Zambezi Safari Getaway

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe: (IT-ZMRT08)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/zimbabwe_zambezi_safari_getaway.aspx

Introduction
Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
The Zambezi: one of the legendary rivers of Africa, much written about, explored, and challenged, yet in the end still wild and unconquered - the heart of Africa's mystery and magic!

Situated in Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve (a 4000 hectare big 5 reserve) and black Rhino sanctuary, we welcome you in our four exclusive chalets. Originally reserved by the owner of the Estate for himself and his family only, these chalets still retain their feel of a private Safari home.

Exhilarating and adventurous rides will take you on long canters through teak forest, open grassland and rugged hills. A wide variety of game and scenery awaits! We will track and follow black rhino: sometimes elusive, sometimes in plain view and always unpredictable!

Your stay here will be tailored to your requirements as far as possible. Riding safaris are not timed by the clock; instead it depends on what we see, and how long we want to ride for.


Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
All rooms have a private bathroom with overhead fan/ air conditioning. You'll find a pool to cool off after a long day's ride and WIFI access will allow you to keep in touch with loved ones. Laundry can be done daily, if you give it to us in the morning we will have it back with you by the afternoon. There is a small charge per load, but is useful if you are going on to ride elsewhere and would like clean riding clothes when you arrive!

Ursula's Homestead
Situated on Nakavango Estate, a 7000 acre Private Game Reserve, Ursula's Homestead accommodates a maximum of 8 people in four chalets. Originally reserved by the owner of the Estate for himself and his family only, Ursula still retains its feel of a private African Safari home.  Dedicated safari guides will delight in revealing the beauty of this wonderful estate both by jeep and on horseback. With its beautiful gardens overlooking the Game Reserve, magnificent trees and tranquil atmosphere, Ursula is truly a hidden gem. Furnished with classical ‘Old Africa’ type furniture and eclectic memorabilia, old books and crisp white linens, it has the feel of a rather special but nevertheless private family holiday home.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.


Meals
Meals are simple, but tasty, with plenty of fruits, fresh vegetables, and salads. Tap water in town is perfectly drinkable, and of course the water in camps is pumped from their own wells. However bottled water is widely available too. Wine/ beer is served and available for purchase.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
This trip is suitable for strong intermediate riders. Keep in mind we ride through highly dense game areas. Clients must be fit and confident at all paces, including rising trot, and capable of trotting at a rising trot for a minimum of 15 minutes at a stretch. The more proficient and fitter you are the more you will enjoy your trip.

Riding
We spend between 4-6 hours in the saddle per day. This includes refreshment breaks and a short 10-minute walk for every 2 hours spent in the saddle (for the horses back, and your own muscles). The times given for rides are an estimate – we do not clock watch and may decide to alter and adapt the route.
Within reason, we like to tailor our trips to suit you. If you do not like what is happening let us know.
At the end of each riding day, we meet to discuss with you and amongst ourselves what we have seen, and plan our next day accordingly. We get continuous updates on game movement patterns throughout the area to ensure the best experience, so we may change a route – but only for your benefit.

Terrain
Magnificent and varied terrain, from the shady banks of the Zambezi, to rugged mopane woodland and wide ranging Kalahari sand dunes and teak forests. Riding on the banks of the Zambezi at any water level is an experience itself. All rides start here, moving away after the first morning through other varied terrain. Kalahari sand fire breaks are the best places to gallop.
The rural areas up to Gorges offer the most dramatic and beautiful scenery – rugged and starkly beautiful in the dry season, the experience of seeing black eagles soaring in the gorge below you is unforgettable.

Horses
The owner personally chooses and schools the horses herself, before they are used on safaris. She is assisted by a dedicated team of staff, who also ensures that the horses are happy and healthy.
The horses are mostly thoroughbred, some mixed, some Anglo Arabs. Between 14 – 16.2hh. They vary from gentle hacks to top polocrosse ponies.
As the stables are in a world heritage site and surrounded by National Park, everything the horses eat is brought in, ensuring that each horse has an excellent and closely monitored diet.

Guiding
Qualified, licensed guides lead all rides, and are accompanied by a back up rider. Both are dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. A keen interest is taken in the environment as well as the flora and fauna of the area. You will also learn many of the traditional uses of plants and trees, basic principles of tracking, and aspects of traditional village life.
All guides and back up riders are trained in first aid procedures and emergency situations. Each ride starts with a safety talk, and you will be reminded of details should circumstances require.

Weight Limit
We have a weight limit of 85 kg. This is your weight in your riding clothes and should include anything else you wish to carry. Our guides will carry your water for you. To avoid embarrassment be warned that you may be required to step on the scales!
An extra charge of 50% is required for riders above our weight limit if allowed to ride. Please note this is at the discretion of the company and subject to individual experience and circumstances. Allowances may be made only for very experienced riders, or for those who are tall and fit.

