Luxury safari lodge Matetsi Victoria Falls has announced a unique collaboration with National Geographic zoologist and Disney+ star, Jack Randall, offering adventure-seeking families the chance to get up close and personal with some of Zimbabwe’s most magnificent wildlife.
The once-in-a-lifetime four-day expedition will offer young explorers and their parents the chance to join Randall to live out their own real-life wildlife documentary on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.
[See also: Xigera Safari Lodge Partners With Wild Entrust Africa]
Best known for his wildlife shows ‘Out There with Jack Randall’ and ‘Fearless Adventures’, the conservationist became an apprentice to Steve Irwin at the age of 14, before going on studying elephant ecology at Oxford University. He has built his career filming in some of the wildest corners of the planet to educate a young audience on rare and endangered species. Randall will accompany families throughout the trip making for a truly extraordinary experience.
Day 1 – Victoria Falls Mission by Helicopter
The adventure begins as soon as your feet touch Zimbabwean soil as a helicopter picks you up from Victoria Falls Airport to fly you to the 136,000-acre Matetsi Private Game Reserve. On route, you’ll seek out wildlife from above as you venture down the Zambezi River before marveling at the spectacular Victoria Falls.
Once you touch down at the lodge, families will enjoy a gentle cruise along a private nine-mile stretch of the river. The day will be rounded off by a riverside sunset dinner as you discuss the importance this legendary body of water holds for the majestic animals living here.
Day 2 – The Zambezi River by Riverboat
Start the day with an exhilarating nature walk before joining Randall and Matetsi’s team of guides who will teach eager explorers how to set up a fishing rod and cast a line for their first catch. Along the edges of the bank, families will log the thrilling moments they sight animals, birds and trees on their wildlife checklist; from swimming hippos and crocodiles to 366 native bird species and even giant water monitor lizards and baboons that live near the water’s edge.
Day 3 – The Matetsi Bushveld Mission by 4×4 Game-viewer
Rise early with the sun for an unforgettable game drive through Matetsi Private Game Reserve. The morning is the ideal time to spot lions before they head to the bush to shade from the African sun. Along the way, Randall and Matetsi’s experienced ranger will explain all the secrets of the bush to your little explorers, such as how to identify animal dens and tracks.
As the sun rises higher in the sky, you’ll enjoy a front-row seat as the local wildlife come to drink. Expect sightings of elephants, giraffes, zebra, impala and buffalo. There will also be a chance to set and collect data from camera traps.
In the afternoon, you and your little ones will enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. As the evening closes, you’ll take one final game drive en route to a ‘bush dinner’ before dusk. Here, Randall will help you listen out for the various sounds of the bush, hearing the territorial calls of lions, hyenas and jackals. This is the optimum time to spot elusive and nocturnal species such as bushbabies, spring hares and owls.
Day 4 – Departure
Join the ‘Amaganyane’ anti-poaching scouts (translating into ‘Wild Dogs’ in Ndebele) for an early morning adventure before one final farewell breakfast.
[See also: Fair Winds and Distant Shores: The Best New Cruise Journeys]
Your home during the four-day adventure will be the sumptuous family-owned Matetsi Victoria Falls lodge located within the heart of the reserve. The multi-award-winning destination is run by a 100% Zimbabwean team, including dedicated conservation specialists who work together with national parks, local communities and other conservation organizations to ensure the protection of this important wildlife habitat.
The Zimbabwean-designed property takes its inspiration from nature and the distinctly African interiors feature bold copper and wood blended with recycled materials, locally crafted furniture and custom works by local artisans.
The intimate riverside resort features just 18 suites. Both spacious and contemporary, each comes complete with its own butler and private outdoor plunge pool and deck overlooking the Zambezi. Those looking for unrivaled privacy should consider a stay in the exclusive Matetsi River House. This idyllic four-bedroom standalone property boasts a dedicated team of staff including a private chef, its own 4×4 safari vehicle and a riverside pool.
Rates for the Jack Randall three-night package at Matetsi Victoria Falls start from $4,427 per person. Child’s price to be quoted upon request, matetsivictoriafalls.com
[See also: Exclusive African Safari Camps Championing Sustainability]