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Scenically diverse and culturally rich Zimbabwe is a fascinating country.

Offering something for everyone, visitors of all ages can enjoy a host of exciting activities and unique encounters off the beaten track.  Some of Zimbabwe’s many highlights include:

Victoria Falls – one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the majestic beauty of Victoria Falls is the stuff of legends, romance, and myth.   A bucket list destination for many Victoria Falls, also known as the “Smoke that Thunders”, is 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) wide and 109 meters (354 ft) high making it the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.

Hwange National Park – is Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest national park.  At 14.651 km² it is practically the same size as the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) but this is where the similarity ends.   The Serengeti is famous for the zebra and wildebeest migration whereas Hwange supports a diversity of wildlife that includes buffalo, sable, roan, lion, cheetah, wild dog, and giraffe as well as plains game.   Up to 50,000 elephants migrate between Hwange and Chobe in Botswana.    In the dry season, it’s not unusual to see herds of a couple of hundred elephant jostling for position around one of the pumped waterholes.

Lake Kariba – the serenity and beauty that is unique to this massive shimmering water wilderness where elephant and hippo graze peacefully along the shoreline never disappoints.  Almost 300 km (186 miles) long and 40 km (25 miles) at its widest point Lake Kariba is the fourth largest manmade lake in the world and world’s largest by volume.

Mana Pools National Park – wild and remote Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  With raw beauty and a deep sense of soul, Mana Pools is synonymous with the Zambezi River, close encounters with big game and what are some of the best walking safaris in Africa.  Offering so many wonderful experiences and outstanding photographic opportunities it’s not unusual for visitors to spend five or more nights in Mana Pools.

Matobo National Park – gained UNESCO World Heritage status largely due to its rich history and cultural diversity.   A wilderness of granite outcrops and the dramatic beauty of this unique area is dominated by massive balancing rock formations that have been hewn out of the solid granite plateau through millions of years of erosion and weathering.    The topography boasts more than 2000 sites of San (Bushman) rock art that are hidden away in caves.  An Intensive Protection Zone, the Matobo Hills National Park is home to a healthy population of black and white rhino.

Great Zimbabwe Monument – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was constructed between 1250 and 1450.  It is the largest and best-preserved ancient stone-walled city in sub-Saharan Africa and bears testament to the ancient world’s incredible engineering and architectural feats.  Though historians are still seeking answers to the origin and purpose of the city, evidence suggests the Shona ancestors built it and that it served as a spiritual center during the era.

Gonarezhou National Park – “the place of elephants” this little visited national park is a proper hidden gem. A true wilderness area that offers outstanding birding its most iconic feature is the majestic Chilojo Cliffs, a towering range of dramatic sandstone cliffs which overlook the Runde River.  A visit to Mahenye Village provides an opportunity to learn about Shangaan culture.

Eastern Highlands – a long narrow mountain range that shares a border with Mozambique in the central section. A place of spectacular misty beauty that supports an abundance of unusual plant and bird life.  Here you will find rocky outcrops known as ‘kopjes’, sacred Mount Inyangani the highest peak in the country, Mutarazi Falls Zimbabwe’s highest waterfall, evergreen forests, trout dams, tobacco, and tea plantations.

Said to be amongst the best in Africa, Zimbabwe professional guides undergo rigorous training that lasts between five to ten years. In Zimbabwe guiding is a vocation rather than just a job and with relatively few visitors Zimbabwe offers an exclusive experience. In general safari camps, boutique hotels, and delightful guest houses, which are often owner run, are small and personal.   Standards are high and, when compared to other well-known must-visit destinations, prices are attractive.