell you a story today!

The Mana Pools National Park, located the north of the Zambezi River is one of the jewels of Zimbabwe and listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Imagine an unspoilt jungle of 2000 km² and four major lakes formed by the Zambezi.

These "pools" are lined with majestic baobab and other indigenous trees ... I honestly felt really tiny (okay, I'm already short but still!) next to these African giants. For lovers of African nature, Mana Pools is a unique and magical area. Indeed, it is possible to go on a safari on foot without being accompanied by a guide! Just be careful as you won’t only come across small and harmless creatures, you might have a buffalo, a lion or a leopard as a companion… maybe take a picnic to share?

In others words, you will find yourself in the middle of a National Geographic documentary! In the midst of herds of elephants or buffalos and if you listen carefully ... you will hear the lonely cry of the osprey!

  • Mana Pools National Park
  • Sunset on the Lake Kariba
  • Buffaloes in the Mana Pools National Park
  • Waterbucks - Lake Kariba

If you like crocodiles (and I do!), I suggest you go to Mana Pools in the winter. You can also see lazy hippos basking in the ponds in the late morning. I also wanted to share with you an extraordinary experience: Lake Kariba. Have you heard about it? Well now you have! I can promise you that you will see the most beautiful scenery! There are plenty of things to do on this lake, you will not get bored, that's for sure. Safari by boat, fishing, watching elephants swimming between the shore and islands ... can you picture it ... enjoy! Of all the wonderful sights and sounds that Africa will show you, the one thing that I didn't expect was the rich smells in the air. The fry dust kicked up by herds and the soft sweet scent of the rain on the dry earth and the moisture from the lake.

by Julie Ponsin

Lake Kariba

...

...

by ...

ZIMBABWE - Heart & Soul of Africa

                      

Incentive program based on 30pax

4 nights/5days
1350€ per person sharing in FI basis

Ask for conditions: dmc@xoafrica.com

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Full Day Safari in Hwange National Park in 4x4 vehicles Canoeing on Zambezi River Morning at Leisure with “a la carte” activities (optionals):
Horse ridding, Quad, Elephant Back Safari, Bunjy Jumping, Gorge swing…
Visit of Victoria Falls Market.

Check out and Departure to Victoria Falls Airport
Buffet Lunch in the National Park Picnic lunch on the bank of the Zambezi River Lunch free Lunch on board of your International flight to Johannesburg Airport
13h10: Arrival at Victoria Falls airport, Zimbabwe.
Transfer in mini-bus to the hotel.
Welcome drink, porters and Installation
Guided Visit of the Victoria Falls.
Continuation toward the Marina for a Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River.
Open bar on board
Afternoon Safari in Hwange.
Return to the Hotel at the end of the day.
Time to freshen up
Elephant Interaction... Followed by a Helicopter Tour over the falls Sunset Steam Train Ride over the bridge
Buffet Dinner at the hotel Dinner at the hotel with Traditional Africa Spectacular Show during the dinner Buffet Dinner along the Riverside. Traditional African Décor & Dancers for Entertainment Farewell Dinner on the Steam Train - Champagne cocktail. Saxophonist on board
The Victoria Falls Hotel
This legendary hotel is situated on a world heritage site overlooking the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. Established in 1904, and recently redecorated, this gracious colonial-style hotel is set in lush tropical gardens and epitomizes the romance of grand travel, offering total relaxation. All suites and bedrooms are decorated in colonial style, are fully air-conditioned, and have satellite TV.
5 Star Hotel, & Member of Leading Hotels Of The World.
The Victoria Falls constitutes one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The Local people call it "Mosi-oa-Tunya" -- the smoke that thunders and the Falls are remarkable. The Victoria falls is 1 708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world. It drops between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge and an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet over the edge every minute. Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860's. Hwange National Park, covers just over 14 600 square kilometres and is one of Africa's finest havens for wildlife. The Park carries 105 mammal species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. Elephant make up the largest proportion of the biomass followed by vast herds of buffalo, zebra and a very large concentration of giraffe. It is also home to many predators and endangered species plus very large and varied birdlife.

Package 4 Nights / 5 Days

from 1350€/pax (base 30) - single sup 200€

Included:

  • XO Africa Tour Leader Assistance.
  • 1 Tour Guide (FR, EN, GER, DU, IT, SP…)
  • Welcome drinks.
  • Water during transfers & Activities
  • Porters at the airport and hotels
  • Luggage Truck
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Drinks during meals (1/2 Wine, Mineral Water & Soft Drinks, Coffee or Tea for dinner and 1/3 Wine, Mineral Water & Soft Drinks, Coffee or Tea for lunch)
  • Entertainment (Marimba Band, African dancers, African Show, Saxophonist) during dinners
  • All activities: Safari in Hwanage, Sunset Cruise, Steam Train, Elephant Interaction, Canoe, 12mn Helicopter Flights
  • Open bar during the cruise on the Zambezi River.
  • 4 nights at Victoria Falls Hotel
Please note that we tailor-made all our programs & budgets to fit our clients requirements.
This program is a working base and subject to changes according to season and availabilities.
Please contact: dmc@xoafrica.com for any request.

