The Glistening Lake Malawi

Giraffe in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Giraffe in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Mumbo island in Malawi
Mumbo island in Malawi
Fun at work!
Fun at work!
The Hide Safari Camp
The Hide Safari Camp

An exclusive and unique tour of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, including the spectacular Lake Malawi


Experience the "true Africa" and many Southern Africa highlights. Amongst breathtaking landscapes, unforgettable impressions and experiences await you. 



Join us on this exclusive adventure journey, from the “Smoke that thunders”, over the mystical Matobo hills, to the famous Lake Malawi. We discover big highlights of Southern Africa in some of the most beautiful game reserves in the world. This extraordinary tour takes you through the history of a great former kingdom and exposes you to the fantastic natural beauty. Let us guide you through these beautiful countries in a comfortable minibus with an English speaking guide. On this 18-day journey, you will meet people of various cultural backgrounds, religions and cultures. Let yourself be inspired by the spectacular beauty of this still very original natural paradise.

Tour Highlights

Map of the Glistening Malawi Lake route
Map of the Glistening Malawi Lake route

- The mystical Matobo hills

- Elephant herds in the famous Hwange National Park

- The stone house, The Great Zimbabwe

- Mana Pools - the fourth most beautiful park in the world according to National Geographic

- The former Salisbury - Harare

- The unforgettable, crystal clear lake Malawi

- The Robinson Crusoe Experience - Mumbo Island


...and much more!!!



Day 1: Departure to Africa

Your journey begins with the long-haul flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.


Day 2: Departure to Zimbabwe

Today you will arrive at O.R. Tambo International airport, in Johannesburg South Africa. Shortly after you landed, you will catch a 2 hour connected flight to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where your English-speaking tour guide will welcome you. Together we will drive to the legendary Victoria Falls Hotel, where we will be staying. The hotel offers a unique view of the gardens leading onto the 200m long and 128m high Victoria Falls Bridge. The river forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, therefore the bridge connects the two countries with a boarding post at each end. We can walk to the huge Victoria Falls from our hotel. The incredible masses of water thunder over the 100m deep, narrow gorge. Dense spray rises into sky, ensuring that we all get wet even in the brightest of sunshine. We can walk a but upstart through the bush, with a chance of seeing some wildlife. Before dinner we enjoy a sundowner watching the powerful “Some that thunders”. What a way to start the trip! 22 km / D


Day 3: The famous Hwange National Park

After a tasty breakfast we head South and visit the famous Hwange National Park. The Hwange National Park is largest National park in Zimbabwe, with a size of. 14.651 km ². The park is located in the Western part of the country, in the foothills of the Kalahari, bordering Botswana.  The park offers a substantial amount of wildlife and is one of the most important nature reserves in the country. The San Bushmen used to live here. The area later became the royal hunting grounds of the great Matebele King Mzilikazi, before being declared as a nature reserve in 1928. Over 100 mammals and 400 species of birds can be discovered here. We will spend the next two nights in beautiful chalets, situated in the middle of Hwange National Park. 320 km / B, D


Day 4: Game drives to the “big 5”

Today is all about the Hwange National Park. On two extensive game drives in open SUVs, we will go search for the "Big 5". An estimated 20,000 elephants live here. One of the largest populations of the African wild dog, as well as large herds of lions, herds of buffalo, leopards, rhinos and spotted hyenas can be discovered here. In the evening, a delicious dinner awaits us at our lodge. B,L,D


Day 5: In the land of the Ndebeles

Leaving the lodge this morning, we drive Southeast and arrive at Bulawayo, the capital of the Matabele country. A short stop in this bustling city can include a visit to the famous Cultural-Historical Museum and a coffee stop to watch Zimbabwean everyday life. A short drive takes us to another protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient ruins of Khami. These ruins date back to ancient African history. Another short drive South, brings us to the world famous Matobo Hills, being one of the most dramatic landscapes in Southern Africa. The landscape is dominated by impressive granite rock formations that rise upwards. Our comfortable lodge is built on a granite hill, with a fantastic view of this mystical landscape. A sundowner and a delicious dinner are a great way to end this day. 399 km / B, D


Day 6: Matobos National Park- A view of the world

The Matobo National Park, a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a place of incredible natural beauty, famous for its granite boulder formations. 

