From Highveld and flaming msasa trees to laidback towns and plush mountains, a trip to Zimbabwe will take you through a striking patchwork of landscapes. Here you will spot the Big Five in its national parks, and stand in awe admiring the natural wonder of the world – the Victoria Falls. This Zimbabwe travel guide will tell you why Zimbabwe should be your next destination for a holiday.
With mild temperatures, a low malaria risk and virtually no rain, the dry months (winter) i.e. from May to October is the best time to visit Zimbabwe for safari and game-viewing. The lack of availability of water forces animals to flock around the rivers, waterholes, and lakes making them easier to spot whilst on safari.
During the dry season in Zimbabwe, there is nearly no rainfall, and the humidity is low. You will find the wildlife around the waterholes and rivers when other water sources dry up. June, July and August will be cold. In September and October, the heat slowly builds and reaches its annual peak in October. November to March is wet season in Zimbabwe.
Named after the well-known explorer David Livingstone, this place calls thousands of tourists from different corners of the world. There’s a strong reason why Victoria Falls is one of Zimbabwe’s must-see places. Like the towns of Niagara in the US and Canada, the settlement is just a stone’s throw away from the roaring waterfalls that gave it its name. Thousands of people come here to see the awesome sight every year.
Nearly 3 million people call the city of Harare their home. Harare is not only the capital but also the largest city of the nation. The city is modern and well-organized, with multi-storeyed buildings and tree-lined avenues. It is the site of a Dutch Reformed church, Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, the Queen Victoria Memorial Library and Museum, the University of Zimbabwe, the National Archives, and the Rhodes National Gallery. Places to visit here are Balancing rocks, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Mukuvisi Woodlands etc.
Mutare is Zimbabwe's third largest city which is situated in the Manicaland Province. It is stunningly located within a bowl-like valley surrounded by mountains. This scenic mountain range divides Zimbabwe and Mozambique, with the border being just 8km away. It is very rich in Zimbabwean culture especially the Shonas who provide endless tourist escapades. Two big food producers in Zimbabwe, Tanganda Tea and Cairns Food, have their headquarters in Mutare.
Mana Polo can be accurately translated to mean 4 pools. Most people who visit Mana Polo prefer hiring a canoe to go to watch hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions and tons of other wild animals. Apart from this, one can get a permit to go fishing for bream, vundu and tiger fish.
Being one of seven natural wonders of the world, who doesn’t wish to tick Victoria Falls off their bucket list? While you’re here, you should definitely indulge in some of the activities which can be booked directly through the backpackers. From white water rafting and bungee jumping to even looking over the edge of the falls from Devils Pools, there’s plenty of fun to choose from if you have the budget.
Known as Zimbabwe’s playground, Kariba Dam is a super place to chill with a bunch of friends. Located around 5 hours from Harare, renting a houseboat from Kariba Town is an awesome way to experience the Dam – one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. As you sail along expect to see lots of games, including the Big 5 and some amazing sunsets. You can also go fishing and visit some of the islands here.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matopos National Park is well-known for the many boulders that rest on top of each other across the landscape. Like Devils Marbles in Australia, there are some striking geological formations here that seem to defy gravity! Situated near the city of Bulawayo, this place is broadly split between 2 sections – the recreational area, which platforms the rock art caves, and the game area, which is where you’ll spot your rhinos and the leopards. Because if there’s one thing Matopos is famous for it’s the rhinos!
Zimbabwe’s biggest park and one of the 10th largest in Africa, no trip to Zimbabwe would be complete without a game drive in Hwange National Park. Situated at a short distance from Victoria Falls, spend 2 nights in this great national park so that you can enjoy both morning and evening game drives. See hippos, elephants, baboons, wildebeest, Janet cats, impala, zebra, kudos, African kangaroos, bush babies and giraffe etc.