Tours & Safaris
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In the heart of southern Africa, land-locked Zimbabwe is a vibrant country with dramatic landscapes, impressive national parks and welcoming people. After some difficult years, it is now returning to its rightful place on Africa’s safari circuit.
Home to abundant wildlife, top of the range guides and good lodges, Zimbabwe had all the ingredients for the perfect safari holiday. However, in the decade between 2000 and 2010, its politics caused great damage and distress and the number of tourists plummeted.
Today, Zimbabwe is getting back on track. Politically, it still has some tensions, as many countries do, but the general situation has improved considerably and the country is far more stable. Tourism in particular is recovering, which is great news for safari-lovers. Victoria Falls’ new international airport is set to open in the summer of 2015, able to accommodate larger wide-bodied aircraft, potentially increasing travel options with direct flights. New lodges are opening across the country and a convenient univisa for access to both Zambia and Zimbabwe has just been introduced. All of this bodes well for Zimbabwe to re-emerge as a superb safari destination.
Zimbabwe is bordered by two rivers, the Zambezi to the north and the Limpopo to the south. In between is an inland plateau filled with kopjes (granite outcrops), beautiful national parks, rugged mountains and lush forests. There is a huge variety of things to see and with relatively few visitors and no mass tourism, plenty of opportunity to find peace and quiet.
A Zimbabwe safari can be exceedingly varied. You can go on a game drive in Hwange National Park, take a canoe safari or a walking safari in Mana Pools National Park, fly over Victoria Falls on a Flight of Angels or view the granite boulders and rock art in Matobo Hills National Park. For many visitors, a trip to Victoria Falls (Mosi-ao-Tunya – the Smoke that Thunders) is a highlight of their time in Zimbabwe.
Where to visit on a Zimbabwe safari?
If you are looking for a Zimbabwe safari, these are the main areas to consider:
Where to visit on a Botswana safari?
If you are looking for a Botswana safari, these are the main areas to consider:
Where to visit on a South African safari?
If you are looking for a South African safari, these are the main areas to consider:
What to Pack for your Safari?
As a general guide, comfortable and casual clothing that you can wash and wear is recommended while on safari. Muted colours are best for game viewing. Game drives are generally conducted in the early morning and the late afternoon, which can be cold, especially in winter. The temperature often warms up during the day, so it is best to dress in layers.
The luggage allowance on small flights is usually limited to a maximum of 20 kg (44 lbs), which includes hand luggage, so please bear this in mind when packing. Most lodges and camps provide a same-day laundry service for your clothes.
The most practical items to pack for your Zimbabwe summer and winter safari are:
Clothes in khaki, green, beige and neutral colours
Long-sleeved shirts that offer protection from the sun and mosquitoes
Shorts or a light skirt
Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
Jackets and sweaters for early morning and late afternoon game drives
A lightweight waterproof jacket in case of rain
Swim and beachwear
Comfortable walking shoes
Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, insect repellent, moisturiser and lip salve
Head torch or hand torch
A good book for those long relaxing afternoon siestas
Camera, extra memory cards, charging equipment
A good pair of binoculars
Sarong and bathing suit
Camouflage-patterned clothing is not permitted in Zimbabwe. This applies to any clothing that can be construed as mimicking military-wear. Travellers are urged not to wear, or even carry, any military-inspired clothing while travelling in Zimbabwe.