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 from 2000 onwards had a deep impact on the country as a holiday destination. Since around 2011/2012 the country has been getting seriously ‘back in business’ and we now feel Zimbabwe is nearly back to its best.
The best big game areas are Hwange National Park (which is perhaps one of the very best places in Africa to view elephants and sable antelope) and Mana Pools National Park (which is especially good for leopards and wild dogs). Matusadona National Park on the shores of Lake Kariba has suffered in the past 15 years in terms of big game (sadly there are few black rhino remaining) but it is still a magical destination with fantastic scenery, excellent birding and reasonable general game including lions and plenty of elephant.
However while general game-viewing is excellent in a number of parks, the country is especially known for offering fantastic walking safaris, led by the continents best professional guides who will take you in search of big game, as well as teaching you about the smaller details of the bush. In addition, Mana Pools, The Upper Zambezi and Matusadona offer some of the best water-based game-viewing and fishing available in Africa.
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, the wilderness of Gonarezhou in the south-east, including nearby private reserve Pamushana, Kazuma Pan bordering Hwange and the Upper Zambezi (Zambezi National Park and Matetsi safari region) to the west of Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe is back as a major safari destination but is still slightly better suited to more adventurous travellers who are keen to explore on foot, and/or more experienced safari goers who understand that in genuine wilderness regions game-viewing cannot always be guaranteed.
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.