Zimbabwe is a landlocked country blessed with bountiful natural resources, unspoiled wilderness and a large collection of wildlife. The country is extremely diverse with habitats from the imposing granite hills of Matopos to majestic mountains, lush forests, enchanting streams on the Eastern Highlands, and productive woodlands and plains in the lowlands. There is much to attract the traveler, from adrenaline adventures, wildlife viewing and scenic wonders.
The Zambezi River forms the northern border of the country and its course includes the majestic Victoria Falls, the vast Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Parks, and the legendary game viewing areas along its lower reaches in Mana Pools National Park. Formng the Western border with Botswana is a vast protected area stretching through Hwange National Park, all the way to the Zambezi National Park in the North. Between the great Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, two imposing watercourses, lies a wealth of scenic landscapes, remnants of ancient civilizations and a wildlife paradise.
Victoria Falls – The great Zambezi River pours over the world-famous Victoria Falls, creating a spectacle of water that ranges 5,600 feet wide and 360 feet high. Victoria Falls is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) due to its towering plume of spray that is visible from long distances. The Falls’ maximum flow rate exceeds that of Igauzu in South America and is more than double that of Niagara. Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. It is a scenic, thrilling addition to any safari in the region. Regardless of the time of year or level of the water pouring over the edge of the falls, the sight is breathtaking. As the Adventure Capital of Southern Africa numerous adrenalin-inducing activities are available on the Zambezi River, such as river rafting, bungee jumping, abselining and canoeing.
Mana Pools National Park – Mana Pools, is a wildlife conservation area in northern Zimbabwe. It is a region of the lower Zambezi River where the flood plain turns into a broad expanse of lakes after each rainy season. As the lakes gradually dry up and recede, the region attracts many large animals in search of water, making it one of Africa’s most renowned game-viewing regions. Mana Pools is considered to be an important refuge for a number of plants, birds and threatened species such as elephant, wild dog, lion and cheetah thus giving it the status as a World Heritage Site.
Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest and most popular national park. Landscapes range from the rugged, hilly country of the north to vast swathes of broad-leafed woodland and teak forests across the center, and the fossil river valleys, velis and plains in the southeast. The sandy soils of the Kalahari dominate the southwest, resulting in a unique meeting of two ecosystems and their associated fauna – oryx (an arid savannah species) can be found side by side with species like sable, more at home in moist woodland. Hwange is home to some of southern Africa’s last great elephant, buffalo and sable herds.
Suggested Zimbabwe Safari Activities
- Experience the thrill of the grade 5 and 6 rapids of the Great Zambezi River
- Fly over the mighty Victoria Falls in a chartered helicopter
- Observe one of Hwange National Park enormous elephant herds gathering at their favorite water hole
- Catch a glimpse of some of Mana Pools rare bird species
- Bungee jump off a cliff into Victoria Falls towering plume of spray
- Catch Tiger Fish in Lake Kariba
- Witness one of the large wild dog herds teaming up to capture their prey in Ruckamechi Concession in Mana Pool National Park
- Cruise down the mighty Zambezi River by canoe, kayak, or boat
- Take a game drive through the classic safari country in one of Zimbabwes’ scenic and wildlife-rich National Parks