Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge – Your Ideal Family Getaway
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge has been peacefully planted within the jaws of the wilderness. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you may miss this natural oasis that erupts between the navy stretch of the Zambezi River and the towering trees in the National Park. The lounge and dining area have been designed to complement the easy flow of nature. From the open plan area, one can survey the a mosaic of green and brown trees flung like a duvet across the landscape, interrupted only by the shimmering snake of the Zambezi.
The natural hues of the chalets blends in seamlessly with their environment. There is enough space between each room to ensure an intimate yet private family vacation. A hammock swings lazily in the breeze on each verandah, the perfect location to peacefully observe the grazing warthogs and impala, or recline with a book.
A wooden decks sits proudly on the green lawn, and once the sun has set and the fire has been lit, family and friends are drawn to the crackling flames. The gentle calls of the preying night owls mingle with guests laughter, as there is no place more heavenly on earth than around the glowing embers beneath a carpet of stars. In the afternoon, when the African sun beats down, a table laden with iced tea, coffee, scones and cakes is set up from the lawn where guests can share stories while they plan the next activity.
The camp is a stone’s throw away from the Zambezi, and there is nothing more relaxing that soaking up the sun in the refreshing oval swimming pool whilst watching the shards of light dance across the surface of the river. A gin and tonic or icy Zambezi Lager in hand completes the the picture wonderfully. Between the pool and the expansive green lawns that beg to be run around on, Imbabala is a childs paradise. Once the sun has set and stars flood the sky, the hippo enjoy the luscious green grass as much as children do, grazing peacefully by moonlight. Their tracks can be seen dotted in the sand as they wear a path between the water and the grass. In the late afternoon, guests follow this same path to the waters edge where a pontoon and cooler box await. The river is a source of water for a multitude of animals, and as the boat leisurely explores the channel, a diversity of buck can be seen grazing, keeping an inquisitive eye on the boat. Crocodiles stretch out on the sun soaked rocks, so comfortable in the warmth of their spot that the rarely even register the boat as it glides by just meters away. However, the hippo are not only interested in the guests, but seem determined to show off for their spectators. A grunt and a snort will catch your attention, but their gaping mouths will hold it.
Game drives at sunrise and sunset reveal further hidden treasures of the National Park as guests accompanied by an experienced guide explore further away from the river. A Land Rover takes passengers beneath a canopy of trees along a bumpy road that s frequented by more wildlife than vehicles. Lion, elephant, zebra, and kudu are just a few of the possible sighting while on these trips. The game drive rumbles to a stop in the embrace of nature, so that guests can climb out to marvel at the setting sun.
Dinner is served in the lounge area, and though you are tucked beneath the thatch roof, the night air breezes through the open space, carrying the murmers of the bush. Large dining tables are laid out so the whole family can sit together and enjoy a delicious meal, garnished with herbs from the camps vegetable garden.
There are very few places that manage to strike a balance between the excitement of adventure and the relaxing quality time that families need. However, this is exactly what Imbabala promises, and it is this unique balance that makes the safari camp your ideal family getaway.
Written by Jess White
Zimbabwe Revised Visa Regime
16 Feb 2018 – The Government of Zimbabwe has announced a revised visa regime which will see 29 countries being moved from Category C to Category B.
The Zimbabwe Visa Category B regime entails that tourists may be issued with visa on arrival while Category C requires tourists to obtain the visa before travelling.
The 29 countries moved from category C to B include India, Mexico, Romania, and Panama – Please find full details here.
Wild Horizons, Chief Marketing Officer Shane White commented “We welcome the Visa Regime Revisions and look forward to the positive effects the changes will undoubtedly have on tourism in Zimbabwe”.
Wild Horizons Elephant Encounter – Walk With Giants.
The human spirit craves places that have not been re-arranged by the hand of man. When you explore these places alongside an elephant, you will realize that every natural beauty you can imagine already exists. The Elephant Encounter is more than an interaction; it is a complete submission to the wilderness. The experience will take you into an African paradise. In this space, society is made up of wildlife, tress are homes, dust is decoration and the every path is the one less travelled by.
Your journey begins in an open design thatch Boma that overlooks the tranquil Masuwe River. The Boma blends in seamlessly with the environment and against the backdrop of a blue sky, guests will learn about the conception and philosophies of the Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Orphanage. The caretakers, who have journeyed physically and metaphorically with the elephant, will share the stories of the herd, and address the threats facing elephant populations in an interesting and informative presentation. The sanctuary’s roots are buried in the principle of conservation- the guides will tell you and the earth will show you the splendor that we strive to protect.
However, your greatest teachers on the day will be the elephant themselves. Every acre of the sanctuary feels their commanding presence. Uninhibited but their size, they roam the landscape more comfortably than our angular human bodies do, never glancing down but always knowing where to place their next step. Elephants are the only animals who manage to splash and play in the water, without diluting the wisdom in their eyes as they do. They shower themselves in dust and water, wearing each element with grace. Their flapping ears direct the wind, their long trunks disrobe the branches, and their powerful legs disrupt the dust, every casual movement make mesmerizing to those who witness it.
When guests have filled their cameras with pictures and their minds with memories, they will make their way back to the Boma for a selection of hot and cold canapés and sundowners (including local beers, wines, soft drinks, water, coffee & tea). Grateful for the experience but sad that it has ended; guests will then be transferred back to their respective hotels.
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We’ve done it again!
Wild Horizons is pleased to announce that we have been awarded the BEST GROUND HANDLER in 2017, by AZTA (Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents) for the 6th consecutive year. Wild Horizons provides a complete range of Activities, Attractions, Transfers, Accommodation and a Café in Victoria Falls. We are the lead provider of adventure activities such as white water rafting and gorge swings. We operate tours that range from cultural excursions, wildlife viewing and ethical wildlife interactions to tailor made experiences for corporate and incentive groups.
