Great guides, no crowds, and heaps of brilliant activities – Zimbabwe is fantastic for family safaris, and we’re delighted to be introducing it to our portfolio. Our Sales Manager Charlotte has just come back from Zimbabwe, where she experienced the natural wonder of Victoria Falls and the Hwange National Park with its array of family-friendly activities. She’s shared some of her photos and insights with us.

Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe side - family holidays destination

One of the world’s largest waterfalls, Victoria Falls is most impressive from the Zimbabwean side and a great place to start and/or finish a Zimbabwe family holiday. Charlotte snapped this photo just as a rainbow formed in the spray. Dubbed ‘the adventure capital of Africa’, it offers all kinds of thrilling activities including zip-line canopy tours, kayaking, rafting and cycling. There are also micro-light and helicopter flights over the Falls themselves and sunrise and sunset cruises on the Zambezi, spotting hippos and sometimes crocs.

Elephant Express - Zimbabwe family holidays where kids can have a go at driving the train

The Elephant Express is the way to get into the Hwange National Park – parents can sip a G&T en route, while kids can take a turn driving the iconic safari train. Despite being Africa’s 10th-largest national park, Hwange, with its different terrains, is off many visitors’ radars and you’ll feel almost as if you have its stupendous variety of wildlife to yourselves.

Spotting hippos in Hwange on the Elephant Express train, Zimbabwe family holidays

The train takes two and a half hours, giving you lots of time to spot wild dogs, baboons, giraffes and plenty more besides. Charlotte saw a huge array of wildlife, not least a pack of wild dogs sauntering near the railway tracks and hippos enjoying a good wallow within just a few minutes of entering the national park.

Spotting lion on a family safari game drive in Zimbabwe

We offer a couple of great lodges in the Ngamo plains – the largest plains in Hwange – with their lion, cheetah and other big cats, and their many waterholes providing plenty of opportunity to watch hippos go about their business. These lodges offer lots of fab activities, including day and night game drives looking for big cats and wild dogs. For more thrilling wildlife adventures in Africa check out our family safari holidays.

Rangers guarding the rhinos from poachers Hwange National Park, visit on Zimbabwe family holidays

A fantastic conservation project, the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit, has brought rhino back to Hwange. Locals have been trained as rangers to provide both protection from poachers and to take visitors out to see male white rhinos Thuza and Kusasa, who were introduced to community land here in 2022.

The rangers need to protect the rhino from poachers 24/7. All the family will love going on a thrilling walking safari with them. And walking with the rangers provides an opportunity to understand the balance needed between protecting wildlife and the people who live there.

Walking safari in Zimbabwe

Tracking elephants in the bush was one of Charlotte’s favourite activities. The ‘elephant approach’ walk is guided by an experienced ranger who ensures that you stay downwind of the elephants at all times. Elephants have poor eyesight and hearing (despite the size of their ears!), relying instead on their excellent sense of smell. If you move quietly through the vegetation, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible close-up view of a herd. Charlotte is sure this will be one of the highlights for families with older children when holidaying in Zimbabwe with kids.

Teenagers kayaking with elephants in Hwange, Zimbabwe

Kayaking on waterholes may not take you a great distance but will give you a different, and close-up, perspective on the spectacular wildlife of the Hwange National Park. Don’t worry – you won’t paddle in any waterholes that have hippos in!

Stubborn Mule's Charlotte Hamilton joins the rangers on the Pump Run, in Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Pump Run is a unique opportunity to be involved in wildlife protection by taking food and tools out to the rangers charged with checking and maintaining the man-made waterholes of the Hwange National Park (some of them solar-powered).

Get very close to elephant in the hides beside popular waterholes

Look-up hides, made from old shipping containers sunk into the ground, give you the most fabulous, eye-level view of wildlife in the watering holes – especially the huge herds of elephants of all ages and sizes, who seem unbothered by human presence.

Close up of elephant's muddy feet, photo taken on a family Zimbabwe holiday

The hides are great for taking extreme close-up photos, and for seeing the elephants’ different personalities.

Visiting a local school in Hwange and chatting with the kids, Zimbabwe

Charlotte loved visiting one of the local schools, which have been financed by revenue from safari lodges – you can see first-hand the positive impact of your Zimbabwe family holiday. This is a great opportunity to chat with the kids about their daily lives and for them to practice their English, and it’s also a chance to take them some much-needed supplies.

The local school run - the rangers give a lift to the kids on the way to school

You might also get to talk to the kids en route to school – they have to walk a long way there, so when they spot the Jeep coming, they flag it down because they know the driver will let them climb aboard.

Elephants drink water from the pool vents - Hwange, Zimbabwe

Elephants get constipation from drinking muddy water, especially if there’s a lot of clay in it, so they prefer drinking from swimming pools!! The camps oblige by turning on the water taps for a few hours a day, and the elephants suck it up as fast as it comes out.

Campfire beside water hole and swimming pool at a Hwange Camp, Zimbabwe

One of my favourite evenings was spent having dinner beside the campfire at a Hwange lodge, near a waterhole, where we could watch the elephants gathering to drink after dark, and then get up close as they checked if the pool taps were on.

Tent with bucket shower - Hwange, Zimbabwe

Imagine a zebra strolling past as you shower! Accommodation in Zimbabwe comes in both quite luxurious and more back-to-basics styles – the latter especially in the most remote areas. All of it is great for kids. Tented accommodation is set on wooden platforms for security and the guides bring you hot water for your bucket shower, which allows you to perform your ablutions immersed in the sounds and sights of nature!

Explore colourful markets on Zimbabwe family holidays

As well as visits to schools and clinics, you can mingle with the local people – kids running around, women walking with baskets balanced on their heads – at their colourful markets, selling the likes of fabric and wood carvings. Perfect for purchasing some unique souvenirs and gifts.

More about taking the kids to Zimbabwe

If Charlotte’s photos have piqued your interest, she’d love to help you create your own bespoke Zimbabwe family safari. You can ring her at – 01728 752751 – or email us using our website form.