ZimbabweTravel Guide

A landlocked African country bordered by Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, Zimbabwe offers plenty to pique your safari wanderlust. Scenic landscapes, life-giving rivers, game-rich natural parks, the highest concentration of rock art in Southern Africa, and age-old secrets like the medieval ruins of Great Zimbabwe, are just a few attractions you’ll find here

From the shores of Lake Kariba to the untamed wilderness of Hwange National Park, exciting and colourful experiences are guaranteed to enrich your visit. Stand in awe of the spray of Mosi-oa Tunya (the “Smoke that Thunders”, otherwise known as Victoria Falls), or go bungee jumping over the Zambezi River, and you’ll quickly realise you’ve discovered one of the most incredible destinations on the African continent.

Zimbabwe quick facts

Language

National language

English

Beverages

Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (330ml)

NZD $1.04

Local time

Saturday

4:13am

Currency

United States dollar

NZD $1.00 = USD $0.61

Eating out

Restaurant meal (casual dining)

NZD $8.15

Electricity

Plug type: D

3 pins • 220V

Explore Zimbabwe

Where to stay in Zimbabwe?

Thinking about where to stay in Zimbabwe? Accommodation is plentiful from luxury hotels to bush camps, so it’s really up to you to decide what kind of holiday you’re keen on. Here’s an idea of what’s on offer:

The Victoria Falls Hotel needs little introduction. This five-star Grande Dame opened her doors in 1904 and has long enjoyed superstar status within the global safari community. Blending colonial glamour with modern facilities, she’s not only easy on the eye but comfortable and welcoming, with a stellar location just next door to the ‘Smoke that Thunders’.


If wildlife viewing tops your agenda, snap up a few nights at Old Drift Lodge. Just a 15-minute drive from the Zambezi National Park and seven kilometres upstream of Victoria Falls, you’ll find yourself in the heart of all the action. This luxury river lodge features magnificent, tented suites with river frontage, outdoor showers and plunge pools, impeccable service and fine dining. Need we say more?


Located in a private reserve bordering Hwange National Park, Elephant’s Eye offers an intimate escape from the crowds. The tented chalets are well-placed for guests to view the waterhole where herds of elephants gather to drink. A major highlight here is, of course, the ‘The Eye’, a bucket list-worthy bush sleep-out where you can bed down right under the stars.


Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Aerial view of Victoria waterfall in Zimbabwe
    • Man taking picture of an elephant with two safari staff
    • Bungee jumping off a bridge in Zimbabwe
  • Aerial view of Victoria waterfall in Zimbabwe
    Aerial view of Victoria waterfall in Zimbabwe
    Aerial view of Victoria waterfall in Zimbabwe
  • Man taking picture of an elephant with two safari staff
    Man taking picture of an elephant with two safari staff
    Man taking picture of an elephant with two safari staff
  • Bungee jumping off a bridge in Zimbabwe
    Bungee jumping off a bridge in Zimbabwe
    Bungee jumping off a bridge in Zimbabwe

Things to do in Zimbabwe

You’ll find no shortage of things to do in Zimbabwe. But being experts in the game, here’s what we suggest you add to your travel itinerary:

No visit to Zimbabwe is complete without experiencing the Victoria Falls. This iconic waterfall can be viewed at the local town of Victoria Falls, which has long built its reputation as a thrill-seekers paradise. Aside from guided walks to witness the rumble and spray of the falls, bungee jumping, white-water river rafting, and scenic helicopter flips are the order of the day.


Cameras at the ready! Zimbabwe’s unspoilt national parks promise some of the best game-viewing opportunities in Africa. High on the list is the Zambezi National Park, where you’ll encounter anything from elephants and wildebeest to hyenas, hippos and perhaps even a big cat or two. Located upstream from Mosi-oa Tunya (Victoria Falls) on the Zambezi River, it supports a thriving wildlife ecosystem best experienced via canoe safari.


No Zimbabwe travel guide is complete without a mention of Lake Kariba. Replenished by the Zambezi River, this legendary lake supports a bucket-list variety of bird species (yes, plenty of flamingos!), but it’s also a great spot for fishing for tigerfish. Be sure to witness her in all her glory at sunset as she shimmers in hues of red, orange and pinks – truly the stuff safari dreams are made of.


This watery wonderland hits the sweet spot for an aquatic safari experience. Meaning ‘four’ in the local Shona language, mana refers to four large pools located within the park which sustain a generous bounty of birds and wildlife. Adding to that is the park’s glistening waterways, grasslands, and groves where buffalo and ellies roam, and Nile crocodiles bask in the sun.


Let’s not forget about Hwange National Park. As one of the oldest parks on the continent and the largest in the country, it has earned its rightful place in the hearts of diehard safari-goers. Its network of water pans sustains a variety of birds and game, most notably mega herds of ellies often seen plodding across the mopane-tree-dotted plains. See it all on guided game drives but do add a walking safari into the mix.


Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe food and drink

Wondering where to eat in Zimbabwe? Our selection of camps and lodges have excellent restaurants on-site, but it’s always best to do like a local and sample some traditional fare as well.