We offer transfers throughout the Victoria Falls area for guests from a single person to large corporate & incentive groups. Wild Horizons manages four unique lodges. The Elephant Camp, The Elephant Camp West, Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge and Old Drift Lodge. Wild Horizons also owns and manages The Lookout Café in Victoria Falls.
We also received the Best Tour Operator’s stand award at the Sanganai / Hlanganani – World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair, 2017. The award celebrates the Wild Horizons portfolio including our social responsibility and promoting richness in cultural diversity (through various cultural tours – Cultural Connections, Meet the People, Home Hosted Meals, Pay it Forward to mentioned but a few). Tours focused on support of orphanages in Victoria Falls such as Rose of Charity as well as school tours were recognized.
Sanganai / Hlanganani – World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair celebrated its 10th anniversary with 206 buyers and 300 exhibitors’ the most attended since its inception!
We thank our agents & guests for the continued support!
Victoria Falls, a quaint town home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, was transformed into festival central over the New Year period. The atmosphere hummed with excitement, music from multiple genres filled the air and the streets teamed with brightly dressed party goers. Land Rovers wound across the busy roads, packed with adrenaline seekers as they made their way between the rafting excursions, gorge swings, helicopter rides, and various pool parties dotted around the town.
The 3-day event came to life on the edge of the mighty Zambezi River. Beneath the surface of the glistening ripples live countless fish, crocodile and hippo. Birds dip and dive among the indigenous green trees that proudly overlook this impressive body of water. It is the ideal location to mark the start of the three-day extravaganza. There is no better way to spend an afternoon than lazing by the banks of a slow flowing river, listening to the gentle background music of talented DJ’s, with a refreshing drink at hand. The moon eventually took its place in the sky, and in small groups, people returned to town and pay a visit to the vibey Shoestrings Backpackers Lodge and Mvu bar, where the festivities continued into the early hours of the following morning.
On day two the Jameson Vic Falls Carnival raced on at full steam ahead with the popular party train, which took off on the 30th. Hundreds of people made their way to what can only be described as Grand Celebration Station. Waving their luminous purple wrist bands in the air above their heads, people leapt aboard the ride of a lifetime. Hogwarts Express pales in comparison to the party train, which was equipped with bars, music and hundreds of enthusiastic passengers. The train made its way to Jafuta, where a stage and strobe lights awaited the train. The high-pitched whistle of the train could barely drown the sound of the powerful music pouring from the speakers at the front. The smell of frying burger wafted across the eastern end of the party, while the sound of ice clattering into cooler boxes sounded at the west, where people were served their drinks in the light of the setting sun. Local DJ’s transported the crowd on a musical journey that only ended once the final train was ready to make its final departure home at 1 o’clock in the morning.
It is hard to believe that this was just the warm-up so the main event.
Like children to the Pied Pipers tune, so the carnival troopers danced their way onto the field where the NYE party unfolded. Feet pounded the earth from dusk until dawn as music from Locnville, Sketchy Bongo, GoodLuck and many more artists engulfed the crowd. The various food stalls also got a fair amount of attention as the night wore on and the munchies kicked in. People were lured off the dance floor by the delicious aroma of frying burger patties, and returned revitalised and ready to party on. The lights emanating from the stage gave the carnival an almost surreal feel. The vibrant colours washed over the dancefloor and swirled across the stage, reaching high into the navy blue sky towards the millions of stars that watched the carnival below. During the countdown into the new year, a soft mist drifted down, refreshing the party so that they could carry on dancing into the eagerly anticipated new year.
The Jameson Vic Falls Carnival is as unique and special as the town in which it takes place. The earth’s natural beauty flourishes here and can be seen everywhere, whether you are strolling through the rainforest, hurtling through the rapids or plunging into African air at the edge of a bungee cord. There is a marriage between cultural diversity and musical talent that leaves listeners with new found musical taste. Everyone you meet at the carnival is excited, friendly and ready for an adventure. The elation doesn’t end from the moment you step into Victoria Falls, to the moment you say your wistful goodbyes to her. Wild Horizons are proud to be Co-sponsors of the Jameson Vic Falls Carnival.
One of the first things to strike you as you arrive at Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge is the warmth and friendliness of its guides. One of these guides is Richard Nsinganu.
Richard was born in Harare and from a young age, he developed a love of the bush. His natural tendency towards looking after and entertaining people led him into the tourism industry. His first taste of tourism was when he worked for Imire Game Lodge in the north-east of Zimbabwe as a driver. He recalls that as a driver he watched the guides there taking people for drives and interacting with tourists and he decided that this would be his chosen career. He made the move from Harare to Victoria Falls, the capital of tourism, and he has lived here for 18 years. He has worked as a guide at Imbabala for 5 years. He has had several prestigious mentors in the industry, including Roger Parry from the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. Through their teachings and a natural dedication of his own, Richard gained his Learners Guides license. He has continued to amass a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of the bush.
Richard has a deep love of the bush, everything to do with wildlife and is a natural host. A game drive is certainly not just a game drive when you go out with Richard! Nothing is too small or insignificant for him to stop and talk about. He can hold guests spellbound for 15 minutes talking about a termite mound or have you all in stitches while describing a busy squirrel’s thought process. Whether on a cruise or a game drive, Richards’s constant flow of information and innate sense of humor keeps guests enthralled and allows them to take home pieces of information and memories of Africa that will stay with them for life.
Richard is married and is the proud father of 3 delightful daughters. We hope that one day at least one of them will follow in their father’s footsteps and contribute as significantly as Richard has to the tourism industry. Written by Libby White