by Janis / 0 comments - Orginally published:7th March 2023

So this post is our light-hearted view of Zimbabwe

It has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on the magnificent country of Zimbabwe.
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The Location

The Three C's

Zimbabwe is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, three cultural and two natural. Evidence of Stone Age rock paintings can be found in Matobo National Park in Matabeleland.

The Republic of Zimbabwe had its independence recognised in April 1980, following controversial British colonisation by Cecil Rhodes. Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia and it's capital city Harare, was previously 'Salisbury'.

Victoria Falls one of Zimbabwe’s natural UNESCO sites, is also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya “The Smoke That Thunders”. These breath-taking waterfalls are one of the largest in the world and are a sight to behold.

Lake Kariba in northern Zimbabwe is a vast manmade lake, it was created by damming the Zambezi River in the late 1950s. Lake Kariba covers around 2,000 square miles (5,200 square km) and, although controversially constructed, is now a hub for the local wildlife.

Zimbabwe’s currency has been tumultuous over the last couple of decades, from hyperinflation to being redenominated three times, in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Prices for essentials were changing day by day.

Thankfully Zimbabwe has seen an increase in its Rhino population after hands-on conservation in the Lowveld region. After horrendous poaching between 2008 and 2019, Zimbabwe is now home to Africa’s fourth-largest population of rhinos.

The rule of the roads in Zimbabwe is that you must drive on the left; this is a throwback from when Zimbabwe was part of the British Empire. Be warned the driving conditions can be extremely mixed, and the highway code is hit-and-miss; however, it’s certainly an experience.

Where's Zimbabwe in the world?

Zimbabwe Up Close

Zimbabwe appeals to many types of travellers, particularly the adventurous type and most definitely one with a love of nature. Discover heart-stopping wildlife, breath-taking landscapes, and eternal night skies.

Venturing off on safari in Zimbabwe is an experience that will remain with you for the rest of your lives; with a little patience and dedication, you’ll be rewarded with a vision of Africa’s majestic beasts.

National Flag

It’s good to talk
Language: English, Shona, Ndebele, and many local dialects
International Dialling Code
Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWL) & US Dollar (USD)
Central Africa Time (CAT)
Difference from UTC
+2 Hours

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Did you know?

  • During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, UK locomotives were imported to Bulawayo to be used on their railway lines.
  • Don’t be afraid of haggling in the local markets; it’s all part of the fun.
  • Lake Kariba in northern Zimbabwe is the largest manmade lake in the world.
  • The golden bird on Zimbabwe’s flag is a national symbol known as the “Great Zimbabwe Bird”.
  • The magnificent naturally occurring ‘balancing rocks’ can be found in Matobo National Park, where Cecil John Rhodes is buried, known as World’s View.
  • During Zimbabwe’s redenomination, you could get your hands on a $100 trillion banknote.
  • The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) is the national flower of Zimbabwe; it is protected and poisonous.

Food and drink

If you love a BBQ then you’ll enjoy sampling some of the cuisines in Zimbabwe, especially if you are a carnivore. Chicken is quite popular; however, we’ve also had warthog, kudu, beef, and crocodile.
A staple food to the locals of Zimbabwe is sadza. Mealie meal or cornmeal is mixed with water to produce a type of thick porridge, which is eaten with sides. We tried some Zimbabwean cuisine at Gava’s, which serves “sadza with soul”.
Oh yes, we love biltong. Biltong is spicy dried meat, usually made with beef, cut into long thin strips, and marinated and cured. A spice mix is liberally rubbed into the meat, hung and left to dry. Delicious!
Zambezi Lager
Yep, Zimbabwe brews its own lager, and you can’t go wrong with a Zambezi Lager. It’s light and refreshing, and what could be better after a day out on safari, ok so, perhaps a Gin & Tonic.

If you're considering an adventure around Zimbabwe, then your in for a holiday of a lifetime. I always find it incredibly useful to plan our trips with the help of a guide book.

Take a look at this informative Bradt guide, it will give you great tips and advice.

What to see & do in Zimbabwe

Visit Victoria Falls
Visiting the spectacular Victoria Falls is a must when heading to Zimbabwe. The majestic waterfalls are breath-taking; you’re truly lost for words. Don’t forget to explore Victoria Falls town.
Morning safari
There’s nothing quite like a morning safari when the sun is just rising and the African savannah is waking up. Ensure you wrap up warm and be ready with your binoculars and camera. We experienced a morning safari at Tree Lodge at Sikumi in Hwange National Park and an early morning safari at Rhino Safari Camp at Lake Kariba.
Evening safari
Ok, so a safari is magical any time of day; it is the anticipation of what majestic wildlife you’ll encounter. We never missed an opportunity, so we headed off on a sundown safari at Rhino Safari Camp in Matusadona NP and an evening safari at Tree Lodge at Sikumi.
Bush walk
If the opportunity arises, I urge you to head out on a professional safari bush walk. As you are on foot, the animals are generally unaware of you, although you must keep your distance. We spotted, a herd of buffalo, lion, and hippo.
Sundowner cruise
A sundowner cruise on Lake Kariba is an experience like no other and a memory that will remain with me forever. As the sun sets across the flooded ancient forest and hippos are grunting and yawning next to you, the worries of the world disappear.
Explore Harare & Bulawayo
Zimbabwe is not all about safaris, if you get the chance, head into one of its bustling cities. We spent a day in the capital city Harare and ventured off to the colonial city of Bulawayo, both with fascinating history.
White water rafting
When visiting Victoria Falls, allow an extra day to venture off on a white-water rafting trip down the Zambezi River. It’s exhilarating, terrifying and fantastic fun, although I wish we could have skipped the climb out of the gorge.
Night sky
As you can imagine, the night skies over the remote region of Lake Kariba are magnificent, as the light pollution there is almost non-existent. One evening, we decided to head out with our camera to photograph the mesmerising Galaxy.

Art and Culture

Cry Freedom
A memorable movie filmed in Zimbabwe was Cry Freedom. The 1987 film, directed by Richard Attenborough, starred Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline and apparently my uncle (although I’m yet to spot him). It’s a powerful movie about Steve Biko, the black anti-apartheid activist.
Shona sculptures
The Shona sculptures have a long cultural history in Zimbabwe; stunning pieces of art are fashioned from one solitary piece of stone. I fell in love with them and found that Guruve, a UK company, imported the work for the same Shona Sculpture Gallery we visited in Zimbabwe. So, for a special birthday, I purchased one of the pieces.
The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan
If you want to see a bit more about the beautiful country of Zimbabwe, take a look at the BBC show ‘The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan’ on iPlayer. Romesh tours Zimbabwe and experiences the highs and lows of the country and gives an honest opinion of his findings.

Find your accommodation

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or What are the chances of us revisiting?
(0% - You'll have to drag us over hot coals to go back 100% - Why am I not there now?)


Zimbabwe is a magnificent country if only the government would do more to promote tourism. The abundance of wildlife and its breath-taking landscape is second to none.

Value for Money

Our value for money index.
Don't forget we're Londoners, and that means our baseline is quite high.

(0% - How much? I wanted to buy a drink, not the bar 100% - How much? I'll take two.)


This is difficult to answer as visiting Zimbabwe is expensive; however, the safari packages are all-inclusive. We were often the only people in the safari truck, so it was a very personal experience. The memories will last a lifetime.

Getting around Zimbabwe

Is it driveable? Do you need to use public transport?
(0% - It's mountainous and public transport's a joke 100% - I'm in paradise.)


I can’t lie, travelling around Zimbabwe isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap if you are touring independently. However, you can fly from Harare to Victoria Falls. My relatives live in Zimbabwe, so we were able to hire a vehicle and use theirs on occasions.

Personally, I would give the public commuter buses a swerve.

Zimbabwe Tourist information

For more information on Zimbabwe and how to plan your visit, why not check out the Visit Zimbabwe website?

Janis's Hi's & Lo's


Visiting Zimbabwe is a once in a lifetime and one you’ll never forget, so, if you get the opportunity to go, jump at it. My highlights were hopping aboard a safari truck and travelling across the African countryside, not knowing which extraordinary and stunning wildlife we would encounter.

Also, watching the thundering Victoria Falls cascading into the gorge below, you almost have to pinch yourself to believe it.


I would have to say travelling around the country is not always easy and accommodation costs can be expensive. We visited Zimbabwe during a fuel crisis; we took USD with us, which helped us purchase fuel. However, refuelling is not an issue if you travel to Zimbabwe as a package holiday rather than travelling independently.

Gary's Hi's & Lo's


This is so difficult because I love Zim' from the majesty and thunder of Vic' Falls to the otherworldly beauty of Lake Kariba. However, there is no better experience than heading out on a safari truck and not knowing what you will experience.


There is nothing from my visits, just a little frustration.

Zimbabwe is an amazing country, and I wish it would embrace its tourist opportunities to bring wealth and education to all its people, and invest in its infrastructure to become the world-class destination it deserves to be.

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