In the morning we explore the park and visit some rock extenders, which used to offer people protection about 40 000 years ago. The paintings and ornaments are preserved to this day. We can also visit the tomb of Africa's most famous imperialist, Mr Cecil John Rhodes at the famous "Worlds View". In the afternoon you can relax at the lodge's own swimming pool or we can take a walk along the impressive granite cliffs. Dinner is served in the  lodge’s own restaurant. 68 km / B,L,D 


Day 7: Great Zimbabwe- The stone house

After breakfast we head East to Masvingo. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is on the program for today, the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. It is believed that the first stone walls here were built about 1,000 years ago. This impressive ruined city has a size of 722 ha and is the largest stone structure ever built South of the Sahara. The name Zimbabwe comes from the Shona words "dzimba dzamabwe" and means "stone house". After a fascinating tour where we gain some information about the former great kingdom of Shona, we return to a nearby cozy guest house, which is located on a hill. Our guest house offers a beautiful view of the Mutirikwe lake. Before a delicious home-cooked dinner, we will relax in the guest house’s beautiful garden.  357 km / B,D


Day 8: The vibrant metropolis of Zimbabwe: Harare 

This morning after a scrumptious breakfast, we head North. In the early afternoon, we reach the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare. Harare is located at 1 490 m above sea level in the tropical climate zone, presenting with hot and semiarid weather. However, with an average annual temperature of 18 ° C, it is relatively pleasant. Harare, the former Salisbury, is not a typical travel destination, but presents as a colourful African city. The city offers flowering jacaranda tree and has wide streets offering a true African flair.  Harare is green and modern, with life-loving people. Their energy is contagious! Tourists are always welcomed with open arms. For the next two nights, we stay in a lovely hotel situated in the city. 324 km / B, D

Day 9: Harare

On today's tour, we will discover Fort Salisbury, which was founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1890. Since Harare is the economic, political and cultural center of the country, the city is natural, lively, vibrant and has a very special flair. Good and extensive shopping can be done in Harare. We will visit the traditional markets in Mbare, where we can buy traditional African items, such as jewellery, clothing and other souvenirs. Just outside the city we can visit the granite cone Kopje, from here you have the best view of the skyline. We can also visit the Queen Victoria Museum, offering countless exhibits of the country, such as rick paintings, tolls and weapons.  The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, on the other hand, mainly displays modern paintings. In the evening, a tasty dinner awaits us in the city centre. 36 km / B,D


Day 10: Mana Pools

After breakfast we leave the state capital and head North to the underdeveloped parts of the country. Here we will visit the far-off and beautiful Mana Pools National Park. Mana Pools National Park, with its associated safari areas Sapi and Chewore, is located in the Urungwe district, in the North era Mashonaland region. The area belongs to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage since 1984 and is about 2,500 km ² big. Mana in the language of Shona mean “four”, due to the four large pools of the Zambezi that are filled with water throughout all seasons. During each rainy season, the floodplain of the Zambezi turns into a lake landscape, which dries up in the dry season. In this plain there are scattered villages, the Muzarabani, who farm with millet. For the next three nights, we will be staying in a guest lodge right on the banks of the Zambezi river. After dinner we get to fall asleep to the sounds of Africa. 374 km / B,D


Day 11: Unforgettable canoe safaris

Voted the fourth most beautiful park in the world by National Geographic in 2009, today we will get to explore the Mana Pools National Park on long walks with our ranger. The landscape is characterised by the changing water level of the Zambezi. There are shore landscapes, islands, sandbars and ponds. Drier areas are overgrown with mahogany, ebony, baobab and wild fig. The river and the flood plain are bordered by steep cliffs. Since the all-year-round water-bearing ponds are the only source of water in the area during dry season, numerous animals gather here. The area is therefore popular for the observation of large animals. These include lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and cheetahs as well as numerous Nile crocodiles and hippos. The sands of the Zambezi, which dry out in summer, retreat into the remaining bodies of water (pools). The Zambezi River forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Northern part of the country. In the afternoon we will do a canoe safari on the Zambezi with our experienced rangers where we will observe animals up close. B, L, D




