This Tour Is Offered By
- Office In:
- 5-10 employees (Founded in 2019)
- Tour Types:
- Custom mid-range tours that can start every day
Cuckoo Safaris, we are a tour operating company, operating in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia. We focus much on Safari packages and private packages like around Zimbabwe packages from the famous Victoria Falls the world of adventure, private Safari experience in Hwange national park, Matobo Hills, Mana Pool, Gonarezhou, Great Zimbabwe to the shining city of Harare the capital.
Awesome host - Simon
Cuckoo Safaris provided an excellent and cooperative service. We are pleased with our choice, particularly Simon, our host, who willingly fulfilled all our requests with a smile and gratitude. The only minor drawback was that, due to the diverse range of activities such as game drives and camping, we engaged with various smaller companies not directly affiliated with Cuckoo. While everyone was remarkable, one guide was reluctant in fulfilling his role as a wildlife guide, but the others compensated for it. Overall, it was a superbly enjoyable experience that we look forward to repeating, again & again!
Takes the stress out of planning
What a fantastic trip this was! My husband, mother-in-law, and I have been planning this trip for months and anticipating it for years, and we were not disappointed. We did the 10-day safari and arrived a few days before to make sure possible airline issues did not interfere with our trip. I highly recommend getting there a few days early, especially if you are coming from the US, so you can adjust to the time and make all of your connections. We flew into Victoria falls and almost missed one of our connecting flights because of delays.
We started in Zimbabwe, touched into Zambia to see Victoria falls from that side, and completed the majority of our trip in Botswana.
I want to explain how the safari experience is organized so it’s more clear for any travelers who want to use Cuckoo Safaris. When you book with Cuckoo, they contract various companies from each region to guide the activities (safari, boat rides, helicopter, etc). We were initially under the impression that the Cuckoo staff would be our guides in all the safari locations. In retrospect, we were thankful to have local experts for each region we visited, but we misunderstood the organizational setup of the safari. The Cuckoo staff is primarily only with you for travel between the different towns/locations. Simon was our primary contact with Cuckoo Safaris. He was very pleasant and accommodating and we enjoyed exchanging stories and cultural traditions during our travels. We very much enjoyed our time with him. There were several instances where Simon had been booked elsewhere, so Cuckoo arranged for other companies/individuals to taxi us. Since there were so many “hands in the pot it,” it made it a little difficult to appropriately plan tips.
We stayed at a variety of places with different levels of “luxury.” The lodging included raised tents, huts, and hotels. I think it was a perfect mix that allowed us to enjoy many different experiences.
Dzimbahwe Guest Lodge: Average lodging with clean rooms, kind staff, and basic breakfast
Sandpiper Villas: Very nice lodging, more on the “luxury” end for us, with beautiful views of the Chobe river. Breakfast was delicious and we particularly enjoyed the French press coffee. Ask for your room to be sprayed to avoid seeing some large spiders. After they sprayed we had no issues.
Elephant Sands: Very unique and cool place to stay. You can hear the elephants trumpeting intermittently throughout the night. Some people had a hard time sleeping, but it was such a special experience to hear the elephants roaming by, separated only by a thin layer of canvas. They shut the water off to the huts at 9pm to fill the water trough for the elephants. I’m not sure if it was just the room we had, but when this happened the toilet water started to spray/regurgitate all over the bathroom, so be aware. Since we went during the dry season, the watering hole was mostly dry, so the elephants all hovered around the well pump and trough.
Planet Baobab: Another unique and special place to stay. At this location we stayed in modernized versions of traditional Bakalanga huts. Just note that the huts are not bug proof. We made the mistake of leaving our light on while we went to dinner and returned to a hut full of bugs. Thankfully we had our bug nets closed and had no issues in our beds. By morning, the bugs had disappeared. Great place to walk around to see Baobab trees and hang out by the pool to chill for a day. The food here was excellent.
Cresta Maun: This lodging was again more on the luxury end of the spectrum for us. With that being said, we had a mixed experiences here. One of our two rooms was great and had no issues. We needed the other room switched twice as the first had a non-working toilet. Initial attempts to fix the toilet were unsuccessful and the customer service desk required extra pressure from us to switch the room out for one with a working toilet. After being switched, the second room smelled of sewage despite leaving the windows open. Thankfully the third room had no issues, but the staff seemed resistant to make the situation right until Simon from Cuckoo Safaris spoke with them. The breakfast buffet was delicious, but we were not as impressed with the lunch/dinner options. Overall, it was a nice place to end our trip before our long journey back home.
The Safaris and Excursions:
Despite the high hopes for the trip, the safari exceeded all of our expectations. Each excursion was incredible and special in its own way and all of the individual guides were pleasant and knowledgeable.
Victoria Falls is a must-see. We took our trip in mid October, during their dry season, which was great for animal viewing and also seeing the falls. Many people see aerial pictures of the falls during the wet season, but because of the mist, the falls are difficult to see from the ground. There was less water flow while we were there, but it was still incredibly beautiful.
