Despite its many political problems, Zimbabwe is still a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts from all over the globe. It is a country that offers so much! It is still a safe country to travel to, with a good infrastructure in terms of accommodation, roads and modern amenities. Zimbabwe was included in Conde Nast Traveller’s Top 20 Best places to travel in 2017, as well as being voted 3 of “Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2019” by Lonely Planet. It was also recently listed 9 on “The Coolest places to visit in 2019” in National Geographic Travel. Renowned for being one of Africa’s most beautiful destinations with a superb year-round climate, the country’s tourism is bouncing back in a big way!
This incredibly scenic southern African country is mostly savannah, although the moist and mountainous eastern highlands support areas of tropical evergreen and hardwood forests. In the low-lying parts of the country fever trees, mopane, combretum and baobabs abound. Much of the country is covered by miombo woodland, dominated by Brachystegia species and others.
There are around 200 species of mammals that can be found in Zimbabwe, including Africa’s famed Big Five (Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, African Buffalo and rhino), Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Brown Hyaena, Giraffe, Hippopotamus and many species of antelope and smaller mammals.
The country also boasts many reptile species, almost 700 bird species (including 10 globally threatened species as well as African Pitta, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Roberts’s Warbler, Chirinda Apalis, Blue Swallow, Swynnerton’s Robin, Boulder Chat, Southern Hyolita and Miombo Rock Thrush), 131 fish species (including the highly prized tigerfish) and many other fascinating species of fauna and flora.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has the task of overseeing the activities related to 10 national parks, nine recreational parks, four botanical gardens, four safari areas and three wildlife sanctuaries. These areas are collectively called the Wildlife Estate which covers an area about 47,000 km2 (18,000 sq mi), which is equivalent to an astonishing 12.5% of the total land area of the country.
Zimbabwe’s national parks and private reserves offer some of Africa’s best wildlife viewing. In addition, the country boasts some of the best guides in Africa, many who are seasoned leaders of walking safaris that offer remarkably intimate encounters with the natural environment. Day and night game drives and canoe safaris on the Zambezi are also thrilling ways to see Zimbabwe’s tremendous diversity of wildlife.
Some of Zimbabwe’s top nature and wildlife destinations include the natural world wonder that is the thundering Victoria Falls (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see on any Zimbabwe itinerary), the huge Hwange National Park (famous for its big Lion and African Wild Dog populations, and locally called “Wankie”), Gonarezhou National Park (with its massive African Elephant population), Mana Pools National Park (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site), the Matobo National Park (protecting a large rhino population, and another UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the stunning Nyanga National Park in the Eastern Highlands.
We here at Nature Travel Africa offer several safaris to the wonderful wildlife destination that is Zimbabwe. These include
- Best of Zimbabwe safari
- Experience Zimbabwe safari
- Zimbabwe Explorer safari
- Hwange & Matobo Walking Safari
- Hwange & Mana Pools Walking Safari
- Kavango Zambezi Adventure
- Vic Falls & Botswana safari
- Vic Falls Marathon and Zimbabwe safari