Forgotten Zimbabwe?
Why it's great for a family safari!

With a vast array of enticing safari destinations on Africa’s safari circuit we give you our top 10 reasons why Zimbabwe should be at the top of your list!

1) It’s firmly back on the tourist map and a fascinating place to visit.

We’ve seen a real rise in enquiries this year and the trend is only going in one direction – up!

2) Great value compared to Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania.

Lodges are keen to lure potential guests with some great seasonal free night offers on longer stays. Transfers can be done by road, rail or air – by opting for road and rail, you can keep costs in check, unlike Botswana where transfers are mainly by air. Also, no luggage restrictions as with flight transfers (just saying!). In Botswana, the very remote nature of some lodges adds to the exclusivity which is great but does mean they are priced at a premium, so in this regard Zimbabwe offers better value. If you mix-and-match destinations, not only do you get contrasting experiences but the costs balance out, so for example you might compromise on a B&B in Vic Falls and splurge on a great safari lodge in Hwange.

3) Lots of positive changes since Mugabe has stepped down – the country has now had time to recover and there’s a huge sense of purpose and optimism

4) Stand-out safaris – think 4WD, riding safaris, cycling and walking. We love the fact that in a single destination you can safari, enjoy water-based activities and plenty of soft (or adrenaline-inducing!) adventure. Also, Zimbabwe is renowned for the quality and expertise of its guiding – many consider the rangers here the best in Africa.

5) It’s a central destination that can easily be twinned with South Africa, Botswana or Zambia, e.g. you could perhaps spend 4 nights in Chobe (Botswana) and then 4 nights in Hwange NP (Zimbabwe), thereby enjoying two different family safari experiences for a much better rate than 8 nights in Botswana, where you would need to fly between reserves. The KAZA UniVisa acts as a multi-entrance visa and allows you to travel between Zimbabwe & Zambia as often as you like within a 30-day period. It also covers day trips to Botswana through the Kazungula Borders. You could also safari in Kruger and then move on to Vic Falls – the exchange rates usually work in your favour!

6) Zimbabwe is big on contrasts – always the hallmark of a great holiday. Think lush landscapes near the falls, wide plains in Hwange, the mighty Zambezi….

7) The community and conservation ethos of the Imvelo lodges which we feature. With their focus on enriching the lives of local communities the work they do is amazing and so vital for an economy which is re-building itself. It feels great to play some small part as a visitor.

8) Not just wildlife – cultural tourism is key with school and village visits. Unlike some other safari destinations, in Zimbabwe you get genuine and authentic insights into how the locals live.

9) The Elephant Express – what can we say, it’s seriously cool! Where else can you game-view from the rails, glass of wine in hand. If you want the whole sleeper train experience there’s also the Stimela Star or Rovos Rail. 

10) You’re spoilt for choice with a vast range of water, land and air-based activities such as canoeing, tiger-fishing, micro-lighting, helicopter flights and sunset cruises.

About the author

Amy joined the Bushbaby team in 2018, having worked in travel since 2010. Her specialist area is Africa, having grown up in South Africa and lucky enough to travel around most of Southern and East Africa. Amy enjoys travelling to areas that offer a contrast of adventure and down time with her husband and son. Her favourite place to date is a hard one to pin down – but the Ngorongoro Crater is very high on the list!

Amy Wheeler - Africa Specialist

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