Non-Riders
We can accommodate non-riders. Non-riding activities include Rhino search, Evening/ game drives at Imbabala (for 8-day itinerary) & Canoeing. For an added fee, you can also take a walking safari with Charles Brightman, do an Elephant Encounter or go on a Helicopter flight.

Children
We do accept children but they must be strong competent riders. Please inquire. There is no adjustment in price for children.

Insurance
You will need to be covered by your own full Medical/Travel Insurance, of which we ask you provide us with details prior to the start of your ride. Please check whether your insurance covers you for riding without a helmet, should you wish to do so.

Wildlife
Birds and other wildlife abound, of all colours, shapes and sizes. Lilac-breasted rollers, white-fronted bee-eaters and trumpeter hornbills are common, and if you are lucky you may glimpse the brilliant green and bright scarlet colours of the elusive Schalow's Turaco, which is found along the riverine forest.
Depending on the season you may see elephant, buffalo, kudu, impala, bushbuck, waterbuck, banded mongoose and warthog. Along the river can be found hippo and crocodile, and occasionally cape clawless otters may also be spotted. There are several resident leopard and hyena are also present in the area, but rarely spotted, and even wild dog are sometimes seen during the rains. But remember, no game is guaranteed!

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary: 4-day program - subject to changes

Note: weather and game movement patterns may cause itinerary changes. This will always be in the guests best interests.

Day 1: Arrival
You will be met at Victoria Falls Airport by one of our representative who will transfer you to your accommodation. After settling in, you will meet your guide and the horses (around 3:15pm). A safety talk and pre trip briefing will see us on our way for the start of your adventure here. This afternoon will be your first introduction to this area and a chance to see if you are happy with your horse, your saddle and so on. Our introductory ride will end at sunset.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Ursula’s Homestead

Day 2: First Safari Day
We will be up and on our horses as the sun rises, to spend the morning on horseback. Exactly where we go will depend on our inclination and game movement. Tracks and territorial markings will put us on the trail of rhino, giraffe and other species. You will learn how to identify and age feeding signs and other marks as you and your horse become part of the environment. And of course there are long canters, rivers to play in – a world to enjoy. The late morning will see us back at the homestead for our lunch break and a chance to relax by the pool. The afternoon and evening will either be spent on an afternoon game drive or a night drive.
Alternatively, we could go on horseback again for further exploring!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight 
at
Ursula’s Homestead


Day 3: Safari Ride & Victoria Falls
Wake up early again today for another fabulous ride as we range farther afield: exhilarating gallops will take us to new areas to look for more Rhino and explore remoter parts of the estate. The length of ride is entirely up to you deciding where we go will depend on what have seen and what we want to do.
After lunch (or brunch), your concierge will arrange for you to transfer to view the Victoria falls.
A guided tour may be arranged on request at extra cost, but you can also view the falls on your own. Allow at least 2 hours before being transferred back to the homestead for a late afternoon horse safari or relaxation.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight 
at Ursula’s Homestead

Day 4: Departure
Today is your last ride with us. Our starting time and length of ride is entirely up to you deciding where we go will depend on what have seen and what we want to do: We may decide not to explore off the estate in Zambezi National Park or a last exhilarating ride along sand tracks with wide views.
We will return in time for you to shower, and have breakfast before being transferred to the Airport at 11.00am, or into Victoria Falls town for the rest of your adventure.
Meals included: Breakfast

---

Sample Itinerary: 5-day program (offered from 2021) - subject to changes

Note: weather and game movement patterns may cause itinerary changes. This will always be in the guests best interests.

Day 1: Arrival
You will be met at Victoria Falls Airport by one of our representative who will transfer you to your accommodation. After settling in, you will meet your guide and the horses (around 3:15pm). A safety talk and pre trip briefing will see us on our way for the start of your adventure here. This afternoon will be your first introduction to this area and a chance to see if you are happy with your horse, your saddle and so on. Our introductory ride will end at sunset.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Ursula’s Homestead

Day 2: First Safari Day
We will be up and on our horses as the sun rises, to spend the morning on horseback. Exactly where we go will depend on our inclination and game movement. Tracks and territorial markings will put us on the trail of rhino, giraffe and other species. You will learn how to identify and age feeding signs and other marks as you and your horse become part of the environment. And of course there are long canters, rivers to play in – a world to enjoy. The late morning will see us back at the homestead for our lunch break and a chance to relax by the pool. The afternoon and evening will either be spent on an afternoon game drive or a night drive.
Alternatively, we could go on horseback again for further exploring!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight 
at
Ursula’s Homestead


