Despite the political situation in Zimbabwe, some small camps still operate…
Zimbabwe safarisIn the heart of Southern Africa, land-locked Zimbabwe is a vibrant land with dramatic landscapes, impressive safari parks and welcoming people. In recent years its politics have caused great damage and distress and a decline in the number of tourists, but despite this Zimbabwe still has much to offer.
Zimbabwe is enclosed between two rivers, the Zambezi River to the north and the Limpopo River to the south. In between is an inland plateau filled with kopjes (granite outcrops), beautiful national parks, rugged mountains and lush forests. There is a huge variety of things to see and with relatively few visitors and no mass tourism, plenty of opportunity to find peace and quiet. Don't expect bargain-basement prices though, as these have held fairly steadily – it's just the visitor numbers that have plummeted.
Zimbabwe has something to offer everyone. You can go on a game drive in Hwange National Park, take a canoe safari in Mana Pools National Park, fly over Victoria Falls with a Flight of Angels or view the granite boulders and rock art in Matobo Hills National Park. For many visitors, a trip to Victoria Falls (Mosi-ao-Tunya – the Smoke that Thunders) is a highlight of their trip to Zimbabwe.
Where to goIf you are thinking of visiting Zimbabwe, these are the main areas to consider:
Victoria FallsOne of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is a spectacular waterfall on the border with Zambia. Here you can relax, taking in the beautiful scenery, or take the more adventurous approach with one of the many activities on offer. (Read more about Victoria Falls…)
Hwange National ParkThe largest game park in Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park offers a variety of scenery and game. It is great for walking safaris and game drives to see the abundant wildlife, particularly herds of elephant. (Read more about Hwange National Park…)
Lake Kariba and Matusadona National ParkLocated on the Zambezi River, Lake Kariba is one of the world's greatest man-made lakes. The game here is concentrated on the southern shore of the lake, in Matusadona National Park. It is possible to view the wildlife by 4WD, boat, canoe or by walking. (Read more about Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park…)
Mana Pools National ParkA collection of ox-bow lakes surrounded by vegetation, Mana Pools National Park attracts large amounts of wildlife. You can take in the stunning scenery, take a canoe trip along the Zambezi River to view the big game or go on a walking safari. (Read more about Mana Pools National Park…)
Matobo Hills National ParkAn area scattered with huge piles of granite boulders, Matobo Hills National Park has some of the region's most breathtaking scenery. Take a walk among the hills to view the rocks and the superb Bushman rock art. (Read more about Matobo Hills National Park…)
Chizarira National ParkChizarira National Park is a remote region overlooking the Zambezi Valley best explored by walking and 4WD game drives. The rugged terrain dotted with gorges and ravines attracts those who take walking and safaris seriously. (Read more about Chizarira National Park…)
Gonarezhou National ParkOne of the least visited of Zimbabwe's safari parks, Gonarezhou National Park has prolific birdlife, particularly after the rains. It has the feel of an unspoilt wilderness, allowing for excellent game viewing beneath the majestic forests. (Read more about Gonarezhou National Park…)
Eastern HighlandsThe range of hills and mountains stretching down the Eastern side of Zimbabwe are the Eastern Highlands. Come here for beautiful scenic drives, fantastic walking and hiking trails, and some very gentle, low-key bird-watching and wildlife experiences. (Read more about the Eastern Highlands...)
The morality of visiting Zimbabwe
There have been questions raised over the morality of visiting Zimbabwe. We are very clear where we stand. We use British Airways flights and mostly small, independent safari operations throughout Zimbabwe. These are businesses, run by good people whom we have known for years. In the present difficult times, trade is thin – and for many their future is very uncertain. They work hard to try to pay their staff a living wage, and to protect the animals that live in the national parks. By supporting these businesses you can help ensure that these people have a future and that the beautiful safari parks and wildlife of Zimbabwe will be preserved for future generations.
We believe that they need our support for several reasons. Firstly, they are innocent victims of the political situation; we shouldn't punish them further. Secondly, if they remain in business, tourism will be able to return swiftly to Zimbabwe when things change; without them there will be nothing left to come back to. Finally, by consigning their lives to the scrap heap, we're giving in to politicians who want to turn Zimbabwe's clock back to the dark ages.
For all these reasons, we will continue to offer trips to Zimbabwe to visitors who understand the situation there. We will continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe, and advise any travellers if we feel the situation has changed.