Zimbabwe > Zimbabwe Introduction

Zimbabwe

  • Hi Rob, just want to say thank you for helping to organise Alisha and my trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe. I must say I was a little hesitant that the trip may not live up to the memories of our Kenyan trip in 2013. Well I am happy to say that whilst this trip was different (which is what you want) it was every bit as wonderful. Umkumbe – our guide, Mauritz, was excellent and whilst animal sightings were hard to find he put in an almighty effort. Accommodation and food were great. At Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls the elephant back safari was brilliant and helicopter flight over the falls – spectacular. Finished the day with a relaxing sunset river cruise and some good animal sightings along the shore. The lodge and staff were terrific. Camp Hwange – from the minute we were picked up at the gate we knew this was going to be a great few days. Our guide Quinn was brilliant, the other staff at camp were lovely too. The food and accommodation fantastic. Really enjoyed the walking – walking up to the bull elephant was a little scary but thrilling at the same time. The birds were amazing especially the martial eagle with its genet kill. Our final morning was particularly memorable as we were woken by the male lions roaring quite close to camp and were able to catch up with them and the lionesses and cubs. Then on our drive back to the gate we came across a large pride of lionesses and their cubs (12 or more). Thanks again for all your help and advice. This trip has once again left us wanting more and I hope to be organising another adventure in the not too distant future. Botswana here we come!

    Virginia and Alisha from Australia travelled to South Africa and 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.