The National Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Zimbabwe are teeming with wildlife and cared for by conscientious conservationists. The human footprint is kept at a minimum to protect the areas.
Zimbabwe is enjoying a resurgence. It had been of limited interest to tourists in recent years because of domestic political controversy and runaway inflation that left the currency almost worthless. Victoria Falls and the country's many, large national Parks and wildlife areas have always been immune from domestic disruptions. Hanks Aero Adventures stopped using Zimbabwean destinations around 2000 due to inconsistent availability of avgas. We, and many touring companies, now send visitors to Zimbabwe regularly.
With the introduction of the US Dollar as the country's official currency avgas is readily available at many airports. While official entry procedures are more time consuming than at other countries, officials are curteous and pleasant. The lodges are first rate and welcoming and staffed with excellent wildlife rangers.
DAVISON'S CAMP - Hwange National Park
Davison's Camp is located in the south-eastern section of the massive Hwange Park in the Linkwasha Vlei. Getting there is a fantasy of airborne Africa: flying low over golden, flat, savanna grasslands, game in view all around, easing down until your wheels touch, and rolling to a gentle stop. This is an area of large herds of elephant and buffalo, spotted hyena, giraffe, sable antelope and lion and leopard. Activities include day and night game drives, a guided walk in the morning (if you wish) and the luxury of game viewing from your tent’s veranda as animals come to drink from a well-situated water hole. Accommodation is in large walk-in tents with ensuite bathroom. www.wilderness-safaris.com
PAMUSHANA LODGE, Malilangwe Wildlife Reerve , southern Zimbabwe
Pamushana Lodge is situated in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in southeastern Zimbabwe. The area is teeming with birds and wildlife, including rare and endangered species – such as the Roan and sable antelope, and the black rhino. Huge buffalo herds entice lion to follow. Famous for its cathedral Mopane forests and majestic ‘upside-down’ Baobab trees, Malilangwe is an area where you will also find over 100 Bushman rock painting sites dating back more than 2 000 years. Pamushana Lodge is small with only 6 luxury suites overlooking the Malilangwe dam. www.singita.com
CHILO GORGE SAFARI LODGE, Edge of the Gonarezhou National Park
Gonarezhou meaning “Place of Elephants” is a large area with a diverse array of animals in their pristine habitat. Drives will show you elephant, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles and a variety of antelope as well as the elusive leopard and wild dog, cheetah and lion. The lodge is is perched high on a cliff overlooking the Save River. Rooms are large each with a private balcony. Besides game drives, you can opt for a 3 k walk to the Chiwilia Falls or a visit to a local Shangan village. www.chilogorge.com/.
RUCKOMECHI CAMP - Mana Pools
The camp is set amongst the broad canopied ana trees and overlooks the Zambezi River. Activities include day & night game drives, nature walks, game viewing by pontoon boat or from a hide, canoeing, fishing (catch & release only) and birding. Excellent guiding, wonderful food, personalized service. The lounge area is set facing the escarpment and is attached to the rest of the camp via a network of wood walkways. Accommodation is in safari tents on wooden decks with indoor and outdoor showers. One special feature of the camp is a secluded outdoor “bath with a view” that can be reserved. www.wilderness-safaris.com
VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL, Victoria Falls
The historic Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the Grand Old Lady of the Falls”, is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site. The Edwardian-style hotel, built in 1904, was recently refurbished and is set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, broad lawns, palm trees and shrubbery. The Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel’s private pathway. Its opulent Livingstone Room is known for fine dining and dancing and the Stanley Terrace, with its clear view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, is renowned for its cocktails and afternoon teas. Enjoy an afternoon walk to the falls and the pleasure of a high tea or cocktails on the veranda. Other activities include white water rafting, zip line, bungee jumping, a river cruise and shopping for curios. www.africansunhotels.com
LODGE OF THE ANCIENT CITY - Masvingo