Day 12: In the bush of Mana pools

Today we enjoy another day in this beautiful and untouched African landscape with marked walks and canoe safaris. In the dry season, the animals depend on the water of the Zambezi, then large buffalo herds, wrapped in their own dust cloud, pull to the river to drink. Many antelope species nibble on the last grasses and the first fresh leaves. Elephants often walk past our lodge to the Zambezi River, flowing just meters from our lodge. You can often observe predators that follow their prey here. In the riparian zone, mahogany trees and acacias provide shade and food. They all look as if the branches have been trimmed at the same height. The acacia trees are very high, and the mahogany tress are much lower. This is because the elephants love the leaves and the seed pods of the acacia trees and rip it off. The mahogany trees do not touch the elephants, they are preferred by the bushbuck and kudu.Huge baobab trees are found here too. B,L,D


Day 13: “True Africa”- Welcome to Zambia

This morning we leave this unique nature reserve of the Mana Pools and drive to the border crossing into Zambia, which is not far away. In a Northerly direction we soon reach the capital of the country, Lusaka. It has over 1.4 million inhabitants and is located at about 1,250 m above sea level on a plateau in Southern Zambia. The city was founded in 1905 by European settlers in the village of an African village and got its name after its chief Lusaka. In 1935 she became the capital of the British Crown Colony Northern Rhodesia. With the independence of Zambia on October 24, 1964, Lusaka became the capital of the country. It expands over an area of 70 square kilometres and is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. The city centre, in particular Independence Avenue and Cairo Road, is characterised by commercial buildings with typical services of urban civilisation, such as insurance, banking, stock exchange, health sector, retailers, hotels, tour operators, sports clubs, etc. In addition there are industries (including Chilanga Cement Ltd.), transportation and crafts. After a visit to the local attractions and a snack in a local restaurant, we arrive at our beautiful hotel in the city. 222 km / B,D


Day 14: Across the bush

After breakfast we set off in a  Northeastern direction. Along the Mozambique border, we pass many small African villages which offer a real African feeling. "The true Africa", so called by the Zambian Tourism Authority, is well known for its friendly and peaceful people of various ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, a true multi-ethnic state with over 80 native languages. In Chipata we reach our accommodation for tonight, situated close to the Malawian border. 573 km / B,D


Day 15: “The warm heart of Africa”- Welcome to Malawi

A short drive takes us to the Malawi border. Malawi is considered one of the most beautiful countries in South Central Africa and is called “the warm heart of Africa”. After completion of all border formalities, we will soon reach the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe. It has about 674,000 inhabitants (as of 2008), with the population growing rapidly. Lilongwe is located about 1,050 m above sea level and is characterised by large plots of land and wide, park-like boulevards. The city is divided into an old section and a section that is constantly developing. The neighbourhoods are placed far apart. The city was founded in 1947 as a trading centre. After Malawi’s independence in 1964, President Kamuzu Banda, convinced the international donor to make Lilongwe the seat of government. The city was largely created on the drawing board. Here we visit the lively market on Malangalanga Road and in the old town you can visit colourful Indian shops. We will spend the night just a few miles outside Lilongwe, in a lodge nestled in a 650 ha forest reserve. Amongst other things, we can visit a nearby village on a walk through the area where our lodge is situated. 162 km / B,D


Day 16: The tropical Malawi lake

After breakfast we drive to the great highlight of Malawi, the indescribably beautiful Lake Malawi. With a length of 560 km, a width of up to 80 km (average 50 km) and a depth of up to 704 m, Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa and the eighth largest in the world, and borders Mozambique and Tanzania. Lake Malawi's tropical, very clear waters are home to more species of fish than any other lake in the world, making it one of the best places to snorkel and dive. The species diversity of the lake includes about 450 species of fish, especially a variety of colourful aquarium fish, such as the mouth-brooding cichlids, but also nil, various catfish, carp fish and salmon. The local population, largely living off fishing, is heavily dependent on the lake and its fish stocks. With traditional wooden canoes, the fishermen go out to the lake every day and throw out their long nets. Many different ethnic groups live around the lake, speaking multiple languages. Many inhabitants are Christians, which is the result of the numerous missionaries who moved through this area. Nevertheless, traditional beliefs are still very much rooted in people. In 1859 Dr. David Livingstone wanted put an end to the slave trend. Our stay for the night is on the Monkey Bay beach in Lake Malawi National Park in lovely chalets. The park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. 240 km / B,D


