Zimbabwe is located between rivers Limpopo and Zambezi in Southern Africa. A greater part of the country’s land mass is covered by forest and wildlife. The first inhabitants of Zimbabwe were Bantu-speaking farmers in the iron age around AD 300. Since then, the country has evolved with rich history and discoveries.
The country has a central plateau, where most of the country lies elevated. The eastern part has a lot of mountains, making the country an ideal Africa tourist spot. Below are ten must see places in Zimbabwe.
When you think of an Africa tourist spot, one that always springs to mind is Victoria Falls. It deserves to take its rightful position as one of the world’s most popular places to see. It also has an enviable spot among the Seven Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls is traditionally called “Tokaleya Tonga”, meaning “The smoke that thunders.”
It is located on the Zambezi River right at the Zambia-Zimbabwe border. The fall attracts the highest number of tourist every year. The fall is within a national park that has a unique rain forest with an array of wildlife. Some of these animals include elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, crocodiles, buffaloes, and elands.
Bulawayo Railway Museum
If you are into hunting for classics and transport mediums, then you will find the Bulawayo Railway museum a great thrill. This Africa tourist spot not only offers pleasure but educational benefits. The progression of trains can be seen dating as far back as 1897 when the oldest exhibit was held. The Museum was opened in 1972 and owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe. One of the exhibited coaches belonged to Cecil John Rhodes. He was a British businessman, mining magnate and a one-time Prime Minister of the Cape colony.
Chinhoyi caves is a designated world heritage site. This tourist spot is a group of limestone and dolomite caves found in North Central Zimbabwe. It was named after a hero who killed an acclaimed murderer. It has a sleeping cobalt blue colored pool, formed from the droplets of the limestone. It is famed to be the burial place of many dead. The wonder hole is the main feature of the cave with a 150 feet drop below ground level.
It is the largest man-made lake. Lake Kariba is located in the north of Zimbabwe. Formed by damming the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe at the Kariba gorge in 1955. The lake covers 5,200 square kilometers on the Zambezi River.
It provides hydro-electric powers for both countries. It is a popular holiday destination, having wildlife and birds along its shores. Activities like fishing, house boating, motor boating, water sports, and sailing are always in full swing. It offers a beautiful marriage of safari experience and nature.
Mana Pools National Park
It is another World Heritage Site. The Mana Pools is a series of pools resulting from oxbow lakes from the floodplains of the Zambezi River. “Mana” means four in the Shona language depicting the number of pools in the park. The wildlife attracted to these pools made the park one of the world’s renown game-viewing spot. There are over 350 species of birds and aquatic life, not to mention the many mammals that come to drink at the never- drying pools. The park is a 219.600 hectares conservation located in Northern Zimbabwe.
Ruins of Great Zimbabwe
This is the largest stone ruin collection in the south of the Sahara. It can be located in the Southeastern part of the country. It is believed to be built in the 11th – 15th century by the Gokomere people who are the ancestors of the modern-day Shona tribe in Zimbabwe. Legend has it, that it is the capital of the Queen of Sheba.
The kingdom of Great Zimbabwe harbored at most, 10,000 people in the late Iron age. Today, it is recognized as a national monument. It reflects great architectural skill and construction. The country was named after this old city, where the word “Zimbabwe” means “house of rock”.
Hwange National Park
This is the largest natural reserve and park in the country. It was established in 1930 and located in the west between Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls. It was known as Wankie Game Reserve earlier. It is acclaimed to hold the largest number of African Elephants, estimated to be about 30,000 in number. Hwange National park is also home to large packs of the African wild dog. All protected animals are found in the Hwange National Park.
Nyanga National Park
It is Zimbabwe’s oldest national park. It was formerly called the Rhodes Inyanga Estate, a bequest from Cecil Rhodes. Nyanga is located in the Eastern Highlands of the country. It experiences frequent rain because of the high altitudes, meaning it has unpredictable weather and thick rain forest. Tourist activities like trout-fishing, birding and hiking are enjoyed by visitors and tourists.
It houses the highest mountain in Zimbabwe – Mount Nyangani located right at the center of the park. Whilst there have been many successful hikers, the Mount Nyangani has a bad reputation. It has caused the disappearance of few people who attempted hiking to its peak. Their disappearances are believed to be due to vindictive spiritual forces.
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
It is the center of national culture. The gallery is an art museum located in the capital city, Harare. Its mission is to preserve and promote the Zimbabwean culture. The National Museum was opened in 1957. The National Gallery contains large number of masks, images, paintings, and sculptures. These works all reflect different seasons and eras that showcases the heritage of the Zimbabwe. It also shows artworks with international influences and contemporary arts.
Gonarezhou National Park
This National Park is another fascinating Africa tourist spot. It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The park links both the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. The three are combined to form one big peace park that will promote ecotourism, biodiversity and economic development.
Gonarezhou Park has a scenic rugged and beautiful landscape. The word “Gonarezhou” means “Place of many Elephants”. The name of the park is based on the ancient belief that herbalist uses the elephant tusk to store medicine. “Gona” means tusk in the Shona language. The elephants in the park are known to have the largest tusk in the region.