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Things to see and do
Marvel at the Victoria Falls
‘Discovered’ by the famous British explorer Dr David Livingstone, Victoria Falls, which form part of the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, are one of Africa’s best-known natural wonders and one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls. The town of the same name is worth a visit too, and is a good place to book one of the many activities available in and around the falls.
Gawk at Great Zimbabwe National Monument
A holiday in Zimbabwe would be incomplete without a visit to the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, the largest complex of ruins in Africa south of the Egyptian pyramids. These miraculous and expansive stone remains are what is left of a powerful city-state that flourished between the 13th and 15th centuries, trading in gold.
Hike the Eastern Highlands
The string of mountains and the lush countryside in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands are particularly sought after by walkers and trekkers. Climbing Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, Mount Nyangani, takes around one hour 30 minutes. The World’s View offers incredible vistas across northern Zimbabwe. From here, a steep footpath leads to the road to Nyanga village with its English gardens, village common and church.
Go on a canoeing safari
Canoeing and boat safaris are popular alternatives to the traditional game drive in Zimbabwe. At Lake Kariba, boats can be hired for a day, week or longer. Canoeing safaris ranging from three to 10 days are especially popular between April and November along the Zambezi River past the Mana Pools flood plains.
Enjoy the natural wonders of Nyanga National Park
Situated in the stunning mountain range that covers the eastern part of Zimbabwe, Nyanga National Park is an area of high grasslands, evergreen forests, waterfalls, cliffs and lovely lakeside cottages. Trout fishing is very popular and the trout hatchery is well worth a visit. For the twitchers, there is lots of birdlife to be seen on a hike.
Map Zimbabwe’s history at Matobo National Park
Located close to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second biggest city, Matobo National Park is noted for its spectacular granite rock formations and its wealth of ancient rock paintings. Cecil Rhodes’ tomb can be visited at Malindidzimu (View of the World). The Nswatugi and Pomongwe caves are also worth visiting.
Kick back on Lake Kariba
Situated in the northwest of the country on the Zambian border, Lake Kariba is the world’s largest manmade dam. Both the game and the stellar sunsets can be viewed from the comfort of various waterfront lodges, or from well-appointed cruise vessels and self-contained houseboats.
See the natural beauty of Mana Pools National Park
Mana Pools National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful national parks, occupying 2,196 sq km (848 sq miles) of forest along the banks of the Zambezi River. Four of the ‘Big Five’ are present. Game-viewing on foot is allowed. The birdlife along the river is prolific. The park is also a great spot for fishing.
Experience Zambezi National Park
Just a few kilometres from the town of Victoria Falls is the Zambezi National Park, a scenic reserve that remains surprisingly remote and is having a considerable resurgence after decades of poaching and neglect. The riverine sections are particularly picturesque and the wildlife more abundant. A good spot for a canoeing safari.
Spot the Big Five in Hwange National Park
Hwange is one of Zimbabwe’s largest parks, covering 14,620 sq km (5,644 sq miles) of pristine bushveld. It’s also one of the most diverse, with an astonishing array of wildlife. It’s considered one of the last of the great elephant sanctuaries in Africa, with over 40,000 inside the park, and was the home of the late, great Cecil the Lion.
Pretty Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, is rich in historical associations and is the home of the National Museum. Nearby are the ancient Khami ruins, while to the south is the Rhodes Matopos National Park, notable for its exotic formations of huge granite boulders. Dams with excellent fishing, caves with rock paintings and Cecil Rhodes’ grave also add to the town’s popularity with tourists.
Hang out in Harare
Zimbabwe’s capital Harare is the country’s commercial and industrial centre and also the usual starting point for most visits. It’s a clean and sophisticated city, characterised by flowering trees, colourful parks and contemporary architecture. Local sights also include various museums, art galleries and craft markets. Due to its pleasant climate, Harare is known as the ‘Sunshine City’.