Zimbabwe is a land-locked country blessed with fertile soils, mineral wealth and wonderful scenery. Two major rivers from its northern and southern boundaries; the great Zambezi River cuts along its northern frontier, while the Limpopo forms the southern border with South Africa. In between the country it has a variety of habitats, from the granite hills of the Matopos to the beautiful mountains, forests and rivers of the Eastern Highlands. As such, there is much to attract the traveller, from wildlife viewing and adrenalin adventures to encountering the history of the Zimbabwean people back thousands of years.
The unspoilt northern parks of the Zambezi River has an exceptional variety of spectacular scenery as well as one of the world's natural wonders : The Victoria Falls. The National Parks along the Zambezi is legendary with Mana Pools and Matusadona, located on the floodplains of Africa's Great Rift Valley, offering superb wildlife viewing.
Along the Botswana border the easternmost tongues of the Kalahari Desert sands creep into the country and mix with the teak forest of the inerior, so that desert-adapt animals live in the same habitat as woodland species. Hwange National Park is home to some of southern Africa's last great elephant, buffalo and sable herds and the private Makalolo concession, situated in it south-eastern corner, promises a plethora of wildlife viewing. The area is ecologically diverse, including vast, open, palm-fringed plains, grassland, acacia woodlands and teak forests and this ensures great numbers of animals all year round - elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, giraffe, wildebeest, impala and even gemsbok. These animals are always followed by their predators: lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah are regularly sighted, along with African wildcat, serval, honey badger, civet and hyaena.
Zimbabwe offers a wide variety of travel and holiday opportunities and is glorified by the scenic extravaganza of The Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba. With its climate of short, mild winters and long summers, it is favourable for visits all year round. Victoria Falls is the adventure tourist Mecca of Africa and is divided into five separate falls, ranging in heights up to 110 metres. The peak flow is usually around mid-April when the spray can rise 450 metres into the air, hence the name “The smoke that thunders”.
Lake Kariba consists of over 3 200sq metres of water, studded with islands and surrounded by mountains it provides superb birdwatching, game viewing and fresh water fishing.
Zimbabwe's climate is generally very warm (comparable with southern California). Because of the country's elevation, which averages 915m above sea level, the temperature rarely exceeds 33°C or falls below 7°C. Nevertheless, temperatures around 30°C are experienced regularly.Summer is from November to February and the days are hottest at this time. Zimbabwe also receives almost all of its rain during summer.
Zimbabwe's climate makes it a year-round destination. The best time to visit Victoria Falls is after the rainy season (April and May) - although the spray may obscure your view slightly. At the end of the dry season (October to December), the water levels are low and you can sit in a rock pool and cautiously peer over the edge! For high adventure enthusiasts, the best time to go whitewater rafting is when the waters of the Zambezi River are low (generally from August to December).
Winter months (May to September) are best for game viewing, as the bush is thinner and the animals tend to congregate near the water holes.The best time to travel to the Vumba Botanical Gardens is from December to May, when the vegetation is lush and green and most plants are in flower.
Domestic air services operate between the major airports:
Zimbabwe has always been a land of great natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Upland grassy plateaus characterise the central regions of Zimbabwe with lower altitude bushveld and woodland regions to the south, where the Limpopo River forms the southern border and the north, dominated by the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba.
Eastern Zimbabwe is dominated by magnificent mountain ranges, with Chimanimani, Bvumba and Nyanga providing beautiful scenery, waterfalls and cool air compared to the hot interior. Both the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe and the modern capital, Harare, are located in Zimbabwe's interior. Moving west you find the quiet city of Bulawayo and the Hwange National Park, just south of Victoria Falls.Health & Safety
There have been outbreaks of cholera in Zimbabwe recently, though certain areas such as Victoria Falls remain unaffected. Malaria is a risk in some areas and no injections are required for entry. It is best to check with your consultant about the current situation before you travel. Consult your doctor or an immunisation centre about the relevant vaccination requirements for the countries to which you will be travelling. We do suggest you get a Yellow Fever vaccination, because it’s compulsory for most African countries. For extra safety while travelling African countries, we recommend vaccinations for typhoid, polio, tetanus, hepatitis, meningitis and cholera. Also with your passport, make a certified copy of your certificate. Refer to www.travelclinics.co.za for more medical advise.
The biggest threat is the increased number of smash and grabs, so ensure your taxi / driver knows where not to go, that your windows are wound up and that no bags or phones are visible.