Travel Guides

Is it time to visit Zimbabwe? An introduction to the cities, national parks, and regions of this captivating country.

Zimbabwe beckons travellers with its array of natural wonders, vibrant cities, and ancient cultural sites. Join us as we delve deeper into the main cities, key regions, national parks, and breathtaking landscapes.


Why should you visit Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe is a captivating country in southern Africa that beckons with its array of natural wonders, vibrant cities, and ancient cultural sites. Join us as we delve deeper into the main cities, key regions, national parks, and breathtaking landscapes that define this extraordinary destination. If you’re thinking about a visit to Zimbabwe let us be your guide to the must-see cities, regions, parks, lakes and rivers.

Harare: Where Colonial Charm Meets Modern Energy

Our exploration begins in Harare, the dynamic capital city of Zimbabwe. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Highveld plateau, Harare pulsates with a unique energy. Elegant colonial-era buildings adorned with wrought-iron balconies and red-tiled roofs line the avenues, their historical grandeur a testament to the city’s rich past. Modern skyscrapers pierce the skyline, symbolizing Harare’s constant evolution.

You can learn more at the official Harare City website –

For the culture seakers why not Immerse yourself in Zimbabwean art at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, a treasure trove showcasing captivating sculptures, intricate beadwork, and vibrant paintings from across the continent.

Escape the urban buzz and find tranquility in the verdant haven of Harare Gardens, a sprawling park teeming with colourful flowers, tranquil ponds, and shady pathways. Mingle with locals at the Mbare Musika Market, a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and aromas. Here, you can lose yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Zimbabwean culture, browse an array of locally crafted goods, and sample an array of mouthwatering street food, from sizzling kebabs to steaming plates of “sadza” (cornmeal porridge), a staple in Zimbabwean cuisine.

A short distance away lies Lake Chivero, a shimmering expanse of water offering a haven for relaxation and recreation. Rent a boat and glide across the tranquil surface, casting a line for feisty bass or simply soaking in the breathtaking scenery. Keep your eyes peeled, as the lake is a haven for wildlife, with sightings of hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and an abundance of birdlife being a common occurrence.

Bulawayo: A Gateway to History and Enchanting Landscapes

Venturing further southwest, we arrive in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city. Steeped in history, Bulawayo exudes a captivating charm. Wide, tree-lined avenues and meticulously preserved colonial architecture transport you back to a bygone era. Explore the opulent Bulawayo Club, a grand Victorian-era building that served as a social hub for the city’s elite in the early 20th century. The Natural History Museum houses fascinating exhibits showcasing Zimbabwe’s diverse flora and fauna, while the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Bulawayo branch offers a glimpse into the artistic heritage of the region.

But Bulawayo’s magic truly unfolds beyond the city limits. Embark on a journey to the awe-inspiring Matobo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enormous granite kopjes (inselbergs) rise dramatically from the savannah, casting long shadows across the landscape. These colossal rock formations are not just visually stunning; they are also open-air galleries adorned with ancient rock paintings, some dating back thousands of years. Explore these captivating artworks, depicting hunting scenes, spiritual rituals, and everyday life of the San people, the original inhabitants of this land.

The spiritual significance of the Matobo Hills is palpable. Here lies the resting place of Cecil John Rhodes, the controversial British imperialist who played a pivotal role in shaping southern Africa’s colonial history. Explore the imposing granite monument marking his grave, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Victoria Falls: The Smoke that Thunders

Victoria Falls
The stunning Victoria Falls

No journey to Zimbabwe is complete without witnessing the sheer majesty of Victoria Falls, also known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (The Smoke that Thunders) by the local Batoka people. This awe-inspiring spectacle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest curtain of falling water in the world. Witness the power of nature as the mighty Zambezi River plunges 108 meters (354 feet) into the churning cauldron below, sending plumes of mist and spray soaring hundreds of meters into the air.

Stand in awe at the various viewpoints, each offering a unique perspective of this natural wonder. Feel the spray on your face at the Devil’s Cataract, gaze upon the immense expanse of the Main Falls, or take a thrilling helicopter flight for a bird’s-eye view of the falls and the surrounding Batoka Gorge.

For the adventurous soul, Victoria Falls offers a plethora of heart-pounding activities. Take a white-water rafting trip on the raging rapids below the falls, an experience guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. For the truly courageous, bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, plummeting towards the swirling waters below.

Venture into the adjacent Zambezi National Park, a haven for wildlife. Embark on a safari and witness majestic elephants lumbering across the plains, or keep your eyes peeled for elusive predators like lions and leopards.

Mutare and the Enchanting Eastern Highlands

Venture eastward to Mutare, the gateway to Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, a region known for its breathtaking beauty. Lush, verdant forests blanket the rolling hills, punctuated by cascading waterfalls and sparkling streams. Hike through the pristine wilderness of Nyanga National Park, where misty peaks cradle serene lakes and ancient woodlands teeming with birdlife. Hike to the summit of Mount Nyangani, the highest peak in Zimbabwe, and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic vistas that stretch across the Eastern Highlands.

For the truly adventurous, embark on a challenging trek through the Chimanimani Mountains, a hiker’s paradise offering dramatic granite peaks, cascading waterfalls, and diverse ecosystems. This region is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 350 species recorded, including the elusive African Avocet and the brightly colored Schalow’s Turaco.

