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Why should you travel to Zimbabwe? Why should you enjoy the holiday of your life in Zimbabwe? Because we at Journey in Style care about your successful and happy leisure time spent in Africa and because we really believe that Zimbabwe is the place to be right now. Imagine a holiday where you enjoy a true African safari, seeing the Big Five, enjoying time out in nature, blended with adventure activities such as bungee jumping from the Vic Falls Bridge and white water rafting in the huge Zambezi River?
Zimbabwe is also a cultural treasure chest where you can delve into the history of thousands of years ago the ancient Zimbabwe ruins in Great Zimbabwe, an ancient city which was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the Late Iron Age. This UNESCO World Heritage Site holds the country’s origins, a must see if you are either a local or a visitor.
There is still talk about Zimbabwe’s failing economics and there is still fear about visiting the country from people who have not been here ever before, or not for years. They worry about their safety and whether they can buy food and drink. It is true that many tourist establishments and organisations have really suffered from the ongoing unrest in the country with its negative political, social and economic impacts. There are luxury hotels and other upper class accommodation venues but there are few budget hotels or guest houses where those who are travelling simply can stay.
But there are many positives happening in Zimbabwe right now and more tourists will be visiting the country from now onwards. Not only is the government collaborating with fellow leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to create the UniVisa which will do away with unnecessary expenses at border posts and will make tourism so much easier in the south, but so too is the government of Zimbabwe doing it best to attract Chinese and Indian tourists to come and see its treasures.
Zimbabwe will therefore be a strong force at future travel shows and tourism events and will use the media to promote its attractions (wildlife, adventure sports, spectacular scenery, a wealth of culture and history, world class accommodation and infrastructure and more). Zimbabwe needs a positive portrayal of its innate beauty.
Think about it, when you look carefully at the national flag of Zimbabwe you see the African Fish Eagle which represents a link with the past before colonialism. You see the vibrant colours and the emblems signifying the country’s wildlife, history and heritage, now huge tourist attractions providing economic relief for the citizens.
And there will hopefully be several new low-cost airlines taking to the air to create competition for the larger airlines and to ensure that tourists continue to stream into the country – reaching as many as 45 million visitors by 2018!
Why should YOU visit Zimbabwe?
- Climate – this is a warm country with a sub-tropical climate and one rainy season so tourists can choose when to travel and to know that only light clothing is really necessary. The country is landlocked which means visitors can use their UniVisa to also explore the neighbouring countries of Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
- Rock Art – Zimbabwe has a rich heritage, some of which is revealed in its magical rock art relics. Go and see the Matobo Hills where Pre-Middle Stone Age findings have revealed many a story about the ancestors of this country. Matobo means ‘bald heads’ and it was King of the Ndebele, Mzilikazi, who chose this name for the region thanks to its huge rocky outcrops. He was buried in the Matobo Hills not far from the park. And the park is also the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, at the top of the hill he said had a “View of the World” – Malindidzimu (‘hill of benevolent spirits’). When you visit this astounding national park, you feel the intense spiritual and cultural importance of Matobo Hills where important rituals still occur.
- Wildlife – Zimbabwe is famous for its well-run national parks and game reserves, its dedication to conservation and endangered species. Wherever you go, if you are keen on wilderness holidays, you will see the Big Five in the big parks. These include Hwange National Park which is renowned for having some of the highest concentrations of birds on the planet, Mana Pools, the Matobos, Gonarezhou and others.
- Accommodation – Zimbabwe caters for all kinds of travellers from budget backpackers to business people looking for comfort. You will find dormitories for a few dollars or chic lodges for hundreds of dollars. You can choose to commune with nature on the mighty Zambezi River in a lavish hotel where five star service allows you full relaxation, or you can camp in a game reserve and walk into the wilderness with armed guards, the choice is all yours.
- Friendly people –warm smiles, huge hospitality, lack of prejudice, acceptance and easy going attitudes greet visitors to Zimbabwe. The people are the country and they are always keen to assist others, strangers or not. The Shona, in the north of Zimbabwe, are the main tribe and are known for their beautiful sculptures and carvings of their gods or idols in various materials. The Ndebele live mostly in the west while several other cultures inhabit other parts of the country, all sharing some themes in their traditions. There is a diversity of foods, of songs and dances, of ceremonies and of weddings – festivals grace the calendar on a regular basis.
Where will you stay in Zimbabwe?
- Gonarezhou National Park
Meaning Place of Many Elephants, this huge 5000 square kilometre park offers incredible scenery and landscapes to tourists who love the great outdoors and communing with nature and wild animals. Huge water sources in the form of the three rivers which pass through this wilderness (the Save, the Runde and the Mwenezi Rivers) offer sustenance and shelter to hundreds of bird species, wildlife, fish, reptiles and other smaller creatures. Come and see the elephants, many with large tusks, who have been around for some time. Come and see the lions, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and various antelope species including the Nyala and Suni. Come and see the Chilojo Cliffs, splendid red sandstone precipices created from years of erosion which overlook the breath taking Runde River Valley.
Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is one of those magnificent locations that you wished you had known about much earlier in your life! We bet that you did not know that the spectacular Gonarezhou National Park on the Save River in South East Zimbabwe actually connects with the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa and to Mozambique in the east? And the best part about the lodge is that it is committed to sustainable tourism, ensuring that the wildlife and the community are the main beneficiaries from your safari in Africa – conservation is key to tourism in Zimbabwe.
From your cliff top chalet, embark on game drives into the private wildlife concession where you will see all manner of animals and birds. Or be more adventurous and try the half-day trekking through the forest to Chivilia Falls and Chilojo Cliffs to view the rich vegetation and the wildlife therein. Sip sundowners on a sandbank in the Save River and remember how lucky you are to be here, right now…
- Mana Pools
Mana Pools is truly loved by real bush whackers, by those holiday makers who want to get away from it all and see the wilderness as it is. It is found in the far north, on the border of Zambia where the great Zambezi river separates the two countries and it is known for its pools and its Big Five game. It is not easy to access which makes it that bit more exciting – you have to take the main Harare/Chirundu road then turn off on to the dirt road which takes you for about 70km Nyamepi Camp.
Mana Pools is nothing short of spectacular – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to huge elephant herds, lions, 350 different birds and plenty of wet areas. These ox bow lakes were once part of the huge Zambezi River as it coursed north and now you can find plenty of hippos, crocs and amazing aquatic wildlife around these life-giving ecosystems. The largest pool is known as Long Pool and stretches about six kilometres where elephants love to come down to drink.
Visitors should make enough time to explore some of the 2 196 square kilometres of Mana Pools National Park – also part of the Parks and Wildlife Estate which extends from Kariba Dam to Mozambique! Wildlife is free to move within these boundaries, even into Zambia where huge wilderness areas are reserved for the preservation of the wildlife which is the backbone to its tourism industry.
Book a few days at the picturesque Kanga Bush Camp if you want to really experience the Zimbabwean bushveld with all your six senses. You will be accommodated in one of six Meru tents, luxurious yet rustic, elevated on wooden decks for wondrous views of the pan below.
We can guarantee that your stay at this safari camp promises intimacy and exclusivity, both ingredients ideal for those looking for a romantic break or a special Zimbabwe honeymoon. The honeymoon suite boasts a freestanding bathtub while the family tent is equipped with a secluded alfresco shower and bath as well as its own private dining and seating area!
Follow your expert guide as you go walking and tracking wildlife, Kanga Camp’s main focus. Enjoy the morning and evening drives, and you can opt for an all-day game drive in the area beside the Zambezi River.
- Hwange National Park
What an amazing destination in Zimbabwe is Hwange National Park! It is named after a local Nhanzwa chief and is the largest conservation area in the country, measuring nearly 15 000 square kilometres. You will find it only one hour from Vic Falls and you will love wildlife viewing there – find the more than 100 mammal species and 400 bird species and then, marvel at the huge herds of huge elephants, known to be the largest in the world! One of the best places to stay is at Main Camp, right at the entrance to Hwange National Park. This side is rich in game thanks to the pans and waterholes around the camp – choose from self-catering chalets, lodges and cottages or camp under beautiful trees. Enjoy the bar and restaurant, grocery store, curio shop and petrol station. For those with a taste for luxury, head to Bumbusi Camp where four A-Frame chalets accommodate 12 guests who then spill over into a cottage and central lounge area. Other camps provide similar accommodation with fully equipped kitchens andhot water.
The best things to do at Hwange National Park include spending hours in the animal hide at Mandavu dam or sitting quietly at Masuma Dam to watch game come down to drink. Detema Dam boasts another excellent game viewing hide and there are exquisite wilderness trails to explore with an armed guide of course. Go fishing, go driving, go bird watching, this is nature at its best! This is Zimbabwe at its best!
The population of African Wild Dogs that can be found in Hwange is thought to be of one of the larger surviving groups in Africa today, along with that of Kruger National Park andSelous Game Reserve. Other major predators include the lion, whose distribution and hunting in Hwange is strongly related to the pans and waterholes, leopard, spotted hyena and cheetah. Elephants have been enormously successful in Hwange and the population has increased to far above that naturally supported by such an area. This population of elephants has put a lot of strain on the resources of the park. There has been a lot of debate on how to deal with this, with parks authorities implementing culling to reduce populations, especially during 1967 to 1986. The elephant population doubled in the five years following the end of culling in 1986.
Would you love to see Hwange today? Or Mana Pools or Gonarezhou? We can assist you to get there, into the wilderness in style.So be courageous and take a journey with us to Zimbabwe and we will ensure that your holiday in Africa runs smoothly and safely!Contact us here.