Spectacular Vacation in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a country in the Southern part of Africa. It is located between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the south west , Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the East. The capital city is Harare. The country’s population is estimated to be 13 million. There are about 16 languages of which English, Shona and Ndebele are commonly used.
HISTORY, PEOPLE & CULTURE:
In the olden days, Zimbabwe used to be the site of several organized states and kingdoms as well as a major route for migration and trade. The country was first populated by descendants of the Bantu tribes who migrated from the north around 10th Century evidence of their presence may still be seen in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, near masvingo till date.
The first contact the country had with the Europeans was in the 15th century with the Portuguese. The relationship was somehow stable until around 1830 when there was a upheaval due to the northward migration of the Ndebele people from south Africa. At this point, a new and more aggressive colonist arrived with an interest in mining led by Cecil Rhode’s British South Africa company They took hold of the country and named it Southern Rhodesia in 1923. Later in 1965, the white minority government unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia. This did not go down well with the Black Nationalist forces. The new state of Rhodesia had to endure international Isolation and a 15 year guerilla warfare with the Blacks. There was a peace agreement in 1980 followed by general election was held under British auspices and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU party won.The religions practice in Zimbabwe are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and traditional religion mostly practiced in the rural areas The Zimbabwe Urban culture is greatly influenced by education and Western cultur
Air Zimbabwe is the national airline. Other airlines offering flights to and from Zimbabwe are South African,, Ethiopian and Kenyan airlines. There are no direct flights from UK and the United States. The quickest option is to fly South African Airways through Johannesburg.
WHERE TO STAY:
Zimbabwe has a lot to offer in terms of places to stay. There are big hotels and also lodges or guest house which provide you with bed and breakfast. Non residents must pay hotel bills in foreign currencies, usually or credit cards . Local currency is not acceptable.
Some of the most popular tourist destinations their resort hotels are listed below:
▪ Harare: Meikles, Monomotapa crown plaza, Holiday Inn, Jameson Best Western, Ambassador, Cresters lodge and Oasis.
▪ Bulawayo: Holiday Inn, Bulawayo Sun
▪ Gweru: Midlands
▪ Masvingo: Chevron, Flamboyant, Great Zimbabwe Hotel.
▪ Matare: Manica, Christmas Pass, Wise Owl
▪ Nyanga: Montclair, Troutbeck Inn
▪ Kariba: Carreabean Bay, Lakeview
▪ Victoria Falls: Elephant Hills, The Victoria falls Hotel, Makasa Sun Hotel
Apart from these hotels, there is a wide range of self-catering accommodations in Maloney, Hwange, Katete,, Chikwenya and Zimbabwe.
Things to do
Houseboat on Lake Kariba
This is a completely unique experience which you definitely must try when visiting Zimbabwe. Spend five days on a houseboat, parking every night in a different spot to view the game in the Matusadona National Park, allowing you to get very close to the wild life. Enjoy fishing off the small tender boats provided during the day, and then relax on your comfortable houseboat at night and enjoy the sunset and sounds of nature surrounding you!! For more information on hiring houseboats, contact GoKariba.com, and we recommend Kariba Cateringto take care of all your food requirements
Flight of the Angels over Victoria Falls
An extremely popular activity in Victoria Falls is to fly over the falls in a helicopter which is known as the “Flight of the Angels”. The flight lasts approx 15 minutes, and gives you breathtaking and scenic views of the thunderous Victoria Falls. The helicopter is able to fly lower than most other planes, giving you the best views of the falls from both directions!!
Bungee Jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge
Nothing beats the thrill of Bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge; thousands of people have enjoyed this complete adrenaline pumping sport!! Ankle and body harnesses joined to a rope are attached to you, and then you dive head first off the 111m high bridge towards the mighty Zambezi River down below. After jumping you are winched back up onto the Victoria Falls Bridge and will be given photographic evidence of your achievement!!
White Water Rafting on Zambezi River
A pure adventure, enjoy rafting down the Zambezi River below the majestic Victoria Falls. Experienced guides will take care of you whilst you go through rapid after rapid, and you will love your action packed day. At the end of which you will climb out of the Bakota Gorge and be served ice cold refreshments!!
Tiger Fishing on Zambezi River
Another attraction for keen fisherman is to come and try and catch a fighting tiger fish on the Lower Zambezi River. The best time of year is September to November, and there are plenty of well equipped camps to choose from along the river banks, which will take care of your every need!!
Test out the Golf Courses in the Eastern Highlands
The Eastern Highlands part of Zimbabwe offers some stunning golf courses. In the Nyanga area, there is the Troutbeck and Claremont courses both offering a good challenge, whilst enjoying the beautiful views and scenery. Not too far from there in the Vumba, is Leopard Rock hotel that has one of the most stunning golf courses in the world, with breathtaking views at every hole!!
Game Viewing on Horseback through Hwange National Park
This type of Safari, gives you the chance to explore the large Hwange National Park which has over many different kinds of game including the Big Five!! On Horse back you will walk on many different animal trails to follow and view all kinds of wildlife, at pans or just relaxing under the shade of an acacia tree. If you are a horse lover and enjoy being in the bush then this definitely is for you!!
There are a number of operations in Zimbabwe who do run photographic safaris. Zimbabwe’s National Parks such as Hwange, Mana Pools, Mutasadona and Matobo Hills National Parks are popular choices, but if you are a bird lover then the Honde Valley and Eastern Highlands are the places to go to take the perfect shot!!
Explore Great Zimbabwe Ruins
The Great Zimbabwe Ruins is a historical site which is well worth a visit, the stone buildings were built in the 11th century and consist entirely of stone and are one of the oldest ruins in Southern Africa. The name Zimbabwe came from the stone structures of Great Zimbabwe and it became a World Heritage Site in 1986. Eight soap stones birds were found in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe.
Great Zimbabwe is located close to the town of Masvingo found in the central areas of Zimbabwe.
Hiking in the Chimanimani Mountains
The Chimanimani Mountains form Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique in the Eastern Highlands part of the country. They are an ideal place for hikers, to explore the Chirundu tropical rain forest, and view the impressive Bridal Veil Falls. Many rare species of trees are found in the Chirundu forest such as wild orchids and cycads. Another big attraction is the Big Tree which is a red mahogany that is over a thousand years old!!