Mark's Exclusive Adventures offers a wide selection of custom-made photographic expeditions in Zimbabwe.
The Victoria Falls is a lovely tourist town which is easy to explore on foot and which offers a wide range of activities from the challenge of white water rafting and Bungi jumping, to the elephant back safaris and sunset cruises. It has something for everyone. The Victoria Falls are one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest sheet of falling water on earth – a spellbinding and mesmerizing spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles – hence the local name ‘mosi oa tunya’ meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’.
Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometres, as big as Northern Ireland. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the mighty Victoria Falls. It became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebelle warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a National Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the population is one of the largest in the world, home to over 35 000 elephants. Other animals that can be seen are lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, impala, kudu, sable, eland, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, baboon and warthog. Due to the vast size of the park the landscape varies from deep Kalahari sands in the south to rocky hilly country in the north. The open savanna woodland in the south east gives way to the thick teak woodland, which in term becomes mopane woodland. As the park is in a very arid region in terms of water, the water points are pumped from deep wells underground. At some water points there are comfortable hides to sit in and watch from. This area is also one of the last strong holds for the endangered Black Rhino. For those of you who are up to it, a morning of tracking the Rhino on foot is a must! Hwange National Park is one of the best parks to see and experience some great adventures.
UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site
Also known as “God playground due to the many balancing rocks. Matobo National Park is 44 500 hectares and was established in 1953. The Park includes an intensive Protection Zone where a large population of Black and White Rhinoceros are successfully breeding. Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. He is buried at the summit to Malindidzimu – ‘hill of benevolent sprits’. He referred to this hill as having a ‘View of the World’. The park is situated in the magnificent Matobo Hills, a range of domes, spires and balancing rock formations which have been hewn out of the solid grantie plateau through millions of years of erosion and weathering. Matobo meaning ‘blad heads’ was the name chosen for the area by the great Ndebele King, Mzilikazi, who is buried in the Matobo Hills. The Matobo area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still takes place. The Park is home to a wide variety of animal species including: black and white rhinoceros, Zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, eland, sable to name but a few. The richness of the Park can also be seen from the diverse bird life, famous for its large concentration of black eagles. Bird species that can be found include, fish eagle, martial eagle, francolin, secretary bird, weavers, pied crow and Egyptian geese.
Mana Pools is the only game park in Zimbabwe to be granted Natural World Heritage Status and encompasses some of Africa’s largest areas of Acacia and Mahogany woodland, combined with spectacular, full-canopy Mopane forest. Mana Pools is 2,196 square kilometres in extent, runs along 80kms of the Zambezi River, but is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east. This national park has been set aside to be kept as wild as possible with only non-invasive, zero-impact tourism allowed. There are no safari lodges, generators, electric fences or other structures associated with safari camps as these are banned by law. All mobile camps must be taken down the day our clients depart to ensure minimal damage to the ecosystem. The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language and applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. This vegetation gives a unique look to the area and a surreal light filters through the tress giving Mana Pools its distinctive cathedral-like atmosphere. Lions, leopards, spotted hyena and cheetah are present in the area, but their secretive nature makes them more difficult to see.[/text]
Gonarezhou National Park
Situated on the eastern border of Zimbabwe, neighboring onto Mozambique, Gonarezhou National Park is the ultimate experience for the discerning adventurer who truly wants to embrace a real wilderness. Gonarezhou covers over five thousand square kilometres of magically wild and visually stimulating, dramatic landscape. The enormous Chilojo cliffs and red hills tower over the gently flowing waters of the Runde River are home to the Black Eagles and the Black Stork. A series of intriguing pans are home to unique species of fish which bury their eggs in the mud at the start of the long dry season. There are three beautiful river systems which wind their way under magnificent riverine evergreen trees. The river and pan ecosystem of Gonarezhou provide exciting, adventurous and exclusive game walks and drives; phenomenal birding and spellbinding views of the pink and gold Chilojo Cliffs.