ZIMBABWE





Visit the Land of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins



Zimbabwe has a generous sampling of the Africa including exotic scenery, interesting cultures and a good variety of game parks. It also has a few things you might not expect to see, including Great Zimbabwe, the most extensive ruins in sub-Saharan Africa. Without a doubt, the highlight of Zimbabwe is the dramatic Victoria Falls, which the country shares with neighboring Zambia. There, the mighty Zambezi River crashes into the Bakota Gorge and is deservedly one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.





Zimbabwe is a vibrant land with stunning landscapes, impressive safari parks and welcoming people. The current political situation has scarred this enchanting country and its people causing great damage and distress and many visitors have simply stayed away.


However, we can assure you that several of Zimbabwe’s most splendid attractions are completely safe and accessible to visitor and can easily be included in a safari itinerary. These include Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Mana Pools where small professional safari operations continue to run quiet camps. Some of Africa's top wildlife guides are still here and, with very few other visitors around, trips can be very rewarding.



The might Victoria Falls is the adventure capital of Africa, with such activities as white water rafting, bungee jumping, microlight ‘Flight of Angels’, skydiving and elephant back riding. There is superb selection of accommodation l, or you could arrive in style on the “most luxurious” train in the world – Rovos Rail from Pretoria, South Africa.



Hwange National Park, located close to Victoria Falls is the largest wildlife reserve in Zimbabwe and one of the most spectacular in Southern Africa. It has an abundance of Africa’s Big Five animals and 400 species of birds. It is a place of great contrasts with lush growth during the wet season, turning to semi-desert in the dry season. The animals only survive because the safari lodges within the park keep the man-made waterholes working. This of course leads to exceptional waterhole game viewing with trumpeting elephants of every size. The safari camps and lodges in Hwange are really very special and each has its own style and terrain, but the common factor is great game viewing.



Lake Kariba is also within reach of Victoria Falls is Lake Kariba and along its shores, Matusadona National Park. Lake Kariba is like an inland sea full of fish and crocodiles, with other wildlife living along parts of the shoreline. Houseboats cruise up and down this massive lake and an overnight ferry goes from one end to the other. Created in 1958 by the Kariba Dam, the area now supports many villages on a subsistence level and provides wildlife with a welcome sanctuary.



At Mana Pools National Park, the Zambezi river is wide and calm at this point and spreads out onto alluvial river terraces constantly grazed by elephants, buffalo and waterbuck. One of the most memorable ways to experience Mana Pools is by canoe, and your guide will advise how to avoid hippos and crocs and when to stay silent as you glide very close to animals.



Other fascinating destination in other parts of the county are as follows:



The Eastern Highlands which are a series of mountainous areas near the border with Mozambique. The highest peak in Zimbabwe, Mount Nyangani at 2593 metres is located here as well as the Bvumba Mountains and the Nyanga National Park. World's View is in these mountains and it is from here that places as far away as 60-70 km are visible and, on clear days, the town of Rusape can be see.



There are a large number of ancient ruined cities built in a unique dry stone style. The most famous of these are the Great Zimbabwe ruins in Masvingo which survive from the Monomotapa Empire.



The Matobo Hills are an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys Commencing some 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe. The Hills were formed over 2000 million years ago with granite being forced to the surface, this has eroded to produce smooth "whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation.



We use mostly small, independent safari operations throughout Zimbabwe. These are businesses, run by good people whom we have known for time. They work hard to try to pay their staff a living wage, and to protect the animals that live in the parks. We believe that they need our support for several reasons. Firstly, they are innocent victims of the political situation we shouldn't punish them further. Secondly, if they remain in business, tourism will be able to return swiftly to Zimbabwe when things change without them there will be nothing left to come back to. Finally, by consigning their lives to the scrap heap, we're giving in to politicians who want to turn Zimbabwe's clock back to the dark ages.


For all these reasons, we will continue to offer trips to Zimbabwe to visitors who understand the situation there. We will continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe, and advise any travellers if we feel the situation has changed.