Top-5 Must Do's In Zimbabwe

Feb 16, 2018 2 comments

The scale of Zimbabwe lends itself well to a self-drive or guided safari experience, with many of the ‘must-dos’ less than two hour’s drive away from one another.

Not only are the people of Zimbabwe truly friendly and well-educated (the country’s literacy rate in adults is the highest in Africa) much of the landscape is unspoilt with plentiful game viewing available. It’s also excellent value at two-thirds the price of neighbouring countries.

Our experiences in Zimbabwe have left us with lasting memories of first-class accommodation, delicious food and arguably some of the best service on safari. It also has the best trained guides in Africa, who quickly immerse you in Zimbabwean life and culture.

Our Africa specialist, Albee Yeend, recommends her top 5 ‘must-do’s’ whilst visiting Zimbabwe. Either take your pick or incorporate them all into an action packed African adventure. To comfortably accommodate all the suggestions we advise a minimum 11 day itinerary focusing solely on Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls

Renowned as one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls or ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, which translates to ‘the smoke that thunders’, is majestic, powerful and overwhelmingly loud. The force of the falls is often at its greatest in February and March when the Zambezi is likely to be in full flood, and is over 2km wide as it cascades into the chasm. Visitors can simply take in this awe-inspiring spectacle or see it from a different perspective and get the adrenaline pumping with nearby activities including white-water rafting, a microlight flight or a staggering 111m bungee jump.

Where to stay:

  1. The Elephant Camp – 9 luxurious tented suites with private viewing decks and plunge pool located 10kms from Victoria Falls, the spray of which can be viewed from the camp’s main deck.
  2. Victoria Falls Hotel – 161 elegant colonial-style rooms are situated just a 10 minute stroll through lush gardens to the Falls.
  3. Victoria Falls River Lodge – 7 spacious open-plan air conditioned tents with modern African interiors. A spectacular viewing platform is set amid the trees for excellent birding opportunities.

Matusadona National Park

Adjacent to Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park has a raw beauty and is rich in flora and fauna - fantastic for a walking safari. Licensed guides lead you on foot where you can track and photograph wildlife – the park boasts large populations of elephants and buffalos. Steve Edwards, owner of Musango Safari Camp was instrumental in reintroducing the endangered black rhino to the wilds of Matusadona and visitors may be lucky enough to see them in the flesh. You can also explore the lake in Canadian canoes or try your hand at fishing for the plentiful Tiger Fish.

Where to stay:

  1. Musango Safari Lodge – 6 spacious tents and 2 honeymoon suites with plunge pools, all with lake views and an easterly aspect from which to enjoy impressive sunrises.

Unesco Great Zimbabwe National Monument

Great Zimbabwe, once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, has been inhabited since the 11th century, with artefacts inferring that building took place between the 12th-15th centuries. Towards the end of this period the main city, now lying in ruins, had a heaving populace. The city was abandoned around 1450 as the land could no longer cater for the demands of the ever-growing population. A fascinating and atmospheric insight into an ancient civilisation.

Where to stay:

  1. Singita Pamushana Lodge – 6 suites all with private plunge pool & 1 five bed villa with private infinity pool, all nestled in Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Rhode's Burial Place - Bulawayo

Located close to Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe, is the burial site of the wealthy 19th century entrepreneur Sir Cecil Rhodes, a colourful character who founded diamond company De Beers and had passionate pro-colonialism beliefs. After an epic funeral train from Cape to Rhodesia his body was finally laid to rest at World’s View, high on the Matobo Hills. The site attracts many visitors and is a strong reminder of Zimbabwe’s past.

Where to stay:

  1. Camp Amalinda – 9 quirky, individual suites built into the rock in the heart of the Matobo National Park.

Hwange National Park

Off the main Bulawayo to Victoria Falls road you enter the country’s largest game reserve, Hwange National Park. Wildlife roams an area in excess of 14,500 km2, including the elusive Big Five (lion, African Elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros). Due to the vast expanse you can enjoy an uncrowded safari experience and the rich, diverse ecology ensures excellent year round game viewing.

Where to stay:

  1. Little Makololo- 6 traditional safari tents including one family tent, each with a private verandah. Evenings can be spent around the fire side sharing stories of the day.
  2. Somalisa Camp – 6 stylish canvas tents nestled under an acacia tree canopy in the midst of Hwange. The pool is just as popular with the elephants as it is with the guests!
  3. Camelthorn Lodge – 12 new villas surround an ancient camelthorn tree to the east of the Hwange Park. The more adventurous can spend a night under the stars on their own private deck with hammocks.
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