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Zimbabwe has a sub-tropical climate with a summer season of about eight months (October to April), with hot, sunny days the norm. Summer daytime temperatures range around 86ºF (30ºC) in the main centres, though the low-lying areas such as the Zambezi Valley, Kariba and Victoria Falls tend to be hotter, and there is always a possibility of an afternoon thunderstorm. The Zimbabwean winter climate is pleasant, with warm, dry days from June to August (though temperatures do drop more extremely at night) and the average temperature is around 68ºF (20ºC). Rain occurs mostly between November and March (summer), though throughout most of the year, the Eastern Highlands experiences rain with an average precipitation of about 1,020 mm (40 inches). Peak tourist season is in winter, when game viewing and white water rafting is best, and although this is an enjoyable time to travel, it is also when the country is busiest.


All visitors require a visa apart from nationals from the following countries: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, USA, and Japan, Nationals of commonwealth states (excluding Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka).

Many, but not all, other nationals who do require visas can obtain them upon arrival. You are strongly advised to check with your local consulate or embassy.


The official currency is the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWD), which issued in denominations of up to ZWD 100 billion. Foreign currency, especially US dollars, is hard to come by, but widely accepted and always preferred, and many prices are given in US dollars. Hard currency is required to pay for entry to Victoria Falls and many national parks. Banks and major hotels have foreign exchange facilities and many lodges, travel agencies and shops accept traveller's cheques. Major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops; Diners Club and American Express are sometimes not accepted. ATM facilities are available in the cities. For tourists US dollars should be considered the de facto currency of Zimbabwe.


Wednesday: 08h00-13h00

Rest of week: 08h00-15h00

Saturday: 08h00-11h30

Sunday: closed


Travellers to Zimbabwe who are coming from infected countries require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Precautions against Hepatitis A, and rabies are also recommended. Other risks include typhoid, polio and bilharzia; a high prevalence of AIDS/HIV exists. There is a risk of malaria all year in most of the country, particularly in the Zambezi Valley, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and in the Eastern Highlands; the risk is very small in Harare and Bulawayo. Mosquitoes are chloroquine resistant. Precautions against mosquito bites should be taken to avoid any number of mosquito-borne diseases. Cholera outbreaks occur usually during the rainy season when flooding and contamination of water sources takes place. Visitors are advised to take food and hygiene precautions. The standard of tap water in urban areas is considered low, and bottled water is available. Medical insurance is essential. Private clinics expect cash payment and medical costs can be high.


We suggest that you bring a small, personal airtight container with a few well-chosen articles, such as: plasters; scissors; travel sickness tablets; antiseptic cream; antihistamine cream; pain relieving tablets for headaches; safety pins; indigestion tablets; sunscreen; eye drops; insect repellent; medication for upset stomachs; after sun moisturiser. We encourage guests who have an allergy to bee, hornet or wasps stings to ensure they bring along the required medication.  Guests who suffer from asthma to ensure their medication and pumps are also brought along.


English, Sindebele and Shona


As a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. Please note that muted colours are recommended for game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon, which can be very cold, especially in winter.

The most practical items to pack for safari are:


  • Khaki, green, beige and neutral colours
  • Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from the sun and mosquitoes)
  • T shirts
  • Shorts or a light skirt
  • Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
  • A jacket and sweater are recommended for early morning and evening game drives
  • Lightweight water-proof jacket
  • Swim and beachwear
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sun block, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials
  • Binoculars and camera equipment
  • Good quality safari clothing is available in safari shops



Electric Power is 220V running at 50Hz. The Plug types used are; round pins with ground and rectangular blade plug


We recommend that guests use a telephoto lens (at least 80-300mm in size) for the photography of birds and game, as well as a wide-angle lens. As most game drives are in the early morning or late afternoon, high-speed film (200/400ASA) should be used. Please purchase films, bulbs and batteries prior to departure, as they are not always readily available and often expensive. For protection from dust we suggest that cameras are covered with a plastic bag.  Guests may also wish to carry a small camera cleaning kit. Please bring enough batteries for videos, as well as recharging equipment with a 12V cigarette lighter adapter.


