Zimbabwe has some fantastic places to visit and some great wildlife destinations. Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Matusadona National Park and Motobo Hills National Park are but a few of these stunning places.
Zimbabwe is also known as an adventurous destination both on and off safari. The world famous Victoria Falls is the adrenaline capital of Africa where you run the rapids on the Zambezi, bungee jump off the bridge just below the Falls, take a gorge swing across the scar in the landscape caused by this mighty river and many more.
Known as a great destination for walking safaris you can also canoe the Zambezi in Mana Pools National Park, many miles downriver from the Falls, starting below the Kariba Dam and continuing on into Mozambique should you wish.
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Hwange National Park
This world famous National Park is known for its large number of Elephants and Predators. The Waterholes within the Park provide a multitude of opportunities to observe the interaction of the wild inhabitants of Hwange. Whilst enjoying a sundown drink at one of these waterholes you will be joined by a herd of Elephants enjoying a late evening drink and wash, whilst another herd will be waiting in the background for their opportunity.
The Lodges of Hwange are well established and provide a superb quality of accommodation to enjoy the park to its fullest from within. This is the ‘Classic’ Safari destination and you won’t be disappointed as the standard of the guiding within Zimbabwe is second to none and if you want to learn about the African bush then Zimbabwe is definitely the place to go.
Mana Pools National Park
This UNESCO World Heritage site brings the feeling of untouched Africa. The ancient landscape in the floodplains of the mighty Zambezi River will take you back to times of the great Explorers. Whilst here in Mana Pools it is highly recommended that you take a three night trip on the Zambezi in Canadian Kayaks, where you will drift with the fast running River and become part of the bush, no longer just the observer.
Mana Pools teems with wildlife and it is possible to get up close with many of the species there. This is a fantastic place to see large pods of Hippo lazing in the river as the heat of the day takes its toll and as the Sun goes down listening to calls of the Hippo as they get ready to come to land for their night time feeding.
Motobo Hills National Park
Today the Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries. In addition to the black and white rhinoceros, the Matobo National Park provides a home to a variety of antelope species (kudu, sable, eland) leopard, baboon, lizard, and a plethora of birdlife, including the highest concentrations of black eagle in the world. The Matobo National Park have trees and shrubs that are unique to the area, as well as flora and fauna found in many other parts of the world, which have grown naturally in this area. Vegetation ranges from the lichens of the desert-like hilltops to the luxuriant growth of valley swamps.
The Matopos Hills has a great deal of historical relevance in Zimbabwe. The estate of Cecil John Rhodes was once located at Matopos Hills and his grave is at a site called World's View, on the summit of one of the hills. The graves of Sir Leander Starr Jameson and Sir Charles Coghlan are also at Matopos Hills, along with the memorials to Major Allan Wilson and the Shangani Patrol. The Matopos Hills had been fought over in 1893 by members of the Ndebele, a group of Africans that regarded the site as sacred. It is still seen as sacred ground, as among the cracks and crevices of the Matobo Hills is the Ndebele's rain shrine to Mwari, the god of their ancestors. There are Stone and Iron Age archaeological sites, and some of the world’s best ancient rock art paintings can be found as a testimony of the lives of the San Bushman who lived in the area some 2000 years ago.
Matusadona National Park
The Matusadona National Park is one of the Zambezi valley's wildlife and wilderness treasures. Remote, rugged and accessible only by air charter, 4 x 4 or boat, this wonderful park encompasses Lake Kariba's most beautiful southern shorelines, creeks and bays, a vast flat bush-covered plateau cut by numerous riverlines and the wild, wide, 600m-high Matusadona mountain range which divides the Zambezi valley from the upland farmlands behind. The Park lies about 20km across the lake from the town of Kariba, and is bounded by two spectacularly beautiful rivers, in the west, the Ume, which meets the lake in a wide estuary and in the east, the Sanyati with its magnificent, steep sided, rocky gorge.
Many of the wild animals rescued from the rising waters of the newly-formed Lake Kariba by conservationist Rupert Fothergill and his teams during the much-publicised Operation Noah in 1958 were released into the Matusadona National Park. Today, it is an Intensive Protection Zone for the endangered black rhinoceros and one of the few places in Southern Africa where visitors may be lucky enough to see this magnificent animal in the wild. This park is a treat for visitors wanting to see Africa's other big mammals including elephant, buffalo, hippo, lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra and various antelope species.
Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall around making it one of the world’s “Seven Natural Wonders”! Victoria Falls is one of the highest, widest and most powerful waterfall, especially in the winter months when the river is full! In the 1800’s Victoria Falls was described by the nearby Kololo as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya'which means "the Smoke that Thunders"- illustrating the powerful forces of Victoria Falls!
David Livingstone is believed to be the first explorer to have discovered Victoria Falls; in 1860 he spread the word about his travels to Victoria Falls. With so much enthusiasm and passion about Victoria Falls the area became a popular tourist attraction (especially on the Zimbabwean side). Today, Victoria Falls is a still a popular holiday destination for honeymooners, families and couples…