To know Zimbabwe is to love it. Occasionally overshadowed by the more traditional safari destinations, Zimbabwe has a beguiling charm of its own that sees many visitors return time and again. And that’s the secret. Zimbabwe is a land of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and awe-inspiring wildlife – making it an incredible and varied place to explore. It has something for every traveller seeking adventure and discovery.
Nestled in the heart of Southern Africa, this enchanting country is a treasure trove of diverse experiences and home to some of the continent’s most welcoming people. Zimbabwe boasts majestic national parks teeming with exotic creatures, historical sites steeped in rich heritage and two spellbinding bodies of water.
Whatever you seek, Zimbabwe promises an extraordinary experience that will leave an indelible mark on your travel memories. If you yearn for an experience that will ignite your senses, then Zimbabwe is your ultimate destination.
Here are six of the must-visit destinations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that Zimbabwe has to offer.
Zimbabwe’s largest national park, the elephant stronghold of Hwange was once the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi. It was proclaimed a national park in 1929. Sprawling across vast plains and woodlands, this wilderness sanctuary is home to a staggering array of wildlife. Over 100 species of mammals reside here, whilst almost 400 species of birds decorate the skies. Perhaps most exciting is the 40,000-strong population of tusker elephants, whose presence is world-renowned and a joy to watch day after day. The main park entrance is located just a two-hour drive or 30-minute flight south of Victoria Falls.
Words don’t do justice to the sheer majesty of Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The sheer power and beauty of the Zambezi River plunging into the Batoka Gorge creates a cascade of mist and rainbows. It also is responsible for what is considered to be the world’s best day of white-water rafting, a heart-pounding adventure that leaves every breathless paddler in awe. The 21 rapids (many of which are Grade V) stretch over 25km and take you off some huge drops.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the beauty of Victoria Falls, the biggest sheet of falling water in the world. You can choose to gaze at the falls from various viewpoints, take a thrilling helicopter ride for an aerial perspective, or bungee jump off a bridge above the gorge. Whatever you choose to do, Victoria Falls guarantees an exhilarating experience that will leave you in awe.
For those seeking an immersive cultural encounter, the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe beckons. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most culturally important archaeological sites on the continent and holds the remains of a once-magnificent stone city, a testament to the greatness of the Shona civilization. Explore the enigmatic ruins, marvel at the intricate stonework, and let the echoes of history transport you to a bygone era.
It was part of a wealthy African trading empire, with connections to the Middle and Far East, and was a hub of trade and industry for the East African coast from the 11th to 15th centuries. The intriguing stories of the past and the archaeological significance make Great Zimbabwe an essential stop for history buffs and anyone captivated by the mysteries of ancient civilizations.
For those with a passion for Africa’s wilderness, a journey to Mana Pools National Park is an absolute must. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an untouched wonderland where you can experience the raw beauty of nature. Embark on thrilling walking safaris, where you have the chance to encounter elephants, lions, buffalos, and other animals on foot, under the expert guidance of experienced guides. The intimate connection with the wildlife and the untamed environment is an experience that will leave a lasting impression on your soul.
Another incredible experience at Mana Pools is canoeing down the Zambezi. With each stroke of the paddle, you’ll know that you are stirring a river where giants lurk. And although the canoe is gliding ever-so-silently across the water’s still surface, you quickly get the feeling that you’re being watched. Eyes of hippos and crocodiles pop up here and there, vanishing beneath the surface as swiftly as they appear. The mighty Zambezi’s banks are no less dramatic, with prowling lions, hulking elephants and a plethora of birdlife. Considering the closeness of the encounters, it’s a truly unforgettable experience.
Tucked away in eastern Zimbabwe, the Eastern Highlands beckons with its untouched beauty. Rolling hills, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls create a tapestry of natural wonders. This is a region that has a soft spot in the hearts of many locals. Nyanga National Park offers exhilarating hikes and panoramic views, while Chimanimani Reserve reveals hidden treasures amidst mystical mountains. And the Bvumba Mountains enchant with their misty allure and colourful flora.
No visit to Zimbabwe is complete without indulging in a sunset cruise on Lake Kariba. As the glowing African sun descends over the tranquil waters, and silhouettes of elephants form on the horizon against the vibrant sky, you’ll sip on a refreshing drink and savour one of Africa’s iconic scenes. For many travellers, it’s the perfect way to unwind and reflect on the wonders of your Zimbabwean journey.
If Zimbabwe sounds like a wonderful place to visit, that’s because it truly is. Not to mention the incredible hospitality of the people, which infuses every experience with joy. Get in touch now so we can help you plan a trip there for you.