Four great Safari Destinations in Zimbabwe
One of the highlights of Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is a sight not easily forgotten. Situated on the Zambezi River, stretching back from the dam wall for 290km and reaching 42km at its widest point, the dam covers 6000sq with an average depth of 18 metres.
Work began on the dam wall in 1956 after plans for a hydroelectric scheme were approved. Upon completion in 1959, the plains began to flood and Lake Kariba was formed and on May 16 1960, the Queen started the generators.
Matusadona National Park lies on the southern shores of the lake, with a host of wildlife, plenty of which abound in the waters.
Accommodation includes houseboats, luxury lodges and tented camps on the lake’s islands and lakeshore, and self-catering camps and conventional hotel accommodation in the town. Kariba is half an hour from Harare by air, or four hours by tarred road (365km) with direct flights on to Victoria Falls. The overnight ferry, which sails the length of Kariba, provides an alternate means of travel to and from Victoria Falls via Mlibizi.
The capital city of this wild and diverse country acts as a springboard for many of the nearby attractions. However, it should not be overlooked as a destination in its own right. Harare is a beautiful and gracious city, full of flowering trees and parks which provides a multitude of colours contrasting with the modern high rise buildings and shopping centres.
Accommodation to suit all styles and budgets is available here.
Incoming Airlines include British Airways, South African Airways, Air Malawi and Kenya Airways.
Zimbabwe’s largest National Park, Hwange is labelled as the best game viewing destination in the country. Hwange is said to have the widest variety and greatest density of wildlife in the world. To protect the wildlife, only a relatively small area of Hwange is accessible to the visitor. Various lodges and camps offer comfortable accommodation – ideal for a true African safari experience.
One of Africa’s most complex and well-preserved archaeological sites, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins are steeped in legend and tradition. The ruins are all that are left of a royal stronghold built by the ancestors of the Shona, the Karanga. Dating to between AD 1200 and 1450, it is here that the large soapstone carvings, “the Zimbabwe birds” – a symbol of the Zimbabwean culture – were discovered. Like the mystery of Stonehenge, how these tall towers of granite rocks balance with no mortar, is baffling.
Located in the Eastern part of the Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe is just south of Masvingo – approximately a two-hour drive from Harare. Accommodation includes The Great Zimbabwe Hotel, Lodge at the Ancient City and Pa-Nyanda Lodge. A lovely campsite is situated in the adjoining National Park.