8 Of The Best Places To Visit In Zimbabwe

best places to visit in zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is situated in southern Africa and is famous for its beautiful landscapes and the diversity of its wildlife. With its national parks and rivers, many opportunities exist for a great holiday or safari tour in this landlocked country. The following are eight recommended locations to choose from, away from the major cities and in diverse and beautiful locations.

1. Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls are located on the Zambezi River and are a glorious view shared by both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Not only is the falls a magnificent sight, but there is also much opportunity for adventure sports in the area, including bungee jumping, bridge swinging and zip lining from the Victoria Falls Bridge. You can also enjoy whitewater rafting through some of the best white water rapids in the world. For those a little less daring, some great options include boat cruises or kayaking on the Zambezi River and wonderful helicopter flights over the falls.

Website: Victoria Falls

2. Victoria Falls National Park

2014-06-02: Victoria Falls National Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user A Swell Buddy used under CC BY 2.0

The Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks are located a little downstream from the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. Here you can enjoy a boat cruise, while watching the hippos splashing in the river, or rhinos and elephants refreshing themselves on the river banks. In the area it is possible to enjoy an Elephant Back Safari and for those feeling brave, a walk with the lions. The Walking with Lions experience allows visitors to interact with the animals face to face, under safe conditions. For lovers of birds, the bird life in this area is amazing and varied. Stay overnight in one of the excellent game and safari lodges in the area, offering beautiful and traditional accommodation with all necessary modern amenities.

Website: Victoria Falls National Park

3. Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park (2)
Source: Photo by user joepyrek used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in northwestern Zimbabwe, approximately one hour south of the Victoria Falls, lies Hwange National Park. The park is home to more than 100 species of mammals and almost 400 bird species. The elephants of the Hwange National Park are well known, as this is considered to be the largest elephant population remaining in the world. The national park consists of three different camps, the largest being Main Camp. Here a variety of self-catering and chalet accommodation is available, as well as a bar and restaurant, some limited shops and a petrol station.

Website: Hwange National Park

4. Matobo National Park

Located close to the city of Bulawayo, the Matobo National Park is home to a large population of Black and White Rhinoceros. Due to an intensive protection zone, these endangered species are thriving. There are also cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, giraffes, crocodiles and many more species living here. The park is situated in the Matobo Hills, which consists of a range of spires, balancing rocks and domes. This scenic location is great for hiking and exploring. In the park, you can visit the grave of the founder of what was originally Rhodesia, Cecil John Rhodes. Rhodes himself called the hill where he is buried “A View of the World.”

Website: Matobo National Park

5. Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba, Zambia (2518038663)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joachim Huber used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Kariba is the largest man-made lake (by volume) in the world. The lake is a popular destination for water-related activities. With over 40 species on offer, the lake is excellent for fishing. Among the activities on offer are game viewing drives, guided horse riding and evening boat and sunset cruises. There are several lodges and hotels along the lake shore and the nearby Nyanyana River, where many a hippo can be seen. Lake Kariba also borders on Zambia.

Website: Lake Kariba

6. Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani, Zimbabwe1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JackyR used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Chimanimani National Park is Africa at its best and most raw. Located on the border with Mozambique, this area offers rugged mountainous scenery with high peaks and spectacular gorges. Wildlife in the area includes eland, bushbuck, klipspringer, blue duiker and sable and you will spot the odd leopard from time to time. The park also has lush and beautiful forest areas with colourful and fascinating butterflies, birds and snakes to be seen. The park has no real roads and narrow tracks take visitors from place to place, adding to the sheer, unspoiled character of the national park. Camping and hiking are great options in Chimanimani.

Website: Chimanimani National Park

7. Nyanga National Park

Nyanga landscape
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Babakathy used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Nyanga National Park is located in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and is one of the most scenic areas of the country. The park is a combination of lush green rolling hills and mountainous scenery, offering cooler temperatures than most areas of the country. There are several scenic waterfalls in the area and a unique mix of flora and fauna. Visit the wildebeest, zebras, impalas, waterbucks and more or enjoy fishing in the local rivers for the famous Nyanga trout. Nyanga is approximately 268 kilometers (166 miles) from Harare.

Website: Nyanga National Park

8. Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Source: Photo by user damien_farrell used under CC BY 2.0

The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are situated between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers in Zimbabwe. These fascinating structures were built somewhere between the 11th and 15th centuries. Mystery still surrounds these ruins, which consist of towers, turrets, platforms and stairways, all hewn from local rock. These are considered to be the largest ruins of their kind in this area of Africa. There is a museum on site, where visitors can view ancient items from Persia, China and India, all of which were excavated in or near the ruins.

Website: Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Enjoy your visit to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a fascinating place to visit with its majestic wildlife, beautiful scenery, interesting history and so much more. Make a note on your bucket list to visit and enjoy the view!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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