Where restaurant meals are involved, the tipping standard is 10% of the bill.


Zimbabwe Area Information


There are few appropriate superlatives that have not already been applied to this magnificent natural wonder of the world - in many ways it defies description. The Victoria Falls is the largest, probably the most beautiful and certainly the most majestic waterfall in the world. A trip to Southern Africa would be incomplete without visiting this memorable sight. Visitors to Victoria Falls can also enjoy sundowner cruises on the Zambezi, go fishing, walk amongst the game, take horse back trails, and dare to go white water rafting on the rapids below the falls and for the really brave, bungee jump 111m off the Victoria Falls Bridge


Kariba is unique and a place of outstanding beauty, a great inland sea, nested in mountains, guarded by enormous reserves of game and made beautiful and savage by sun and storm, earth and water and by life and death.  It is here, from land or water that one encounters the rawness, the beauty and the savagery which is the real heart of darkness. It is unforgettable, on dust-tasting, hazy blue, September days, to watch the game treading its daily course to the edge of the lake's vast waters; or, in the rainy season when the air is crystal, when images are razor sharp, to watch the massive black blocks of wet-skinned elephant posing on the billiard-table flood plains carpeted with new green baize. Two of the lakes most common inhabitants are the hippo and the crocodile. Both are quite difficult to observe. The hippo will stay submerged much of the time and only come up for an occasional breath of air giving a brief chance to spot the twitching ears and the peering eyes. Crocodiles are usually content to bask by the side of the lake looking very much like dead logs - until you approach and they slip into the water with a quiet splash. Another fascinating sight on Lake Kariba is the small fishing village of Nyanzirawo near Bumi Hills in the mouth of the Ume River. This is a place where time seems to have stood still and the local people make a living from fishing to feed the rest of the people in the village. Everything here is basic and to our perceptions, the people seem to have nothing. And yet this is a surprisingly enchanting place to visit and you get a real sense of a community living together without the competitive nature of western society. The people here never beg or expect any money from the visitors - they just love having their picture taken in the hope that perhaps one day they might receive a photograph of themselves which would immediately become a prize memento.


The Zambezi is Africa's fourth largest River system, after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers. It runs through six countries on its journey from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. Its unique value is that it is less developed than others in terms of human settlement and many areas along its banks enjoy protected status. Its' power has carved the spectacular Victoria Falls and the zigzagging Batoka Gorge. The Zambezi has been harnessed at various points along the way including the massive Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe and Cabora Bassa Dam in Mozambique. Plans for another dam at the Batoka gorge have fortunately been shelved. The River's beauty has attracted tourists from all over the world providing opportunities for a myriad of water sports and game viewing. Running for a length of 2700kms, it begins its journey as an insignificant little spring in the corner of north-west Zambia in the Mwinilunga District. It bubbles up between the roots of a tree, very close to the border where Zambia, Angola and Zaire meet. It enters Angola for about 230kms, where it accumulates the bulk of its headwater drainage,


The Mana Pools are a cluster of lakelets that are fed by occasional floodwaters. They attract vast numbers of aquatic birds and are rich in fish. Large numbers of game frequent the area, especially elephant, buffalo, hippo, rhino, crocodile, various antelope, lion, leopard and wild dog. The game reserve is open from May to October. Accommodation is available in the park. What makes Mana Pools particularly special is its unique scenery coupled with the large variations of animal and bird life created by its rich and wild heritage. Mana Pools is the only game park in Zimbabwe holding carnivores and the larger mammals in which visitors are allowed to walk unaccompanied - this is of course done at your own risk.


