This Southern African nation has had a hard time in recent years, but there are two things to keep in mind: change is as good as a holiday and the early bird catches the worm. From the African experts to you, find out precisely why you should visit Zimbabwe in 2018:
1. Zimbabwe’s Regime Change
The toppling of a dictator is a cause célèbre for any country, but in a country with a treasure trove of natural wonders and a nation of warm, welcoming people waiting to host, nowhere should this be more celebrated than in Zim, as the locals call it. After 37 years in power, Robert Mugabe was deposed in a peaceful coup at the end of 2017 and his successor has made it clear that this country glowing with potential is open for business.
2. Low Tourism Numbers
If you’re a seasoned traveler to Africa, you or your parents may recall Zimbabwe in its heyday during the 1990s with numerous elegant lodges and 5-star camps welcoming, at its peak, approximately 1.5 million tourists a year. The 2000s saw tourist numbers plummet along with the political climate. Now that a new dawn has broken for the people of Zimbabwe, it’s the perfect place to visit thanks to its relatively low visitor numbers. It won’t stay that way for long, though, so act fast to beat the crowds!
3. Varied Landscapes
Any traverse across Zimbabwe’s terrain will greet travelers with a dizzying array of variety. From the lush highlands – so green you’d think you were on another continent entirely – to its open plains, verdant river lands, thrilling Lake Kariba, and its iconic Victoria Falls. If that doesn’t have you convinced, consider this: Zimbabwe is home to a whopping five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Victoria Falls is a Natural Wonder of the World.
4. Multi-Entry Visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia
When you’re on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls, Zambia and all of its own treasures are a mere hop, skip and jump away. With the Kaza UniVisa, travelers can travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia as many times as they like within a 30-day period. Not planning on crossing over? Normal single and double entry visas are also available.
5. Excellent Guides for Safari
Without a doubt, another reason to visit Zimbabwe is to go on a safari led by one of their expert guides. Guides go through a stringent 4-to-5-year certification process, one of the most difficult guiding processes on the continent, before ending off with a week-long practical exam in the wild, making them naturalists of the highest order.
6. Superb Safari Opportunities
Aside from the excellent guides you’ll met when you visit Zimbabwe, the variety of safari opportunities available are superb. Explore the landscape on foot on a walking safari, on horseback, from the water in a canoe or boat when visiting Mana Pools, Matusadona, or the Zambezi and, of course, from the back of a 4X4 game vehicle. One of Zimbabwe’s most famous safari destinations is undoubtedly Hwange National Park, beloved for its impressive elephant population and incredible wildlife.
7. Interesting History
Did you know that two important ancient African kingdoms were found in what is today modern-day Zimbabwe? Great Zimbabwe was the capital of the kingdom of Zimbabwe and today its ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s decline coincided with the rise of the Kingdom of Mutapa, a large nation which acted as a key player in trade in the region.
8. Their Currency is the US Dollar
The US Dollar was introduced in 2009 and is now the official currency of Zimbabwe. Travellers can sometimes pay for items in Euro, Sterling, and South African Rand but all pricing is in US Dollars, making it a much easier option.