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Sunday 19 January 2020
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Save Valley Conservancy, Africa’s pride and joy

Save Valley Conservancy, Africa’s pride and joy

Photo by Jenman African Safaris

Zimbabwe is one of the most polarising states on the planet but there appears to be consensus on the view that the southern African nation is a traveller’s paradise.

 One cannot help but marvel at the exquisiteness that personifies Zimbabwe.

Gifted with both natural and manmade tourist attractions, the nation is replete with jaw dropping sites that make one’s visit memorable.

Besides the much hyped tourism destinations in Zimbabwe, there lies, tucked away from prying eyes, the Save Valley Conservancy in the South Eastern valley of Zimbabwe.

The conservancy forms part of the Greater Limpopo Trans frontier 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.

Formerly a series of cattle ranches, the Save Valley, was on the verge of desertification because of excessive grazing and hunting.

In their knowledge or lack of it, farmers drove wildlife out to make space for grazing land consequently skewing the ecosystem negatively.

 Luckily, years later, twenty-four adjoining farms were joined to form the 3422 km² conservancy.

The aim of the Conservancy at its inception in 1991 was to improve and promote wildlife management and to say this has been successfully done is an understatement because currently it boasts of being the largest conservancy in the world.

The story of the conservancy reads like a fairytale, with a premium buffet of flora and fauna, majestically punctuated with generous populations of the big five (elephant, rhino, African buffalo, leopard and lion).

For the nature junkies and conservationists, this is the place to visit. The heartwarming conservative work is there to be appreciated.

The peak season runs from April through September.

Entry Points

AIR – Harare International Airport, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport Bulawayo, Victoria Falls International Airport, Kariba Airport, Charles Prince Airport, Masvingo Airport and Buffalo Range.

ROAD – Chirundu, Nyamapanda, Beitbridge, Victoria Falls, Forbes, Kazungula, Plumtree and Kariba.

RAIL – Beitbridge and Plumtree.

Activities

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.

Licensed professional guides who can identify the area’s flora and fauna, animal behavior, and the interrelationships between habitats and animals accompany clients.

 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 riverbanks at mid-day or sunset.

Mokore Camp

View from the balcony, Tugwe River in the center of the Conservancy

The camp has six luxury stone under thatch chalets with bathroom en-suite and the dining area is positioned with a picturesque view of the river, shaded by a canopy of large Nyala Berry trees.

Mokore is available for self-catering as well as fully inclusive bookings.

Sango

Sango conservancy stretches from the Bikita Hills in the west and crossing nine major habitat zones to the Save River in the east, 600 km2 of untamed Africa.

Sango Lodge provides guests with personalized service and impeccable attention to detail that ensure guests enjoy an “Out of Africa experience.”

Each of the chalets at Sango is located separately for a maximum level of privacy and undisturbed moments in the heart of the African bush.

Guests can relax in the lounge or library, at the full bar, around the famous open fireplace, or next to the swimming pool at the main lodge.

Satellite internet access is available at select locations at the lodge.

The Tented Camp

Sango offers four luxury en suite tents that are nestled within the heart of the evergreen riverine forest stretching along the Msaize River.

 Each accommodation combines the adventure of a tent with the sophistication of a permanent structure.

Each tent is comprised of a bedroom, en suite bathroom and private deck. Personalized service and impeccable attention to detail that will ensure you enjoy your Out of Africa experience without the frustration of lacking the luxury of modern amenities.

Charles Tongai