Zimbabwe

Sandwiched between two stars of the safari industry, Zimbabwe holds its own with incredibly diverse landscapes and healthy wildlife populations around the country. Bright and bold, a safari in Zimbabwe shines. A rich cultural history and an optimistic buoyant modern society, Zimbabwe continues to rise to its potential as a destination of interest in Africa.

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What to Expect

First and foremost, dispel the myth that your tourist dollars are going to line the pockets of government officials…accept the reality that they support the industry which employs the most everyday people in the country.

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Despite political changes in Zimbabwe, the tourism industry has provided a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors throughout—against all odds. Your dollars will go further here and deliver an unparalleled experience. So, go and experience the warmth of the people, the mind-blowing natural beauty and the gorgeous wildlife.

Don't Miss Out

The Essence of Zimbabwe — One of the iconic safari destinations on the continent, Hwange National Park just hums with energy.

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There are incredibly high concentrations of elephant here and massive herds of buffalo as well. Being out on foot in this park is an added thrill. A highlight of your Hwange safari might be crossing paths with a pack of wild dog and watching their frolicking play when at ease or their quick relentlessly fierce hunting style when taking down prey. The dense forests and vast open plains are home to a diversity of wildlife and birds that will delight visitors.

Adrenaline at Victoria Falls— Viewing the magnificent Victoria Falls is without a doubt a highlight of Zimbabwe, but the sheer diversity of activity on offer in the area is equally magnificent.  You can find the limit of your comfort zone as you dive off bridges, rappel down cliffs, white-water rafter, zip-line, or kayak. Sit in the Devil’s Pool on the edge of the falls or fly like an angel above all that spray in a micro-light or helicopter. This and so much more is waiting for you in Victoria Falls the Zambezi River.

Mysterious civilization – The ruins that lie in southern Zimbabwe outside of Bulawayo are a testament to the mighty civilization which built them.  Unfortunately, due to treasure hunters plundering several sites in the 19th century, we don’t know much about the ruins known as Great Zimbabwe. Archaeologists can verify that the enormous granite walls, turrets, and towers were built between the 11th and 15th centuries and the occupants were skilled craftsmen. The entire structure is built without mortar. Perhaps one of the most interesting artifacts left behind are the soapstone birds, which feature human and birdlike features. There is speculation that the figures represented royalty, but no one really knows…what other mysteries will you uncover at Great Zimbabwe?

Hidden gem— Matobo Hills National Park, where giant granite outcrops long ago sheltered the nomadic San bushmen. Their legacy lives on in these sacred hills through over 2,000 examples of rock art etched in caves and crevices. Gain insight into their ceremonies and traditions on tours through this incredible environment. Travel through time from ancient to modern and connect with the local Matabele tribe at their rural homesteads either on foot or by bicycle. They are eager to share their gracious hospitality and offer a glimpse into their way of life. If the culture is not enough, Matobo is also one of the last bastions where both white and black rhino roam free. Tracking them is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Need to know

Flights are typically routed through Johannesburg via European gateways like Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, and Zurich. Flights directly into Harare via Dubai, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa are also quite popular.

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  • We advise spending 2-3 days if you are just going to the Victoria Falls area or 10-14 days for a full spectrum safari of Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is easily combined with any destination in Southern Africa and a safari combines nicely with Botswana, Zambia, or South Africa.
  • Zimbabwe will please safari neophytes, seasoned veterans, those seeking romance and those introducing their families to the safari experience.  You will also find tremendous value in Zimbabwe across all price points.
  • 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.
  • Getting around Zimbabwe is relatively easy with good roads and flight schedules available to all major destinations.
  • Although English is not an official language, you will find communication easy throughout your trip.
  • Licensing requirements in Zimbabwe for guides are challenging and as a result you can be assured that your guides are well trained and dedicated to their profession.
  • Not known as a culinary destination, most of the food is imported, so you can expect better quality and diverse choices at more upscale properties.

When to go

The climate in Zimbabwe is warm during the day and cool at night. Mid-October kicks off the rainy season and lasts through the end of April.

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At the end of the rainy season, the temperatures start a steady decline until July where temperatures are at their lowest for the year, dropping as low as freezing. The months between May and September also mark the dry season where precipitation is at its lowest. In September the temperatures begin to rise and peak in October.

May – early October: This is the long dry season and best viewing conditions with short grass. Wildlife congregate around water sources. You may want a beanie, warm jacket, and gloves from June through August! Guests can expect cold mornings and cool evenings until September. In October, the heat can be oppressive in the wilderness areas and lowest volume of water at Victoria Falls. This is peak travel season for visitors.

Mid-October – April: This is typically the rainy or ‘green’ season, when the heat breaks, the landscapes are lush with long grass and skies dramatic with billowing clouds. Wildlife is a bit more dispersed and sightings might not be plentiful. Expect showers in the morning with clearing in the afternoon before clouds roll in again for heavier rains in the evening. Road conditions in the bush can be muddy. This season is best for landscape photographers and bird watchers.

Accommodation

Zimbabwe has some incredibly beautiful and historic properties throughout the nation. Many have undergone refurbishment or renovation to stay fresh and innovative.

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We are fond of the more boutique properties that cater to couples, small groups, and families. Service, security and style have remained high despite the challenges of operating in an unstable political landscape.  Every property booked on a Rothschild Safari is vetted by staff and offer the highest standards in each category.

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

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. 

Betsy Robertson

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! 

Dawn Jacobs

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.

George Kowalski

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.

Jackie Smith

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.

Jamie Scarlett

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. 

Joe Moravec

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.

Kim Mather

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! 

Lisa Anderson

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.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

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.