Footsteps to the wilderness: A Shearwater guided walk

With so much to do in Victoria Falls, the Zambezi National Park only 15 minutes from the town and upriver from the Falls themselves, is often overlooked. But this 56,000-hectare unfenced national park is a gem not to be missed.

Home to lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, as well as sable, zebra, eland, kudu, waterbuck, impala and giraffe the park delivers on the wildlife. But what sets this park apart is the mighty Zambezi River that marks its northern border, beyond which lies Zambia. It is the heart of the park and draws animals and birdlife to its banks.

 A walking safari with Shearwater’s pro guide Paul Ngorima is one of the best ways to truly experience the park.

© Shearwater

Your experience will start when you are picked up in an open-backed safari vehicle from your Victoria Falls hotel and driven to your breakfast spot in the national park.

 When you arrive at the river, Paul and his team will have a delicious hot cup of tea or coffee, as well as eggs, muffins and other snacks prepared for you.

 Once you have eaten, you will set off on your walk. The walk will take you through the African bush as it comes alive in the morning. Away from the hustle and bustle of town, the only sounds you will hear are the birds and animals waking for the day, as the river rushes by.

 There is something incredibly special about a walking safari, you are entering a new world, where you are truly a visitor. A good guide can welcome you into this world and give you insights you wouldn’t get from a vehicle.

 Paul has been guiding in the region for fourteen years and knows the park as well as anyone. Zimbabwean guides are some of the best trained in the world, to get a pro guiding qualification normally takes four years and that knowledge, built up over time and experience, shows. Paul knows where to find animals but like the best guides will engage and teach you about the birdlife, fauna, and life of the park as well.

 Paul will show you what plants you can use if you’ve forgotten your toilet paper, what branches you can use to brush your teeth and how you can tell the age of elephant dung. He will also point out some of the 400 bird species, including the Pel’s fishing owl, the African skimmer, the collared palm thrush or the lanner falcon, that you are likely to see.

 The beauty of a walking safari is you often approach animals without them knowing you are there. Paul, on numerous occasions gets guests towalk and stand within meters of elephant, giraffe and other animals where they can be observed in their natural environment.

© Shearwater

 A walking safari is a once in a lifetime, fully immersive bush experience. With the right guide, it is a safe and intimate way to experience Africa and all its beauty up close. On your next trip to Victoria Falls let Paul and his team of guides show you the beauty of the Zambezi National Park. A walking safari is one adventure you will never forget.

Shearwater has been operating in Victoria Falls since 1982 and owns and operates a whole host of activities from safaris, to white water rafting, adventure jet boat, bungee, bridge swing, and river cruises. We have you covered. Shearwater also owns and operate Explorers Village a 96 room hotel, only 400m from the Falls.  To book your walking safari or any other activity,  please head to www.shearwatervf.com or email reservations@shearwatervf.com©NZiRA Travel Zimbabwe, Issue 14 http://www.nzira.co.zw

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