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Zimbabwe Travel Guide

Victoria FallsTour Guides

Steppes Travel: Zimbabwe has some of Africa's most spectacular and varied scenery linked by the majestic Zambezi River, its main artery. Beginning its journey by cascading over the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi is then squeezed through dramatic narrow gorges on its way to Lake Kariba, one of the world's largest man-made lakes. From there, it meanders on to Mana Pools Park, a haven for wildlife, before continuing east and eventually exiting into the Indian Ocean. The spectacular mountain range of the Eastern Highlands forms the border with Mozambique and provides excellent opportunities for climbing, walking, golf and trout fishing.

For those with an interest in culture, the brooding Matobo Hills are rich in history and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins inspire the visitor to speculate on an era that is still not fully understood. For wildlife, the sheer scale of Hwange National Park, with its high concentration of elephants, the wilderness of Chizarira and the remoteness of Gonarezhou are just a few of the places waiting to be explored.

Wikipedia: The Republic of Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia, is a landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. The official language of Zimbabwe is English, however the majority of the population speaks Shona, one of the native languages of Zimbabwe. The name Zimbabwe derives from "Dzimbadzemabwe" meaning "big house of stone" in the Shona language

Zimbabwe's climate is largely tropical, however this is moderated by altitude. It has a short rainy season which lasts about four months between November and March. The terrain of Zimbabwe is mostly high plateau with higher central plateau and a mountainous range in the east. The island is dominated by the giant snow capped volcano Mount Teide, which at 3,700m high is Spain's highest peak. This will be the first sight you see when flying in, and it never ceases to take your breath away! Mount Teide effectively splits the island in two. The cooler

Lonly Planet: With more than a passing resemblance to a National Geographic best-of issue, Zimbabwe is a beautiful country to visit. It boasts the majestic Victoria Falls, magnificent wildlife preserves and the medieval ruins of Great Zimbabwe, as well as the bustling city of Harare. The dry winter months (May to October) are the most comfortable for travelling, but you'll miss the green landscapes that characterise the hotter and wetter summer season (November to April). In winter, night-time temperatures can fall below freezing but the days are best for wildlife viewing because animals tend to concentrate close to water holes and are therefore easily observed.

Zimbabwe Highlights

Zimbabwe views

Zimbabwe Highlights

Victoria Falls: The Victoria Falls constitutes one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The Local people call it "Mosi-oa-Tunya" -- the smoke that thunders and the Falls are remarkable. There is a magic about them manifested in the towering column of spray when the river is high, the thunder of the falling water, the terrifying abyss and tranquil lagoons upstream in which hippo and deadly crocodiles lurk.

The Victoria falls is 1 708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world. It drops between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge and an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet over the edge every minute.

Great Zimbabwe, or "house of stone", is the name given to hundreds of great stone ruins spread out over a 500 km² (200 sq mile) area within the modern day country of Zimbabwe, which itself is named after the ruins. Built consistently throughout the period from the 11th century to the 15th century, the ruins at Great Zimbabwe are some of the oldest and largest structures located in Southern Africa.

The ruins can be broken down into three distinct architectural groups. They are known as the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex and the famous Great Enclosure. Over 300 structures have been located so far in the Great Enclosure. The type of stone structures found on the site give an indication of the status of the citizenry. Structures that were more elaborate were built for the kings and situated further away from the center of the city. It is thought that this was done in order to escape sleeping sickness. What little evidence exists suggests that Great Zimbabwe also became a centre for trading, with artifacts suggesting that the city formed part of a trade network extending as far as China. Chinese pottery shards, coins from Arabia, glass beads and other non-local items have been excavated at Zimbabwe.

Matopos National Park: South of Bulawayo are the ancient Matopos hills, a world of knobbly granite outcrops that look as if they have been transplanted from another planet. As soon as you enter this National Park, another Africa descends upon you. Here is an eerie panorama so brooding and mysterious that it has enchanted Ndebele kings and colonial settlers alike. Today, the visitor can gaze upon the tomb of Cecil Rhodes and those of his deputies.

