Zimbabwe > Zimbabwe Introduction

Zimbabwe

  • Rob, you have just got to promote this destination more. The country, its people, birdlife, wildlife and culture were just fantastic. Everyone was so friendly. Save Valley Conservancy was fascinating – spent a morning game drive with people from the wild dog research project and enjoyed great views of wild dog. Amalinda was wonderful – tucked away into the granite outcrops. Stunning location and we saw white rhino and Cecil Rhodes’ final resting place. Somalisa was stunning and contemporary. Hundreds of elephant virtually all the time drinking in the water hole and trough just yards away. Camp Hwange – just mind-boggling. We spent time with the Lion Research Project team that oversaw Cecil. Julian was a fantastic host. We also saw leopard and clocked up our 300th different bird specie on our last morning in camp! All in all, an amazing trip – with a mix of culture, birding, wildlife, scenery, and fascinating conversations over dinner tables. I have become a Zimbabwe ambassador – the country needs more tourists to go and see what it has to offer away from Mana and the usual travel hotspots. This is a travel circuit that could well prove of interest to experienced African travellers who are not simply interested in wildlife watching. We loved the changing scenery, terrain, climate, culture, flora and fauna. To rack up 300 birds over the duration of the trip was brilliant including lots of ‘lifers’. As you can probably tell – we had a great time. Thanks again for making it possible.

    Peter and Anne from Cambridge travelled to Zimbabwe
A male lion, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe Aerial shot of Lower Zambezi, Zimbabwe Aerial view of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Hwange sunset, Zimbabwe Hwange waterhole with elephants, Zimbabwe Lake Kariba and Matusadona, Zimbabwe Mana Canoe Trail, Zimbabwe Mana Pools walking, Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Devil's Cataract, Zimbabwe Zambezi rafting, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Introduction

Introduction to the wonderful country of Zimbabwe

For the latter part of the 20th century, Zimbabwe was the ‘place to go’ on safari in Africa. Wonderful and varied scenery, fantastic hospitality, great game-viewing, varied safari activities and a reputation for having the best safari guides in Africa, all added up to make Zimbabwe pretty irresistible to the safari connoisseur. Unfortunately, the political situation since then has had a deep impact on the country as a holiday destination.

While general game-viewing was always excellent in a number of parks, especially Hwange, the country was especially known for offering fantastic walking safaris, led by the continents best professional guides who would take you in search of big game, as well as teaching you about the smaller details of the bush. In addition, Mana Pools on the Lower Zambezi and Matusadona on the shores of Lake Kariba offered some of the best water-based game-viewing and fishing available in Africa. Of particular note were the canoeing safaris along the Mana Pools shoreline, which were often combined with walking safaris. Victoria Falls, the world’s widest waterfall, is a major attraction and to see the falls from the air during full flood is one of Africa’s great sights.

In addition to Hwange, Matusadona, Mana Pools and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s other highlights include the Eastern Highlands, a mountainous area of stunning beauty, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins near Masvingo, the Matobo Hills near Bulawayo, Chizarira, Gonarezhou and Kazuma Pan.

Zimbabwe will return as a major safari destination and there are already signs that a recovery is imminent. This will not mean an automatic return to the fluid safari infrastructure and high safari standards set in the past, but it is a huge step in the right direction. Our best guess is to say that if you are a fairly ‘pioneering’ kind of traveller and are happy to make use of the great value for money Zimbabwe currently offers, then now is the time to visit. If however you are looking for a holiday with high all round standards, extremely reliable transport between regions and guaranteed game-viewing, or if you are inevitably going to be comparing Zimbabwe now to Zimbabwe in the nineties, then you may be better to hold off for a year or two whilst the industry, local peoples and game populations all find their feet and begin to thrive again.

For further information and advice on Zimbabwe safari options please call us on 01787 888590 or contact us to speak to one of our experienced safari specialists.