Tucked between the mighty Zambezi and the rolling Limpopo River, Zimbabwe is best known for the magnificent spectacle of the Victoria Falls – discovered by David Livingstone in 1855.
Zimbabwe derives its name from the spectacular stone structures of the Great Zimbabwe ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with mysterious origins. The country is home to another four World Heritage sites, including the rugged granite outcrops of the Matobo Hills, the spectacular conservation area of Mana Pools and the magnificent Victoria Falls.
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In our Client's Words...
It was well worth the two year wait to go on our trip of a lifetime to South Africa and Zimbabwe. We joined Rovos Rail for a 3 day journey into Zim - the food and service were all excellent and we saw plenty of wildlife in Hwange. The jewel in the crown was arriving at The Victoria Falls Hotel where we spent two nights. Bushbaby were brilliant and we would wholeheartedly recommend them. They did everything they could to make the holiday work like clockwork and we never really felt that we were on our own.
Mick and Linda, South Africa and Zimbabwe
100% of our clients leaving feedback on AITO.com (the Trip Advisor of Tour Operators) have rated us 'excellent'
Situated along the Zambezi River by the mighty Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (“The Smoke that Thunders”), Victoria Falls Town offers a plethora of activities to keep even the most ardent adventurer entertained. Take your pick from helicopter flights, river-rafting (seasonal), bungee-jumping, fishing, river cruises, hiking and canoeing.
As well as the Falls, Zimbabwe’s big appeal is its incredible wildlife-viewing opportunities. There are fantastic, good-value safari and wildlife experiences to be had within Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Mana Pools. There’s a high level of guiding and we love the fact that walking and riding safaris feature prominently alongside the traditional game drive – providing extra appeal for teens!
As the largest national park in Zimbabwe (and the third largest in Africa), Hwange National Park, is an obvious choice for nature lovers. The birthplace of Cecil the Lion, its dry season provides the highest density of elephants in Africa, whilst its mammal diversity is considered amongst the highest in the world. This area is also good for Sable antelope and Eland, which are fairly rare species to see. Hwange’s southern region has the Ngamo Plains – a magnificent open area teeming with wildlife.
The world’s largest man-made reservoir, Lake Kariba, is home to the fierce tiger fish, while herds of wildlife wander its shores.
Once a leading safari destination in Africa, Zimbabwe is reclaiming its position on the tourist map after years of political turmoil. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a range of activities, exciting and good-value wildlife viewing, a near-perfect climate and sundowners in front of jaw-dropping African sunsets. Expect a warm welcome from locals – there is a real enthusiasm for the fact you’ve made it to their beloved country and an earnest affection for the wildlife that fills it.
Please note this country is malarial.
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When to go
Zimbabwe has two main seasons – the wet season and the dry season. It’s worth bearing in mind that they reflect the volume of flow of the Zambezi River, rather than the quantity of rain. April-October is considered the best time to visit, with warm, sunny days and cold, clear nights.
Victoria Falls are at their most dramatic from April-August as the river fills with rainfall from Angola and Zambia. The cloud of spray can be seen high above the gorge.
Wildlife returns to pumped waterholes in Hwange from June, making it the perfect time for wildlife viewing, though expect the weather to start turning colder at night as winter sets in – extra layers are essential for bush walks and safaris.
July–August is the holiday season so the parks are at their busiest, especially with prime wildlife-viewing, optimal white-water rafting and canoeing on the Zambezi at this time of year. Even though the camps are likely to be full, the majority are on private concessions so you still get exclusivity and it feels quiet.
September sees the annual game count in Hwange National Park where you can join the park rangers as they stake out the waterholes.
By October temperatures are rising into the late 30°Cs and early 40°Cs. Wildlife sightings are also at their peak as the dry season ends.
The rainy season, from November-March, is beautiful, with generally sporadic rain and dramatic afternoon electrical storms (although this time of year can be very hot and humid and some camps do close). From September-January, water levels drop at Victoria Falls and the formation of the gorge can be seen as the powerful flow slows down by around 90%. Towards the end of the rainy season look out for the famous spray rainbows at Victoria Falls.
Flights: Fly with Kenya Airways via Nairobi to Victoria Falls (10 hours), or you can travel via Johannesburg with British Airways or Virgin and then up to Victoria Falls (around 12.5 hours).
Typical carbon emissions for a return flight (Economy) per person: 710 kg.
FCDO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zimbabwe
Time Zone: GMT+2
Capital City: Harare