With its lifeblood rivers like the Zambezi and majestic Victoria Falls in the north, and its rolling Savannah and flourishing wildlife in the south, Zimbabwe is one of the much sought-after travel destinations in the southern part of Africa. Zimbabwe was once a land of a rich civilization, where trading activities were expanding. Today you can still see remnants of the ancient city beckoning travelers to explore. But the country has more to offer than its ancient history. Its lush green sanctuaries like Lake Kariba invites visitors to get close and personal with its teeming wildlife. Of course, the country is famous for its Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) which are the main attractions. If you’re planning to visit the country, then we have listed some of the top things to do in Zimbabwe below:
Composed of a vast stretch of wild terrain, extending from the edge of the mystifying Kalahari Desert in the south to the mopane-clad woodlands in the north, the 14,600 sq km (5,637 sq mi) Hwange National Park is one of the most impressive attractions in the country, where you’ll get to experience the Zimbabwean wildlife in its entirety. Think of huge elephants, intimidating lions, buffalos, zebras, giraffes, and rhinos in their natural setting. You can encounter them through a guided safari tour where you’ll get to visit some of the waterholes where the animals go to quench their thirst.
Full-Day Hwange National Park Tour from Victoria Falls
One of the best ways to marvel at the pristine beauty over the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is hands down through a helicopter ride. And Flight of the Angels surely knows how to bring the best out of your experience on a 15-minute, once-in-a-lifetime flight tour, where you’ll get to see the surreal ‘Mosi oa Tunya’ (the smoke that thunders). You’ll be seated in the helicopter which is equipped with the bubble windows allowing you to get a maximum 360-degree view of the meandering Zambezi River and the unspoiled Zambezi National Park–home to the white rhinos. The helicopter tour is composed of four circuits, where you’ll get ample time to take some really awe-inspiring photos to bring home with you.
Victoria Falls: Flight of Angels Helicopter Experience
3. Get an up-close look at excavated artifacts at Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe
Your visit to Zimbabwe would be incomplete without taking a tour at the Natural History Museum located in Bulawayo. The museum has the world’s second-largest behemoth mounted elephant, including impressive artifacts such as metal pottery, gemstones, of course, the exhibition room dedicated to the development of early hominids. You can also find excavated artifacts which were obtained from various sites like the Old Bulawayo, Khami Ruins, Matopos, and Hwange. But the showstoppers of the museum have to be the cringe-worthy black mambas and cobras, though you are not allowed to take pictures once inside.
Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe
Address: Park Rd, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Website: Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 10 USD
If you’re ready to add some fun to your evening then head to the typical African restaurant Boma and meet travelers like you over a delicious buffet dinner. Be greeted in the African traditional way; wear sarong and face paintings, and get ready to relish traditional Boma dishes–taste some unique fare consisting of crocodile tail and ostrich with rice and vegetables, among others. And to jazz up things, enjoy the live drum show and dance along to the amazing beats!
Boma Dinner with African Dance Show
5. Explore the pristine sanctuary of Lake Kariba
What was once an ambitious vision, today has become the world’s largest man-made reservoir by volume. Nestled along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, just 1,300 km (810 miles) upstream from the Indian Ocean, this verdant sanctuary has thriving wildlife due to the thick layer of fertile soil at the lake bed. You can expect to see wild elephants, buffalos, black and white rhinos, hippopotami, and crocodiles as well. Its marine wildlife consists of tigerfish which is a favorite among the game fishers, and other fish species including the sardine-like Kapenta. There’s always a lot of fun activities to choose from - romantic sunset cruise, water sports, bird-watching, or soaking up the sunshine.
6. Try an eco-stay at Changa Safari Camp
Experience an eco-stay at Changa Safari Camp in the midst of the wilderness right in the heart of Lake Kariba, where mopane woodland is sprawled across the isolated land. A bolthole like no other, and far away from the frenetic world, Changa Safari Camp offers standard or luxurious eco-tents designed to blend with the natural surroundings. Whether you are looking to spend a wonderful family getaway or romantic stay, the secluded setting makes it a perfect destination where you can also indulge in morning and afternoon game drives, tiger-fishing, or sunset boat cruise.
Changa Safari Camp
Address: Matusadona National Park, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Website: Changa Safari Camp
7. Learn about wildlife conservation at Antelope Park
It’s no wonder that Antelope Park has won the World Tourism Awards for Zimbabwe as the leading private game reserve for the last three consecutive years. The private game reserve doesn’t only offer a range of eco-style accommodation and safari adventures to its guests but also give them the chance to partake in conservation and community development program. With its 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares) of open Savannah grassland, guests or volunteers are sure to get valuable insights about the wild animals such as lions and horses. And if you’re planning to visit as a guest then be ready to experience the wilderness with convenient facilities and home-cooked safari meals.
Address: Vungu Rd, Gweru, Zimbabwe
Website: Antelope Park
Opening hours: 6:30am - 9pm (daily)
If you happen to be an adventure junkie and plan to visit Victoria Falls then you can’t miss ziplining at the Batoka Gorges, where you’ll get to see the spellbinding waterfalls in an exciting way! Your adventure begins at the Livingstone Bridge Slide, where you’ll be equipped with all the safety harnesses, ready for the 300-meter (984.2 ft) ziplining adventure. Glide high across the Zambezi River solo or tandem, and make the most out of your experience. Children up to six years can also zipline with a parent and enjoy the sense of adventure.
