Zimbabwe

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5 nights Zambezi Sands & Gorges Lodge

Zimbabwe Explorer

  • Canoe down the mighty Zambezi river with an expert guide
  • Victoria Falls offers almost every adventure activity imaginable for all
  • Built on the edge of the Batoka Gorge above the mighty Zambezi

Our lodges in Zimbabwe

Elephant's Eye

Elephant's Eye

Hwange National Park
Zambezi Sands

Zambezi Sands

Zambezi National Park
Little Makalolo Camp

Little Makalolo Camp

Hwange National Park
Davison's Camp

Davison's Camp

Hwange National Park
Victoria Falls River Lodge

Victoria Falls River Lodge

Zambezi National Park
Gorges Lodge

Gorges Lodge

Victoria Falls

Why we recommend Zimbabwe

  • Visit the breath-taking wonder of the water world at Victoria Falls
  • Discover the vast array of game in Hwange National Park, renowned in particular for its elephant population
  • Enjoy the freedom of your own walking safari and canoeing down the mighty Zambezi River
Map of Zimbabwe
About Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in the heart of Southern Africa defined by its impressive national parks and dramatic landscapes. A safari here feels like nature in the raw and it’s easy to see why Zimbabwe lays claim to being one of the African continent’s most exciting destinations.

From the Kalahari sands of Hwange to one of the magnificent seven natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe is a land of dramatic contrasts, offering a sense of scale and wilderness that easily matches that of its more visited neighbours. Full of game-rich destinations, fascinating cultural history and some of Africa’s most beautiful landscapes, including five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is easy to see why Zimbabwe always was Southern Africa’s premier tourism destination for many years. Hyperinflation and instability over the past two decades resulted in a decrease of international tourism by over 90%. However, with the structure of the US Dollar and the huge amount of work from dedicated conservationists and tourism professionals, we are happy to see visitor numbers increasing and recent investment in the safari industry hugely benefitting conservation.

While the Victoria Falls may be its crowing glory, the mighty Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zambia, offers safari destinations with a difference such as the beautiful and untouched Mana Pools along the banks of the Lower Zambezi, or Matusadona National Park on the shore of man-made Lake Kariba.

The quality of guiding has long been regarded as the best in the business thanks to the extensive and demanding training required and we can guarantee that you will be blown away by the exceedingly varied and wildlife-rich safari options here.

There are currently no direct flights between Zimbabwe and Europe, however, with ambitious expansions plans nearing completion at Victoria Falls this could soon change. Set on the Zambezi at the site of one of Earth’s seven natural wonders, Victoria Falls has a strong claim to become the hub of Southern African safari. Sharing borders with Zambia, Botswana and Namibia entering Southern Africa via Victoria Falls makes a lot of sense for visitors to these premier tourism destinations.

Within Zimbabwe there are a number of transport options, the parks of Gonarezhou in the South are accessed by long drives from Harare or charter flights from Johannesburg. Western Zimbabwe can be a fantastic road trip beginning or ending in Bulawayo and including Hwange National Park and the Victoria Falls. For visitors heading to Kariba, Air Zimbabwe is in the process of launching new flight routes. Matusadona and Mana Pools are best accessed by charter flight. As visitor numbers increase we hope the costs of air charters will be reduced with seat rates being offered.

Climate in Zimbabwe, like that of neighbouring countries is dominated by two distinct seasons, the wet and dry season. By late April the rains have ended, humidity drops and the skies become clear. Night time temperatures in some areas can drop below freezing over June and July. By late September the temperature soars and moving through October in some areas can touch close to 50oC before the rains of November and December arrive. Again, with a range of altitudes and varied environments across the country it is important to talk to your specialist about what to pack for your holiday.

Snapshot of Zimbabwe

Capital city: Harare
Flight time: 13.5hrs from UK
Language: English, Ndebele, Shona
Population: 14.1 million
Religions: Christianity
Sun hours / day: 8
Max. temperature: 25
Min. temperature: 27

Seasons in Zimbabwe

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Peak Mid Low
Where to go

Hwange

Hwange National Park was founded in 1928 and is Zimbabwe’s largest park, playing host to the greatest elephant population in Africa, as well as over 100 mammals and 400 bird species.
From the sand flats of the Kalahari in the south to the lush teak forest and hills of the north, the park sustains a wide range of game including great herds of buffalo, eland, sable, roan and zebra as well as lion, cheetah, leopard and wild-dogs.

