Post contributed by Hayley Jones
While Zimbabwe might not be at the top of everyone’s list when they think of a trip to the continent of Africa, this isn’t a country to be overlooked. Often crowded out of the mainstream tourist market by its much more famous neighbour, South Africa, Zimbabwe has often had to compete with its harsher image of political unrest, financial hardship and corruption. However, the last decade has seen a country reborn and ready to take on the world as a must-see tourist destination. If you love nature, geographical wonders and spectacular vistas, take a look at why Zimbabwe may be the ideal destination for you.
Very few people have heard of Lake Kariba and the peace and tranquility it has to offer its visitors. The people who make this lake their home are only too happy to show off their way of life and carry out guided tours of the area. You may find yourself fishing from a traditional houseboat on the lake alongside a new friend or two you’ve made on your travels. You might fancy a quick jaunt to the neighboring Matusadona National Park to spy some more synonymous African wildlife such as lion prides and elephant herds. Being less touristy means you’ll have a more authentic experience free from commercialism and overpriced souvenirs.
There’s no greater geographical feature to seduce you into a visit to this part of Africa than the magnificent waterfall that borders Zambia. The sheer scale and spectacle of this magnificent waterfall will blow your mind. At over 5,500 feet in width, this is the largest waterfall on Earth. If you fancy making the most of your time at this attraction without being surrounded by quite so many tourists, why not head off on a Victoria Falls safari to see the wildlife of the region. By venturing out in a jeep with knowledgeable guides, you could find yourself tracking cheetah or witnessing the wildebeest migration.
While you might be wondering what makes Zimbabwe’s second largest city worthy of a stopover, you should consider the museums that can be found within the city walls. Of particular note is the incredible and slightly kooky natural history museum. While many cities around the globe have these sorts of museums, only Bulawayo has one that houses a magnificent dodo egg on permanent display.
MATOBO NATIONAL PARK
Unlike other parks in this country, this one isn’t for the safari-going type. If you love hiking or trekking, it’s time to whip on your walking boots and get hunting for black rhino. While you won’t want to get too up close and personal, spying the elusive creature is relatively common in Matobo National park. Alongside the outstanding rock formations seen in this particular park, you could enjoy a day spent trying to track leopard while basking in the amazing scenery.
Zimbabwe is beginning to emerge from a traumatic period in its history to become a must-see tourist destination within Africa. Get in there early, before the tourists descend to discover the country’s hidden gems.