Travel Guide To Zimbabwe

If you are looking to experience the essence of the majestic continent of Africa, Zimbabwe is the ideal destination you're looking for. From boasting outstanding game views of a myriad of wildlife species, undisturbed natural landscapes and national parks, to providing a number of opportunities for indulging in some fun-filled action, Zimbabwe has a lot to provide for its tourists. This spectacular country has become a hot-shot destination for tourists around the globe, as it is home to four of the world heritage sights including the breathtaking Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Their unique culture and remarkably well preserved historical relics has given Zimbabweans their due share of prominence worldwide.

Geography

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of Africa among renowned African countries, with South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique located to the east as well as north. Each of Zimbabwe's neighbouring countries is famous in its own right, offering a spectacular opportunity to explore additional countries within a single tour. Zimbabwe's terrain mostly comprises of a high plateau, with the centre being higher to witness mountains lowering from the east to the west.

Climate

Owing to Zimbabwe's location among the tropics, the country mostly experiences a tropical climate. Temperatures are also affected by the altitude; where comparatively cooler temperatures are experienced in higher altitude areas and warmer temperature reside in the lowlands. These highlands are receiving greater substantial rainfall compared to the lowlands.

  • Summer Season: (October to April): temperatures can reach up to 30 C or a little above 30 C.
  • Rainy Season: (November to March): avoid travelling during this period given the rains can disrupt optimal game-viewing.
  • Winter Season: (April to June)
  • Dry Season: (June to October) best time to visit Zimbabwe for game-viewing.
  • Cool Season: (May to September) this season is comparatively cooler and may be the ideal time to visit if you're seeking to indulge in game-viewing, given the shortage of rainfall during this time period.
Passport/Visa Requirement

If your visit is short and less than six months then you'd have to deal with the minimum formalities. All nationals are required to own a passport and apply for a visa for entrance, so apply for a visa through an agency prior to travelling. Some nationalities are exempted from this hassle as they are given a visa when they arrive at the airport, such as Botswana, Kenya and South Africa among others. Transit visas can also be applied for which you need to keep your visit short and up to only 7 days: Nationalities which are not required to obtain a visa must have this one to enter. The expense of visa application keeps on changing, hence it is advisable to check with the embassy beforehand.

Main Airport

Harare International Airport is the main airport serving for flights to Zimbabwe along with domestic flights. It is the largest airport in Zimbabwe where non-stop flights to and from the UK, Australia and various other countries land and depart. It's at a distance of 12 kilometres from the city for which taxis and coaches are easily available. It’s one of the most equipped airports having various facilities such as duty-free shopping stores, bank, Wi-Fi network service, restaurants, post office, ATMs and various other shopping services.

Other Routes

Travelling between African countries can be made cheap by accommodating flight schedules provided by the national airline along with South African Airways. Air Zimbabwe, the national carrier, helps you travel within the country and access various other cities as well such as Kariba, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. They also follow particular routes such as accessing the Victoria Falls via Livingstone in Zambia. Zimbabwe is even accessible through road from the surrounding countries, although caution should be taken when driving especially during post nigh time. You can also travel to Zimbabwe on an excellent bus service taking you from Johannesburg to Harare. One can be adventurous and take the train to Victoria Falls as well, which departs from Bulawayo and crosses various other destinations such as the Hwange National Park.

Main Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Egypt Air
  • Ethiopian
  • KLM
  • Air France
  • Etihad Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Air Botswana
  • Kenya Airways
  • South African Airways
  • British Airways
Following are some of the places you can see on your journey to this spectacular country.
  • For all those fascinated by history, tour the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Kama Ruins and indulge in a remarkable walk back in time by getting to explore the exquisite age-old works of art.
  • Visit the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, home to Africa's largest remnants from history.
  • Embark upon a sensational journey in the number of Zimbabwe's National Parks, some of which are well-renowned for being the hub of Africa's diverse range of species and captivating wildlife.
  • Take a ride down the Mana Pools National Park for one of the smoothest and thrilling rides while observing the unique water borne species.
  • Be mesmerized by nature’s spectacular works of art in the form of huge granite rocks at the Matobo National Park along with its displays of ancient rock carvings for you to marvel at.
  • Walk among Africa's wildlife in one of the biggest parks that houses these animals in their natural habitat at the Hwange National Park.
  • Experience the thrill and delight by paying a visit to the huge Victoria Falls, its size unlike any other waterfall in the world!
  • Zimbabwe's eastern highlands provide for captivating exquisite beauty that are a must see.
  • Visit the man-made Lake Kariba for a quiet time along the beautiful lake.
Things To Do In Zimbabwe
  • Embark upon the thrilling and adventurous wildlife safari and game viewing.
  • Canoeing Safari
  • Fresh water fishing
  • Boast Cruises and sailing
  • Traditional Vehicle Safari
  • Tiger-fishing at the Lake Kariba
  • Trekking and mountain climbing in the eastern highlands
  • Bungee jumping at the Victoria Falls
Restaurants

If you have a knack for good food, head out to reach Zimbabwe's finest restaurants. The scrumptious food will leave you wanting for more, With a range of options to choose from:

  • Rhodes Nyanga Hotel
  • The Boma Restaurant
  • The Pink Baobab
  • The Victoria Falls Hotel
  • Malwatte Restaurant
Shopping

Zimbabwe is the perfect place for all those who are addicted to good shopping at cheap prices. Visit the numerous lively street markets of Zimbabwe and simply grab what you can within your baggage limits!

