Zimbabwe has endured plenty of strife in the last 10 years, but is turning the corner, and a wonderful destination. The people are warm and friendly and will welcome you! The wildlife is excellent, and so far there are very few other tourists there! Zimbabwe is another landlocked country of 150,000sq miles – about the size of California. With a population of nearly 12 million, it has a diverse economy – mining, tobacco, tourism. The main park areas are Matusadonna, along the South shore of Lake Kariba, Mana Pools on the South banks of the Zambezi, overlooking Zambia, Hwange and Victoria Falls. There are some excellent lodges for mass tourism, and small camps for our more personalized experiences. Guides in Zimbabwe are particularly well informed. Additional adventures such as canoeing on the Zambezi, tiger fishing, elephant back safaris, the worlds best white water rafting and bunjee jumping make Zimbabwe an exciting destination. The weather is best in their winter, May to August, and on until October is the best time to be there. Safaris that include Zimbabwe typically will include some time in Zambia, Botswana, and or South Africa.
Victoria Falls: This incredible spectacle is rightly one of the natural wonders of the world. Twice as wide as Niagara, and half as high again, they cannot fail to inspire. Peak water in April can make them hard to see, and in very dry years by November the flow can be minimal. The view from the Zambian side should also be seen as it offers a very different perspective. There are “Flights of the Angels” over the Falls in helicopters and microlights. The nearby bridge offers the worlds highest natural bungee jump and the start of the best white water rafting on earth – 22 cataracts in one day!
Cheetah family: The worlds fastest land mammal can attain speeds up to 70 mph for a short while. Though not hard to find, ironically they are threatened by tourism as they are daytime hunters and tourists are on the look out for signs of them hunting, and often disturb them. Specially adapted in the spine, head and lungs for high speed and killing, they may have litters of up to five, though typically only two will survive.
Elephant feeding in the Zambezi, near Mana Pools: Canoeing along the Zambezi is a truly unique way to view wildlife. Especially during the drier and hotter months, vast numbers of Elephant, Buffalo, and Antelope come down to the river to drink. In addition to the superb bird life, huge numbers of Hippos and Crocodile are seen. The canoes are stable and guides are skilled in avoiding potential danger on this thrilling experience. The sunsets and sunrises on the river are without equal. Trips may be up to five days, camping at varying levels of comfort on the banks of the Zambezi.
Lion with its Buffalo kill at Matusadona: In spite of the Cape Buffalos’ formidable protection system, they are a favorite prey for Lion, as they have slow acceleration and will feed a large pride. Lion prides are plentiful and easily seen in the Matusadona area. Lake Kariba has risen to record levels in 99 thanks to excellent rains. Several excellent small camps service this area, including Musango, Sanyati and Kiplings. A superb way to visit is to stay on the Water Wilderness Houseboats, permanently moored in inlets along the shore, and sit on your veranda and watch as the game comes in to drink!
Aerial view of Rukomechi – Mana Pools – on the South bank of the Zambezi River: Rukomechi is one of several excellent remote camps on the banks of the Zambezi, both on the Zimbabwe and Zambian sides of the river. The river itself provides a focal point for vast amounts of game, especially as the dry season approaches, in addition to the excellent hippos, crocs and birdlife – not to mention the superb tiger fishing! The Zambezi’s unlimited power constantly changes the shore line, providing an unwelcome challenge to camp owners.
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