Zimbabwe is best known for its Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River plunges here on a width of 1.7 km into a 110 m deep gorge. The clouds from spray mist rise up to 300 m in the height and are to be seen already from 30 km distance. A particularly beautiful spectacle is shown when the sun hits the fine drops of water and in this way a huge rainbow is created.
But the country has much more to offer than just the Victoria Waterfalls: untouched nature, a species-rich animal world and impressive cultures await the visitor in Zimbabwe. The animal-rich Hwange National Park is currently still a real insider tip for eventful safaris.
1. what should you have seen in Zimbabwe?
On place 1 are of course the famous Victoria Falls. To see these is a MUST for every visitor of Zimbabwe. The water masses break here into a 1.688 m wide crevasse with a drop depth of up to 108 m and are thus considered as the largest, uniformly falling falls of the world (they are twice as high as the Niagara Falls and one and a half times as wide).
But the falls are only a fraction of Zimbabwe – especially Hwange National Park, the largest national park in Zimbabwe. It is home to elephants, kudus, antelopes, zebras, lions as well as leopards, buffalos and giraffes. Here you can do excellent bush walks, of which I am a big fan.
Other national parks that are recommendable and beautiful: Matusadona National Park in the north of Zimbabwe (on the banks of the Kariba reservoir), Mana Pools National Park (here most camps are only open from April to November due to the rainy season) or the Matopos National Park near Bulawayo.
2.What’s your secret tip?
Zimbabwe per se is already an insider tip to me. If I could put together a dream trip, I would spend a morning in Victoria Falls with the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) to learn more about preventing poaching. I would also eat at the famous Lookout Café or the newly opened Zambezi House.
Then I would spend a few days in Hwange National Park (preferably in Camp Hwange, Somalisa Camp or in The Hide Safari Camp) and observe animals, especially elephants, and do walking safaris.
Fantastic end of this trip would be a few days at Kariba Lake and in Mana Pools. In Mana Pools the so-called “Armchair Safari” is on the program, i.e. you sit on a comfortable chair, protected and safe on a kind of platform at the waterhole and watch the animals from here.
3. what should you bring with you?
Not missing in your luggage should be comfortable clothes in muted colours (please remember the onion principle, because in the morning and evening it can still be a little fresh, but during the day very sunny and warm), closed shoes, sun and rain protection (sun hat, sunglasses, sun cream and a rain jacket), mosquito repellent and a flashlight. For the game drives a good camera for souvenir photos and binoculars are always a good idea.
4 What should you avoid?
Walks in the dark should be avoided due to the often unfenced lodges. Even if the way is only short, the company of a ranger is definitely safer.
5. when is the best time to travel to Zimbabwe?
Climatically, Zimbabwe can be divided into a dry season from April to October and a rainy season from November to March. In the months June to August it can get very cool at night, with pleasant 20-28 degrees during the day. October is the hottest month of the year. For game viewing, mid to late dry season is ideal. The Victoria Falls are most impressive between February and April/May when the Zambezi water level is high enough.
6 How long should I visit the region?
Victoria Falls is an Eldorado for extreme sports enthusiasts and people who enjoy activities and is the perfect starting point for Zimbabwe. Besides visiting the Falls, you can also go bungee jumping or rafting. Alternatively you can take a walk along the falls, a train ride over the Victoria Falls Bridge or a sundowner ride on the Zambezi. In any case we recommend 2 nights – so you have enough time for the falls and can optionally book a helicopter flight or another excursion without feeling stressed. For the national parks I would plan at least 2-3 nights.