With two major rivers forming the southern and northern boundaries of Zimbabwe, both the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers form a backdrop for incredible game viewing and adventure-seeking opportunities.
This country is best known for the magnificent Victoria Falls, and a visit to the area makes it clear why the local people refer to it as, ‘the smoke that thunders.’ Here the billowing mist can be seen filling the sky from miles away.
The country is home to several World Heritage Sites, including the game-rich Mana Pools area situated in the middle of the Zambezi Valley.
“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”* - Karen Blixen
Mana means ‘four’ in Shona, in reference to the four large ox-bow lakes that sprawl across northern Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley. With pristine river frontage, sandbanks, pools flanked with mahogany and ebony forests, and baobabs, this is one of the least developed and unspoiled reserves in Southern Africa. With only a few camps, Mana Pools is a wild and more remote alternative for the eco-conscious traveller seeking pure wilderness experiences.
David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, was the first European to name the falls in honour of Queen Victoria, but the descriptive local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘The Smoke that Thunders’), gives one a true appreciation for this spectacular waterfall, particularly around the rainy season, when the deafening falls and huge cloud of mist and spray can be seen from miles away. The best way to view the falls is by taking scenic flights in a microlight or helicopter, and adventure seekers can bungee jump, white water raft, abseil, or in the dry season, swim in the Devil’s Pool - a natural pool at the top of a 108-meter drop. A safari highlight and secret that few know, are the lunar rainbows that can be seen during full moon periods during the flood season, a great spectacle to be witnessed by photographers and romantics alike.
Located in Zimbabwe’s west, on the border with Botswana, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park. The park covers a range of terrain that includes grassy wetlands, mopane woodland, granite outcrops, and desert. This forms suitable habitats for a diverse range of fauna and flora, with Hwange supporting more than 100 mammal species. It is here where you will find a healthy population of the endangered African Wild Dog - arguably one of the most endangered carnivores in the world.
Lake Kariba, considered by some to be the Riviera of Zimbabwe, is the second largest lake in Africa. With more than 2,000km of shoreline, this massive man-made lake sharing a border with Zambia teems with birds and wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and other members of the Big 5. A safari day can be spent either on a game drive in the Matusadona National Park, situated on the lake’s shores, or from the comfort of a houseboat.