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Elephant Reaching For Seed Pods In Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
Elephant Reaching For Seed Pods In Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe - Top 10 activities

What To Do In Zimbabwe?
From mysterious baobab groves, to the arid sands of Hwange, the balancing rocks of Matobo, and the awesome Zambezi River as it rages over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe is a country that serves up all that could be hoped for in an African holiday destination. It’s more than the Big Five; it’s a place where hundreds of unforgettable ingredients, including the warmth of the people, combine to yield a unique and special experience.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
  • An Angel’s view of Victoria Falls
  • Tea by the Smoke that Thunders
  • Rafting the Zambezi below the Falls
  • The Pump Run at Hwange
  • Canoe the Zambezi
  • House Boats and Fish Eagles on Lake Kariba
  • Tiger Fishing on the Zambezi
  • Wellness, Wildlife and Community at Singita Pamushana
  • Discover the Jurassic Landscapes of Matobo
  • Wild Dog Tracking in Mana Pools
Victoria Falls Scenic Helicopter Zimbabwe
1. An Angel’s View of Victoria Falls
When David Livingstone first spied the majesty of Victoria Falls, he is said to have exclaimed that “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” So it is for those who take the opportunity to rise up and explore this wonder of nature by helicopter.

From the air, the full mile-long sweep of the falls, the thundering depths of the chasm, the bare basalt geology, the glorious rainbows, and the full African setting become apparent. You’ll also see the churning rapids of the Zambezi, the ambition of the Victoria Falls Bridge, and spot game from above the Zambezi National Park
Afternoon Tea At Victoria Falls Hotel Zimbabwe
2. Tea by the Smoke that Thunders
Throughout history, the local people of this area have described not just the visual appearance of their falls, but the whole experience of being in its proximity: it is called “The Smoke That Thunders”. Victoria Falls is a visceral, whole body experience that can be enhanced through taste and relaxation in the most colonial English tradition of afternoon tea.

From the shaded terrace of the Victoria Falls Hotel, looking across lush deep lawns towards the famous arching bridge with the thundering cloud of the falls beyond, you can indulge. There’ll be tiered plates of cakes and scones, along with tea served in silver pots and crisp white napkins. Linen suits aren’t required, except perhaps in your imagination.
Activities White Water Rafting
3. Rafting the Zambezi below the Falls
The mighty Zambezi flows for 1,600 miles through six countries but is most famous for plunging into a basalt gorge forming the world’s greatest waterfall. It’s a place of boiling, swirling clouds and rainbows from which the river emerges once again to race down some of the most challenging rapids that rafters will ever encounter.

This is an experience not only of white knuckles and a raging pulse, of the buffeting of water and endurance, but also of human connection and teamwork as you play your part in negotiating the churning water under the expert instructions of your guide. The power of the water will put you firmly in your place, but you will learn that you can rise to the challenge and become invigorated by the sheer thrill of navigating the raging torrent.
Elephants At Water Hole Istock Cred 2630Ben
4. The Pump Run at Hwange
Where there is water, there is life. As any safari expert will tell you, a water hole is a magnet in the landscape: the whole spectrum of life cannot help but be drawn to it, for water is the shared common need. But what happens if there is no reliable water? This is the situation that conservationists at Hwange National Park find themselves in during the parched dry season.

The solution for more than 75 years has been to pump water into 15 waterholes, but this requires rangers to maintain each pump by living in situ. You’ll be playing a vital role when you take part in a “pump run”, delivering much needed food, diesel fuel and company to these isolated individuals. They’ll tell you about their life and show you the wildlife visiting their secluded spot.
Canoe By Elephant In Mana Pools Zimbabwe
5. Canoe the Zambezi
Rivers are the arteries of life, and there is no better way to appreciate this than to glide down the tranquil waters of the Zambezi in a place such as Mana Pools National Park. You can quietly paddle your wide Canadian canoe yourself, or relax and let your guide do the work so that you can fully appreciate the water birds flitting around, the lilies, and the animals drawn to the banks to lap up the life-giving water.

From a picnic spot on an island, you can watch the water pass by on its constant journey of replenishment. As the locals will tell you, this is the realm of the river god Nyaminyami: it certainly has the feeling of the divine.
Karabezi Houseboat Lake Kariba Zimbabwe
6. House Boats and Fish Eagles on Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba is a place of monumental proportions: at more than 280km (170 miles) in length and as wide as 40km (25 miles) in places, it is one of the world’s largest man-made lakes. The beautiful sweep of the Kariba Dam holds back 185 cubic kilometres of water that not only generates much-needed electricity but has created a store of the most vital ingredient of life for ecosystems. From the luxurious setting of a house boat, you will gaze into the clear waters to discover forty species of fish, including the famous tiger fish, and train your binoculars on the abundant wildlife on the shores.

It’s an unforgettable moment to see a regal and bold fish eagle – the national bird of Zimbabwe – silhouetted against a blazing sunset.
Tiger Fish Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
7. Tiger Fishing on the Zambezi
It’s a fish famed for its aggressive and territorial nature, for its unique striped scale pattern and ferocious teeth, and for its tendency – like the piranha of South America – to join forces with others to hunt in a pack. The only fish to have been observed catching birds mid-flight, no wonder it is sometimes called the “striped water dog”.

This fish has as much intelligence as it has power and aggression, so it is a worthy adversary for even the most experienced of rod-wielding adventurers. Here at Journeysmiths, we will arrange guides with the kind of understanding of the habits of this awesome creature that only comes from years of working in this environment.
Plunge Pool With Veiw Of Dam Singita Pamushana Lodge
8. Wellness, Wildlife and Community at Singita Pamushana
A balanced life is not just one of tranquillity and calmness, but also of involvement, engagement and connection with a world beyond ourselves. These are the ingredients provided to you when you visit Singita Pamushana Lodge in Zimbabwe’s private Malilangwe reserve. This is a place of huge baobab trees and mopane forests through which lion, leopard and black rhino roam, but it’s not just a landscape for animals, for it's a harmoniously-peopled place thanks to the work of the Malilangwe Trust.

A community tour will provide you with insight into local Shangaan culture and you will see first-hand the thriving development programmes that spin out from Pamushana Lodge. Local community wisdom also informs the rituals and treatments of the Wellness programme at the lodge.
Scenery In Matobo National Park Ss By Steve Heap
9. Discover the Jurassic Landscapes of Matobo
As if placed carefully by the gods, precariously rounded rocks sit atop massive granite domes, pink-hued in the slanting light of the African dawn: this is the landscape of Matobo. Millions of years of weathering and erosion have sculpted the fantastical shapes of sensuous spires and blocks that could equally be the art of Henry Moore rather than the product of the relentless forces of nature since the Jurassic.

The cracks and crevices of this walker’s paradise produce a labyrinth to explore in the footsteps of ancient explorers. For it is here that the bushmen have painted their rock paintings and added a human dimension to the awesome beauty of geological magnificence.
African Wild Dog Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe By Steve Adams Istock 952119548
10. Wild Dog Tracking in Mana Pools
On the southern banks of the Zambezi River, Mana Pools is a biodiversity hotspot that will provide you with the complete package of African wildlife experiences, but it’s the population of the endangered African Wild Dog that we consider to be more than just special. Unique amongst the canine family for having only four toes per foot, these dogs are agile, rapid and clever hunters but also display individual quirks, sociability and distinct sense of fun.

Your expert guide will often recognise particular dogs by their individual markings, and they will introduce you to important behavioural and physical adaptations which contribute to their remarkable 80% success rate when hunting.
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