Between the mighty Zambezi and Limpopo river systems of south – central Africa lies the lovely and infinitely varied country of Zimbabwe. It is a land of high plateau and heat hazed lowland plain, game filled expanses of savanna and, high mountains and valleys. The rugged Zambezi Valley, one of Africa’s last true wilderness areas is a paradise for the wildlife enthusiast. The grand cataracts of the Victoria Falls, whose billowing clouds of spray – known as ” the smoke that thunders” can be seen a full 44 miles away. The Great Zimbabwe is a centerpiece of ancient culture that bequeathed its name to one of the continents youngest and most strikingly attractive countries. Until fairly recently Zimbabwe had the largest concentration of black Rhino in the world but the remaining survivors of the escalating poaching problem have been moved to intensive protection zones within certain wildlife reserves.
With features ranging from traditional cultural sights and abundant wildlife to whitewater rafting and helicopter rides at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe offers an extensive assortment of activities that few other southern African countries provide. Despite its post-independence economic problems, Zimbabwe has maintained a well-developed infrastructure while also keeping its traditions and culture alive. Renowned for having the highest trained guides in Africa, Zimbabwe is a destination sought by travelers with a keen desire for scenic wildlife viewing.
For excellent game viewing, Lake Kariba is ideal for its boating and wildlife, and the Mana Pools are a great location to relax on the banks of the Zambezi River. Matusadona National Park sits on the eastern edge of Kariba and not only has all of the big game but the Matusadona Mountains make for beautiful scenery as well. On the Zambian border is Victoria Falls, a breathtaking location that offers plenty of exciting activities as well as a magnificent view of nature at its best. Further south is Hwange National Park, known for Zimbabwe’s best wildlife and elephants in particular. For a more cultural experience of Zimbabwe, one can visit Matobo National Park which has the highest concentration of ancient rock paintings in the world, and Great Zimbabwe, Africa’s largest stone monument.
Best Time to Visit
Winter is April through September and is generally has excellent game viewing with a comfortable climate. If you can stand the heat, game viewing gets even better when it heats up just before the rains, August – October.