The following is a guest post.
This weeks “Top Ten Tuesdays” post comes from Jack Jones and is on the lovely country of Zimbabwe. From Safaris to white water rafting, this country is full of tons of incredible things to do!
Zimbabwe is a wonderful country, characterised by stunning natural beauty, an incredible diversity of wildlife and warm, welcoming people. Although the country has experienced its fair share of problems over the last few years, these are domestic issues and donâ€™t generally affect outsiders. With so much to offer, it can sometimes be difficult deciding exactly how to spend your time here, so here is a countdown of the Top Ten attractions to get you started.
Houseboat on Lake Kariba
Spending a few days lounging on a houseboat on the largest manmade lake in the world is a truly unique and unforgettable experience, and something that you absolutely must try when visiting Zimbabwe. You will moor up each night in a different spot and be able to view game, such as lions and leopards, in the Matusadona National Park. Aside from that, you can fish by day, enjoy the African sunsets come evening and listen to the sounds of nature in an utterly tranquil environment at night.
There are lots of companies in Zimbabwe that make use of the wonderful array of wildlife by taking visitors on photographic safaris. The best places to see mammals are Hwange, Matusadona and Matobo Hills National Parks, whereas the bird enthusiasts will want to check out the Eastern Highlands and the Honde Valley for a spectacular diversity of the colourful, feathery tweeters.
â€˜Flight of the Angelsâ€™ over Victoria Falls
Zimbabweâ€™s Victoria Falls are one of the natural wonders of the world, and few people who have seen them question why. One of the best ways to see them is to soar over in a helicopter â€“ a ride known as â€˜Flight of the Angelsâ€™ â€“ and experience the majestic scenery from a birdâ€™s eye view. The flight lasts approximately 15 minutes and will cruise lower than most planes, giving the best possible view of the thunderous cascades.
Bungee Jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge
One of the best bungee jumps in the world is the one that sees you plummet off the 111m-high Victoria Falls Bridge towards the mighty Zambezi River that weaves through the steep valley below. Presuming the rope holds, youâ€™ll be winched back up to the bridge where you can bask in all your marvellous glory and receive irrefutable photographic evidence of your awesomeness.
White Water Rafting on Zambezi River
The Zambezi River is one of the greatest in the world, and there is no better way to experience it than crashing through its swirling, white-water rapids on a raft wielding nothing more than a paddle. Expert guides will ensure youâ€™re taken care of while you negotiate the churning river, and when you pop up (hopefully) at Bokata Gorge, youâ€™ll be served ice-cold refreshments with which you can toast your continuing existence.
Tiger Fishing on Zambezi River
Be warned: tiger fish donâ€™t give up without a fight. But then fishing was never the most exciting sport, so surely this can only be a good thing. The best place to catch the ominously named tiger fish is on the lower Zambezi River from September to November, when theyâ€™re at their most frisky. There is a wide selection of well-equipped camps lining the riverbanks, so booking in advance isnâ€™t usually necessary.
Golfing in the Eastern Highlands
The most beautiful golf courses in Zimbabwe are located in the Eastern Highlands, so if youâ€™re planning to swing those clubs, make sure you come here. Leopard Rock Hotel boasts one of the most scenic golf courses on the planet, with jaw-dropping vistas at practically every hole, and in the Nyanga region Claremont and Troutbeck are brilliant fun due to their highly challenging holes.
Horseback Safari in Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park covers an area approximately the size of Belgium and is filled with classic African wildlife, such as elephants, leopards, giraffes, rhinos and lions. One of the most memorable and relaxing ways to enjoy this wonderful place is not to go crashing along the dusty tracks in a roaring 4×4, but to sit atop a horse and let it trot leisurely through the African savannah. Youâ€™re practically guaranteed to see the Big 5. On the other hand, lions are partial to a bit of horseâ€¦
The Great Zimbabwe Ruins
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an absolute must for history buffs. The buildings that are now the Great Zimbabwe Ruins were constructed an incredible 1,000 years ago and made almost entirely from stone. What stands today is an atmospheric reminder of an ancient culture, and as you wander through the crumbling edifices you can try to imagine the people that once called them home. The country is named after these spectacular relics, which are situated just outside the town of Masvingo.
Hike the Chimanimanis
This staggeringly scenic mountain range in the Eastern Highlands marks the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and is one of the best places in the world for hiking. The tropical Chirundu Rainforest is draped across the foothills, and contains a trove of fascinating, rare plant species that cannot be found anywhere else. Other attractions include the striking Bridal Veil Falls and the millennium-old Big Tree.
I made a quick day trip to Zim while I was staying in Zambia and Vic Falls. Loved it! Did the Bungee Jump and a helicopter tour.
Bungee jump looks really cool. I bet a helicopter tour of the plains would be pretty great as well.
Wow, I absolutely LOVE that first photo – the lighting, the reflection. You should make that a photo a print and sell that. I think it is beautiful and would love for something like that to hang in my home. I’m serious!
As for Zimbabwe, I am sure many people know about Victoria Falls but what a great list of things to do. I think my favorite activity would be the golf though! 🙂
Ah I wish I could say that first photo is mine… It is from the guy who wrote the post…
I had no idea you could go horseback on a safari. Great piece!
John in France
I like the heading “The Great Zimbabwe Ruins”. Couldn’t be a more apt title to honour the work of the last years of their illustrious leader Robert Mugabe.
What a great list and what a stunner of a photo!
Africa just looks better and better as a destination the more I read about it.
Interestingly, when the great Zimbabwe ruins were first discovered by European explorers they tried to explain them away with theories of breakaway european civilisations – anything but admit that such a civilisation had been generated in Africa This practice of denial was still the norm as recently as when the country was called Rhodesia.
Isn’t that awful! We loved the time we spent in Zimbabwe, but when I was writing a photo post the other day on Great Zim I was thinking about this exact thing and got really upset. The people of Zimbabwe deserve more credit than we give them.
I knew so little about the country, impressed at how many outdoor activities there are and that fishing is so big.
What about Mana Pools? We absolutely adored Zimbabwe, but it isn’t the easiest of destinations right now. Make sure to check out the crafts, unlike the rest of Southern/Eastern Africa the Shona artistry is original and unique.
Great story Jack (and Matt)! Going to Zimbabwe is high on my bucket list so someday I hope to do all of these things for myself. Beautiful photography, by the way!
Awesome suggestions! I would love to accomplish this entire list in the future, especially the hiking and fishing!
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