Not far from these monuments to colonial ambition are the vestiges of a very different people, cave paintings by ancient bushmen depicting another world which existed thousands of years before the name 'Zimbabwe' was ever invented.

Megalithic Walks: There are many sites of rock art in a zone stretching from the South African Cape to the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia formed by the Zambezi River. The rock painting of this region is characterized by very detailed and complex techniques of shading. Engravings are also found in this zone. At Bushman point the main theme of the art appears to be scenes of hunting and everyday life rather than the shamanistic rituals depicted on many rocks in other sites.

Vumba Botanical Gardens: The well-wooded Park includes 159 hectares of landscaped gardens built around perennial streams which form a small lake. Sheltered walks between indigenous fern trees lead to displays of banked hydrangeas, proteas and azaleas, begonias, lilies, aloes, fuchsias, cycads and many other species. A network of footpaths that enable visitors to explore the interior of the Botanical Reserve has been opened. The Reserve is well endowed with indigenous orchids and ferns. In the Botanical Garden there are sheltered walks between the stately indigenous tree ferns and azaleas. Strategically positioned flower beds are encountered as one leisurely takes stock of the Gardens. A superb collection of both the winter/spring and summer flowering varieties has been assembled for the visitors’ enjoyment throughout the year. To complement the annuals, an herb garden, some roses, proteas, fuchsias, cycads, tea bushes, aloes, camellia, and palm sections have been set up.

Zimbabwe (our country)

Fishing

Helicopter Flights

Balloon Safari

Horseriding

Activities

Zimbabwe golf

Birding

Water Rafting

Bungee Jumping

Safari

Activities

South Africian Birding: The Vumba Highlands. The "Mountains of the Mist" are an apt name for this part of the eastern Highlands. So often the early morning starts with the mist but clears by mid morning. The Vumba Mountains lie approximately 25km above the city of Mutare and offer exciting and varied birding opportunities. The area is probably best known as one of the main breeding areas of Swynnerton's Robin which lives and breeds in small patches of forest, some on private land, others within the Bunga forest.

The Backpacking Site: Although recent headlines might put some travellers off, Zimbabwe's outstanding scenery and temperate climate can make it an excellent place to backpack. Tourism is at an all time low, and you won't have to beat the crowds! Facilities for backpackers are still up and running, and the locals are always keen to see visitors. However, parts of the country have experienced violence and you are advised to be vigilant throughout your visit. You should check with the Foreign Office before you travel to see if they have any advice.

A canoeing safari on the calm waters of the upper Zambezi River is a wonderful leisurely way to enjoy the astonishingly beautiful scenery that lines the river before it takes its plunge over the Victoria Falls. This part of the river is flanked by national parks on both sides. It is a haven of small islands and sandbars, home to many birds and animals. Sit back in your comfortable two-man canoe and let the river carry you swiftly along. The relative silence of travelling by canoe enables superb game viewing and interaction with the wild at nature's pace. There’s good opportunity for some close up encounters with a variety of wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, hippo and crocodile.

Elephant Riding: The best place to ride an elephant is in Africa. It was previously thought that African elephants could not be ridden, but thanks to some patient training, a number of elephants on a ranch just outside the Victoria Falls will take people out on a walk in the bush. An elephant-back safari is not just a ride on the largest animal in Africa, it's an unforgettable experience. You interact with the elephants as well as enjoy a ride through the wilderness.

The trip starts with an educational and safety talk, after which you are introduced to the elephants and their ‘Ndunas’, or handlers. Getting onto the elephant involves climbing an elephant-height frame and hopping on behind the handler.