Mutare itself boasts a charming atmosphere with a slower pace compared to the bustling cities. Explore the expansive Mutasa Botanical Gardens, a haven for plant enthusiasts showcasing an array of indigenous and exotic flora. Delve into the city’s rich history at the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe – Mutare Museum, housing fascinating exhibits on the region’s cultural heritage.

Great Zimbabwe: Whispers of a Lost Civilization

Step back in time and explore the captivating ruins of Great Zimbabwe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This once-thriving city was the center of a powerful African empire that flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries. The grandeur of the stone structures, built without mortar, is a testament to the architectural prowess and ingenuity of the Shona people.

Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe

Wander through the Great Enclosure, the largest structure at the site, and marvel at the intricate herringbone-patterned walls that rise as high as 30 meters (98 feet). Imagine the bustling marketplace, the royal court, and the everyday lives of the people who once inhabited this magnificent city. Explore the Hill Complex, an area believed to have been used for religious ceremonies, and the Valley Enclosure, home to numerous smaller structures.

The surrounding landscape adds to the mystique of Great Zimbabwe. Enormous granite boulders, some precariously balanced, create a sense of awe and wonder. Towering baobab trees, with their bulbous trunks, stand sentinel, adding to the otherworldly atmosphere.

A Safari Adventure: Exploring Zimbabwe’s National Parks

Zimbabwe is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, boasting numerous national parks offering diverse safari experiences. Hwange National Park, in the west, is the largest park in the country and is renowned for its vast elephant herds. Witness these magnificent creatures lumbering across the plains, or go on a nighttime safari and witness the glowing eyes of lions reflecting in the darkness. Hwange is also home to a plethora of other wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, and a vibrant array of birdlife.

For a unique safari experience, head to Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve situated along the mighty Zambezi River. Explore the park by canoe, gliding silently through the waterways and getting up-close with a variety of animals coming to drink at the river’s edge. This pristine wilderness is a haven for hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and numerous bird species, including the majestic African Fish Eagle.

Mana Pools
Mana Pools

Venture to Gonarezhou National Park in the remote southeast for a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure. This rugged and remote park boasts diverse landscapes, from towering sandstone cliffs to lush riverine forests. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare nyala antelope, a shy and elusive creature found only in a few locations in southern Africa. Gonarezhou is also home to lions, leopards, and a healthy population of elephants.

Regions and Waterways: Unveiling Zimbabwe’s Diversity

Zimbabwe’s diverse regions offer unique experiences beyond the major cities. Matabeleland, encompassing Bulawayo and the Matobo Hills, is steeped in the history of the Ndebele people. Explore their cultural heritage through museums and traditional villages. Mashonaland, home to Harare and Great Zimbabwe, showcases the legacy of the Shona people.

Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba should be on the itinerary of any visit to Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba, a vast man-made lake formed by the damming of the Zambezi River, is a paradise for water enthusiasts. Spend your days relaxing on pristine beaches, casting a line for the legendary bream, or embarking on a scenic boat cruise, watching the sun set over the shimmering water. The mighty Zambezi River itself plays a vital role in Zimbabwe’s ecosystem. Beyond Victoria Falls, it offers opportunities for white-water rafting, kayaking, and fishing adventures.

An Unforgettable Journey Awaits

Zimbabwe is a land of breathtaking landscapes, fascinating history, and vibrant cultures. Whether you seek an adrenaline-pumping safari adventure, a cultural immersion experience, or simply a chance to relax and reconnect with nature, Zimbabwe has something to offer everyone.

Beyond the Tourist Trail

For the intrepid traveler seeking a more off-the-beaten-path experience, Zimbabwe offers a plethora of options. Explore the scenic Eastern Highlands on horseback, venturing into remote villages and experiencing the warm hospitality of the local communities. Hike the challenging trails of the Chimanimani National Park, encountering breathtaking waterfalls and spotting rare birdlife.

Take a cultural tour through the rural areas, learning about traditional crafts, music, and dance. Engage with local artisans and witness the creation of intricate sculptures, colorful baskets, and vibrant batiks. Attend a vibrant ceremony, like the powerful “mbira” (thumb piano) music performances by the Shona people, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Zimbabwean culture.

Practical Tips for Your Zimbabwe Adventure

Planning a trip to Zimbabwe is an exciting endeavor. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  • Visas: Research visa requirements for your nationality well in advance.
  • Best Time to Visit: The dry season (April to October) offers pleasant weather for exploring and wildlife viewing.
  • Currency Exchange: The local currency is the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD). However, US Dollars and South African Rand are widely accepted.
  • Accommodation: Options range from luxurious safari lodges to budget-friendly guesthouses. Choose based on your preferences and itinerary.
  • Transportation: Domestic flights connect major cities, while local buses and trains offer a more affordable option. Renting a car provides flexibility for exploring at your own pace.
  • Health: Consult your doctor for recommended vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. Pack essential medications and insect repellent.

A Warm Welcome Awaits if you decide to visit Zimbabwe this year.

Zimbabwe is a land renowned for its warm hospitality. The Zimbabwean people are friendly and welcoming, eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors. Embrace the opportunity to learn a few basic Shona or Ndebele phrases, a gesture that will be greatly appreciated by the locals.

So, why wait? Pack your bags, embark on your Zimbabwean adventure, and prepare to be captivated by the beauty, wonder, and cultural richness of this unforgettable destination.

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