Zimbabwe is blessed with some of the most iconic safari and tourism hot spots in Africa. Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, the Matopos National Parks and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe are UNESCO World Heritage sites. With improved economic stability, and through the hard work of a small number of dedicated Zimbabweans, a savvy group of travelers are heading back to Zimbabwe, returning with rave reviews.
Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in southern Africa, has borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. It is a beautiful country with a wide range of diverse environments ripe for exploring. The stunning Eastern Highlands run down the border with Mozambique, this area itself contains a rich diversity of habitats: from rolling grassy hills, to valleys of rainforest and drier woodland at higher altitudes. The mighty Zambezi River forms the border with Zambia. This powerful river is one of the continent’s largest and forms the planet’s greatest curtain of falling water where it spectacularly plunges over the Victoria Falls in the north-west corner of the country. The Zambezi was damned at Kariba in the late 1950s, forming the largest man-made lake in the world by volume: Lake Kariba. Visitors can experience the lake on live aboard houseboats, cruising the shoreline on the hunt for the hard fighting tiger fish, or game viewing into Matusadona National Park from the deck. On the banks of the Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools National Park is an iconic safari destination high on the list for any avid safari-goer and often regarded as the number one walking safari destination in Africa. Founded in 1928, with Ted Davison as its first warden, Hwange National Park is the country’s largest, playing host to the greatest elephant population in Africa, as well as over 100 mammal and 400 bird species. Further afield, on the southern border with Mozambique, Gonarezhou is one of the most rugged, beautiful and unexplored parks in Southern Africa with a number of mobile operators offering fantastic walking safaris. Zimbabwean guides have long been regarded as the best in the business. Rigorous training and extensive examination result in often more than 95% of trainee guides failing to pass the qualification exams. The final 5% are able to offer visitors to Zimbabwe an experience that will leave them desperate for more. Since the 1990s when the country was considered the number one safari destination, it has suffered immeasurable hardship through dramatic political and economic instability. However, with a degree of stability returning, and through the hard work of a few dedicated individuals, Zimbabwe is ready to once again welcome visitors to experience this incredible country.