Zimbabwe Tours and Safaris
Zimbabwe is despite the political instability, still a friendly tourist destination. When the Zambezi river is in full flood (February-April), the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world’s largest curtain of falling water. The Victoria Falls are a major tourist attraction.
Zimbabwe is a land of diversity and contrasts and unrivalled natural beauty. It is a land where one can experience nature first-hand. It is also a land with a fascinating history that provides depth and meaning.
The capital, Harare, is Zimbabwe’s commercial and industrial centre and a clean and sophisticated city, characterised by flowering trees, colourful parks and contemporary architecture. Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo, is a major commercial, industrial and tourist centre. The city is home to the National Museum and headquarters of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
From the forested mountains of the Eastern highlands to the sun-washed grasslands of Hwange National Park, from the hot Mopani Forest to the shores of Lake Kariba, more than 11 per cent of Zimbabwe’s land has been set aside as parks and wildlife estates.
Zimbabwe offers some of the best wildlife parks in southern Africa, notably Hwange (southwest), Matopos (south) and Nyanga (northeast) national parks. These, together with the Victoria Falls and Great Zimbabwe, are the principal attractions for visitors.
Zimbabwe offers excellent freshwater fishing, the best locations being Lake Kariba (famous for its tigerfish), the Zambezi River above the Victoria Falls (known for its giant catfish), the streams of the Eastern Highlands and the many lakes.
The Etosha National Park is one of the most famous game sanctuaries in the world and remains largely free of human influence. There are vast stocks of wildlife, particularly elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, springboks, kudus, gemsboks or oryxes, hyenas, jackals, leopards and cheetahs.
Waterberg Plateau Park has striking red sandstone cliffs and is home to many rare and endangered species of game. It is a popular stopover for visitors on their way to Etosha National Park.
Northeast is the Caprivi, bordered by the Kwando, Linyanti, Chobe and Zambezi rivers – a region of swamps and flood plains that has several safari lodges and offers boat trips, fishing, hiking and game viewing.
The Fish River Canyon is in the south of the country and only second in size to the Grand Canyon in the US. Lüderitz is a small port in the southern Namib region, with much charm and atmosphere from bygone days of diamond prospecting.
The Namib Desert with its towering sand dunes is believed to be the oldest desert in the world. Namib Naukluft Park is the fourth-largest conservation area in the world. At Sesriem the Tsauchab River disappears down a deep gorge in the plain (leaving pools of water where many animals feed) and in the Naukluft.
The seaside resort of Swakopmund is situated in the middle of Namibia’s coastline, surrounded by desert and sea. Further north, the Skeleton Coast is a strange desert shoreline with massive dunes and treacherous rocks, the name relating to the number of ships wrecked and lost in the vicinity.
Inland, the Brandberg/Twyfelfontein area has some very ancient rock engravings and paintings, of which the White Lady of the Brandberg is the best known. The Petrified Forest and the Welwitschia mirabilis plant are other attractions.
Temperate conditions prevail all year as the climate is moderated by altitude and the inland position of the country. The hot and dry season is from September to October, and the rainy season from November to March. The best months to visit are April to May and August to September. Night-time temperatures can fall below freezing.
Good To Know
Required by all except the following:
1. nationals of Ireland;
2. nationals of Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Leeward Islands, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Zambia;
3. passengers continuing their journey to a third country within 6 hours by the same or connecting flight, provided holding tickets with reserved seats and documents for onward travel and not leaving the transit area.
Nationals of the following countries may obtain visas valid for up to 90 days on arrival in Zimbabwe, provided holding tickets and documents for return or onward travel and sufficient funds for their stay:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cook Islands, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana (gratis visa), Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep), Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Palau, Palestinian Authority Region, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Seychelles, South Africa (gratis visa), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, US Virgin Islands and Vatican City.
Please verify information with the relevant authorities as it is subject to change without notification.
Currency is the Zimbabwe Dollar (Z$). Getting money is the biggest problem of a visit to Zimbabwe.
The official currency is the Zimbabwean dollar ($ or Z$), but the country is currently experiencing hyper inflation. The price of goods may increase substantially over even the course of a single day.
You can use foreign money at roughly the black market rate at some, but by no means all, shops. Most proper shops, hotels and tourist class guest houses will not accept US dollars at the black market rate. US dollars are the best to bring – in lots of small bills as no one will be able to give you change in forex.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers arriving from infected areas.
A cholera vaccination certificate is not a condition of entry to Zimbabwe. However, cholera is a risk in this country and precautions are advisable.
Vaccination against typhoid is advised.
Malaria risk, predominantly in the malignant falciparum form, exists from November to June in all areas below 1200m and throughout the year in the Zambezi Valley although there is negligible risk in Harare and Bulawayo. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported.