Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe doesn’t enjoy the limelight of many other African destinations, but this wonderful country has so much to offer. Zimbabwe suffered political and social upheaval after relinquishing its former name of Rhodesia and gaining independence from Great Britain. This left a black mark on the country’s reputation, but one that is rapidly being erased in light of safe tourism, warm hospitality, reduced crowds, affordability and spectacular game viewing.

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activities & experiences

Zimbabwe has been dubbed the breadbasket of Africa, its rich and fertile soil generating lush agriculture, forests and plains. This also creates abundant national parks and landscapes, with game viewing some of the best in Africa. It is also a country with a deep history, and the 1,000-year-old ruins of Great Zimbabwe are a feast for any amateur historian. The mighty Zambezi offers plenty of attraction to adventure seekers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

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Dating as far back as the 11th century AD, Great Zimbabwe stands testament to the formerly underappreciated level of early civilization in Africa. These fascinating ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are beautifully preserved at the heart of the nation.

Numerous national parks offer great appeal, but it is Mana Pools that frequently presents the most incredible wildlife experiences. Visitors can explore the relatively small park on foot, with elephant, zebra, crocodile, hippo and – if lucky – cheetah and leopard to be found.

  • Experience Victoria Falls on a guided walking safari. 
  • Swing into the abyss on the Victoria Falls Gorge Swing, whitewater raft the surging Zambezi or plunge into the Devil’s Pool.
  • Take a walking safari through the magical Mana Pools National Park
  • Step back in time at the ancient Great Zimbabwe and Khami Ruins
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner cruise on the Zambezi River
  • Venture below ground at Chinhoyi Caves National Park
Country Zimbabwe Slide03
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destinations

Though Victoria Falls may be the most visited of Zimbabwe’s attractions, it is far from the only impressive destination. From underground cave networks to the world’s largest artificial lake and a wealth of exceptional parks and reserves, Zimbabwe is a country ripe for exploration.Its notoriety often draws large crowds to Victoria Falls, but elsewhere – with tourism a more recent industry than many other parts of Africa – you will likely find far fewer people for equally as exceptional experiences as many of the continent’s most renowned reserves.

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  • Mana Pools National Park. Worth mentioning again in more detail, Mana Pools is truly exceptional. Covering 850 square miles (2,200km²), Mana Pools possesses a higher concentration of game than many other parks across Africa. A guided walking safari is the best way to experience the park, immersing oneself in the sights, sounds and smells of this incredible destination. An array of wonderfully exclusive and secluded luxury camps and lodges on the banks of the Zambezi makes Mana Pools a stunning destination to spend several days.
  • Hwange National Park. The most accessible of Zimbabwe’s national parks also makes it the most frequented. While numbers remain fairly low, you can expect to see other game drives and visitors. This, however, is small price to pay as the game viewing is spectacular. Hwange is arguably the finest destination for viewing elephant in the wild and the numerous water holes, or ‘pans’ of the national park attract elephant of all ages along with a swathe of the 500 or more species of animals and birds.
  • Matobo National Park. Though wildlife – including white and black rhino, leopard and one third of the world’s eagle species – is a major attraction of Matobo National Park, situated in Zimbabwe’s western regions, the kopje are what makes Matobo unique. These towering granite monoliths comprise vast boulders stacked precariously by the hand of nature. These natural sculptures offer great appeal to hikers and are also revered by some as the spiritual center of Zimbabwe. Matobo is also the site of the tomb of early pioneer Cecil Rhodes.
  • The Zambezi River. At 1,600 miles (2,575km), the Zambezi is far down the ranks of the world’s longest rivers, but what it may lack in length it more than makes up for in impressiveness. Cascading over the 350-foot (108m) precipice of Victoria Falls, many often only witness it only as the Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘the smoke that thunders’ in the local Lozi dialect. To the northeast, the meandering Zambezi widens, presenting tranquil flood plains home to an abundance of wildlife and simply spectacular to view and kayak upon.
  • Matabele Homesteads. The Matabele (traditionally Ndebele) were a fierce warring tribe recognized by their long shields, from which their name is derived. This colorful and creative nation spreads south into South Africa and offers a resplendent cultural experience. Relinquishing their warring days, welcoming you into their traditional homesteads with warmth and hospitality.

accommodations

Zimbabwe offers a range of accommodation comparable to many other African countries, comprising a collection of lodges and luxury tented camps in premier locations.

Whether you wish to wile away tranquil hours in the heart of a national park, immerse in nature at a tented camp or gaze across abundant waterways akin to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Zimbabwe has a host of options for you to choose from.

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Mana Pools, on the shores of the Zambezi, is one of our favorite destinations to offer our clients. Several wonderful venues offer secluded lodges with superb game viewing. The national park itself spans 2,600 square miles (6,800km²) and several camps and lodges take full advantage of this lush and abundant landscape.

For the true safari experience, Hwange National Park provides a handful of private camps, some in private concessions to provide an even more intimate and elite safari experience. These venues have been established specifically to take advantage of the profusion of wildlife in the region and if game watching is high on your vacation agenda, these luxurious canvas camps will not fail to impress.

From its early days of civil unrest to its contemporary status as a truly viable destination, Zimbabwe has absolutely embraced tourism and you will receive exceptional service wherever you venture, with a warm smile and rich hospitality.

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ZIMBABWE ESSENTIALS

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BEST TIME: May-Sep. Drier conditions for game viewing & Victoria Falls is in full flood

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CLIMATE: LOW: 43-77ºF (6-25ºC) Jun – Jul / HIGH: 63-91ºF (17-33ºC) Oct – Nov

002 Blood 01

SEASONS: DRY: Apr – Oct / WET: Nov – Mar

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BEST FOR: Adrenaline junkies, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers & adventurers

Zimbabwe has worked hard to emerge from under the shadow of its former years to become a hugely viable vacation destination with so much to offer. Families will love the diversity, adventurers will love the drama of the landscapes and photographers will revel in the abundance of wildlife.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN ZIMBABWE?

With such a diverse gamut of offerings, the length of your Zimbabwe experience is somewhat up to you. If Victoria Falls is your only quarry, a day or two will suffice. You can extend this to five days if you also wish to take in a tented camp or park lodge stay – an option we frequently recommend most highly. However, you would be more than content spending 10 days or two weeks in Zimbabwe alone, exploring the entire spectrum of experiences this country has to offer.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

With winters comfortably cool and summers not excessively hot – or wet – Zimbabwe is a year-round destination. However, the period of May to September presents the country’s most resplendent showcase of wildlife, climate and natural beauty.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN ZIMBABWE?

Much of the accommodation has been fairly recently established, benefiting from the extensive influence of other countries and safari accommodations. In light of this, you can expect premium quality and service, with lodges and camps taking absolute advantage of the natural environment to luxuriously highlight the treasures of Zimbabwe.

OTHER DETAILS:

Visas are required for most visitors and are available upon arrival, but inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.

English is widely spoken to a high level in Zimbabwe, a country with some of the highest levels of education anywhere in Africa.

Zimbabwe is a highly economical destination and you will find good value in all you do. This allows you to indulge a little more and partake in more vacation experiences while remaining within budget.

The education levels, along with the country’s stringent regulations governing licensing assure you of proficient expert guides and staff throughout any game drive or safari.


WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)