Contact us

FOR ANY QUESTION OR ENQUIRY ON THIS NEWSLETTER

Hwange National Park

Unspoiled safari experience!

The park, bordering Botswana, is situated on the main road between Bulawayo and the world famous Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The 14 600 square kilometres include landscapes from desert sand to sparse woodland as well as grasslands and granite outcrops.

Hwange National Park promises that you will experience a safari away from the crowds, as despite being one of Africa’s prime game viewing destinations; this destination is still a hidden treasure! We guarantee you that Hwange has Africa's Big Five and plenty of them! There are thousands of elephants and buffalo. Lions are commonly seen, but the elusive leopard and rhino are always a bonus to see. This park has such variety that one hundred different species of animals and 400 species of birds have been recorded.

  • Hwange National Park
  • Hwange National Park
  • Hwange National Park

Walking, driving and horseback safaris are a popular way of seeing the wildlife there. We would love to arrange a beautiful stay for you in one of the luxury lodges in the area, with their own “off the beaten track” traversing areas and allowing you exceptional night drives unlike the public park, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are tempted by an authentic safari experience!

To travel through Hwange National Park today is to see what much of the interior of Africa might have been like more than 150 years ago.

by Emilie de Carvalho

Matobo National Park

By now you must have guessed that Zimbabwe is still a great destination – a place to discover, re-discover and experience.

Personally I like to rough it a bit and go off on the beaten track. For me the Matobo Hills are magical.

The landscape is out of this world - don’t miss the “mother and child kopje” - and probably one of the most unique in Southern Africa. The Matobo Hills also have one of the highest concentrations of rock art in Southern Africa and the Hills are a natural reserve as well, with abundant wildlife.

  • Matobo National Park
  • Matobo National Park
  • Matobo National Park

You can stay at one of the rest camps which are rustic but comfortable. My personal preference is to indulge myself at the Amalinda Camp, a beautiful lodge where you can enjoy walking safaris, spa safaris and many other activities.

At Camp Amalinda you’ll experience the spirit of Africa in the sensitive and exquisite beauty of the Matobo Hills.

by Christian Dettori

Great Zimbabwe

The name itself says it all. We are talking about mystery, beauty and magic. Often unknown or forgotten the Great Zimbabwe is however the largest ancient structure South of the Sahara (11th-15th century). The civilization it belongs to is the second biggest in Africa after the Egyptians making it a must see place.

Situated in the South East part of the country near Masvingo Town (3h from Harare with a transfer) the ruins have excited the imagination for decades. The gigantic proportions of the stoned Great Enclosure for instance, with walls as high as 36 feet and extending approximately 820 feet have surprised the English colonizers in the late 1800s. For a long time they thought the construction was not human but was actually attributed to foreign powers, creating an aura of superstition and linking it to the biblical city of Ophir.

  • Great Zimbabwe
  • Great Zimbabwe

It has in fact been proven that Great Zimbabwe was one of the richest and most beautiful cities thanks to the trading of gold. The city was the capital of the Zimbabwean empire and belonged to the Shona tribe. The size and beauty of the architecture were not made to defend but to show off power and wealth. Only the royal family lived inside the walls and a lot of dwellings made of mud and stone were attached to the wall making it an incredibly big city at that time. Nowadays only the main walls, some falcon sculptures and the royal city remain as architectural treasures.

Next to the amazing site you can sink into the atmosphere of the African legend at the Lodge of the Ancient City. The hotel is perfectly integrated in the surrounding nature and allows you to learn about the history of the area with a modern touch.

by Hélène Soragna

Gonarezhou National Park

Travel accross wild and stunning landscapes and meet the largest tusked elephants of Africa.

If that is something that you want to do, then you have to visit the Gonarezhou National Park or « place of many elephants » in Shona.

Situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou National Park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, the massive pan-african game reserve that includes South Africa’s famed Kruger National park and Mozambique’s Gaza.

You will experience unique and unforgettable moments in the over 5 000 square kilometres of wild and natural savanna with hundreds of different animal species (including éléphants of course !)

  • Gonarezhou National Park
  • Gonarezhou National Park
  • Gonarezhou National Park
  • Gonarezhou National Park

Attend the gathering of zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and birds of all sorts that come to feed and drink around the many pools that are accessible throughout the park.

If you prefer aquatic wildlife, go up the rivers of the Sava, Runde or Mwenezi (very attractive during the rainy season) and discover unique species such as the Zambezi shark, Freshwater Goby, Black Bream and the unique turquoise Killfish. The Runde river also features the Chibilila falls that are 600 metres wide and 7 meters deep !