Day 3: Safari Ride & Victoria Falls
Wake up early again today for another fabulous ride as we range farther afield: exhilarating gallops will take us to new areas to look for more Rhino and explore remoter parts of the estate. The length of ride is entirely up to you deciding where we go will depend on what have seen and what we want to do.
After lunch (or brunch), your concierge will arrange for you to transfer to view the Victoria falls.
A guided tour may be arranged on request at extra cost, but you can also view the falls on your own. Allow at least 2 hours before being transferred back to the homestead for a late afternoon horse safari or relaxation.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight 
at Ursula’s Homestead

Day 4: Riding Safari
Early start for a long morning ride. Where we go will depend on what have seen and what we want to do.
The afternoon will be spent at leisure and you might go for an afternoon ride if you wish to do so.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ursula’s Homestead

Day 5: Departure
Today is your last ride with us. Our starting time and length of ride is entirely up to you deciding.
We will return in time for you to shower, and have breakfast before being transferred to the Airport at 11.00am, or into Victoria Falls town for the rest of your adventure.
Meals included: Breakfast

Note: Extra activities may be booked and paid locally by card.


Rates and Dates for Zambezi Safari Getaway

Rates include:

Accommodations, All breakfasts and dinners, 4 riding days, Game drive & Transfers

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20204 day trip, AP (High)$1510
    • Small group supplement (1 pax only)$510
  • A
    20204 day trip, AP$1450
    • Small group supplement (1 pax only)$270
  • B
    20204 day trip, AP (Low)$1450
    • Small group supplement (1 pax only)$270

Rates Note:

Discounted rates applicable for 4 consecutive days at Ursula and early bookings!

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Discounted rates applicable for 4 consecutive days at Ursula and early bookings!


Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2020 Transfer from to Victoria Falls Airport included

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
B 2020 01/04 - 03/31 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP (Low) 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 04/01 - 06/30 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 04/01 - 06/30 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP (High) 2 /6 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Lunches, Park fees where applicable (cash payment is usually best), Entry Visa (please bring cash for this), Rainforest and falls entry (USD 30 pp), Conservation Fees (USD 20 pp), Gratuities & Medical and travel insurance (mandatory)

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Zambezi Safari Getaway (IT-ZMRT08):
Measures were taken for current confirmed booking with travel dates between March 1st and July 31st, 2020:
  • It is possible to postpone your trip until December 19th, 2020, without any penalties.
  • Trips postponed between January 4th, 2021 and June 2021 will be subject to pay the price difference to reflect the 2021 rates.
We realize we may need to reassess our policies beyond July 2020 and will continue to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19. We will keep you updated should there be any further adjustments to our terms and conditions.
Please note that there will be a slight variation on the 7 and 8-day safaris as some of those participating lodges have different policies.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Victoria Falls Airport
Airport: Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA)
Transfer: Victoria Falls

Climate:
                                            Victoria Falls area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

86

86

86

85

82

78

77

83

90

93

91

87

Average Low Temperature (°F)

66

66

64

58

51

45

44

50

58

65

66

66

Average High Temperature (°C)

30

30

30

30

28

25

25

28

32

34

33

31

Average Low Temperature (°C)

19

19

18

15

10

7

7

10

14

18

19

19

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

11

10

6

2

0

0

0

0

0

3

7

11

Source: NOAA
 
 
Seasons
Basically Zimbabwe has a hot dry season, a hot wet season and winter.

Rainy season (November to March)
During November and early December the temperature drops and the rains, we hope, begin. It is one of the most beautiful times of year as the gold dust haze of the dry season merges into the clear greens of early growth. Dramatic skies herald the possibility of rain and new life.
Through early December, January to March the softer ground and cooler temperatures make things easier for horses – you can ride faster and for longer. You may have to work hard to find elephant but it is one of the best times to see zebra and sable. Even if it does rain it is never cold and there is nothing to beat the extraordinary drama of an African storm.

Winter (April to August)
By April it may be cooling off slightly in the evenings, but still hot during the day. May’s much the same, but can be cooler. June-July are usually the coldest months. It can get very cold at night and in the early mornings, on vlei areas there may even be frost in July, but going up to about 26 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit) in the day. August gets a bit warmer, but still cool at night.
So layers you can remove are best.

What To Bring:
All Camps and Lodgesare fully equipped with beds bedding towels and so forth.
All have bathroom or shower en suite. Electricity outlets are the same as in the UK ... so you may need an adapter for the Type G (a British three-pin rectangular blade)