North Wales Fly Fishing: Tiger Fishing at Ngwenya Lodge on the Mighty Zambezi River. A new destination totally committed to catching the ferocious tiger fish arguably recognised as the hardest fighting fresh water fish in the world. It starts with a ferocious take your rod nearly ripped out of your hands that split second as time stands still and your reel starts to scream as line is ripped of at bonefish speed. If this is the adrenalin rush you need then Ngwenya Lodge is the place to be. The wildlife in and around the river and lodge area are unparalleled and you will find over 300 bird species and some of our larger mammal specious can be seen daily while fishing.

 

Parks & Gardens

National parks

 

Tours

Travellers Worldwide: Zimbabwe is a beautiful country. It's the only place where you can walk with free roaming lions on a game reserve. Over a million tourists a year visit Zimbabwe's renowned attractions, like the majestic Victoria Falls, which is probably Zimbabwe's most famous tourist spot. Then there are the medieval Zimbabwe Ruins, the Matapos National Park with its incredible rock formations. For the conservation-minded, you cannot miss Hwange Game Reserve. Bulawayo is the second biggest city in the country. It has a typically friendly atmosphere with wide, tree-lined streets, pavement cafes and a mixture of modern and old shops and buildings.

Eyes on Africa: Zimbabwe has been much in the news and received its share of negative press. Nonetheless, experienced African travellers, who know that during these times the game viewing opportnities are available at the best prices, are filling the Zimbabwe safari camps. Victoria Falls and the northern parks are completely safe and still offer one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa today. If anyone ever doubted that well-planned tourism was Africa's best conservator, Zimbabwe will remove all such doubts. The northern parks are vibrant and thriving in a depressed economy because just enough travellers are visiting these parks and helping to ensure that their animals are well protected. Zimbabwe truly has to be one of the best, if not the best, safari values in all of Africa today. Conservation in Zimbabwe needs tourism now more than ever before.

Bio Bio Adventures: Join us on a classic white water rafting and kayaking trip in Africa and travel through the African bush by water on the world-famous Zambezi River! We rendezvous at the elegant Victoria Falls Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe where we begin our kayaking and rafting adventure in Africa on the upper Zambezi River. Victoria Falls, know locally as “Mosi-0-Tunya” or the “Smoke that Thunders” is over a mile long, with stunning rainbows and rainforest vistas. We charter a flight to our private accommodations and exclusive use of the luxurious Ruckomechi Camp on the western boundary of Mana Pools National Park. This area is renowned for its regular lion, elephant, hippo, and leopard sightings. Take a dip in the refreshing plunge pool and then watch elephants pass by you from the wood viewing deck. Enjoy 4×4 game drives, canoeing, fishing, boating to islands, and bush walks accompanied by naturalist guides as you relax in the peace of the African bush and sip a cool drink while watching a fiery sunset over the Zambezi River.

Wild Safari: Makalolo Plains. Situated in a remote area within the vast Hwange National Park and is one of the few camps built within the Park. Hwange is legendary for its wonderful array of wildlife and massive herds of Elephant and Buffalo - especially in the dryer winter months. The entire camp is raised on wooden boardwalks and platforms, giving guests excellent views over the waterhole and floodplain in front of the camp. This Zimbabwe travel accommodation consists of nine large, comfortable tented rooms with en-suite shower, toilet and basin - all with hot and cold running water.

Siyabona Africa: Zimbabwe is a captivating land of teak woodlands, granite outcrops and diverse wildlife and is home to the legendary Victoria Falls. It is a country steeped in human history, telling of the developement and conflict of the human race. From ancient cities to pristine wilderness areas Zimbabawe will capture your soul. For wildlife, scenery, history and adventure activities a Zimbabwe safari is the ultimate prize! A Zimbabwe Tour package will allow you to explore all the highlights of this facinating country from the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Eastern Highlands to the Hwange wilderness and Lake Kariba.

Victoria Falls Bogota Rapids Rafting: The five day rafting trip takes you from the falls down the Bogota Gorge and through a multitude of thrilling grade II to V rapids. The adrenalin rush in eased off by calmer paddling between the rapids. The trip is designed for those who don't mind roughing it a bit, and accommodation is camping on the beaches adjacent to the river. All camping equipment will be provided. Shorter one and two day trips can also be arranged on request.

