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Zimbabwe

About Zimbabwe

From stunning wildlife to awe-inspiring scenery, holidays to Zimbabwe promise countless unforgettable experiences. A landlocked country often described as the most beautiful in all of Southern Africa, bordered on the north-west by the great Zambezi and in the south-west by the Limpopo, Zimbabwe is home to the awesome majesty of Victoria Falls, swathes of wild savannah and magical wilderness of Mana Pools National Park.

The Matusadona National Park and Lake Kariba offer a water wilderness while the Matobo National Park is where to go to see 20,000-year-old San paintings, and for bird-watchers it is as near to heaven as is possible, being home to one-third of the world’s species of eagle. Nature’s largesse also knows no bounds when it comes to the Hwange National Park, for here some 30,000 elephants are free to roam, while the Matobo National Park remains a sanctuary for rhino.

It is a country so rich in nature’s gifts with a super abundance of flora, fauna, game and wildlife. From its great evergreen forests and acres of bush come 60 different species of mammal and more than 500 different species of birds, and well over 130 different types of fish. It is a naturalist’s idea of heaven and still almost completely unspoilt.

Interesting things to do in Zimbabwe

While most visitors to Zimbabwe will want to go on safari to see Africa’s big game and also marvel at a natural wonder of the world, the Victoria Falls, on a guided walk or from up high on a helicopter trip, there are numerous other ways to enjoy Zimbabwe holiday packages.

The Elephant Express is a unique railcar excursion that visitors can take when transferring to or from Hwange National Park, where there are plenty of opportunities for game viewing on the park’s guided game drives. The Elephant Express also offers the chance to take in the scenery as you travel along one of the world’s longest stretches of perfectly straight railway line.

When on safari in the Mana Pools National Park, enhance the experience by taking to the waters of the Zambezi River on a canoeing trip. Here crocodiles and hippos can be spotted in the water as well as elephants and buffalos on the shoreline. For those who prefer to be more active on safari, a stay at Jozibanini gives them the opportunity to explore a remote part of the Hwange National Park and get closer to nature on a guided mountain bike excursion – a real highlight of any Zimbabwe safari holiday.

Victoria Falls

Holidays to Zimbabwe from the UK should always include one of the natural wonders of the world -  the Victoria Falls truly are a remarkable sight. At over 1.5 kilometres wide and over 100 metres tall, this is the largest falling curtain of water in the world. Not only does it provide spectacular views but the thunderous sound of up to half a million cubic metres of water a minute plunging over the edge and the soaking spray, makes this quite an experience.

A tour of the Falls is a must and takes the visitor on a walk through the rainforest created by the permanently wet conditions from the spray and shows vistas from the many viewpoints on top of the gorge created by the Zambezi over the millennia. A popular excursion is a helicopter trip to view the falls from above while enjoying a river cruise while sipping a cold drink and listening to the hippos is a wonderful way to end any day. For those looking for something to get the heart racing, there is a huge range of activities from white water rafting and jet boating to bungee jumping and gorge swinging; while more sedate tours of the bridge, boat tours on the upper Zambezi River and short steam train trips are also thoroughly enjoyable.

Victoria Falls is very well connected by plane, road and even rail on the luxurious Rovos Rail so whether the visitor is on safari in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia or Zimbabwe, or spending time in South Africa, they can easily include a visit to this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Harare

Zimbabwe holidays normally overlook Harare, but those that travel to the capital city will find a laid-back city of wide, tree-lined boulevards, parks and gardens. The National Gallery is a highlight and houses traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean art, including the famed Shona stone carvings found at Great Zimbabwe.

Mana Pools National Park

Zimbabwe holidays are all about the wildlife, and no location is better than the Mana Pools National Park. Located in the north of the country on the southern bank of the Zambezi River, it is a pristine wilderness area of floodplains, riverine forest and woodland. The river and the four ("mana") pools which are remnants of old river channels attract large numbers of animals including elephants, buffaloes, numerous antelope species, hippos and predators such as lions, leopards and wild dogs. With few camps, this remote park provides an exclusive safari experience and for those with an adventurous side, there are opportunities for walking safaris and canoeing trips, either for a few hours or even for a few days, camping in tents on the river bank. Mana Pools is a superb safari destination and its beauty and wildlife have earned it UNESCO World Heritage status.

