Arrive into Johannesburg and catch a connecting flight to Harare, where you will be met and driven to Chilo Gorge in the remote south-east of the country. Chilo Gorge is cocooned by dense foliage on the edge of Zimbabwe's second largest national park, Gonarezhou. Located on a gorge of the life-giving Save River, Chilo affords spectacular views over the river and plains. Game drives reveal a diverse array of wildlife, including multifarious bird species, big cats, painted impala, buffalo and hippo to name just a few. The park is renowned for large herds of elephant. There's also the opportunity to explore by boat (water levels permitting) or on foot, explore local communities or venture further afield to visit the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs. At Chilo there are just 10 luxurious rooms, all of which have balconies with views. The buildings blend beautifully with the surroundings, built of stone, timber and thatch, while interiors are simple and elegant with locally crafted art and furnishings. The central area also has panoramic views, and there is a lounge bar, infinity pool and library.
Overnight: Chilo Gorge
After breakfast, continue to Matopos (six hours), with the chance to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins en route, which is not to be missed. The atmospheric World Heritage site, said to have been the capital of the Queen of Sheba, gives a fascinating insight into the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th Centuries. Amalinda is a safari circuit favourite, situated within the Matopos National Park - known for its distinctive scenery and the grave of Cecil Rhodes - where leopard, black eagle and rhino (black and white) are just some of the animals you may spot. The various activities include tracking rhino on foot with an expert guide, visiting San rock art sites, visiting a local village and walking into the beautiful surrounding hills. The lodge itself is full of character, built into the side of a hill overlooking an active water-hole. In between your explorations, you can enjoy a swim in the pool or a spa treatment overlooking the plains.
Overnight: Camp Amalinda
A two and a half hour journey will bring you to the 2,400 hectare private concession home to Khulu Ivory. The concession borders the Hwange National Park, and the lodge itself overlooks an ancient river bed and watering hole that attracts birds and wildlife throughout the day and night. You may spot spot elephant, lion, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, sable, wild dog and leopard, while other activities include walking safaris, night drives, and visits to Painted Dog Conservation. The lodge's lounge areas and open-air plunge pool provide peaceful places to relax and shelter from the heat of the day.
Overnight: Khulu Ivory
Continue two hours north to Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls Safari Club lies just four kilometres from the falls, bordering Zambezi National Park and overlooks a waterhole with uninterrupted views. The area around Victoria Falls has lots to offer - from exhilarating bunji jumps, white water rafting and river cruises to guided jeep and walking safaris and hide-sits. This is also the place to indulge in spa days, golf and dining in some of the country's best restaurants.
Overnight: Victoria Falls Safari Club
You will be collected from the lodge and driven to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg and your onward flight home.