A nation of spectacular natural beauty, friendly people and rich culture, Zimbabwe’s status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations was dampened for years by its political instability. But now that the country is transcending its strife and returning to a state of equilibrium, it is once again emerging as a vacation highlight of the continent. Victoria Falls – known to locals as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ – is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Zambezi Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable. Lake Kariba, with its game-rich shores and islands, is an idyllic safari spot featuring mind-blowing sunsets; Hwange National Park is known for its huge herds of elephants; and a kayak trip down the Zambezi through the Mana Pools National Park will appeal to the intrepid traveller, providing close encounters with crocodiles, hippos and a host of other wildlife.
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
Days 1 - 4
Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls. It is set on the magnificent Zambezi River which creates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. These spectacular falls can be easily visited and viewed from the Zimbabwean side. Considered to be the world’s widest waterfalls, Victoria Falls measures an impressive 1708 metres in width. The small town of Victoria Falls, which lies adjacent to the waterfalls, serves as a great base from which to explore the many attractions this area of Zimbabwe has to offer. The surrounding area provides a wide range of adrenalin-filled activities for adventure lovers. Visitors can look forward to an array of wonderful activities including: scenic flights, micro lighting, white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, and once-in-a-lifetime expeditions into the incredible Chobe National Park.
Eastern Hwange National Park
Days 4 - 7
Located in western Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in the country and is famous for its rich diversity of wildlife. Home to one of the biggest elephant populations in the world, as well as around 100 mammal species, the park is a wonderland for animal lovers. Several protected animals inhabit the awe-inspiring open landscapes, including the endangered wild dog, critically endangered black rhino, and rare roan and sable - along with lion, cheetah, and around 500 bird species. Adventurers can look forward to guided bush hikes, game drives, and horse riding safaris, all of which offer excellent photographic opportunities. Hwange boasts several unique natural features, most notably the natural seeps such as Nehimba and Shakwanki animals dig for water.
Matobo National Park
Days 7 - 9
Idyllically located in the spectacular Matobo Hills, the renowned Matobo National Park is known for its rich human history, its remarkably diverse flora and fauna and its magnificent rugged terrain. This unspoiled natural wilderness features a range of massive red-tinged, granite boulders interspersed with gorgeous wooded valleys making it a dream destination for hikers, climbers and nature lovers alike. The reserve is compact, easily accessible and is home to an impressive range of African wildlife including the highly endangered black and white rhinoceros, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, cheetah, hippo, warthog and crocodile as well as Africa's largest concentration of leopard and black eagles. This unforgettable national park serves as an ideal stopover for travellers heading to the popular tourist sites of Hwange and the majestic Victoria Falls.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Days 9 - 10
Once Zimbabwe’s capital, the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe is the biggest and most significant stone archaeological complex in sub-Saharan Africa. It is also one of its oldest – thought to date back to the 11th century and second only to South Africa’s Mapungwe. Composed entirely of rectangular granite blocks stacked on top of one another without the use of mortar, the walls and towers of the city measure up to 12 metres in places, and it is unsurprising that Great Zimbabwe was designated a World Heritage Site in 1986. Visitors can look forward to wandering through these ancient stone structures and immersing themselves in the history of this important heritage site.
Gonarezhou National Park
Days 10 - 13
Bordering Mozambique in the southeastern lowveld of Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou, meaning ‘place of elephants’, is Zimbabwe’s second-largest national park and home to over 10 000 elephants. The park extends across a vast area of floodplains, baobab-dotted scrubland, mopane woodland and pale orange sandstone cliffs. It is home to 4 of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ – elephant, leopard, lion and buffalo – as well as a multiplicity of other animal and bird species. Visitors can camp in an unfenced campsite for a truly close encounter with an array of spectacular wildlife including 140 species of mammal, at least 100 different reptile species and over 500 species of bird. Other highlights include: viewing the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs towering over the scenic Runde River valley, bird watching and game viewing.
Days 13 - 14
Zimbabwe’s capital city is the country’s most cosmopolitan and contemporary destination, dotted with restaurants and bars, shops and markets. Its proud historical and cultural heritage is reflected in several well-preserved old buildings and informative museums, while its many parks and gardens provide a pleasant contrast to the bustling urban sectors. Located within easy reach of the city centre are the Mukuvisi Woodlands, comprising over 250 hectares of rich natural wilderness, while the magnificent Kopje – a rocky hill to the southwest of Harare – offers great views over the city. Other city highlights include the fascinating National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the abundant Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences, the Chapungu Sculpture Park, and the gorgeous National Botanic Garden, filled with a variety of rare African plants as well as exotic plants from around the world.