8 Day Luxury Best Kept Secrets
Day 1-5: Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, Gonarezhou National Park
Gonarezhou National Park
Meaning ‘place of elephants’ Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe’s second-largest national park, extending across a vast area of baobab-dotted scrubland and pale orange sandstone cliffs. It is home to 4 of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ – elephant, leopard, lion and buffalo – as well as a multiplicity of other animal and bird species.
Overnight: Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge
The main Lodge is constructed in stone, thatch, ancient leadwood and teak, to blend effortlessly with the surroundings. We have extended the outside wooden decking areas as part of our refurbishment, to create a spacious and serene viewing platform down the gorge, across the Save River into Gonarezhou.
Whether you choose a refreshing dip or to relax on a pool lounger with a drink, our swimming pool is positioned perfectly with some of the best views in the Lodge.
During the winter months, guests enjoy swapping safari stories around our fire pit or head upstairs to our Library, which contains a large selection of wildlife literature and has plenty of quiet corners for guests to curl up with their favourite book.
Our beautifully appointed, thatched Luxury King/Twin Lodges are largely inspired by nature, but with a designer’s passion for elegance, simplicity and luxurious touches. Locally crafted intricate reed weaving, individually carved jacaranda headboards, luxurious cotton bedding, and a mini bar have all been carefully chosen for your comfort and enjoyment.
Each Lodge has its own private balcony offering spectacular sunsets and the opportunity for you to relax watching our resident elephants, crocodiles and hippos in the deep river trench that flows all year or to observe the diverse number of other river visitors through the day.
Each Lodge provides:
- Spectacular views
- Private balcony and seating area
- Mini bar
- Tea & Coffee facilities
- En-suite bathroom with spacious shower and separate w.c.
- Complimentary toiletries
A full day excursion to the Red sandstone Chilojo Cliffs, situated in the heart of the Gonarezhou National Park on the banks of the Runde River. (Available in the dry season: May to November). Visit the Tembahata and Machanu Water Pans offering unrivaled bird watching & view large herds of Elephant and Buffalo. A gourmet picnic lunch is served at the spectacular Chilojo Cliffs, followed by a sundowner game drive back to the lodge.
Culture & Community
The intimate working relationship between the lodge and the local Shangaan community, makes a visit to Mahenye Village a rewarding and cultural experience. The Cultural Home provides insight into the Shangaan Society, soak up the culture, dancing, arts and crafts and visit the local school and clinic.
On Safari in Gonarezhou National Park
At over 5,000 km², Gonarezhou is the second largest National Park in Zimbabwe, cutting a swathe of sandstone cliffs, scrub and baobab trees along the country’s southeastern border with Mozambique. Largely undiscovered by the outside world, this striking land is one of the last great pristine wildernesses in Africa and takes in a huge diversity of habitats. Lions, cheetah, wild dogs, hyena, buffalo, hippo and giraffe can all be seen within the boundaries of Gonarezhou, but this country is known, first and foremost, as the Land of the Elephant. These massive, intelligent creatures are called Nzhou in Shona, and give their name to the National Park where they number in their thousands. Gonarezhou National Park is on the cusp of a great adventure; it forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, an area the size of the Netherlands straddling Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique. This colossal tract of land encompasses three national parks including Kruger National Park and Limpopo National Park. As the fences come down, years of struggle and division will be forgotten as the animals of this vast land – above all Gonarezhou’s ubiquitous elephants – will once again be able to resume their ancient migratory routes.
Morning, Afternoon and Full Day Safaris into Gonarezhou National Park, with our resident Professional Guides.
The three major rivers, the Chilojo Cliffs and the vast water pans in the park support a rich variety of birdlife, including Kingfishers, Hornbills, Eagles and Raptors. Over 400 species have been recorded here, making Gonarezhou one of Southern Africa’s top birding destinations.
- Accommodation, Meals, Drinks, Laundry, Tea & Coffee, 2 Half Day (or 1 Full Day) Activity per day, 15% VAT & 2% Tourism Levy.
