Zimbabwe. Scour the diverse landscape in search of African wildlife from the misty mountains of Nyanga to the rocky displays of Matobo National Park.
Gain insight into Africa's history by visiting the ruins of ancient kingdoms, and head to the hills to trek through the breathtaking landscapes of the Rwenzori Mountains. Zimbabwe has everything you need for an epic African adventure.
Zimbabwe is an excellent destination for those who want the fantasised African experience, without the hordes of tourists. Home to the largest waterfall on earth, some of the oldest remains in Africa, breathtaking landscapes and of course, plenty of wildlife.
Places to visit in Zimbabwe.
Perched atop the high plateaus of Zimbabwe's landscape, in the central highlands of the country, lies the capital city - Harare. Brimming with art galleries, bars, cafes and historic relics, the city centre is a buzz of energy, while the suburbs are charmingly peaceful.
At first glance, Harare can seem like an endless sea of skyscrapers. But take a closer look, and you'll see that this cultural hub has much more to offer. Rows upon rows of shops, restaurants and boutiques make exploring this city a delight. And when you need a rest from city life, the districts are interspersed with pretty parks, wildlife sanctuaries and botanical gardens.
The noise from Victoria Falls can be heard up to 40 km away!
Plunging 108 meters down and an astonishing 1,708 meters wide, Victoria Falls is a sight not to be missed. There is simply nowhere else in the world that you could have this experience. The deafening sound of the fall, the breathtaking panoramic landscapes and the rainbows cast out dramatically from the fall's spray is what you get for visiting one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls is also one of the best places in Africa for outdoor activities - bungee jumping, absailing, boat cruises and white water rafting and among the most popular.
Just west of Chinhoyi centre lies the mysterious Chinhoyi Caves carved into the rock face and dating back to the 1st century. Explore the complex system of caverns and tunnels, making sure to visit the star attraction - the Wonder Hole—a collapsed cavern with aquamarine water on the pool below, so bright it's like a giant sapphire. The Dark Cave is another highlight.
Literally meaning 'the pool of the fallen', Chinhoyi Caves is an exceptional spot for ultra-technical scuba-diving as it's possible to dive to 50 meters without your visibility clouding. (Diving is only permitted for the experienced though.)
Visiting the colonial city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, is like entering a time portal. With a distinctive 'New Orlean's vibe', this is a charming city to simply wander, with no particular need for direction. Explore the art deco and Victorian architecture, stroll amongst the tree-studded avenues and visit the pubs. Top attractions are the Natural History Museum, Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage and the Nesbitt Castle.
Hwange National Park.
The extraordinary landscape of Hwange National Park spans across as astonishing 15,000km squared. To put that into perspective, it is around the same size as the Serengeti. It is home to the largest population of elephants in the world, as well as 100 other mammals including wild dogs, giraffes, lions, hyena, cheetahs and over 400 species of birds. The park itself is rarely hit by rain, so it's possible to visit at any time of the year. Explore the teak groves, flood flats, riverbanks, grass plains, and bubbling hot springs that make this park unique.
Visit the world's largest man-made lake surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty and an abundance of wildlife. The heart of the Kariba Lake region, Lake Kariba is blanketed in a dense fog of myths and legends. Take a cruise across the lake spotting hippos and crocs, ride across the open landscapes, have a relaxing afternoon fishing, or hire a houseboat and spend your evenings watching elephants playing in the red-pink African sunsets.
Mana Pools National Park.
Mana Pools National Park has a pristine, natural beauty which many regard as being one of Africa's last unspoiled wildernesses. The four, still pools bring a touch of serenity and ease to a usually wild, tense atmosphere. These watering holes are an excellent spot for attracting the prolific concentration of wildlife that live here. As well as the usual suspects, you are also almost guaranteed to spot hippos.
Matobo National Park.
Matobo National Park has one of the most unique landscapes in Zimbabwe. Balancing hoodoo rock formations, sculptured granite peaks, ancient caves and dense vegetation. It's a spectacular sight to witness rhinos bumbling through the overgrowth while eagles search the skies overhead. Scour the Nswatugi Cave for thousands of year-old paintings and hike through Hove Wild Area and up to World's View - the most breathtaking viewpoint in the park.
Home of the Highveld, Nyanga National Park is one of the best for unusual, rustic beauty. Perched high in the hills of Nyanga Mountains, the landscape is made from swelling hills of dolomite rock, suspended boulders and groves of msasa trees. Nyanga Mountains may not be the place to spot the big five, but it is the place for natural beauty. Seek out the mountain waterfalls, explore the green valleys and hike to your heart's content.
Gonarezhou National Park.
The wild landscape of Gonarezhou National Park, literally meaning 'the place of many elephants', is thought to be one of the most beautiful places in Zimbabwe. This lost world of rust-coloured wild land is peppered with forests and dominated by dramatic red sandstone cliffs. You'll easily spot elephants and giraffes as well as wild dogs, zebra, rhino and cheetahs lurking amongst the untouched overgrowth.
Great Zimbabwe National Monument.
On the outskirts of Masvingo, lies one of the oldest ruins in Africa - The Great Zimbabwe National Monument, now the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. This archaeological site protects the remains of Great Zimbabwe - the capital of the historic kingdom. Built over the space of 4 centuries, the ruins cover a vast area made entirely out of large granite blocks. Visit the hilltop acropolis once home to royalty, and seek out the soapstone bird carvings - now an emblem on the flag of Zimbabwe.
Resting in the steep-sided valleys of Manicaland is the laid-back town of Mutare. Well-known for its selection of charming b&bs, this old-fashioned highland town is not one to be missed. Visit Mutare Museum to see the classic cars, and explore the Bvumba Botanical Reserve for a little serenity and some breathtaking views. Many people use Mutare as a base for exploring the nearby Bvumba Mountains on day trips.