Finally, if you enjoy walking or passionate about photography, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape along the many daytime and full moon walking trail. I recommend that you stop off at one of the panoramic Platform viewing sites offered to admire the red cliffs of Chilojo and enjoy the most beautiful Sunset of your life...

by Nicolas Roger

In the heart of Zimbabwe

9 Days/8 Nights

This special Adventure itinerary was created for people, seeking and loving unique adventure experiences. Off road you will get a thrilling experience with Africa’s wilderness in one of the 4x4 Vehicles and guided by the most experienced adventure specialists in Southern Africa to make your trip an unforgettable experience!

DAY 1 & 2 VICTORIA FALLS

When you arrive in Vic Falls, your Adventure specialist will be waiting for you, with its 4x4 vehicle, all packed for the trip.

Then, direction “The Elephant Camp”, situated only 10 minutes from Victoria Falls in a private concession within the Victoria Falls National Park, for a luxury tented camp experience allowing you to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Falls.

The highlight of your stay will be the close encounters with the wildlife in the private game reserve, by foot or 4x4, including an unforgettable elephant interaction. You can also try the other activities on offer in Victoria Falls area, and why not fly over the Falls to see their grandeur out of the sky.

DAY 3 & 4 LAKE KARIBA

After 5 hours driving and around an hour for crossing the beautiful border across the Kariba Dam wall, you will get to your destination and enjoy a house boat experience.

Off you go for Tiger fishing, game viewing, bird watching, water sports or just simply relax while overlooking spectacular views!

  • Victoria Falls
  • Elephant at the Lake Kariba
  • Sunset on the Lake Kariba
  • Mana Pools National Park
  • Buffaloes in the Mana Pools National Park
  • Harare - Capital city of Zimbabwe

DAY 5, 6 & 7 MANA POOLS

From Lake Kariba, The 3.5 hour 4x4 drive will take you from the Highlands of the surrounding mountains to the Zambezi Flood Plains. Mana Pools is a world heritage sight and one of the last wilderness places where you can walk among the wild life and experience the beauty of the park on foot.

The diversity in the park will give you opportunity to see variety of game and wildlife interaction. You can either choose a camping option for the most authentic experience of the Bush or prefer a very luxury one at African Bush Camp. You will spend three nights in this area where you will take part in a lot of Bush walking, 4x4 driving with boundless photographic opportunities.

We highly suggest that you experience the tracking of Buffalo on foot which is a huge sense of extremity; however your guide will be guiding you safely and with respect.

DAY 8 HARARE

It is time to go on the road for a 5 hours 4x4 drive, crossing beautiful scenery and local villages, direction Harare. After spending a few days in remote areas, you will be thrilled to discover Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe and enjoy a local experience.

There are many restaurants to choose from and the city’s bustling atmosphere creates a vibrant experience. You will spend 1 night in a hotel before flying to your onwards destination.

Program inspired by Will Jansen - adventure specialist

Contact us

FOR ANY QUESTION OR ENQUIRY ON THIS NEWSLETTER

Laure, She was 20 (more or less) when she started at XO. Very shy she became much more assertive.
Her taste for luxury and good services took her naturally to our FIT department where she is in charge of our more demanding clients.

Your idea of ultimate luxury?

A Range Rover Sport, a Chanel handbag, Louboutin heels and a skiing holiday in Courchevel or St Moritz.

What calms your stress?

My low blood pressure, running three times a week and yoga

If you win the roulette 9 times in a row, do you carry on because luck is on your side or do you stop playing because statistically you should now be losing?

What stops me from winning a 10th time?

Is there a superstition that makes you change your behaviour?

No, I am not superstitious at all

If you were sent to a deserted island what book, disc or movie would you take with?

Seriously it’s going to take more than a book to keep me entertained and I hate being alone... Who wants to be alone on a deserted island anyway? I would bring a man. No comment.

A small pleasure that you consider huge?

Sleeping late

Your way to kill time?

Chatting to my sisters on Skype or Facebook. I miss them a lot :-(

What are you totally incompetent in?

Someone told me that I can’t cook and park properly.

To what are you addicted?

To designer handbags, nail polish and dark chocolate

Your new year’s resolutions?

This year I had decided to stop exercising, drink more and start smoking but it didn’t work for me. I think it goes against my nature :-)

What have you not done yet, but that you will certainly do one day?

I would like to take a year sabbatical to follow all the Formula One Grand Prix around the world.

To which other part of the world would you move to without any hesitation?

Cape Town is a beautiful city and a great place to live but my heart is in Alsace. I love the Christmas markets, hiking or skiing in the Vosges and kougelhof for breakfast. I would move back to Strasbourg without any hesitations!!!

A word or a phrase that you hate?

“Just Now” which literally means “immediately” but in South Africa, it usually means in three days or even never… It still irritates me even after seven years!!!

If you were to reincarnate into someone from real life who would it be?

My sister Adeline: she is just a younger and better version of me. I love her!!!