Clothing: Please wear safari (dull) colors: no white or bright colors. Cotton is preferable.
  •  Jeans /trousers – whatever you’re comfortable riding in
  •  Jeans /trousers for evenings - 1 pair.
  •  Short sleeved cotton shirt or t shirt x 2.
  •  Long sleeved cotton shirt x 2: light weight for sun protection.
  • 1 warm jerseys/ fleece- more in winter: June – July can be very cold at night and in the early morning
  •  Money belt to carry cash, small camera & sun block when riding.
  •  Sunglasses.
  •  Sun hat
  • Camera – one that incorporates a zoom like a Panasonic Lumix DMC H17, a Nikon PS100, Canon S5 IS those small Sony’s or whatever you prefer.
  • Trainers / short boots  (long boots are too hot)
  • Trainers / sandals for in camp.
  • Swimming costume – all camps have a swimming pool
  • Chaps or half chaps   - optional.
  • Riding gloves   - optional.
  •  Plenty of Sun block   - the stronger the better.
  •  Insect repellent.
  • Malaria pills - this is a malaria area. Note: be wary of taking larium – at this altitude it has bad side effects on almost everybody and can ruin your holiday.
  •  Any personal medication. If you suffer from allergies please bring necessary medication and, in the case of food allergies, an epipen with you.Victoria Falls and surrounding areas have remained free of the health problems that have affected some parts of Zimbabwe. A big community effort has ensured that our water supplies are pure, our hospitals and clinics are well supplied with medication and equipment. Please bring any personal medication with you.
  •  Remember the pollen count is high - so if you are prone to allergies or hay fever and have a preferred treatment that does not make you sleepy you may want to bring that as well. We do carry some and you can buy medicines of course - but if you have to buy anything here it will of course cost more than you'd pay at home. 
  • All camps are fully equipped with sheets, towels, blankets, en suite bathrooms - and real beds
  • Finance: bring cash – US$ in small denominations if possible, as well as travelers cheques. Park fees are payable in cash only. Entry fee to the Falls is additional, and will cost US$20pp. Whilst extra activities must be paid for in foreign currency, you may use local currency for meals, drinks and shopping. But you may not exchange traveler’s cheques for local or foreign cash, nor can you use your credit card to buy foreign cash. Do not count on crossing into Zambia to draw cash with your credit card – the visa fees are now much higher than those for Zimbabwe -US$125 for a US citizen, 75 pounds or US$140 for British passport holders.
  • Credit cards are not accepted in Zimbabwe, but you can use them elsewhere. Do not change money on the streets or at the airport.
Other stuff:
A broad-brimmed hat in canvas or light felt is essential, ventilated if possible. Plain leather or heavy felt is too hot, straw is too fragile. Peaked caps do not shade your head properly, but are useful as an extra.
We strongly recommend wearing a helmet, and it’s always better to bring your own- for a helmet to be truly safe it must fit. If you are buying specially a ventilated one is a good idea. The sort of lightweight ventilated helmet used for endurance or western riding is ideal, and it must have a peak Dark color helmets will be hot, but if they have ventilation holes they should be fine. You could of course make a light tan cotton cover for the helmet and even dampen this to cool it if it gets hot. An alternative is to buy a ventilated trail helmet such as troxel: http://www.doversaddlery.com/troxel-dakota-duratec-riding-hemlet-in-trail-dust/p/X1-36131/.
However do bring shady hat as well. Please note that all children under 16 MUST wear a helmet. We do have a limited selection available, but your own is always best. Again – no black, no white, and no bright colors.  
Avoid tight clothing and shoes – go one size up if anything.
Avoid synthetic boots or shoes, always leather or canvas – actually long boots in any form should be avoided, and if you like to wear something on your lower leg go for half- chaps, in canvas for this climate.
If you usually ride in gloves, bring them, they do not take up much space.
Chose your jodhpurs, jeans or riding trousers carefully –not all cuts of jeans are suitable for riding – and you will be in the saddle for long stretches of time.  Avoid anything with lumpy seams.
Pay special attention to the knees – knee seams and even knee pads can be agony after a while.
It is important to remember that even in midwinter it can be very hot in the middle of the day, so coolness is on paramount importance, and layers of clothing are best.
Always wear cotton, or cotton mix. There s nothing cooler. And please no white or bright colors go for fawns, tans, khakis and greens. Very dark colors, black and navy blue are very hot and very uncomfortable to wear for any stretch of time.
Wear a loose fitting cotton shirt with short sleeves and a collar – this will protect your neck and shoulders from sunburn. You are also protected from thorns. Bring a long sleeved one if you are sensitive to sun
Some clients bring a lightweight fleece seat saver, to put on their saddle, which can make all the difference! 

Finally no-one wants to loose their luggage, but it happens very often on international flights the world over so try and carry your most vital things and at least one change of clothing with you. Check the maximum baggage size and weight you can take on board the aircraft, and pack all you can in there!

Enjoy your Safari!

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
**Important: Visa (check with your consulate for entry requirements, you may need to obtain your Visa prior to arrival**)

 

RIDING GEAR
Long trousers/jeans/jodphurs.
Takkies/trainers or riding boots – hiking boots will be too hot + Minichaps
Riding helmet  (best to bring your own)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
 

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Dull-coloured clothing; no white or bright colours
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Sleepwear
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Small automatic cameras only (extra batteries/film)
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm