When it comes to sheer numbers of animals, there is no better place in the country to visit than Hwange National Park. And if sports-and-safari gets a big thumbs-up from you and your family, we strongly recommend the stunning Victoria Falls!
Hwange is located in the north-west corner of Zimbabwe. It covers almost 15,000 sq. km of desert sands, teak and mopane woodlands, and seasonal wetlands complete with tall ilala palms! Hunting ground of King Mzilikazi during the nineteenth century, the area suffered severe losses to its wildlife. However, once it had been granted national park status in 1961, Hwange soon became a haven for its resident lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, black and white rhino, giraffe, wild dog – and many more besides! Bird populations are impressive too – at last count, there were over 400 species!
We recommend two properties for families here. The first is Bomani Tented Lodge, in a private concession within the eastern part of Hwange. Bomani welcomes children aged 7 years and older. Owned and operated by Imvelo Safari Lodges, the Lodge provides seriously high-spec accommodation! There are a number of options among its nine tents – doubles or triples, tents or suites – but if you are travelling as a family you will love the family bungalow. Constructed from brick and thatch, this two-bedroom building overlooks a waterhole close to the Lodge, so you can enjoy amazing views of the local wildlife! The bungalow also benefits from air conditioning, lounge area with satellite TV and DVD player, changing room, and mini bar. Activities from Bomani include day and night game drives, daytime walking safaris, and the ‘Pump Run’, which involves setting off with a guide to check on the eight waterholes in Hwange that are operated by Imvelo. If you are really interested in the local culture, you can take part in a village visit featuring a tour of the school! Bomani is fab for families who like a little culture on safari.
Our second top property in Hwange is Somalisa Camp. Also situated in East Hwange, Somalisa accepts children aged 10 years and older. It is owned and operated by African Bush Camps and its guiding standards are through the roof! Located close to the Kennedy Vlei, Somalisa is able to offer some exceptionally good game drives. The Camp also provides wonderful walking safaris and the chance to sleep out on a raised platform to experience all the night noises of the bush! Guest accommodation here consists of six A-frame tents, all very spacious and comfortable. With their canvas walls and roofs, mesh windows, varnished floors, dark teak furnishings, and complimentary kikois, the tents have oodles of old-world charm – a stay here really feels like an adventure!
And now to Victoria Falls, simply superb for sports-and-safari! This is the world’s largest waterfall and for centuries it has wowed travellers from all areas of Earth. Whether you and your family are serious sports fans, crazy for river cruises, or excited about animal encounters, there is something here to suit everyone!
Pick of our properties in this remarkable region is Victoria Falls River Lodge, on the banks of the Zambezi River within Zambezi National Park. Just 20 minutes from Victoria Airport, it boasts views of the Falls’ spray! The guest accommodation here is immense – quite possibly the most spacious tents we have ever seen! In total, there are 13 units, each standing grandly on its own deck overlooking the beautiful river. Travelling families can book a family suite, confident that there will be plenty of room. There are plenty of creature comforts too – air conditioning, ceiling fan, mini bar, tea/coffee maker, 2-way radio, electronic safe, complimentary slippers and bathrobe, and much more! The en-suite facilities are very well appointed, featuring indoor and outdoor showers as well as a freestanding bath. And you even get your very own plunge pool!
If you can bear to leave your splendid suite, the River Lodge provides loads of things to do. You can enjoy a morning or afternoon game drive, head out on walking safari, and take part in a fishing trip! Canoe safaris and sunset cruises are also available. And, of course, you can pop to the Falls for a full range of sports activities – white water rafting, bungee jumping, bridge swinging, bridge sliding! Helicopter and microlight flights are possible too. Back at the Lodge, there are some great options for children – for example, Young Bushwackers introduces the little ones to nature, while Fables by Firelight invites the youngsters to listen to traditional tales from Africa as they munch on treats cooked over the bonfire. It is this attention to detail that makes River Lodge our standout property in Vic Falls – and it is good value too!
Ready to start planning your family holiday? Just give us a call!