Victoria Falls, safaris and the mysterious ruins of Great Zimbabwe
In the light of a new dawn, Zimbabweans have opened their hearts to the positive nature of tourism to their beautiful country. Following years of difficult political climate, the fog is beginning to clear, revealing in plain sight, something truly wonderful. Zimbabwe is a land of contrasts and contradictions, the dichotomy being part of its charm.
The first thing that springs to mind when thinking about Zimbabwe is often the colossal curtain of water that is Victoria Falls. Understandably referred to as Mosi-Oa-Tunya or ‘the smoke that thunders’, there’s still some irony in the name. This thundering smoke is somewhat angelic. Dizzying heights, hypnotic motion and sound loud enough to penetrate your eardrums from miles away… The Falls are a sensory experience that is terrifyingly awesome and absolutely divine.
From the frenzied falls, moving up the Zambezi, a lull like the calm before the storm will be found. Take refuge on a houseboat, angle for your own dinner and drift peacefully across Lake Kariba toward Mana Pools. Encircled by lush greenery, the water provides all the vitality to supply an ecosystem like no other. The bliss of unadulterated nature is inhaled by visitors and abundant elephants alike.
From a flight into Victoria Falls, travelling across the water-logged Northern territory, a curious safari goer might predict more water… more cascading currents, more rapids and rainbows. The Zambezi watershed has this effect on the wide-eyed traveller. Yet, this is not the only selling point.
The contrastingly arid South holds magic of its own. On the way down to the Lowveld, you’ll find the second most talked about destination in Zimbabwe: Hwange National Park. Not pronounced how you’d think, ‘weng – ee’ is the largest National Park of the country with the largest population of the endangered painted dog. Treasured by both locals and visitors, it can go unsaid that a safari here will encounter the Big 5. What matters most is the ongoing urge to protect these species. Get involved with NGOs and conservation projects taking place within the park’s peripheries. Similarly, see how Zimbabwean history is preserved in scattered capsules of the South.
Retrace the marks left by ancient Bushmen civilisations, journey through the Matobo Hills and nest into lodges enfolded within other-worldly rock formations. Find ancient ruins in the rainforest, and traverse across the stunted teak woodlands of the Kalahari towards what seems like unchartered territories.
An elemental journey, from earth to water takes place. With a breath of fresh air and the fire from deep within the soul, see how Zimbabwe is bound by one universal thing: the wonders of wildlife.