This tour was withdrawn at the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, it will be re-introduced when safe to do so if there is interest.
If you would like to be kept informed.
we would love to hear from you!
This tour will run with a maximum of 12 guests, plus Sheelagh and Geoff as tour hosts. Most of the lodges, boats and motor coaches we use will be exclusive to us, we want your experience to feel more like travelling with a group of friends, Geoff’s Travel Club friends.
A Zambezi Explorer tour similar to this one was operated in 2014, images of that trip can be found here.
Zimbabwe requires that all tour guides working in national parks or other wildlife areas should complete extensive training that includes learning the Latin names of all flora and fauna as well as working with National Parks controlling problem animals or with professional hunters to gain proficiency with firearms. You will be well cared for by knowledgeable and experienced guides who have a passion for their work and are acknowledged as the best in Africa.
The Zambezi Explorer
The Geoff’s Travel Club tour
Dates to be advised
If you enjoy river cruises, we have a special tour for you! Join us for a thrilling, scenic trip down the mighty Zambezi River as it flows across Africa, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in the most picturesque, natural environment imaginable. Unforgettable scenery and wildlife experiences, magical river and lake cruises and first-class accommodation and cuisine come together to offer you a trip of a lifetime. Hosted by Geoff Cooke, a well known Africa expert, this Travel Club holiday will be an unforgettable experience. To make your holiday even more memorable,
Arrive at the Victoria Falls International Airport today. There are a few flights available, but the most popular and convenient are from Johannesburg with South African Airways and BA (Comair) that both fly mid-morning, arriving before lunch time. Victoria Falls Airport is modern and whilst there may be a queue for immigration and visas, you should be on your way without too much delay. Geoff and Sheelagh will probably arrive on the South African Airways flight as it is the first to land. Our local agents will meet us in the arrivals hall and our private coach will take us to our first lodge on the Zambezi. The lodge is located in Zimbabwe near Kazungula, where four countries meet in the middle of the river (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia). The big cats hunt at night, and we will launch our African adventure with a night drive to look for them.
Overnight: Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge. Fully inclusive.
Another day, another country – cross into Botswana to visit the well-known Chobe Game Reserve. The Chobe River is a tributary to the Zambezi and about one third of its size, but it is a big river with abundant game and bird life. Return to Imbabala this afternoon.
Overnight: Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge. Fully inclusive.
Following a morning game drive and breakfast at Imbabala, drive to Victoria Falls. Check in to the Bayete Lodge before visiting the Victoria Falls with an informative guide. Mid-afternoon is the ideal time to visit the Falls as rainbows appear in the spray, the making of magical photographs. End your day at the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, built by the Railway for contractors working on the bridge construction and expanded to become one of the world’s great railway hotels. Enjoy high tea or a drink on the veranda overlooking the Bridge before taking a tour of the hotel (much more interesting than it sounds!)
Overnight: Bayete Lodge. (Bayete is the Matabele Nation’s royal salute, you should certainly feel like royalty after this action packed day).
It is possible to join the tour today, you will be met at Victoria Falls airport around mid-day for a transfer to Bayete Lodge, where you will join the main tour group in time for the Victoria Falls tour.
Today is a railway day, with a few extras! After time in Victoria Falls town and markets for sightseeing and maybe some retail therapy, board a tram at the railway station for a journey to remember! Sip gin and tonic as you rattle down the track to the Victoria falls Bridge, stare in awe as the Victoria Falls reveals itself whilst you slowly roll across the bridge into Zambia. Lunch and a presentation on the building of the bridge is included before making our way back to the station. Visit your lodge to freshen up before boarding a steam train for sundowners on the bridge and a silver service meal in an elegant dining car as you chug through the African night.
Overnight: Bayete Lodge.
This morning we will drive down the Zambezi Escarpment to the upper reaches of Lake Kariba. Africa is a continent filled with fascinating facts and stories, Geoff will share a few with you as our air conditioned coach descends past giant baobab trees to Binga where our houseboat will be waiting to take you on a memory filled three day cruise on sub-Sahara Africa’s largest man-made lake. If you enjoy fishing you will be spoiled – alternatively, tender boats will be available to take you on scenic jaunts around the lake to take in the scenery, and to look for birds and wildlife. Kariba Dam defied Nyaminyami, the Zambezi river god, when it was built across the Kariba Gorge to create a lake over 200 km long and 35 km wide. Also created were some of the most amazing sunsets you will find anywhere, perfectly viewed from the deck of your own luxurious boat.
Overnight on the Umbozha Houseboat (or similar), all inclusive.
Days 6 & 7.
For another two glorious days you will enjoy your cruise down the lake. Relax, watch the world glide by, look for wildlife in the tender boats, sip a G&T, bliss!
Overnight on the Houseboat, all inclusive.
After breakfast, leave our boat to explore the shores of Kariba in the Matusadonha game reserve. When the lake behind Kariba Dam filled, the wildlife trapped on islands was rescued and released on the lake shore, now the Matusadonha game reserve. Our lodge is located in this reserve, offering an opportunity to explore the area with highly trained guides and to learn more about the ecology of the lake and the Zambezi River.
Overnight: Changa Lodge, all inclusive.
Days 9 & 10.
Spend two full days at Changa Lodge with ample time to relax and explore.
This morning, transfer across the lake to Kariba Town, a settlement created when the dam was built. After lunch at your lodge, take a tour of the dam wall and the town, including an unusual round church built to remember the local and Italian workers who died during construction. You will also have an opportunity to meet the locals at Mahombekombe Township and learn more about Nyaminyami (the river god) before returning to your lodge for dinner.
Overnight: Kariba Safari Lodge. Full board and tour.
It is possible to leave the tour on arrival at Kariba Town, you will then be transferred by road to Lusaka’s Kenneth Kuanda International Airport. Arrive early afternoon for your flight home this evening.
This morning we will travel by road further down the Zambezi to Kaviga Safari Camp in a private concession at the Mana Pools game reserve. Mana Pools is one of the more remote national parks in Zimbabwe, far from the normal tourist route but home to an outstanding collection of animals and birds. This is the only national park in a big game area that freely allows walking, but have no fear – any walks we do will be accompanied by an experienced and qualified armed guide and will offer a relaxed but intimate encounter with one of Africa’s most remarkable habitats. Kavinga camp is not along the river, but we have chosen it because of its location and quality.
Overnight: Kavinga Safari Lodge. All inclusive.
Days 13 & 14.
Enjoy two days in the Zambezi River’s ‘garden of Eden’. Game drives included, time to relax guaranteed.
This morning, transfer to the Tamarind Tented Camp at Chirundu. Spend the last night of your tour on the banks of the Zambezi River to relive the experiences of the past two weeks and say goodbye to new friends.
Cross the Zambezi into Zambia this morning for your transfer to Lusaka’s Kenneth Kuanda International Airport. Arrive around lunchtime for your flight home this evening.
Prices and information
Travel Portfolio are a Zimbabwean tour operator with USA affiliates. They will manage this tour and Geoff Cooke will accompany you as group manager, assisted by his wife Sheelagh. Geoff and Sheelagh have worked with the directors of Travel Portfolio since the 1990’s.
Your tour price
The full tour
Per person sharing – to be advised
Per person in a single room – to be advised
Maximum number of participants: 12
Minimum number of participants: There is no minimum number, but the charter boat arrangements on Lake Kariba may have to alter for less than 8 bookings.