If you’re traveling to Zimbabwe, you probably like to take the road less traveled. Others followed the crowd, but you went your own way, breaking the mould and listening to your heart, always searching for something more. Zimbabwe is a place for the adventure-takers, the thrill-makers and the pleasure-seekers out there. Here’s why:
Zimbabwe’s charm lies in the simplicity of local life, the optimism and joyfulness of its people and the abundance of its natural wonders.
The moment you step off the plane you are immersed with the sense of warmth, not only due to the year-round ideal weather but its people too, are some of the warmest, most welcoming people that you will meet on the continent.
Being renowned for friendliness, you will find that Zimbabwean people are more than willing to help guide you in the right direction, which comes in very handy, since public transportation can be a little challenging at times.
This being said, if you are on a budget or just a little more adventurous a soul, there are some very reliable coaches that reach most of Zimbabwe’s desirable destinations.
If you have a little more cash to spend and are limited on time, flights are reasonable and will get you to most of the major attractions. If you wish to find those sights a little more off the beaten track, taxis and road transfers are the way to go. If you are wanting a bit more freedom car hire is also a viable option. The roads are in fairly good condition, for African standards.
Whether you are a first timer or accomplished visitor to Zimbabwe the one thing that you can be sure of is that you will not be short of extraordinary places to go and astonishing sights to see.
Zimbabwe is ideal for the explorer as its diversity is truly unique, from the expansive untouched, raw beauty of its land to its impressive array of wildlife.
Don’t Miss These
On your itinerary checklist an absolute must is the infamous Victoria Falls, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Victoria falls is in fact the worlds widest waterfall and largest body of falling water, but it’s not the only attraction. The town itself is vibrant, quirky, and full of character. It’s a real treat for the thrill-seekers — the town offers an expansive menu of adrenaline-topped activities.
Another destination high on that list and conveniently not far from Victoria Falls is the great Hwange National Park. This is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe, also home to one of the world’s most significant elephant sanctuaries. If you’re searching for a safari experience, then Hwange National park is the place to go. You are guaranteed abundant game sightings year-round. Hwange is home to the famous Big Five, among many other fascinating animals. Hwange offers a variety of accommodation from basic campsites to some of Zimbabwe’s most luxurious tented camps.
Even Further Off The Beaten Path
Home to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, lies the Matobo Hills National Park where some of the last remaining white rhinoceroses roam wild. The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys. These hills were formed more than two billion years ago as the result of granite being forced to the surface, bringing to life its namesake “Bald Heads” by the founder of the Ndebele nation, Mzilikazi.
A Taste Of Urban Living
Harare is the country’s capital city. Although “the city that never sleeps” is no New York, it is, in comparison to the rest of the country, where the hustle and bustle happens. Harare is a great place to experience a bit of city life en route to your destination. Live music and local craft markets happen frequently and are a great way to immerse yourself in the wonderfully vibrant culture.
Fresh Water Escapades
If you’re looking for more of a relaxed vacation, you can seek solace on the breathtaking lake Kariba, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes. Kariba is famous for its heavenly sunsets, the call of the iconic Fish-Eagle as well as some of the world’s best tiger fishing. Only a four-hour drive from Harare, or a short flight from Victoria Falls, Kariba is very easily accessible, making for a hassle-free vacation. It is the ideal place for groups and families since there is something for every generation to enjoy.
Bordering Lake Kariba is the astonishing Matusadona National Park, the ultimate setting for photographic safaris. The landscape is a boundless vista of wide-open flood plains, teaming with wildlife and bordered by a backdrop of hazy-blue mountainous terrain, mirrored in the stillness of the lake. Another of Zimbabwe’s untouched and hidden gems, Matusadona is a wonderful getaway for those solitary by nature.
Another popular safari destination is Mana Pools. This national park was the first of its kind in Zimbabwe to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Compared to Hwange National Park, Mana Pools is a little more diverse. It lies on the Zambezi River — one of the longest rivers in Africa — offering the perfect bush/safari/fishing experience. Mana Pools also offers an interesting and rare sighting — it is home to the last of Zimbabwe’s old bull elephants that are able to stand on their back legs and reach for pods in the trees. This is the only place in Zimbabwe where elephants are able to do this!
The Mighty Mountains
In contrast, bordering Mozambique lies the Eastern Highlands. A stunningly rugged mountain range and treasure chest of luscious landscape laden with exotic fruits, flowers, waterfalls, and some of the world’s rarest diamonds. Slightly cooler than the rest of the country Nyanga, Chimanimani and the Hondi Valley are a perfect retreat for hikers, rock climbers and yogis.
An Experience Unlike Any Other
Zimbabwe is a place where the sun stays up longer. The grass stretches for endless miles. The time spent watching the elephants is suspended in slow motion. Flavors, sounds, smells… they all seem enhanced somehow. You recognize it. You hear it in the catch of your breath as a kingfisher hovers over the seemingly still water – until it plummets in a brilliant blur.
You are carried to another world by night, where moonlit game drives are possible and nocturnal sightings exciting.
This is the new, miraculous reality that is your life for the next few weeks. Because in Zimbabwe, everything becomes brighter, bolder, bigger, and more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
This is a mere taster of the magnificent wonders that Zimbabwe has to offer. A place that words cannot describe, a place you must experience to understand.
Visit Zimbabwe to see for yourself. Call us at 321-622-9370 to learn more.
Written by guest author, Kalai Faye Barlow.