Safari Guide to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe in Brief:
Zimbabwe still rates as one of the greatest Southern African safari destinations. Despite its recent troubles, it offers a superior safari experience and is home to some of the very best guides in the business. With a people whose history and culture dates back thousands of years, Zimbabwe sits between two great rivers; the tranquil Limpopo to the south and the mighty Zambezi to the north. Here visitors flock to see one of the wonders of the natural world – the spectacular Victoria Falls.
However, Zimbabwe is a country with much more to offer than its most famous water feature. Visitors choosing a safari have a huge range of options in a host of natural habitats untouched by the political upheavals of past decades. From the mountains and forests of the Eastern Highlands, the granite hilltops in Matopos to the mopane woodlands of Hwange and the waters of Lake Kariba, there is plenty here to enjoy.
- Jul-Oct – High Season. Dry season and prime wildlife viewing with animals gathering at water sources. During the winter months of Jun-Aug it’s cold in the mornings and evenings. By October it’s very hot, late 30°Cs and early 40°Cs.
- Nov-Mar – Low Season. Wet season with warm days and potential for rain in the afternoon. Quiet time of year, a great time to see resident and migratory birds. In March the Victoria Falls are at their fullest with huge amounts of spray in the air and rainbows. This is a great value time to travel.
- Apr-Jun – Shoulder Season. Seasonal rains end, the landscape is vibrant and very beautiful, although game viewing can be more challenging with long grass and trees in leaf. Mana Pools re-opens in April.
- Currency – USD is the most widely used. Others including SA Rand, Botswana Pula and GB Pound are also considered legal tender
- Lauguages – English, Shona, Ndebele plus more (16 official languages in total)
- Size – 390,757 km2 – three times the size of England
- Population – 16,150,362 (2016 estimate)
Medical and Health
- The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Zimbabwe: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
- Malaria is present in Zimbabwe – get medical advice on which prophylaxis to take.
- It is best to stick to drinking bottled water.
Arriving in Zimbabwe
- The main arrival airports are Harare and Victoria Falls for international and regional flights, as well as Bulawayo and Lake Kariba.
- Charter flights operate into safari areas.
- Road access to many of the main safari areas is good.
- Tourist visas are required by many nationalities – check before you travel Zimbabwe visas >>
- Tourist visas are available on entry at major borders and airports or in advance online or from the Zimbabwe Embassy.
- There is a KAZA Univisa valid for travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia and day trips into Botswana, available at all major ports of entry into Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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