10 best places, destinations and attractions to visit in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a large country throughout which there are many places to visit. Much of it is rugged, beautiful countryside that has remained untouched by much of the modern world. We have come up with ten of our favourite destinations and attractions here in Zimbabwe:
1. Victoria Falls : Perhaps one of the most famous waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the province of Matabeleland North. What you see here are the waters of the Zambezi River and the Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means "the smoke that thunders" or simply "The Smoke", as it is often referred to by people who live around it. Its height is 109 metres (358 feet) and the width - 32 kilometres (20 miles). The amount of water flowing through it amounts to roughly 450 cubic meters per second, which is a substantial amount for such a massive waterfall. Irrespective of the timeframe you go there - this will be worth every penny that you have paid to get there.
2. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins: Standing as one of the most famous sites in Africa, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also an important cultural landmark that surely deserves your attention. This site was built 1000 years ago by the Bantu people who had migrated from various parts of Africa and settled into all those regions where they have populated. The city was built using predominantly granite and sandstone and most of the buildings have been influenced by architecture from Persia. It is also one of the largest sites in Southern Africa.
3. Mana Pools National Park : This is a national park that lies within the southern part of Zimbabwe, making it a place to visit during any time of the year. It is home to some of the most impressive game reserves in Zimbabwe, as well as the Zambezi River and a number of smaller waterfalls that join it at various points within its boundaries. The animals here are very much used to being around people and will not hesitate to come close to you once they realise you do not have any food for them. The best time to visit the park is during the beginning of January when you can watch all wild animals gathering at the waterholes as well as enjoy magnificent views from the various vantage points inside the park.
4. Binga Trading Post : This is one of Zimbabwe's biggest flea markets where hundreds of people come here to purchase various goods. You will be amazed at the many items that you can find here, ranging from electric wires to farm equipment and even crocodile leathers. Most of the stuff is new, but some vendors offer used products as well, which can come in handy for those looking for good quality second-hand stuff too.
5. Chimanimani National Park : This national park is located in the southeastern part of Zimbabwe and takes roughly 2 hours to reach from Mutare. The area was declared a national park back in 1982, with its name stemming from a local tribe known as the Chimanimani. It is home to various game reserves such as the Nyanga Game Management Area and also to the Mavuradona and Nyamandhlovu salt pans. The National Park is home to a great number of wild animals as well and it would be a shame not to visit this place during your holiday in Zimbabwe!
6. Great Zimbabwe University : This is one of Zimbabwe's leading institutions that provide higher education that can be used for different purposes. The best thing about this university is that it offers both local and international certificates, making sure that students who attend here are able to get a proper education without having to spend much on their books or other learning materials during the course of their stay in Zimbabwe.
7. Shamva Dam : This is one of Zimbabwe's most important water reservoirs, which is home to a great number of migratory and resident bird species. This dam lies not far from Shamva town and offers great views of the surrounding area such as hills, valleys and even local wildlife that can be spotted on the nearby slopes or in the lakes surrounding them. This place is also known as Dambo, which is the local Shona word for water.
8. Matopos National Park : This national park lies at the southeastern part of Zimbabwe and was one of the first conservation areas to be declared in this country, bearing its name from a nearby mountain range found here. The best time to visit this place is during October when you can expect to see a lot of animals gathered around the waterholes.
9. Mhonda Conservancy : This is one of Zimbabwe's premier safari locations, where visitors can have an up close and personal encounter with some of Africa's most precious species without having to pay out hefty amounts for expensive safaris or game packages. The best time to visit this conservancy is during April when you can expect to see a large number of animals gathering around the local waterholes and even have them camp right next to your tent.
10. Nyanga National Park : This national park lies at the southeastern part of Zimbabwe and consists of two larger game reserves with a total area of 13 000 hectares. The park was established back in 1978 and hosts a great number of plant species ranging from succulent trees to indigenous bushes.