To travel through Hwange National Park today is to see what much of the interior of Africa might have been like more than 150 years ago. This is the famed country that drew men from the diamond fields of Kimberley and the gold mines of Johannesburg. Hwange National Park is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe, over 14,000 in extent, and is one of the countries main tourist attractions. The bird list for this huge area is currently over 420 species. There are two main birding areas, the one around Main Camp and the other in the north of the Park around Robins and Sinamatella Rest Camps. Both areas are linked by a network of roads which take visitors through a variety of habitats including many waterholes which attract large numbers of animals as well as birds.


Without doubt, the portion of the Eastern Highlands that is most well developed and best known is the Nyanza area. At its heart is the Nyanga National Park, a gift to the nation by Cecil John Rhodes. Situated in the northernmost part of the Eastern Highlands, the park is not a game park but there are waterbuck, steenbok, leopard, kudu, wildebeest and the area is rich in birdlife. The upland area of Nyanga is often compared to the Scottish Highlands or the west of Ireland and there are few places more evocative of these distant climes than the area known as Little Conamara. The nearest major centre to Nyanga is city of Mutare, rightly described as the gateway to (and from) the east for it lies at the head of one of the major routes through the eastern mountain chain and stands astride road and rail links between Beira and Harare. A small city today, Mutare is Zimbabwe's fifth largest town. It is surrounded by mountains and is certainly one of the best laid out, most picturesque and prettiest of the towns or cities in Zimbabwe. It has a beautiful climate and is wonderfully accessible to a luxuriant natural world on its doorstep. There are nature and game reserves within a few minutes drive of the city centre but, without doubt, the greatest attraction for residents and visitors alike is to get up into the real mountains, just twenty kilometres to the south of the city.


The Matusadona National Park is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba, between the Ume and the Sanyati rivers. The Park covers an area of 1407 km of which only one third is provided with roads for visitors, the other two thirds consists of very wild, rugged and inaccessible country. Open woodlands on the plateau behind the escarpment are dominated by Julbernardia globiflora and have suffered considerable damage from an overpopulation of elephant. The mountain acacia, Brachystegia glaucescens, is also common on the slopes and ridges of the escarpment. From the plateau the park falls abruptly to a flat, low-lying area covered mainly with mopane scrub and woodland and with dense patches of jesse bush. The entire northern boundary of the park is created by the lakeshore itself. This shoreline, which is subjected to irregular variations in water level caused by fluctuations in annual rainfall, is still in a state of rapid ecological change and development. The Matusadona National Park is most easily accessible by boat from the town of Kariba, some 12.4 miles north. Several commercial tourist camps are located around the borders of the park. It is also possible to enter the Matusadona from the gravel Karoi-Kamativi road south of the escarpment. Visitors are allowed to get out of their cars and view game on foot, but this is done at their own risk. Wild animals are dangerous and unpredictable. Elephant, buffalo, impala, kudu, and waterbuck are plentiful, whilst rhino, lion, sable, eland and zebra are frequently seen. Escorted walks with a Game Scout are possible, subject to availability of staff at the time.


A little less than 30 kilometres beyond the south-eastern town of Masvingo are to be found some of the most extraordinary manmade remains in Africa. Formed of regular, rectangular granite stones, carefully placed one upon the other, they are the ruins of an amazing complex. The structures were built by indigenous African people between AD 1250 and AD 1450 believed to be the ancestors of modern Zimbabweans. The ruins at Great Zimbabwe are remarkable; lofty, majestic, awe-inspiring, timeless. The quality of the building in places is outstanding. It was built by craftsmen who took a pride in their work. There is nothing to compare with it in southern Africa. The two main areas of stone wall enclosures are the Hill Complex, on the long, steep-sided granite hill and the land below this hill where the Valley Enclosures and the Great Enclosure are situated. The stone walls, up to 6meter thick and 12 meter high, are built of granite blocks without the use of mortar. Two high walls form the narrow parallel passage, 60 meter long, which allows direct access to the Conical Tower. The Great Enclosure is the largest single ancient structure south of the Sahara.  The legacy of Great Zimbabwe is widespread throughout the region. The art of building with stone persisted in following centuries so that dzimbabwe (a Shona word possibly derived from dzimba woye, literally 'venerated houses') are numerous. There are at least 150 in Zimbabwe itself, probably as many as a hundred in Botswana, and an undetermined number, yet to be found in Mozambique. Aspirant sculptors today use the same soapstone to carve copies of the same birds and this has helped launch a stone carving craft characteristically Zimbabwean.


Matobo Hills has long been recognised as an area of exceptional beauty with a rich and colourful history. The Matopos is an area of incredible beauty with a mythical history and a proud people, the Matebele.  The latter half of the 19th Century in southern Africa was a time of adventure, exploration and conquest. In the 1890's the pioneer columns ventured north from South Africa, through Fort Tuli and into southern Zimbabwe, thereby expanding Rhodes interests northward. After a Matabele raiding party crossed into Mashonaland killing a number of the pioneer's staff, the authorities issued an ultimatum to the Matabele, which was ignored. The Matebele War resulted with Rhodes finally securing peace in an act of bravado, from which his legend was born. The peace saw the securing of Matabeland and the establishment of the modern city of Bulawayo, derived from the name given to Zulu King Chaka's kraal, 'GuBulawayo'.  Zimbabwe has some of the oldest rock formations in the world and some of the most exposed. This is especially dramatic in the Matobo National Park south of Bulawayo where spectacular examples of these primitive granitic formations are to be found. The Matobos were named by Mzilikazi the 'Ama tobo', after the bald heads of his indunas (chiefs). The entire region is a complex of bizarre and exposed granitic formations providing one with endless days of exploration. Once inhabited by the bushman, today one can find magnificent examples of rock art in and amongst the caves. Today the Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries with a large population of white rhino, the elusive black rhino, a variety of antelope species, baboon, rock hyraxes and a large population of leopard and black eagle  From an ecotourism point of view, the sights of the Matopos including Rhodes Grave, the Matopos National Park and the spectacular rocky outcrops combined with the Cultural History Museum and sights of Bulawayo offer the international and domestic market a tremendous diversity of activities to enjoy.


Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. Located in the South-west of the country, it is home to more than a million people. Bulawuyo is the hub of the province of Matabeleland which comprises the whole western Zimbabwe from the South African border in the south to Victoria Falls in the north. The city has wide tree lined streets and is surrounded by beautiful parks, a legacy of Cecil John Rhodes.  Within the city are many examples of early Victorian buildings which are maintained by the Bulawayo City council and landlords as heritage sites. Bulawayo houses the country's main museum, the natural history museum, a railway museum, the Bulawayo Art Gallery, which is housed in a most attractive turn of the century building, theatres, the Mzilikmzi Art and craft centre, good hotels and one of the finest caravan and camping parks in Zimbabwe. Bulawayo is also home to the Chipangali wildlife orphanage and the Kame Ruins.


The capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare, is a beautiful, light-filled, open city; high on the country's central plateaux. It is a city of modern buildings, wide thoroughfares, numerous parks and gardens. A city whose streets are lined with flowering trees that turn streets and pavements into tunnels of colour in the season of the year: the purple of jacaranda, the mauve and white of bauhinia and the flaming red of flamboyant. Harare has a wonderful and invigorating climate. At just over 1500m above sea level (+5000 feet), its altitude compensates for the effect of its tropical latitude and thus the seasons, so often absent in Africa, are once more clearly marked in the annual round. As a former colony, much of Harare's history was turbulent. For ninety years the city was known as Salisbury, Rhodesia. In 1980 Zimbabwe became Africa's newest independent nation. The city is named after a former African ruler of the area called Harare, which means "one who does not sleep." While Harare entertains visitors with an array of theatres, night spots and restaurants, it is best known for its numerous and extensive gardens. The world renowned Shona sculptures are a major attraction. The people of Harare love sports and the outdoors. The city offers soccer, the most popular sport, horse racing, tennis, rugby and water sports at Lake McIlwaine.

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