Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa known for its dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife, much of it within parks, reserves and safari areas. The Savé Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe’s southern lowveld area forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which straddles the borders of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. The Savé River forms the conservancy’s eastern boundary and varying altitudes in the valley and terrain have created distinct habitats for flora and fauna.
Zimbabwe is a peaceful country despite the media reputation of the political status.
There are currently no restrictions on foreign currency to be imported into Zimbabwe. However, a maximum of US $ 10 000 or its equivalent can be exported out of the country.
Zimbabwe uses multiple currencies as legal tender comprising of US Dollar, British Pound, European Euros, South African Rand and Botswana Pula.
The mostly acceptable means of payment in most establishments is US $ based or its equivalent.
The use of international credit cards is not guaranteed for cash withdrawals.
All visitors coming to Zimbabwe from infected areas are requested to possess vaccination certificates against cholera and yellow fever with the exception of children under the age of one.
It is not advisable to swim in the country’s rivers and dams as they may be infected with bilharzia or crocodiles however tap water is usually safe to drink.
The Savé Valley Conservancy is considered a high risk malaria area and it is advisable to take a course of anti-malaria tablets such as Prophylaxis as a precaution. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist before travelling to the area. Most camps in the Conservancy have mosquito nets and repellents.
Operators in the SVC offer safaris year round. The peak season runs from April through September during the dry season. As the season progresses animals become more concentrated around water holes, the grass dies down, and trees lose their leaves, all making animals easier to view on game walks, drives, and from hides. Even in the coldest months of June and July, daily temperatures rarely drop below 40 degrees F, and usually rise to 75 degrees F during the day. Starting in August daily temperatures rise and September can be hot during mid day when most animals and clients relax in the cool shade.
The activities available to clients vary according to each lodge and its natural habitat. Activities include game drives in open vehicles, game viewing from comfortable (and sometimes uncomfortable) hides near water points, and game walks and tracking. Clients are accompanied by licensed professional guides who can identify the area’s flora and fauna, animal behavior, and the interrelationships between habitats and animals. At most lodges there is no set schedule of daily activities. Instead, clients and guides work out plans on a daily basis depending upon clients’ interests and the availability of unique viewing opportunities like reports of a nearby elephant herd, a fresh leopard or lion kill, an active eagle’s nest, or a denning pack of wild dogs. Picnics or sundowners can be organized on tops of kopjes (small granite mountains) or along river banks at mid day or sunset.
Rhino and elephant tracking are unique opportunities in the Conservancy. Zimbabwe laws permit tracking animals on foot when accompanied by licensed professionals. This is often not the case elsewhere in southern and east Africa. If you are quiet and fit you can usually find these animals and get close enough for photographs during a half day walk.
There are 16 packs of African Painted Dogs in the SVC, though numbers vary annually. During denning season, May through July, the packs become semi-habituated to vehicles and clients can photograph pups and adults cavorting around the den. Certain Conservancy lodges specialize in wild dog viewing.
Don’t be afraid of the dark! Have a cookout on a kopje and watch the stars and constellations, some of which are unique to the Southern Hemisphere, like the Southern Cross. Take a light and on the way back to camp look for the many birds and animals that are mostly nocturnal, like nightjars, bush babies, owls, civets, serval, African spotted cats, and leopards. Position trail cameras at waterholes in the late afternoon and be surprised in the morning at what came to drink in the dark.
Fishing is offered by Conservancy lodges that have large dams (lakes) that are stocked with large-mouth bass and bream.
Individual properties operate safari lodges in the Conservancy that differ in size, natural location, and price range. They are featured below and contacts and web site linkages are provided for further inquiry.
Chishakwe straddles some of the most beautiful and diverse bush in the South East Lowveld. The varying habitat and terrain allows for a broad spectrum of animal and bird sightings against a spectacularly wild back drop.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF COMFORTABLE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS FOR VISITORS TO CHOOSE FROM:
A stay in the Chishakwe River Camp is an immersion into the tranquility of the bush. Enjoy excellent food, discreet personalised service and comfortable accommodation without losing the authenticity of staying in a bush camp.
RANCH HOUSE AND HUNTER’S HOUSE:
Roomy houses dating back to the days when Chishakwe was a part of the famous Devuli Cattle Ranch. Both houses offer a perfect Lowveld base for families and friends wanting a laid-back bush holiday.
A charming and cosy bushveld getaway for just two people.
+263 77 8028592
Sango-Wildlife lodge comprises of four cottages and four tented camps. Each abode has a king-size bed, an en-suite bathroom, a private deck, air-conditioning, tea and coffee facilities and Wi-Fi Internet access. The cottages and tents can also accommodate two children if need be.
Sango offers guests the unique opportunity to learn more about what is involved in the management of a complex ecosystem such as Sango to ensure that the delicate balance of nature is upheld. Other activities include abseiling, safaris, canoeing, walks and rhino tracking.
A “home from home” camp, newly renovated with a choice between catered and self-catered comfortable lodges accommodating up to 8 people. Wild dog dens, rhino tracking, game drives, day trips to Gonarezhou can be organised and sundowners on beautiful kopjes to mention a few of our attractions. Rates US$40-50 self-catered and $130-150 catered including alcohol per person per day.
Mokore Camp is situated on the banks of the Turgwe River in the centre of the Conservancy, consisting of six luxury stone under thatch chalets with bathroom en-suite. The dining area is positioned with a picturesque view of the river and is shaded by a canopy of large Nyala Berry trees. Mokore is available for self-catering as well as fully-inclusive bookings.
More info or bookings please contact Melanie Duckworth on
This camp is high above the Turgwe River. 5 semi open en suite thatch chalets sleep 2 people each very comfortably. Each overlooks the river allowing visitors to enjoy stunning views without even leaving camp.
Savé Safaris, operating on Matendere and Gunundwe ranches, 2 self catering camps.Self game drives, hunting and excellent fishing. $40 per person per day self catering, full camp of 10 $350.00 per day.