Lake Kariba

When the Kariba Dam was completed in 1958 the resulting Lake Kariba which straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe became one of the world's largest man-made lakes. It has long been a popular playground for fishing, particularly for the fighting Tigerfish, and for spending a few days on a houseboat enjoying the serenity, views, prolific birdlife and game viewing. Matusadona National Park extends inland from the lake with game-rich floodplains, woodland and rugged mountains and is home to elephants, predators and a variety of antelope species. Game drives and boat trips in the company of experienced guides allow visitors to experience this beautiful part of Zimbabwe on both land and water. The bird life in the Mana Pools and Kariba area is prolific and rewarding for bird enthusiasts. Bring along the binoculars for a day out on the Lake, or exploring by canoe to spot the feathered rarities.

Hwange National Park

Zimbabwe safari holidays must include Hwange, the country’s largest National Park covering 14,600 square kilometres of sandy Kalahari soil, grassland and woodland, and home to one of Africa's biggest elephant populations. Once the royal hunting grounds, today a network of manmade and natural waterholes sustain the large numbers of wildlife including Hwange's famous elephant herds and equally impressive buffalo herds many hundreds strong; in addition to predators such as lions and cheetahs and antelope including sable and roan.

This is also one of the finest places in Africa to experience game viewing on foot. Zimbabwe's guides are renowned as being the best in Africa and guided walks open up a whole new perspective on the bush allowing the visitor to examine plants and insects, follow tracks and exhilarate in approaching the big game on foot, one of the undoubted pleasures of visiting Hwange.

The South

Zimbabwe holiday packages tend to overlook the south of the country, which may have fewer visitors than its northern counterparts, but is an immensely rewarding region to travel to. It is rich in history, both ancient and modern, including the grave of Cecil Rhodes and rock art sites to be explored at Matobo National Park, whilst the country's second city Bulawayo offers wide tree-lined streets, museums and Victorian buildings. The impressive stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are fascinating to see - built in between the 13th and 15th centuries, it is this ancient site from which the country takes its name. The Great Enclosure is the largest single ancient structure south of the Sahara.

The remote south-eastern corner of Zimbabwe provides the opportunity for some truly exclusive and off the beaten track safari experiences in the pristine wilderness around Gonarezhou National Park with a real focus on community involvement and development. The name Gonarezhou means "Place of many Elephants" and it is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes.

Whichever areas you wish to visit, for a once in a lifetime experience, book your Zimbabwe holidays escape today to indulge in a combined trip of nature and adventure. Contact Africa Travel for your dream holiday to Zimbabwe and let our experts help create your perfect trip.

For more information on Zimbabwe holidays, why not speak to one of our experts on +44 (0) 20 7843 3500 or email info@africatravel.co.uk

Experiences

  • Gaze at the majestic Victoria Falls
  • Experience the bushveld led by a renowned Zimbabwean Safari Guides
  • Catch a dramatic sunset over Lake Kariba
  • Canoe along the Zambezi
  • Watch elephants in Hwange National Park
  • Walk through the bush in Mana Pools
  • Explore the San rock art at Motopos
  • Bird watch in the Gonorezhou with over 500 species to discover

Wildlife

  • Big Five, antelope including the rare Sable & Roan, zebras, giraffe, wild dog, hippo, crocodile, cheetah and elephant in large numbers in both the Hwange and Mana Pools National Park.
  • Abundant bird life with over 500 species recorded across the regions

Seasons

  • Dry - May to September
  • Green - November to March

In The Know

    • Capital – Harare
    • Currency – US Dollar
    • Point of Entry – Victoria Falls, Harare, Bulawayo
    • Airlines – British Airways & South African Airways via Johannesburg, Kenya Airways via Nairobi,Emirates via Dubai
    • Flying Time – 1 hour 30 minutes from Johannesburg
    • Time Zone – GMT +2
    • Visa on arrival
    • Medical Requirements – Malaria prophylaxis recommended

Insider Tips

    • Try not to get to Victoria Falls airport too early - there is not a lot on offer at the airport
    • For a real thrill, stay in the open-air Doves Nest tree-house at The Hide Safari Camp in Hwange
    • Do engage with the locals – Zimbabweans are the friendliest people in Africa
    • Walk across the bridge to the Zambian side for a different view of the Victoria Falls.
    • Drink the local Zambezi beer – it is far better than most overseas brands

Regions

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