- USD 30.00 per person per day National Parks and Community Fees.
Day 5-8: Sango Lodge, Savé Valley Conservancy
Take a scenic drive from Chilo Gorge to Sango Lodge through the Save Valley Conservancy.
Savé Valley Conservancy
Comprised of 21 adjacent privately owned game farms with no internal fencing, the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, occupies an astonishing 900,000 acres of pristine African wilderness, making it the world’s largest private wildlife area. Differences in altitude and terrain create a wide variety of habitats which support an impressive diversity of flora and fauna including the highly sought after ‘BIG FIVE’. The reserve also boasts strong populations of several vulnerable mammals including cheetah, brown hyena and sable antelope. Other mammal favourites include giraffe, wildebeest, warthog, crocodile and hippo. Classified as an Important Bird Area, Save Valley makes an ideal safari destination for bird lovers. Expert guides offer an array of unique tailor-made safaris providing unrivalled wilderness journeys which include exhilarating activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, mountain biking, abseiling, archery, fishing, walking safaris, cultural village tours and visits to indigenous painting sites.
- No children under 16 can be accommodated at Sango.
Overnight: Sango Lodge
Welcome to Sango, a world class destination in the heart of Zimbabwe, where you will discover the riches of Africa.Stretching from the Bikita Hills in the West, across nine major habitat zones to the Save River in the East, Sango is situated in the largest privately owned wildlife conservancy in the world, and provides guests with 60 000 hectares (600 km²) of untamed Africa.
Sango combines the romance of the 1920s with contemporary African design for the epitome in opulent indulgence. The four exclusive private eco-suites are constructed of stone, wood and glass and are ingeniously placed amongst baobabs and boulders. Each eco-suite is comprised of a sumptuous bedroom, elegant lounge with fireplace, spacious en-suite his and hers bathroom, an outdoor shower and private patio.
Special meals available on request. You will enjoy an exquisite variety of meals cooked to perfection. You may even try your hand at braaing (barbequing) if you desire.
Game Drives & Activities available
A variety of activities are on offer that will allow guests to fill their days from sunrise to sunset:
- Abseiling: The granite hills surrounding Sango lend themselves to a safe yet exhilarating supervised abseiling experience for both young and old. Baobab climbing to visit the tree top eco-system is very interesting.
- Bird Watching: Keen bird watchers will be captivated by breathtaking species from the high concentration of raptors to the endangered Southern Ground Hornbill.
- Canoeing: Enjoy a day with your guide on the Great Save River surrounded by wily crocodiles, magnificent trees, regal water birds and the tranquillity of the great outdoors.
- Cultural Walk: Visit our bushman paintings and other sites amongst the granite hills where signs of early habitation are visible.
- Falconry: Sango will arrange for guests to spend a day with our local falcon expert to experience our majestic birds of prey in their natural environment. Guests are requested to book this activity in advance.
- Guided Bush Walks: Our qualified guides are well trained to facilitate a nail-biting experience where one of the Big 5 could be waiting behind the next bush.
- Mountain Biking: Rest in the shade of a Boabab tree after a day of game viewing and quiet contemplation in the saddle.
- Night Drives: Start the evening with elegant sundowners whilst the sun sets over Africa and then set out on a tailor-made game drive to find the more bashful animals of the night.
- Photographic Safaris: Enjoy a full day with one of our experienced guides and capture the wonders of the African bush with your lens.
- Rhino Tracking: A rare opportunity for only the brave-hearted to follow in the footsteps of the endangered black and white rhinoceros.
- Wild Dog Denning Views: Wait for adult wild dogs to return from the hunt and enjoy the antics of wild dog puppies.
- All meals, refreshments, laundry, walks, drives and other activities on request.
- The services of a fully licensed professional guide together with the use of a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
- Medical Air Rescue Service.
- Exclusive of special/out-of-the-ordinary alcoholic drinks.