National Archives of Zimbabwe

Places to go

Sculpture village

Holiday Company Descriptions

Wildlife Africa: A Leisurely Sojourn By Luxury Train via Zimbabwe. This two-night adventure begins as the train departs Rovos Rail’s gracious station at Capital Park in Pretoria. This special journey departs in the morning and slowly meanders north towards Bela Bela, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn just after the station of Soekmekaar. Once over the Soutpansberg mountains, north of Makhado we enter Baobab country. Few sights are more evocative of primeval Africa than the eerie silhouette of a Baobab tree starkly outlines against a ruddy African sunset. South African border formalities will take place at Musina and then, very slowly over Beit Bridge, the train will ease itself into Zimbabwe. Continue in a north-westerly direction passing through Thompson’s Junction and Hwange Game Reserve where we enjoy an early morning game drive. Journeys end is the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River.

Travel Mood: Southern Africa is a vibrant and diverse region that cannot fail to impress. As well as a varied and stunning landscape which takes in game parks, wine and coastal regions and dramatic mountain ranges you’ll be assured of one thing – a warm welcome. With 11 years of democracy under its belt, South Africa as a destination is going from strength to strength. Cities like Johannesburg and Durban are busy reinventing themselves and some of the country’s museums and monuments to Apartheid are now as much a fixture on the tourist trail as the coastal villages, wine tours and game-viewing. The mighty Victoria Falls remains a key attraction for visitors and this year we have expanded our South African offering with the introduction of two self-drive tours in Namibia. With its vast deserts, magnificent national parks and opportunities for game viewing this new destination has the wow factor in spades.

Zimbabwe wildlife conservation holiday: Hwange National Park and its surrounding area is a wide, grassy expanse with dense vegetation and vast open plains. An abundance of wildlife roams freely in the Game Reserve, making this a perfect location for spectacular animal sightings. Help to protect and conserve one of Africa's few remaining wildlife sanctuaries by taking part in the Hwange Research Project. You will have access to the most remote areas of one of Africa's premier game reserves and its surrounding areas, where there are huge herds of elephant, buffalo, plains-game, lion and leopard.

IGLU Tropical: Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia, is largely overlooked as a holiday destination. It is hard to see why. Home to the famous Victoria falls, an astounding variety of wildlife and impressive historical and architectural heritage; it is one of the premier African tourist destinations. The climate is also much more temperate than you would expect. Due to the fact that most of Zimbabwe is quite high above sea level (the capital, Harare, is at 1500m) the tropical heat is dampened and the result is a very agreeable climate.

VicFalls: Zimbabwe is unique! Where else in the world can a visitor gaze upon hundreds of species of tropical wildlife, thrill to the experience of white water rafting, scale chilly mountain peaks and savour the history of a people that goes back tens of thousands of years? Yet these pleasures are but a few of those waiting to be discovered by the traveller who plans to visit this gem in the heart of Africa. Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800's as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' - 'the Smoke that Thunders' and in more modern terms as 'the greatest known curtain of falling water', Victoria Falls are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Since being launched in October 2004, Vicfalls.co.za has been known for it's affordable packages and proffessional service. We constantly sort through the various different suppliers to find the best, and most affordable holiday packages for you. Our packages do not only include hotel accommodation, but flights and transfers too. If you would like to add any tours or adventures to your trip, please let us know and we will gladly tailor make a package to suit your individual needs.

Camps & Lodges

Houseboats

Zimbabwe coach
   

 

Holiday Accommodation

Drake and Cavendish: Musango Safari Camp is situated on its own island, just off the shoreline of the Matusadona National Park. Offering an abundance of wildlife from buffalo and elephant to the rare black rhino, Musango Safari Camp is also an ornithologist's paradise with a myriad of birds to be seen frequenting the bird baths in front of the lodge and rooms. Musango Safari Camp is an exclusive 16-bedded camp, ideal for a relaxing holiday. Under thatch, the large luxurious safari tents each have en-suite bathrooms built out of natural stone. The frontal verandahs offer panoramic views across the lake, of the Matusadona National Park and mountains. The swimming pool area and the bar / lounge platform offers an excellent place in which to relax and view game during the heat of the day.