The main activity here is safari, which can be enjoyed either in 4x4s or by walking with possibly some of the finest guides on the continent. Thanks to the vast number of privately maintained waterholes within the Park, game viewing is spectacular and a stay here is an absolute must.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The crashing deluge of the mighty Zambezi as it spectacularly plunges over the Victoria Falls is one of Africa’s most awe-inspiring and iconic sights. We think that the Falls are best seen from the Zimbabwean side and when you’re standing close to the world’s greatest mass of falling water and enjoying the sight of double rainbows, you won’t feel short-changed.

The clearest views are from July to March when the spray isn’t as thick and you can meander through stunning rainforest on to 16 viewpoints along the gorge-edge, including one above the thundering Devil’s Cataract (named by missionaries who witnessed tribes sacrificing beasts to the rainbow god).
Known by its African name, Mosi-ay-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), the Falls are now linked by dozens of daily flights and holds a reputation for being the adrenaline centre of Africa with bungee jumping, white water rafting and helicopter flights that drop right into the gorge.

Practical info

Currency

Zimbabwe's currency is the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD), although this was suspended for an indefinite period on 12 April 2009, due to a massive decrease in value.
The currencies presently used in Zimbabwe include US dollars, South African rand, Botswana pula, British pounds and Euros – and of these the US Dollar is certainly the best one to travel with.

Travelling with Children

Lodge specific

Passports and Visas

Passports: A passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of departure is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. Two blank pages are needed.
All visitors to Zimbabwe must be in possession of return tickets (or funds in lieu) and sufficient funds to support themselves. The granting of a visa is not a guarantee of entry.

Visas:
Visas are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above except:
1. Nationals of Cyprus and Malta, who do not require a visa.
All other nationals in the chart may purchase a visa on arrival valid for up to 90 days except nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, who must obtain a visa in advance.

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Types and cost:
Single-entry visa: US$30; double-entry visa: US$45; multiple-entry visa: US$55.

Single-entry visa in advance: 40. You can only apply for double- and multiple-entry visas on arrival in Zimbabwe. We recommend that you buy your visa before you travel to avoid airport queues and disappointment.

Vaccinations

We recommend that you consult with your doctor 6-8 weeks in advance of travel.

Make sure that your routine vaccinations are up to date including, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), chicken pox (varicella), diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT), influenza and Polio vaccinations.

We advise Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations.

Consider Hepatitis B, cholera and Rabies vaccinations.

Yellow Fever: There is no risk of yellow fever in Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US or the UK.

Malaria: Prevention is recommended for all areas under altitudes of 1800m. If this is where you will travel, you are recommended to take precautions year round. Speak to your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets such as Malarone or Doxycycline and avoid mosquito bites by covering up and using insect repellent.

Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is essential, including medical cover. We also highly recommend trip cancellation cover.

You are 100% financially protected through our membership of the Travel Trust Association.

Weather

J F M A M J J A S O N D
A 26 26 26 26 23 21 21 23 26 28 27 26
B 16 16 14 13 9 7 7 8 12 14 16 16
C 196 178 117 28 13 3 0 3 5 28 97 163

A = Maximum average temperature (C)
B = Minimum average temperature (C)
C = Average rainfall (mm)


The rains come in December through to March and the further north you are - the earlier the rain arrives and the later it leaves. By April and May most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting, which is starting to dry out. The nights in June, July and August become much cooler, so don't forget to bring some warmer clothes, in case you want to spend a night outside; the days are still clear and warm. For Zimbabwe, this is the start of the 'peak season'– days are often cloudless and game sightings continually increase. Into September and October the temperatures rise once again. During this time, you'll see some fantastic game, as the Zimbabwe's wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.

Weather

Zimbabwe JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
min. temperature ( ℃ ) 16 16 14 13 9 7 7 8 12 14 16 16
Max. temperature ( ℃ ) 26 26 26 26 23 21 21 23 26 28 28 26
Rainfall ( mm ) 196 178 117 28 13 3 0 3 5 28 97 163

Popular destinations in Zimbabwe

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Every one of our team has a huge passion for travel and spend at least six weeks each year visiting our lodges, meeting new managers and guides, ensuring our high standards are met and maintained.

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Unlike other tour operators, we do not charge you a premium for our services and as such, our prices are often better than booking direct because we can negotiate deals with our long standing relationships.

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We do not have any 'off the shelf itineraries'. Instead, we begin your booking with a blank piece of paper, to ensure that we only propose lodges that will fit your specific requirements and guides who will suit your personality.

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Every single lodge that we propose to you has been recently visited by one of our team and meets the high standards that we set. Surprisingly, this is a rarity within the industry.

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We are a certified member of the Travel Trust Association (Q1588a), guaranteeing you 100% financial protection for every aspect of your trip.

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