After years of political instability, Zimbabwe’s resurgence means that it’s now possible to rediscover this beautiful country at its very wildest. Here, luxury comes in the form of tented camps based in lesser visited parks where you can experience safari at a walking pace with some of the most revered guides on the continent.
Mana Pools is such a place where stepping out into the hazy morning light is to see a vision of the wilderness long before the arrival of man. Colourful carmine-bee-eaters swarm the riverbanks, impala dart across the plains and elephants swagger through the bush, occasionally rearing up on their hind legs to reach the seeded tops of the acacia trees. To the south-west lies Lake Kariba’s red-sand deserted islands and glassy lake waters evoking a sense of old-world charm. Sunrise draws fishermen paddling out to catch kapenta fish while an evening river cruise might unveil huge pods of wallowing hippo against a backdrop of fiery sunset colours. Hwange National Park, a safari heavyweight by contrast, invites big game spotting and intense wildlife encounters including one of the largest populations of elephant in the world.
No trip to Zimbabwe would be complete without seeing the mighty Victoria Falls. The world’s largest sheet of falling water stretches over 1,700m and plunges 100m into a mighty gorge creating a thundering sound heard from miles away. For several months each year, visitors gather to see the rare lunar rainbow refracting off the plumes of spray and arching into a cloudless starry sky. See the falls in a high-octane heli-ride to soak up their sheer size or peer over the cliff edge at Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool that forms, in the dry season, right at the precipice. Then cruise along the Zambezi River at dusk, cocktail in hand – the perfect finale.
Even though Zimbabwe is safe to travel and slowly regaining its status as one of Africa’s greats, it’s wise to talk to a destination expert about exactly how to discover one of the most scenic places in Africa.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Zimbabwe. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember – the ranger who can show you the best game viewing and fishing spots on the Zambezi, the guide who’ll introduce you to ‘moonbows’ at Victoria Falls and the locals who’ll share their dinner with you.
Freephone an expert 01306230348
Going above and beyond to help our customers is just one of the reasons why we’ve been awarded Recommended Provider status by the UK’s leading consumer organisation Which? based on their latest survey results.
Travel with us for total peace of mind. All our holidays are ATOL protected, we’re members of ABTA (the leading travel industry association) and you’ll have our full support throughout your travels.
Time difference: GMT +2
Flight time: London + 14-15 hours
Currency: Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWD) and United States Dollar (USD)
Language: 16 official languages including English, Shona, Ndebele and Tswana
Telephone code: +263
Tipping: Many lodges include all meals however, if you are eating out, 10-15% is the normal tipping guideline for restaurants. Safari guides should be tipped directly and tipping guidelines are normally available at the lodges. As a general guide, USD$10-20 per person per day is standard for your guide and USD$5 for your tracker. USD$5 per day can be put in the communal tip box to be shared amongst the rest of the lodge staff.
Etiquette: When meeting Zimbabweans for the first time, a handshake is the most common form of greeting but don’t be surprised if this is longer than usual with a grasp of the thumbs at the end. Elders should always be greeted first and their opinions should be accepted even if you have a different opinion.
If you are touring, do not take photos of government buildings, police, military personnel or any political demonstrations. As with most countries, ask permission before taking photos of people.
Religions: Like many African sub-Saharan countries, Christianity was introduced by the British missionaries and is now the main religion in Zimbabwe, with Protestantism the main denomination. The Shona may believe in Mwari (God), but they will probably also follow their traditional religions where they communicate with the spirit of their ancestors. They believe in good (Vadzimu) and bad (Shave) spirits.
Visas: You can look up the latest advice on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zimbabwe. Please be aware that this information can change at short notice.
Vaccinations: Health risks vary depending on the destination so it’s essential to check the specific vaccination and hygiene requirements for Zimbabwe on the NHS Fit for Travel website.