Day 17: The Robinson Crusoe Experience- Mumbo Island

Today we take a tour to a tropical dream island 10 km from the shore on Lake Malawi, Mumbo Island. Depending on your mood, we can go on an exciting 2-hour guided kayak tour. On Mumbo island, special attention is given to environmental friendliness. The island was never inhabited and is therefore still in its original state. Mumbo Island is located within Lake Malawi National Park.With the emphasis on non-motorized water sports activities, Mumbo Island is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.  Mumbo Island is about 1 km long and heavily overgrown with mixed forest and bizarre cactus-like plants (Euphorias). Our accommodation is small, offering only five comfortable rooms, situated on the small island “jumbo”, which is connected to the Mumbo Island beach by a bridge. The rooms are elevated on the rocks, three on the side of the sunrise and two on the side of the sunset. They offer wonderful views of Lake Malwai’s Blue Plain. Simple furniture, en-suite bathroom with "bucket shower", porch with hammock; Not much more is needed on Mumbo Island. There is no generator on this island. Solar energy provides energy, Paraffin lamps and retractable flashlights provide cosiness. In the evening you can see the lights of hundreds of fishing boats. The fishermen leave shortly after sunset and are only back at sunrise. Here we can swim, snorkel, kayak, dive or just relax in a hammock with an unforgettable view. Furthermore, Mumbo Island offers hikes through the granite cliffs and the tree-covered parts of the island. There are baobabs, various ficus species, stink trees and African mahogany. Birds are also abundant, such as African Fish Eagle, Snake Perch, Trumpeter Hornbill, Cormorant, Water Dikkop and Paradise Flycatcher. B,L,D


Day 18: The last day at the lake

Today we return to the mainland, to Cape Mc Lear to our chalets on the beach. Once there, we can take a stroll through the native village of Cape Mc Lear, on the shores of the lake. This village has about 10,000 inhabitants who live mainly from fishing. However, tourism is increasingly playing an important role in job creation. A visit to the old missionary tombs from 1875, at the Northern end of the village, and a hike to a lookout point above the village can be on the program today, as well as water sports and boat trips. The local and international chefs of our lodge conjure up a delicious and enticing farewell dinner. Here we can review this amazing trip! B,L,D


Day 19: Next time we tour Northern Africa!

Your guide will take you to Lilongwe International Airport this morning, where your flight to O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg is waiting. Now it's time to say goodbye to Africa for now. From Johannesburg the long-haul flight back to your home country follows. B


Day 20: Welcome home

Today you arrive in your home country


Prices and Dates

Important instructions:

Yellow fever vaccine required for Malawi. Hepatitis and malaria prophylaxis are strongly recommended. Bathing in inland waterways may present a risk of schistosomiasis.


Prices and Dates on request.
Tour code: Cape Gorse


* The offer is valid for a group size of 6 - 9 participants.

* At the latest, 30 days before departure, the achievement of the minimum number of participants is confirmed (see Terms and Conditions).

* The travel price excludes general increases in transport costs and currency fluctuations.

* Prices are subject to availability of selected accommodations.

* We reserve the right to change the travel program at short notice.


Included in tour price:

  • Private, local, qualified, English speaking tour guide from Victoria Falls International Airport in Zimbabwe to Lilongwe International Airport in Malawi
  • 17 nights in selected, beautiful accommodations at 3-4 star standard
  • Meals as advertised excl. Drinks (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • Excursion and round trip program with a modern, customary minibus with air conditioning
  • All entrances, activities and parking fees as mentioned (except optional program points)
  • Drinking water supply during bus rides
  • EUR 5.00 per person to support the pre-school kindergarten Penguin Kidz in Betty's Bay, South Africa
  • Luggage transport

Excluded in tour price: 


  • international flights to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and from Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Visa fees to Zimbabwe USD 30 p.p., Zambia USD 50 p.p. (payable in cash at the border), Malawi toll-free optional activities and additional services
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses