Victoria Falls is where to go in Zimbabwe for one of the world's greatest natural wonders and a comprehensive range of safari experiences but Zimbabwe's conservation areas such as the enormous Hwange National Park and the lake-and-river destinations of Matusadona or Mana Pools deliver great game viewing in environments largely devoid of other visitors.
Visit Victoria Falls in full flood and discover why it's called The Smoke That Thunders; the scale is immense and the experience unique, but there's so much more on offer at this popular destination. Enjoy scenic flights, elephant-back safaris, lion cub encounters, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, game viewing and Zambezi River cruises plus access to places of interest such as local markets and traditional villages.
Read more about a Victoria Falls holiday.
Hwange is where to go in Zimbabwe for the country's best big game viewing. Located a few hours' drive from Victoria Falls, Hwange is home to the densest concentrations of elephant after Botswana's Chobe National Park and is an excellent destination for Africa's big predators.
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Wild, remote and little-visited Mana Pools lies along the Zambezi River, its forests and floodplains home to large herds of elephant and its rivers overflowing with hippo and crocodile. Best explored on walking trails and canoe safaris, Mana Pools is a genuine wilderness area that delivers an exciting, off-the-beaten-track safari experience.
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Kariba’s magical setting and tranquil atmosphere are as famous as its wildlife. Flanked by conservation areas, the lake attracts animals both big and small: hippos splash about in the shallows, elephant and antelope graze at the water’s edge, and African fish eagles perch on dead tree branches. Adjoining Matusadona National Park offers game drives, guided walks and boat safaris as well as tiger fishing and the best Kariba sunsets.
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Zimbabwe’s barely visited south is shaping up as one of Africa’s hottest new safari destinations. Home to the Big 5, Gonarezhou is sure to impress as will the more exclusive experience of Malilangwe, a private reserve bordering the park. Apart from the stunning scenery, visitors can expect to see concentrations of rhino, big-tusked elephant and buffalo plus big cats and wild dogs. The birdlife too is truly amazing: Malilangwe has recorded 400 species of birds and boasts one of the world's greatest concentrations of raptors, including 14 species of eagle.
Read more about a Gonarezhou and Malilangwe safari.
Just upstream of Victoria Falls lies the Zambezi National Park, a wild and game-rich reserve stretched out along the broad, smooth-flowing Zambezi River. Drawing fewer visitors than neighbouring Chobe National Park in Botswana, this largely unknown reserve offers fantastic dry-season game viewing without the crowds: expect large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and giraffe but keep an eye out for lion, leopard and even wild dog. The birdlife along the river is superb, and we’d highly recommend a river safari. If you’re staying in Victoria Falls, a day game drive around Zambezi National Park will give you a quick and easy taste of Zimbabwe’s diverse wildlife.
At a Glance
On-the-rise Zimbabwe is home not only to the best views of Victoria Falls but some of Southern Africa's best & wildest game reserves too, and its guides are among the best on the continent.