Travelling In Zimbabwe
Working hard at recovery
Sadly, Zimbabwe is a prime example of corruption destroying not only a country, but making it impossible for its people to thrive.
Zimbabwe has so much to offer the world, however a supremely corrupt leader (complete with many dedicated followers) has brought Zimbabwe to its knees. Zimbabwe is so much more than just Victoria Falls and I'm hoping I can inspire you to visit Zimbabwe, and help to bring back to this very needy country the tourism that will help it to get back on its feet.
My Fave Photo From Zimbabwe
Collen our hiking guide for Chimanimani very kindly created a village day for us on our last day in the region. Do and I had been up the mountains for 3 days hiking and Julia and Tom had been having their own adventures. Once we all got back together Julia suggested she would love to do a cooking class and Collen very kindly organised his aunty and Lauraine (in the middle here) to run an impromptu lesson for us the very next day.
We walked up to the village, were introduced around and the Lauraine taught us how to cook Sadza (Pep or any other hundred names they call Maize in Africa) and these beautiful green vegetables. Local women came from everywhere and we sat eating our home cooked lunch and chatting with Collen acting as interpreter. It was such a lovely afternoon and the entire family was so very grateful for our payment that it was actually quite hard to leave.
Collen took us through the village and we were chatting with some gentlemen and having a beer when we spotted Lauraine and her sister all dressed up and packing a chicken, a bag of maize and other goodies from the local shop. Lauraine screamed, ran over, hugged us again, and started telling everyone who would stand still long enough that we were her “cooking ladies”. It was so great to see a family in town spending their money on food and supplies that they might not have otherwise had and it was at that moment that I realised EXACTLY how foturnate I have been to win the life lottery to have been born in Australia.
Every little bit can help.
Must Have Info About Zimbabwe
- I would consider Zimbabwe to be one of the safest countries in Africa. People are very friendly and helpful country wide.
- Zimbabwe has been pillaged by the Mugabe government and is now incredibly poor. Tourism has taken a massive dive and it will take years for the mining income to be realised, provided of course the new government resists corruption.
- Harare is a lovely city, however there is not much to buy and supermarket shelves are almost bare ( 2018) .
- People will come up to you in the supermarket and ask if they can pay for your food with their card and could you give them the cash. It's not a scam. Banking and ATM's are unreliable and often just closed, so the only way they have to get cash is to pay for your products and get the cash off you.
- I personally think the view of Vic Falls is better from the Zimbabwe side, however you should get a Zim Zam visa and do both sides .
Facts & Figures For Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe is completely land locked and shares borders with Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique & South Africa
- Coal, Gold, Nickel, Copper Tin and Platinum are just a few of the metals mined in Zimbabwe. Fingers crossed, with a new government in place that the money will now stay in the country.
- Zimbabwe has 16 official languages
- Men are expected to live to around 40 and women a little more than that, which is the lowest life expenctancy in the world.
- There are these weird “balancing rocks” all over Zimbabwe. They are created by nature but it is slightly unnerving to see these giant rocks just balancing on what looks to be a point.
- You can use US dollars, South African Rand and Botswanan Pula in Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe has a population of around 15 million people.
All About Zimbabwe
Recent Zimbabwe Articles
While the infrastructure isn't great in Zimbabwe national parks and monuments please don't let that stop you visiting. Zimbabwe is filled with friendly hard working people who are desperately trying to bring tourism back to their area.
Everything you need to know before you book your trip to Zambia & Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls. When to go, what to see, what else to do while you are there and all the info on visiting this incredible destination.
Zimbabwe is way more than simply Victoria Falls. From Hwange National Park, to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins you can find quite a bit to experience in Zimbabwe. Check out this article with my recommendations for what to see and do in this mighty African nation.
Not far from Harare lies Zimbabwe's Chinhoyi Caves and blue grotto. The caves have an on site campground and a small hotel/restaurant which makes it well worth the stop. Check out all the info you need to know to visit this great spot.
3 Must Do's For Zimbabwe
A unesco world heritage site, the Great Ruins of Zimbabwe is in the south east near Lake Mutirikwe and the small town of Masvingo. Once the capital of a thriving country, Great Zimbabwe was populated from the early 11th century right through to the late 15th century. Today the ruins are well preserved and it is definitely worth a visit.
Sunset Over Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba is crocodile infested so a swim might not be the smartest thing you do, however it is a great place for an afternoon with a few drinks and a sunset cruise. Boats are readily available and it is one of the best over water inland sunsets you will see while in Africa.
Vic Falls is what Zimbabwe is famous for. The Smoke that Thunders is truely impressive and while you should make use of a Zim Zam visa and see it from both sides, personally I think the Zimbabwean side is better.
More Things To Do In Zimbabwe
While it is hard to find information online, Zimbabwe is pretty easy to get around (the major towns and cities) and you can always seem to find a hostel or accommodation fairly easily. There is more to see than you imagine so listen to the locals to find out the best activities to suit your budget and style.
- Chinhoyi Caves and Blue Grotto
- Chobe National Park
- High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel
- Dinner on the Steam Train in Vic Falls (highly recommended)
- Get a ZimZam Visa before you get there so you can also visit the Zambian side of Vic Falls
- Khami Ruins and Bulawayo
- Hiking Chimanimani
- Go on a canoe safari at Mana Pools National Park
- The Balancing Rocks about 15km outside Harare. A bit naff but worth a look.
- National Botanic Gardens
- Get dentistry done – not kidding – there are great dentists here at very affordable prices.
- Zimbabwe museum of human sciences
- Mukuvisi Woodlands
Tip for Zimbabwe
You need to travel with cash in Zimbabwe. While you can use a card in Harare at the major supermarkets etc, money is an ongoing challenge in Zimbabwe. USD are used primarily so make sure you have a good number of small denomination bills BEFORE you arrive. ATM's often don't work and while Zimbabwe's new government is working hard toward bringing the stability back, my personal friend Collen (a hiking guide in Chimanimani) tells me things are still very bad with regard to unemployment and finances. I found Zimbabwe to be safe but don't carry large bills and don't flash it around. People are struggling so please respect that.