A land packed with natural wonders and dramatic landscapes, Zimbabwe boasts the key ingredients for an unforgettable African adventure.
Its magnificent calling card is Victoria Falls, a thundering, mile-long curtain of water, which straddles the border with Zambia. You can see the falls from the bottom, the top or a helicopter – a pricey but worthwhile investment. And if you’re feeling brave, you could even go white-water rafting or arrange a bungee jump off the 128-metre-high Victoria Falls Bridge.
Beyond this, there is a wilderness of grassy savannas, game plains and forest reserves. The massive Hwange National Park is home to the ‘big five’ – lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo – among other animals, as well as some 400 species of bird. Go on a safari adventure here in summer to see the animals congregated around the park’s 60 waterholes.
To the north, Matusadona and Mana Pools national parks shelter more wildlife, while the rolling hills and granite peaks of the Eastern Highlands offer a completely different outdoor experience.
In between all this lie big cities with urban appeal. Harare, the capital, prides itself on a laid-back culture of trendy bars, craft markets and high-end restaurants. And Bulawayo, the second biggest city, highlights Zimbabwe’s history with a selection of museums and galleries.
But this history is best observed in Great Zimbabwe, the stone ruins of an ancient city thought to have been built during the Iron Age. Found near the city of Masvingo, you can explore these ruins with a guide to get some perspective.
A good variety of hotels, hostels and guesthouses can be found in Harare and Bulawayo. There’s also plenty on offer in Victoria Falls, and camping options in the national parks.
The 12 best places to stay in Zimbabwe: Top hotels, B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals — Based on real reviews from real guests