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 Save 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 Save River forms the conservancy’s eastern boundary and varying altitudes in the valley and terrain have created distinct habitats for flora and fauna.
The Save Valley Conservancy is located a 4.5 hour drive (360km) from Zimabwes main capital city Harare.
Buffalo Range Airport airport is situated between the two towns, Triangle and Chiredzi which are just thirty kilometers (30km) apart. It is strategically situated to serve as the main gateway to the Save Valley Conservancy
Ghonorezhou National Park is only a short drive from the Conservancy, and many lodges in the Conservancy can organize day trips or camping trips into the park.
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. The Conservancy is home to 160 rhino and several thousand elephants, whose approximate locations can be determined by game scouts before the walk begins. If you are quiet and fit, you can usually find them 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. Or hang impala bait in a tree and see if you can get a leopard or lions to feed.
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.
The Chishakwe Camp is located on the peaceful shaded banks of the Msaize River. Stunning ensuite thatched chalets with private balconies overlook the river. The camp is booked exclusively to one party at a time; allowing guests to enjoy a stay customised to individual needs.
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.
Savè 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.