When a restaurant like Garwe comes highly recommended by locals, you know it’s going to be good. Located in the capital city of Harare, this lunchtime eatery takes the top spot when it comes to traditional cuisine, offering local favourites such as sadza (maize-meal porridge), zvinyenze (lamb’s tripe and rice with peanut butter (yes, it’s a thing in Zim!).


The town of Victoria Falls is ideal for those looking to pick up the pace after sunset. Should you like to go out with a bang on your last night, make a beeline for The Three Monkeys. Open seven days a week from noon until late, you can munch your way through local Matabeleland beef burgers, fresh salads, wood-fired pizzas and homemade breads. There’s also gin and tonic on tap and a generous selection of local beers, so you’re all set for sundowners.


There’s nothing better than tucking into a big plate of delicious food after some exhilarating game viewing, and one place to do just that is MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. With too many awards to count, it’s easy to understand why so many travellers return. Their à la carte dinner menu features hearty dishes with international flare. Slow-cooked, coffee-infused beef ribs, anyone?


Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Zimbabwe through your eyes

Where to shop in Zimbabwe?

In Zimbabwe, the main hubs of Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls have an abundant choice of supermarkets and curio shops. But shopping in Zimbabwe becomes an experience if you pop into the following hotspots.

Should your safari holiday take you through Harare, don’t skip Sam Levy’s Village, where you can find just about any shop and establishment you want, from restaurants and pubs to grocery stores.

The city is also brimming with art galleries selling traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean art, along with boutiques offering jewellery, furniture, fabrics, and leatherwork. Buy a unique Shona sculpture to wow your friends back home at the Newlands Art and Craft Market or the Chapungu Sculpture Park with its fascinating collection of stone art.


In the market for handcrafted jewellery? Pop in at The Zuri Collection, where you can pick up pieces handcrafted from locally mined silver and semi-precious gemstones. The Orange Elephant also offers an enjoyable shopping experience, with a selection of books, toys and other trinkets. Looking for leather goods? Head to Ubuntu leathercraft, a great place to go if you’re on the hunt for a new pair of sandals.


Pull on your sensible walking shoes and grab your shopping bag. Over in Vic Falls, you’re guaranteed to discover curio shops galore. The Elephant’s Walk Shopping Centre and Artists’ Village features a bounty of upmarket shops for art, jewellery and crafts. If you have a bit of extra time, continue browsing at the Sawanga Mall, Landela Complex and the Phumula Centre.


Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Zimbabwe?

“When is the best time to travel in Zimbabwe” is a question we hear often – and it’s a very good one. Here’s some basic travel advice on when to go and what to expect:

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Zimbabwe is during the winter dry season from May to October, when the bush has thinned out and wildlife viewing reaches its pinnacle. During this time, temperatures are around 25°C with a slight chill in the evenings.

By around November or December, Victoria Falls has become a shadow of its former self as the water levels are at their lowest.


During the rainy season, which begins in December, the best time to visit Victoria Falls is around February to May. This is when the falls experience the highest water flow and you can experience her mighty rumble at full throttle.

While this time of year can be hot (mid-30°C by October), you’ll have the privilege of witnessing spectacular thundershowers. And while some might say that game viewing is not bountiful during this time, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As the parched plains burst to life, migratory birds make their arrival, and baby animals are plentiful.


Don't miss out. Book your flight today!

How to get around Zimbabwe

Ready to see it all for yourself? Here’s everything there is to know about getting around in Zimbabwe.

When it comes to self-driving in Zimbabwe, the roads near major metropoles like Bulawayo, Harare and Victoria Falls tend to be in fairly good condition. However, to save you the stress of navigating unfamiliar or unpredictable areas, speak to one of our experienced travel experts to help you arrange package tours or private transfers. Public transport and local minibus taxis are best left to locals.


Yes, there is an option for ferry travel in Zimbabwe. If you’re venturing along the route between Kariba and Victoria Falls, feel free to give it a try. We have, and we highly recommend it!


There are several scheduled domestic flights connecting Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. Air Zimbabwe is the local carrier, but there are several other options to choose from. If you’ve got room in the budget, want to live it up, and want a more direct route to your chosen safari destinations, opt for a private charter plane.


Let us help you organise your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.

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Zimbabwe Frequently asked questions

We recommend packing a little bit of everything to withstand the African sun but don't forget sunscreen, wide brim hat, your best sunglasses & durable clothing!


The list of National Parks is endless so our top three would be Matobo National Park for their impressive rock formations, go Leopard spotting in Hwange National Park & Hippo lovers will never want to leave Mana Pools National Park!


Life happens - we get it! Read more here


Take advantage of less rainfall when you travel in the dry season: July to October. Less crowds and more chances to get a better seat on your game drive safaris.


Adventure lovers rejoice - Zimbabwe has it all! From the epic scale of Victoria Falls through to Lake Kariba - you've got the perfect backdrop for water sports, fishing & boating!


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The current requirements for travelling to Zimbabwe

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