Zimbabwe is the perfect country for those who have already been to Africa, are bitten by the Africa bug, are keen on having more opportunities to enjoy a more active safari – walking or canoeing, and want to do something different. Zimbabwe is renowned for offering experiences that no other African country can compete with – notably outstanding walking opportunities and exciting moments being close to big game. This is partly due to its well-known and rigorous guide certification process, which is the most thorough and toughest in Africa, with safety its highest priority. Throughout your stay here you could be accompanied by professional licensed walking and canoeing guide Dave Christensen, one of the best guides in the country!
Visit Victoria Falls, where you may marvel at the sight that so impressed explorer Dr David Livingstone. Here you may also shoot the rapids below the Falls in white-water rafts, go for a bird walk, sunset cruises on the Zambezi River, or bungee jump off the bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Combine this with a stay in elephant-packed Hwange National Park where you may watch the comings and goings from a hide on the edge of a waterhole. The highlight of a Zimbabwe safari must be staying in an owner-run camp on the banks of the Zambezi in Mana Pools national park, where walking near big game is the speciality, and where you may also fish for tiger fish, or canoe on the Zambezi. Another treasure is the remote south-east of the country. Here you could either stay in the sybaritic Pamushana Lodge, which must be one of the most luxurious lodges in Africa, or you could venture on foot in Gonarezhou National Park, staying in a lightweight mobile camp, flexible enough to be able to move to a new spot at short notice, making the most of changing wildlife movements.
Most of the accommodation facilities are traditional bush camps or more adventurous lightweight camps (for canoeing trips and some bush treks), although there are some very luxurious lodges.
Zimbabwe has sadly featured prominently in the press during the last 20 years, mostly for its controversial land seizures. Tourism visitor numbers naturally fell as a result, although later tourism has increased, due to a more stable political environment and the attraction of seeing wildlife without the high density of tourism often experienced in other countries. The relatively low cost of the camps is another attraction. Overall Zimbabwe has wonderful places to visit with some outstanding wildlife experiences to offer.
Zimbabwe is A Step Ahead guides’ Dave Christensen and Squack Evans’ birthplace. Dave, his wife and 2 children still live in the capital, Harare.