The country checks all the boxes but also offers many unanticipated pleasures of its own
Zimbabwe might not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of a safari, but this African nation has plenty to offer the intrepid traveler. While Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and Botswana are our most popular safari destinations, Zimbabwe has plenty of its own charms. For those who like to travel off the beaten path, and appreciate doing it with fewer people, Zimbabwe is ideal.
Here are some of the unique advantages of a Zimbabwe safari:
Untamed wildlife: One of the primary draws of any African safari is the opportunity to observe wild animals in their natural habitat. Zimbabwe offers that in spades. But while some countries may have more well-known and easily accessible game reserves, Zimbabwe offers visitors the chance to explore an untamed wilderness. As we've said before in this space, “Endless wildlife covers Zimbabwe from border to border, and the variety of landscapes from park to park ensures an equally diverse set of game, big and small.”
For intrepid travelers who want off-the-beaten-path experiences, Zimbabwe checks all the boxes.
World-class guides: Zimbabwe is known for its well-trained guides, considered some of the best in Africa. To qualify as a professional guide in Zimbabwe takes years of study in weapons handling, tracking, how to approach wildlife, first aid, and other bush skills. At the end of their study, the guides must take a difficult weeklong practical exam to earn their Professional Guide license. For more insight into how guides approach their jobs, click here to read an interview with Sibahle Sibanda (Sibs), one of our most popular Zimbabwe guides.
Photographic hides: Zimbabwe is a photographer’s paradise thanks to its network of hides. Hides are hidden bunkers or camouflaged shelters, often overlooking waterholes where game go to drink. They allow visitors to remain hidden while observing animals close-up. So close-up that sometimes delighted visitors will find themselves face to face with an errant elephant trunk!
Victoria Falls: Few African destinations can compete with the falls for sheer visual drama. (See them in the video above at 2:37) Experience the Mosi-oa-Tunya (meaning "the smoke that thunders” in the local Lozi language), an accurate description of both the spectacular rising mist and deafening roar made by the falls, and prepare to be awed.
Non-safari activities: If you tire of watching the falls, (some people are so mesmerized they can’t stop) the surrounding area offers many non-safari activities. There are glorious sunset cruises, fishing, birding, canoe rides, helicopter rides, bungee jumping—truly something for every traveler. Don't forget the one-of-a-kind Elephant Express train ride at the edge of Hwange National Park! For more information on that and other activities in Zimbabwe, click here.
Not convinced? Check out the video above to learn more. When you’re ready to go, contact us and we will make it happen.
We don’t want to slight Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and Botswana
We love these reliable standbys and our partners in those countries, but due to their popularity, they are not always an option. If you want to safari any of these four countries in 2023, you have to act now. Their safaris are often booked 9-12 months ahead, and this year is worse because many people are rebooking the trips they postponed during COVID.
Right now it can be hard to find space in these destinations for peak summer season (June-October). This is true especially for large groups or family-size tents/rooms. We can typically still find space for couples almost everywhere, but flexibility with dates is key and if you want five-star lodges it can already be too late for July and August (in Botswana and Tanzania/Kenya).