Until 2001 it was seen as one of the finest countries for a top-quality wilderness experience. The guides were the best in Africa, and the Zambezi River, the open plains of Hwange and the unique Kariba shoreline were settings for enthralling game viewing adventures. The political chaos of the last eight years saw a drop in tourism and the closure of many lodges and camps.
Yet it is now ready to welcome tourists again and we think that as soon as political change happens it will quickly revive as one of Africa’s most exciting destinations. There are still tens of thousands of elephants and vast numbers of plains game in Hwange with almost no-one to see them. Herds of buffalo, carefully protected rhinoceros and prides of lion roam the Kariba shoreline watched by pods of yawning hippo and crocodiles which lurk menacingly in the semi-submerged tree lines. Paddling and drifting down the Lower Zambezi for a few days on a canoe remains an unforgettable adventure, while the Chimanimani Highlands are some of the best for walking in Africa.
A number of Zimbabwe’s best camps are still running and are set to thrive as tourists return. Makalolo Plains is a luxury tented camp deep in southern Hwange, almost besieged by elephants as the long dry season advances. At Ruckomechi you can enjoy walking and thrilling game drives in the dreamlike landscapes of Mana Pools as well as sunset boat rides on the Zambezi, and in Kariba Steve Edwards superb little Musango Camp is now joined by a reopened five-star Bumi Hills Safari Lodge. And of course, that grand old lady, the Victoria Falls Hotel with her classic courtyards and red tiled roof, established in 1904 – still the best place to admire the mile-wide waterfall. So, if you want to beat the rush back to this magnificent destination, call Africa Exclusive and we’ll organise a magical fly in safari. The camps and lodges are running well, the wildlife is in great condition, the infrastructure works and the patient and friendly people will welcome you with open arms.