Chobe National Park safaris and boat tours (shout out to Cobra and Rems for respectively being excellent guides by land and water) allowed up close viewing of lions, giraffes, hippos, buffalo, elephants, zebras, antelope (many different types), baboons, crocodiles, bird (too many to list), and more. In the distance we saw the aftermath of two separate lion hunts. We were even lucky enough to see a large male leopard moseying through the brush!
The next destination was Elephant Sands, which was primarily about the lodging/being up close and personal to the elephants at the watering hole. We also went on one safari drive in the area with our guide, Kabo. He was an excellent guide who very knowledgable of the area and wildlife. This drive provided sightings of many elephants, buffalo, warthogs, and jackal. Simon joined us on this drive and spotted an African Wild Cat darting into a hole, but the rest of us sadly missed the sighting.
While at Planet Baobab, we took a drive to see meerkats and the Unwetwe Salt Pan. Along the way, we stopped briefly at a small, remote village where we spoke with a local and were able to see the inside of a traditional Bakalanga hut.
Maun and the Okavango delta were our final destination points. A helicopter tour allowed us to see the delta from above, which provided a unique perspective of the area. On the second day, locals from a small village, led by Martin, brought us through part of the delta in traditional mokoro canoes. Their balance and skill in the mokoros was very impressive, and we all had a pleasant and relaxing time. The last day of our trip was a full day drive in the Moremi game reserve with our guide named Relax. We had a great drive, but were not prepared for the 2.5 hour drive to and from the primary animal-viewing locations. It was a very long (but fun) 13 hour day. We saw some unique animals on this drive including Vervet monkeys in addition to many of the animals we saw before.
Despite any of the confusion along the way, this trip was absolutely amazing. We truly had a wonderful time and it topped the list of any vacations we had been on before. The people there were so friendly, helpful, and willing to teach us about their customs. The trip was a good reminder to appreciate and celebrate cultural differences around the world. I think there is always room to grow, which is why I wrote about some of the complications above. With that being said, Cuckoo Safaris provided a top-tier experience and I guarantee you will not be disappointed if you book through them!
Cuckoo was in contact with us and did an excellent job coordinating our safari with Puku Safaris.
Cuckoo gave us Puku Safaris who took care of us and gave us an excellent mobile safari camping trip in the bush.
Puku staff was amazing and made the trip very enjoyable.
If you want to experience spending time in the bush this is a great way to connect with nature and with the animals.
Fantastic, great client care & always available for any questions
Absolutely loved this tour! Cuckoo safaris was always available for any questions & to help with anything & everything. Great value for money, we managed to do a game drive, sunset cruise & a tour of Viv Falls within 2 days with the help of Cuckoo! Highly recommend!
Cuckoo delivered a well organized tour with amazing memories.
I booked with Cuckoo Safaris after reading positive reviews. I’ll add mine to them. Incredible days in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana in the company of friendly, knowledgeable guides. The game drives and boat excursions were great with numerous animal encounters. The Oct weather warm temps and clear skies. I’m glad it was off season. The game drive trails were not so full of vehicles and the river not congested with boats as I’ve heard it can be. Plus it’s dry season and the animals must visit the river to drink. Amazing to watch. I added a day trip to Impalila Island, Namibia to get the passport stamp. It’s a very simple little village of mud and stick houses. Not shops of any kind, women selling woven baskets. Loved Africa.
Good communication pre and post tour? Yes
On time? Yes
As advertised? Yes
Value for the money? Yes
Left happy? Big Yes
Other Safaris & Tours33 – Offered by Cuckoo Safaris
3-Day Victoria Falls Safari with Dinner Cruise
$864 pp (USD)
Zimbabwe: Shared tour (max 6 people per vehicle)
You Visit: Victoria Falls (Start), Victoria Falls town (Victoria Falls), Victoria Falls Airport (End)
3-Day Ultimate Victoria Falls Safari and Sunset Cruise
$534 pp (USD)
Zimbabwe: Private tourBudgetLodge
You Visit: Victoria Falls (Start), Victoria Falls Airport (End)
3-Day Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and Livingstone Zambia
$605 pp (USD)
Zambia & Zimbabwe: Private tourBudgetLodge
You Visit: Victoria Falls town (Start), Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls Airport (End)
3-Day Hwange National Park Safari Trip Package
$858 pp (USD)
Zimbabwe: Shared tour (max 6 people per vehicle)
You Visit: Victoria Falls Town (Start), Hwange NP, Victoria Falls (End)
9-Day Zimbabwe Heritage and Wildlife Safari
$2,717 pp (USD)
Zimbabwe: Shared tour (max 8 people per vehicle)
Mid-rangeLodge & Hotel
You Visit: Harare (Start), Great Zimbabwe (Ruins), Matobo NP, Hwange NP, Victoria Falls (End)
1-Day From Victoria Falls Hwange NP Small Group Tour
$297 pp (USD)
Zimbabwe: Day tourPrivate tour
You Visit: Victoria Falls Town (Start), Hwange NP, Victoria Falls Town (End)
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