Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa known for its dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife, much of it within parks, reserves and safari areas. On the Zambezi River, the magnificent Victoria Falls make a thundering 108m drop into narrow Batoka Gorge, where there are white-water rafting and bungee-jumping. Downstream are Matusadona and Mana Pools national parks, home to hippos, rhinos and birdlife.
Few African destinations can compete with Victoria Falls for sheer visual drama. At its full, roaring peak, the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ is one of the continent’s most mesmerising sights, leaving visitors lightly soaked and absolutely exhilarated at the same time. The falls are on the mighty Zambezi river, which means you can see them from either Zambia or Zimbabwe. Arguably, the best on-foot views are from Zimbabwe’s side.
Zimbabwe is one of Southern Africa’s most rewarding big game safari destinations. One of Africa’s top national parks, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe’s northwest should be on any safari lover’s bucket list. Roaming Hwange’s savanna grasslands and woodlands are the Big Five and 100 other species of mammals – the park has the biggest diversity of mammals out of the world’s national parks. The Belgium-sized park is also home to some 50 000 elephants and is known for regular sightings of cheetah, leopard and lion, as well as one of Africa’s largest populations of the endangered wild dog and rare species such as roan and sable. Birdwatchers will be impressed with the 500 species recorded here.
Zimbabwe shares a 125-mile (200-kilometre) border on the south with the Republic of South Africa and is bounded on the southwest and west by Botswana, on the north by Zambia, and on the northeast and east by Mozambique.