• Christine, Digital Nomad, Travel Expert

Zimbabwe Travel Guide

Updated: Mar 25, 2021



Zimbabwe Ultimate Travel Guide


The political unrest and devastation in the past decades have greatly affected the tourism industry in Zimbabwe. But with a new lining of hope, there has never been a better time to explore this unspoiled gem in the southern part of Africa.


Check out this guide, it’ll shed light on everything you need to know before traveling to this beautiful country.


The Best Attractions to Visit in Zimbabwe


1. Victoria Falls


Being one of the largest waterfalls in the world and among the world’s natural wonders makes Victoria Falls a strong contender that tops any Zimbabwe itinerary.


While it’s neither the tallest nor the widest falls in the globe, it’s certainly the most impressive.

Victoria Falls, which lies slap bang at the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia offers a striking sight of beauty as the Zambezi River cascades on a 1.7 km wide gorge.


Besides the awe-inspiring views, victoria Falls is also a haven for adventure junkies with thousands putting their bravery to a test rafting the wildest river in Africa, or bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge – all these set against the most picturesque backdrop on earth.


2. Hwange National Park


The massive game parks in the content of Africa are embedded in most nature lovers’ imaginations. And just like the rest of Africa Zimbabwe boasts a share of splendid and abundant wildlife.


Hwange is the country’s most diverse and the largest National Park in the country spanning 5657 square miles – packed to the brim with different animals and almost devoid of tourists which makes it a great safari destination especially if you don’t want to join hundreds of tourists surrounding an overwhelmed lion somewhere in Serengeti or Masai Mara.


This park is home to over 400 species of birds, 111 mammals, which include over 20 different herbivorous species and over 10 carnivorous species.


3. Chinhoyi Caves


Located approximately 76 miles from the capital city, Harare Chinhoyi caves are a sight to behold.


The caves have a historical significance as a safe location where the Shona people stored their grains and refuge during tribe wars.


Chinhoyi caves make a great quick stop if you’re heading to or from Kariba as there isn’t much to do here.


4. Chimanimani Mountains


Chimanimani National Park is a stunning mountainous region at the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.


The region at the eastern edge of the country is distinguished by towering peaks, lush forests, and rugged landscape.


Thanks to unrivaled flora and fauna plus astounding views from the top of the ranges, this park is pretty popular among hikers and nature enthusiasts.


In addition to beautiful trails, this park offers awesome opportunities for birds and wildlife spotting.

The weather up the ranges can vary greatly so be sure to layer up or pack gears to keep you warm in case it rains.


5. Lake Kariba


Despite being a landlocked country, Zimbabwe boasts large water bodies that make up for that downside. Lake Kariba is one of the largest manmade beaches in the world at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.


Boasting a shoreline that sprawls across 1200 miles, this lake is an oasis that supports thousands of wildlife in the area. This makes the game viewing around this place magical.


You can also explore the lake on houseboats as you cruise from one spectacular part of the lake to another.


Major Cities in Zimbabwe


· Harare

· Bulawayo

· Chitungwiza

· Mutare

· Gweru

· Kwekwe

· Epworth

· Kadoma

· Masvingo

· Chinhoyi


How to Get Around


· Plane


The main entry point and the largest airport in Zimbabwe is Robert Mugabe International Airport (formally known as Harare International Airport).


But you can fly into the country via Joshua Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo or Victoria Falls International Airport depending on which part of the country you want to explore.


Air Zimbabwe offers domestic flights to Harare, Bulawayo, and Victoria Falls.


Alternatively, you can charter a flight to some of the most popular destinations and parks in the country such as Kariba Lake or Matusadona Park.


· Bus


This is the most common way to get around especially for the locals. For long-distance travel (e.g. from Harare to Bulawayo there are luxury couches offering daily scheduled trips.


The locals use minibuses, however, (more like shared taxis) which operate on specific routes between small towns.


· Taxi


Taxi is a great way to get around Zimbabwe as they allow you to visit attractions at a leisurely pace. However, they’re best arranged via your hotel to avoid being ripped off and also for safety reasons.


The Best Places to Stay in Zimbabwe


Luxury


· Matetsi Victoria Falls


Offering an excellent combination of world-class wildlife viewing and an unforgettable Victoria Falls experience, Matetsi is one of the few lodges in the country that offer a chic ‘wilderness’ getaway.


Set on a private 9.3 miles stretch along the Zambezi River this place offers exclusivity, privacy, and unrivaled comfort of spacious river-facing suites.


It boats 18 opulent suites adorned in contemporary African vibe and the doors open to a private pool where day beds overlook the beautiful Zambezi River.


It also has its own private game reserve spanning 136000 acres.


So, you can look forward to exceptional wildlife encounters, sumptuous stay, extraordinary river experiences, world-class gastronomic adventure, and vibrant Zimbabwean hospitality.


You can opt to arrive in the lodge in style by landing in Victoria Falls International Airport and then taking a helicopter ride to the lodge over the magnificent Victoria Falls.

Prices range; $700 – $1550 per night depending on the season


Mid-Range


· Bumi Hills Safari Lodge


Nestled within remote mountain ranges and a private reserve in one of the country’s most beautiful wilderness, Bumi Hills is utterly fascinating.


Situated close to the northeastern border of the vast Matusdona National Park and enjoying a staggering backdrop of the Zambezi Escarpment, this Safari Lodge is a haven if you’re planning to explore the areas close to Lake Kariba.


There are 10 chic and spacious suites that are well-appointed with all comforts as well as amenities that make your stay special.


Price range- $745 – $1450 per person sharing per night


· Little Gorges lodge


Boasting an unbeatable location just six miles from Victoria Falls, Little Gorges is a tented safari-style accommodation perched on a fringe of a beautiful gorge.


Although the location is a great base to explore the region, it’s the magical sunrise and black eagles which frequent the area that makes this place irresistible.


Price range; from $289 per person per night


Budget


· Victoria Falls Backpackers Lodge


For a value-packed base from where you can explore the world-renowned Victoria Falls, this hub oozes tranquility and natural beauty.


The lodge offers peaceful yet comfortable dorm rooms, double rooms as well as camping spots giving you options whether you’re visiting as a backpacker or with friends.


There is also an alluring garden and a pool where you can chill before or after a day of sightseeing.

Price range; from $20


Must-try Food in Zimbabwe


· Sadza

· Mopane Worms

· Muriwo Unedovi

· Maheu

· Mupunga Unedovi

· Mabhonzo emombe

· Kapenta

· Muboora


Travel Packing List and Tips


· Mosquito/bug repellent


Mosquito repellent is a must-have more so if you’ll be visiting the country during the rainy season which runs between October and April.


· Prepare for varied weather conditions


Although the country boasts a great temperate climate throughout the year, there can be unexpected rain or really chilly mornings which might affect your itinerary, especially for game drives.

This also means you should pack accordingly.

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