Bridge Slide or Zipline
Tucked away in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, close to the town of Masvingo, this ancient city ruin is a notable UNESCO World Heritage Site that is about 800 hectares (1976 acres) of land. Built by tribal Shona people, Great Zimbabwe is composed of sublime stone towers which could house up to 18,000 people! Once a prominent trading center which flourished between 11th and 15th century AD, this ancient site was equally a seat of political power, which was eventually abandoned.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins - Day Tour
10. Dine in the rustic setting of Amanzi Restaurant
Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed our latest Pop Up Chefs Event with Tjaart Walraven and Joseph Dhafana. It truly was a spectacular 3 days of fine dining and good wine!Posted by Amanzi Lodge on Wednesday, 17 July 2019
Enjoy a dining experience in a laid-back setting at Amanzi Restaurant nestled in the center of the Northern Suburbs of Harare. This old farmhouse converted into a rustic restaurant invites guests to relish a fusion cuisine inspired from countries across and outside Africa but with a distinct focus on the local Zimbabwean cuisine. Ingredients are sourced from the on-site garden which is grown organically. This is why menus are exceptionally flavorful. The restaurant highlights the local culture through its interior design where there are displays of antique objects and contemporary African art - all of which makes it quite an experience. And its menu also certainly will impress the most discerning guests. You can expect tapas-style starters, a formal four-course meal, and a selection of local delicacies as well.
Address: 149 A2, Harare, Zimbabwe
Website: Amanzi Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 10pm (closed on Sun)
11. Camp out at the enchanting Vumba Botanical Gardens
This is a lush green botanical garden decked out with perennial flowing streams, indigenous fern trees, vibrant flowers including fuchsias, roses, and azaleas. And then there’s also a thriving birdlife around the garden, not to mention a good population of Samango monkeys which add life to the beautiful scenery of the Vumba Botanical Gardens. With the on-site eco-lodges, campsites, tea room, restaurants, and a swimming pool, this park makes it an idyllic escape to enjoy nature in tranquility. For discerning guests, there are some decent-looking hotels around which provide luxurious conveniences as well.
Vumba Botanical Gardens
Address: P. Bag V7472, Mutare, Zimbabwe
Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 10 USD
12. Check out the cobalt blue lake of the Chinhoyi Caves
One of the well-kept secrets of Zimbabwe is the Chinhoyi Caves - a network of caves made of dolomite and limestone, which are accentuated by its strikingly beautiful cobalt blue underground lake. The caves are located in North-central Zimbabwe in the Makonde District and are designated as a National Park. Coming here will bring you a sense of serenity and peacefulness, where you can also feast your eyes on the surrounding natural beauty–watching the fish swimming in the lake or birds nesting around the caves. Do note though that you have to be an experienced diver to get into the inviting lake.
Address: A1, Zimbabwe
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 10 USD
13. Commemorate national heroes at National Heroes Acre
If you’re into political history you might find the National Heroes Acre quite an interesting place to learn more about the Patriotic Front guerillas and Zimbabweans who fought dying during the Rhodesian Bush War (1964 - 1979). The place is symbolic to the history of the country whereby people buried over here are regarded as heroes. There’s a huge social-realist statue depicting three brave soldiers representing victory. The memorial site is also going to be a burial site for former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
National Heroes Acre
Address: Harare, Zimbabwe
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
14. Discover local arts and culture at National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe
Get into the creative ambiance of the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe located in Harare, where you can learn about the fine artwork of contemporary artists. Initially created to promote the Shona Sculpture, the art gallery was officially launched by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother in 1957. Visitors will get the chance to contemplate a diverse range of art masterpieces such as woodwork, paintings, print works, and various cultural exhibitions.
The National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe
Address: Park Ln, Harare, Zimbabwe
Website: The National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe
Opening hours: Tues - Fri: 8am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)
15. Witness incredible wildlife at Matusadona National Park
Head to the remotest Matusadona National Park located in the northwest of Zimbabwe, right on the southern shores of Lake Kariba. The park has a vast unspoiled terrain made up of fascinating topography and ecological areas such as Lake Kariba along with its grasslands, mopane woodland of the Zambezi Valley, and a rugged escarpment area. Visitors can stay overnight here at one of the safari lodges which are made available with conveniences. The park is home to an eclectic range of incredible flora and fauna.
Matusadona National Park
Website: Matusadona National Park
16. Take a safari adventure at Mana Pools National Park
At the Mana Pools National Park, your safari adventure can be really rewarding as this UNESCO-designated site is home to huge elephant herds and other wild animals, including leopards, Nile crocodiles, and lions. The vast wild terrain is found in the lower Zambezi River which is seldom flooded by monsoon rain and eventually attract many wild animals when the lakes recede. Its flora is equally rich and diverse, where visitors could easily spot the majestic baobab trees. There are several adventurous activities like canoeing, camping or strolling around with a guide. But the most recommended way of enjoying this place is by self-driving a 4x4.
Mana Pools National Park
Price: 30 USD
To perk up your Zimbabwe trip besides going on a typical safari adventure, try whitewater rafting along the Zambezi River with a guide. This 14-mile (23 km) Class IV and V rapids rafting course starts at the Victoria Falls reaching up to 650 feet (198 meters) in the midst of Zimbabwe’s wilderness. Feel the thrill of adventure while enjoying the pristine beauty of nature. This package includes a hike down the steep gorge to the river banks, followed by the whitewater rafting, and afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch, an open bar facility, and hotel transfer (back and forth).
Zambezi River Class IV-V White-Water Rafting from Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe, land of the Big Five
When it comes to going into the wild and witnessing the flourishing wildlife, then you know you have to see Zimbabwe. From its adventurous safari tours to its exhilarating zipline experience across the Victoria Falls, this land of adventure awaits the most avid travelers.
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