Travel Quest: Chizarira National Park is as remote as it gets. 200,000 hectares of exciting terrain and abundant wild life, including lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard (a black rhino reintroduction programme is in the offing). Only one small, exclusive lodge serves this huge area. Chizarira Wilderness Lodge, perched on a shelf of the great Zambezi escarpment, is set in its own superb nature reserve. From here you can access the park and participate in game walks guided by the lodge's own game ranger (experienced and armed) and after an energetic day you can enjoy the simple comforts of the lodge: drinks, a pool, great views good food, a hot shower. The lodge management also run a camp in equally remote (but quite different) Mana Pools in the Zambezi Valley: so it is easy to set up a 3 centre safari. Fly to Victoria Falls then air charter or 4x4 to Chizarira and on to Mana, then back to the Falls. You can fly to Victoria Falls from Johannesburg or Harare and thence to London.

Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls: Situated on the shores of the Zambezi River, the hotel provides guests with unrivalled standards of service and luxury, within an impressive rugged African domain, not far from the powering Victoria Falls. Decorated with ethnic essence of magical Zimbabwe. Harmonising with the rugged surroundings in which it is built, Elephant Hills is a perfect resort location. Here you have three top class restaurants to choose from, a 18 hole golf course, a casino and a sparkling swimming pool to pass time within the facility. Apart from the range of sporting activities on offer at Elephant Hills there are a number of other activities available within Victoria Falls Village and surrounding. As the sun goes down why not enjoy a sun-downer in the bar, with a splendid view of the Zambezi River and the spray of the Falls. Take in the African Spectacular, a show of the traditional tribal dancers, and imagine what Livingstone encountered when he first visited the area over 100 years ago. Other options include a "Flight of the Angels", rafting in the white waters of the mighty Zambezi, a drive amongst wild game, shopping for artefacts or a relaxing sunset cruise.

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge: Set high on a natural plateau, the westward facing Victoria Falls Safari Lodge borders the Zambezi National Park and is just four kilometers from the thundering Victoria Falls, Southern Africa's foremost attraction. Enjoying uninterrupted views of spectacular African sunsets and year round game at its on-site waterhole, the Lodge is ideally positioned to offer the most discerning traveller a taste of Africa at its best. Appointed in the utmost luxury, the Lodge offers outstanding hospitality together with an authentic wildlife experience.

The Hide, Hwange National Park: The Hide is one of the few camps to be actually situated inside Hwange National Park. Unlike most other camps in Zimbabwe, no long drives to the park are necessary. In fact, the one and a half hour drive from Hwange Main Camp to the camp actually takes you through the National Park, serving as an introductory game drive and your first taste of the Zimbabwean safari. Ideally suited for a maximum of 16 guests, we strive to make your African safari holiday as comfortable and relaxing as we possibly can. Think of us as your African holiday home. To coin the popular phrase, "you'll arrive as a stranger and leave as a friend".


Zimbabwe Map

 

 

Travel Advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Offiice

ZimbabweTourist Information

Africa Guide Visitor Information

African Travel Centre

Article: Great Zimbabwe by Jacek Palkiewicz

Zimbabwe Timeline

Zimbabwe Forum

Freepedia Travel Guide

Freepedia Forum

 

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Period House Style
Georgian & Regency
1714- 1837
Victorian
1837 - 1901
Edwardian
1901 - 1920
1920 - 1939
1945 - 1970
Designer's Style
Sourcing Products
Exterior Detail
Interior Detail
Front Doors
Gable Ends
Porches
Bay Windows
Stained Glass
Fireplaces
Wallpaper
Balconies
Oak Panelling
Fanlights
Bakelite