Traveling to South Africa or going on a safari in the Serengeti sounds sexy, doesn't it? However, exploring Zimbabwe will be just as fulfilling, maybe even more so. Zim, as it’s affectionately called, has a lot to offer. The land is rich in gold and offers some of Africa’s most breathtaking landscapes.
Zimbabwe is surrounded by land on all sides: Botswana is to the west, Zambia is north, to the east is Mozambique, and south is South Africa. Even though it’s completely landlocked, it has an interior beach (Binja Beach) full of crocodiles. It’s also an open country full of warm and friendly people. The two common languages are Shona (the majority) and Ndebele (which is close to Zulu).
One of my closest friends, Samkeliso, was born in Zimbabwe. She still has family there and returns quite frequently. My husband and I plan on joining her on her next return home in 2020. Needless to say, we’re super excited to experience such an adventure with someone who is a native to the country. I don’t know if we’ll have the opportunity to visit all of the top sites listed below, but I definitely plan to give it my best effort.
Here are the top 20 sites you should visit during your trip to Zimbabwe.
20. Bvumba Mountains – Bvumba houses a luscious garden set in the mountains that sits on the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.
19. Mana Pools National Park – It’s a World Heritage Site that has lots of lions, elephants and hippos. That makes it the perfect site for a safari.
17. Matusadona National Park – It’s on a game preserve on Lake Kariba in northern Zimbabwe.
15. Hwange National Park – This nature reserve, located in western Zimbabwe, is the country’s largest national park. It houses the highest concentration of rock art in the world, including the Bushman paintings.
14. Matopos National Park – This park is best known for the Matobo Hills, a range of balancing rock formations.
13. Bulawayo – This is the second largest city in Zimbabwe.
12. Mutaravi Falls – This prestigious site is the highest in Zimbabwe, the second highest in Africa, and the sixth highest in the world. It also has a new skywalk bridge that offers a great experience.
11. Chiremba Balancing Rocks – These giant boulders are something you must see to believe. They are known as natural works of art.
10. Mbare Musika – This is a major trading market located in Harare, Zimbabwe that’s full of fresh produce and random goods.
9. Nora Jeans Lakeview Resort – This breathtaking resort situated near the Great Zimbabwe Monument offers lush gardens, crystal clear waters and a catered dining room fit for royalty.
8. Antelope Park – This is Zim’s premier private game park located in Gweru. It offers guests a variety of nature, adventure, and leisure activities.
7. Harare – It’s the capital and the most populated city of Zimbabwe. It sits high on the country’s central plateau and is known as the original city that doesn’t sleep.
6. Chilojo Cliffs – Let's say these red sandstone cliffs give the Grand Canyon a run for its money.
5. The Eastern Highland – A mountain range that’s located on Zimbabwe’s eastern border, next to Mozambique. This picturesque landform is home to forest and grasslands and is a well-known destination for hiking and fishing.
4. Gonarezhou National Park – This park, which covers more than 5,000 square kilometers, is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. It’s affectionately known as the Valley of the Elephants (zhou means elephant in Shona).
3. Chinhoyi Caves – These limestone and dolomite caves located in the Makonde District in northern Zimbabwe is home to a deep, cobalt blue pool of water that's also known as “Pool of the Fallen.”
2. Great Zimbabwe – This is the ruins of a medieval city that rests in the southeastern hills of Zim near Lake Mutirikwe. The city, the largest collection of ruins in Africa south of the Sahara, was the capital of the Queen of Sheba.
1. Victoria Falls – You can’t visit Zimbabwe without experiencing the greatest waterfall in the world. This massive curtain of falling water flows from the Zambezi River. Even though you can see its spray more than 30 miles away, it’s the one African attraction that must be witnessed up close and personal.
As a side note, you’ll notice a number of these must-see sites begin with the letters C-H-I. Chi (pronounced ch-ee) means something that you own, roughly translated as “my.” So you see, my Africa is also your Africa.
The great country of Zimbabwe truly does have a lot to offer. The first or the next time you’re planning a trip to the Motherland, definitely consider Zim as your destination. An “Escape to Zimbabwe” promises to be a life-changing adventure.
To explore more reason why you should visit Zimbabwe, visit https://www.zimbabwetourism.net.