Zimbabwe is definitely worth a visit. It has always offered great game experiences. Although there is a political downside to visiting here, Zimbabwe is similar to the Africa of 40 years ago – it probably offers the most classic wildlife experience in Africa. Tourism to Zimbabwe benefits people and wild places, and if you have a taste for adventure you are in for a wild surprise.
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Places To Visit
Gonarezhou National Park
This 5000 square kilometre park in southwestern Zimbabwe is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park that embraces Kruger National Park in South Africa and Limpopo Park in Mozambique. Although it is the second largest park in the country, it is one of the least visited, and people looking for an extraordinary experience can find it here. The wildlife can be quite wild and skittish, but you can find the Big Five as well as amazing scenery including the Chilojo Cliffs. Adjoining the area is Pamushana, which is a private concession that supports hospitals and school children and has an excellent record for community work. The game viewing experience is outstanding.
Until 20 years ago, Zimbabwe was the place to see the Victoria Falls. It has arguably the best views of the falls, especially if you are visiting during the dry season. It is from Zimbabwe that you can best see Main Falls and the Devil’s Cataract. You can also look across to Zambia and see the Eastern Cataract. The Falls are breathtakingly when you are photographing them on foot from within its spectacular rain forest. Vic Falls is a young, fun adventure centre with a smorgasbord of activities including bungee jumping, river rafting and flights over the falls by helicopter, micro-light and ultra-light. There are some great hotels within sight of the Falls, as well as others which are located a bit further out of town in private concessions and also within the Zambezi National Park.
Hwange National Park
Hwange offers a variety of scenery and vegetation including Kalahari, forest, granite hills and mopane. There are no natural water sources in the park, and the enormous elephant population is sustained through artificial waterholes. During the dry season from August to October the concentration of elephants at these waterholes is extraordinary, and you can sit in hides and watch family after family stream to the water holes in processions. Hwange also offers excellent viewing of lion, leopard and wild dog. Due to its large size, it’s also possible to enjoy an excellent wilderness experience within the park and more especially in the private concession areas.
Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance and also one of the most loved and unspoiled wildlife areas in Africa. The park is on the southern side of the Zambezi River and has the spectacular escarpment as its remarkable backdrop. Photographers will find plenty here to fill their cards. The focus of the wildlife activity is on the waterfront area of the Zambezi, where wild dogs, elephants, buffalo, lion, hippo and numerous plains game come to drink. During the dry season, from July onwards, elephants (such as the famous Boswell) standing on their hind legs and reaching up to pick the ripening Albida fruits from the trees have become a real highlight for photographers. The light in the Albida forests along the river is quite extraordinary, especially at dawn and dusk when the light through the leaves and the dust creates a warm orange glow.
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