Nightlife

Zimbabwe is not just the hub of outstanding safaris and historical excursions, but also boasts a vibrant and high-spirited nightlife that will leave you exhilarated. You will find clubs and pubs that are up to the mark with the western standards while at the same time reflecting the perfect ambiance of the African culture.

Travel Tips
  • Make sure your passport is at least valid for the next six months after you land in Zimbabwe.
  • The banks are open throughout the week except Sundays.
  • the political instability is quite unpredictable because of which tourists should be very careful
  • Do not speak out your political opinions openly as the local people might get offended
  • Clapping twice means you're thankful.
  • Avoid deserted areas
  • Dual nationals are fined
  • Keep your money safe at all times
  • Stay at a safe distance from the animals when visiting the zoos
  • Do not wear flashy jewellery.
Best Time to Travel

The dry season is the time when most tourists are in a hurry to visit Zimbabwe and with good reason, with April being the best time to visit the country.

The answer to this question significantly depends on what kind of holiday making fascinates you according to your budget, needs and requirements. Those who are looking for pleasant weather and perfect holiday season, they must take advantage of UK December holidays by booking cheap flights to Zimbabwe. This time period features warm days with occasional rain and bird watching is phenomenal.

Head off to one of the most spectacular attraction of Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls displays mesmerizing views of canyons at the reasonably perfect level and depiction of geological timescales. The following months of April and May call for perfect safari walks in the emerald beauty of lush vegetation right after the rains. Winter sets in the later months of June, July and so on. This is particularly the most appropriate time to go if you are keen about wildlife sightings and it is again at its peak in October. Thus, it is important to take a sneak peak of all the relevant factor of interests including weather conditions, budget travel plans, and activities to make a completely memorable exciting trip.

Usually rainy season is avoided due to widespread malaria which is at its peak in November and keep casting its spells high and low till March. In addition to that, many operational activities are put to damper in wet season. Keeping this in mind, tourists flock into Zimbabwe in the dry month of April through October. On the contrary, Victoria Falls are its peak in the rainy season which offers magnificent views during this time period.

Many airlines offer flights to Zimbabwe from UK, among them most preferred ones are as follows:

  • British Airways is ranked highest for catering the largest number of passenger on flights to Zimbabwe via Johannesburg from UK.
  • Amongst the most reliable airlines, Emirates is regularly soaring flight from Heathrow to Zimbabwe.
  • Kenya Airways provides regular flights to Zimbabwe from major international airports of UK. It is scheduled to operate flights with a connecting point at its hub Nairobi.
  • With Ethiopian Airlines, travellers may opt for the one stop flights via Addis Ababa before they arrive at Harare International Airport.
  • South African Airways provides its quality services   on cheap flight to Zimbabwe via Johannesburg.
  • Rwanda Air also launches its aircrafts to fly from UK to Zimbabwe via Kigali on any given day of the week.
  • You may avail the flights to Zimbabwe with Swiss Air for connecting mainstream flights from UK.

As one of the favourite tourist destination, many renowned airlines are currently operating flights to Zimbabwe. Since there are no direct flights to Zimbabwe, passengers opt for one stop short distance flights to the major three international airports of the country.

  • Flights from Heathrow to Zimbabwe (HRE): 14 hours and 5 minutes
  • Flights from Heathrow to Zimbabwe (VFA): 14 hours
  • Flights from Manchester to Zimbabwe (VFA): 15 hours and 5 minutes
  • Flights from Birmingham to Zimbabwe (HRE): 15 hours and 55 minutes

One of the major concern arises after landing to anywhere across the border is the transport. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the subject in case of Zimbabwe as it stands out a reasonably fit transport infrastructure. Owing to the travelling needs of locals as well as tourists, many options are available corresponding to different budget and comfort levels. Following are considered the best for commuting with in cities and across cities as well.

Taxis:

Taxis are relatively reliable and safe travel option. Metered taxis have fixed rates so you already have an idea about estimated drop-off fare. Local drivers have absolute know-how of major destinations in the cities so you can always depend on them to take you in the right direction without wasting any time.

Car Hire:

Making a trip with family usually requires comfortable travel options for moving from one destination to another within the city. Car Hire fits the purpose well and the good thing is, carrying an international driving licence would help you save the extra incurring costs for hiring a driver.

Buses and local transport:

Local Bus is the cheapest option to commute in Zimbabwe. Its extensive network is widespread all along the cities so you can take a route to almost anywhere in lowest rates. Backpackers usually opt to cover more and more area using this means of transport.

Trains:

As per the recent trends of tourists, expats are seen arriving at Harare and then travelling through train to reach out to other cities mainly Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. This is the best way to discover how the terrain changes from one city to another.

Well, most of the visitors who are booking flights with us do not ask for accommodation place to stay as they are usually flying back to their home country or they have their family homes in the country by one way or another. On the contrary, people who are solely travelling for the tourism purposes need to book a comfortable stay beforehand in order to avoid any hassle.

Equipped with contemporary amenities of modern world, many four to five star hotels are on the list for serving the expats a relaxing stay. Meikles hotel, Cresta Lodge, Rainbow Tower Hotels are some of the exquisite options for a wondrous stay in Harare. In addition to that, Safari Lodges, Leisure resorts and guest houses may also be opted as per your own requirement.

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