Explore Kruger & Victoria Falls
Enjoyed several morning wildlife safari drives through Kruger National Park in an open vehicle, took in views of the abundant wildlife including elephants, lions, and giraffe. In the afternoon we continued our safari drive and went back to the lodge later in the afternoon for a short nature walk and relaxed on the deck with views of the surrounding area.
At over 19,000 sq km (7,500 sq mi), South Africa’s Kruger National Park is one of the largest and most impressive animal reserves in the world. With 147 species, Kruger has more species of large mammals than any other park on the continent.
We met with a researcher from the
Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project who shared information about their efforts to protect cheetahs and other carnivores. This National Geographic-sponsored project is part of the Big Cats Initiative. After, the researcher joined us on our evening wildlife safari drive.
For the next two days, we enjoyed ranger-led mornings and evening wildlife safari drives in an open safari vehicle in Karongwe Nature Reserve, looked for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. With over 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) of supreme African bushveld, Karongwe Private Game Reserve is home to many creatures, this safari drive provided several opportunities for wildlife viewing.
We surely enjoyed early morning and afternoon safari drives with the local guides, searching for buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos – Africa's famed Big Five. In our down time, we relaxed at the camp, took a walk around the grounds, and enjoyed cool drinks on the deck.
Wake up time was before the sunrise (around 5am) we sipped your morning coffee before heading out for the morning wildlife safari drive, returned back to the lodge for brunch and some leisure time. Following tea, it's time for the late afternoon safari drive. After spotting tons of wildlife, it was time to return to camp and freshen up before dinner.
Another jump into a safari 4x4 and kept your eyes open for fantastic wildlife encounters. Wildlife safari drives are conducted with qualified wildlife rangers and Shangaan trackers; both shared their vast experience of the African bush.
After a short flight to Victoria Zimbabwe, we met our local CEO. Gained insight into what life is like here with a walk through a local market and dinner at a family homestead. Met our host, learned their history, and discussed daily life and culture in Zimbabwe, we all shared stories as we enjoy a traditional Zimbabwean dinner.
The mist off Victoria Falls can rise to a height of more than 400m (1312 ft). Local tribes used to call the falls Mosi-o-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders.” Explorer and missionary David Livingstone renamed the falls after Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855. Turned out the falls had water capacity of 97%, we pretty much got trenched after the 3rd view point.
Flatter Ncube is the head of her family which includes two sisters and numerous children. She’s the youngest of a family of 10 and, now in her early 40s, lives in the village she was raised in near Victoria Falls. There she takes care of her extended family on their homestead, which she and they have been proudly building by hand, brick by brick, for years. Flatter’s story highlights that life isn’t easy in Africa, but despite its challenges, there is much love and laughter and a strong sense of family here.
We visited Flatter’s homestead in her rural village; meet her and some of her family, and walk with some of them throughout the property, among the fruit and vegetable plants the family grows for consumption. (They even plant hot chillies among the vegetables to discourage nosy elephants.) Then helped the family prepare a traditional Zimbabwean dinner, which we'll all ate together outside on the property.. Ingredients for the meal will have been hand-selected earlier in the day, at the bustling and friendly local village market.
This experience offers great insight into typical African life, and ultimately reinforce how we all really want and need the same things in life: a stable home full of love, a good education, and plenty of opportunity for children.
We enjoyed a knowledgeable guide for an unforgettable experience at Victoria Falls. Explored the rainforest and learned about the geology, history, and local legends of this world wonder.