10 of the best Zimbabwe destinations 10 great Zimbabwe activities to do
Victoria Falls Raft the Zambezi
Mana Pools National Park Catch a Tiger Fish
Matobo Hills Canoe the Mana Pools shoreline
Great Zimbabwe monument Take a walking safari in the bush
Chimanimani mountains Relax on a houseboat
Lake Kariba Climb Mt Nyangani
Hwange National Park Visit a stone city
Harare International Festival of Arts Walk with lions
Gonarezhou National Park Tee off in the Eastern Highlands
The Zambezi River Sun-downer elephant watching
After making international news for all the wrong reasons the 390580 sq km country of Zimbabwe (the 59th largest in the world) is well on its way to re-establishing itself as one of the premier southern Africa tourist destinations. Situated north of South Africa, west of Mozambique, south of Zambia and east of Botswana the landlocked country has a wealth of flora, fauna, adventure activities and surprises. National Parks occupy 11% (44688km sq) of the countries land, these beautiful wilderness areas are full of game and some of the 660 Zimbabwean bird species.
The continents fourth largest river, the 3540km long Zambezi flows along 715 km of Zimbabwes northern border. Much of the lands that it borders belong to National Parks and safari areas. Amongst this beautiful scenery is the opportunity to do tiger fishing, houseboating, canoeing and rafting. In 1960 the Zambezi dam was finally opened and Lake Kariba started filling. The 7770 Sq km Lake holds a million gallons of water and has a staggering 2000km of uncluttered shoreline.
Thirty kilometres outside the southern town of Masvingo is the ancient stone town of Great Zimbabwe, from where the country got it’s name. It is the oldest stone structure south of the Sahara and Africa’s oldest ancient stone monument after the pyramids. It’s also one of Zims three cultural World Heritage sites, the other are the Khami Ruins National Monument and the Matobo Hills, both of which are outside Bulawayo. Our two natural World Heritage sites include the Mana Pools National Park and the adjoining Sapi and Chewore Safari areas on the Zambezi river, and the Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls National Park.
Zimbabwe has ten National Parks, ten Recreational Parks, four safari areas, three sanctuaries and five botanical gardens throughout the country. Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest, which at 14650 sq km is about the size of Belgium and larger than all of Zimbabwe’s other national Parks put together. It has nearly 100 mammal and almost 400 bird species. Depending on the time of year and migratory patterns, elephant numbers fluctuate between 20,000 and 75,000. At 5023 sq km Gonarezhou National park in the Lowveld is the countries second largest park and one of Zimbabwe’s best kept secret. Mana Pools National Park situated in the north adjacent to the Zambezi river is the only park in Africa where you can walk unaccompanied, an activity that shouldn’t be taken lightly given the 11,000 strong buffalo population. Although substantially smaller than Hwange, Mana still boasts approximately 350 bird species. Matobo National Park is just 34km from Bulawayo. It is divided into two areas, a game reserve and a recreational area. The park is famous for its rhino population, 3000 plus rock paintings and black Eagles. On the Eastern border of the country are the 50km long and 25km wide Chimanimani mountains, home to the Chimanimani National Park and Bvumba botanical gardens. At 2593m Mt Nyangani, is the highest point in Zim and is found in the small Nyanga National Park whose 470Sq km varies between 1800 & 2593m in altitude. The climb from the car park at the base of the mountain isn’t particularly physically challenging but great care must be taken with respect to the weather which can close in at any moment.