North & West Zimbabwe
Situated on the western tip of Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park are probably two of the most famous attractions that visitors to the country come to experience. The spectacular Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, is located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Whilst many come here just to be amazed by the stunning waterfalls, for the more adventurous there are a whole host of activities on offer.
During the Zambezi Rivers peak flow, the falls are nearly two kilometres wide with around 550 million litres of water cascading down the 70 – 100 metres drop into the chasm below. Victoria Falls is made up of five different ‘falls’, the Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls are located in Zimbabwe with the Eastern Cataract, just over the border in Zambia.
There are a number of great positions from which to get a view of the Falls, Cataract Viewpoint gives an exceptional outlook which can be reached by descending into the gorge itself. The famous statue of David Livingstone can be found at the end of the Falls near the Devils Cataract Viewpoint.
As well as the Falls the park boasts some fabulous biodiversity with many unique species of flora and fauna. The Big Tree, standing around 20 metres tall and 16 metres in diameter, is a fantastic baobab tree located near the Falls, and is a spectacular sight!
Victoria Falls | Zambezi National Park
Located in the North West corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park at just under 15,000km2 is the largest game park in Zimbabwe, offering visitors breathtaking scenery and a plethora of flora and fauna.
Named after a local Nhanzwa Chief, the park became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th Century and was ratified as a National Park in 1929.
Over 100 mammal species and nearly 400 bird species have been noted in the park, however, it is the huge elephant population, one of the largest in the world, for which Hwange is world famous.
In addition, to its large herds of elephant, Hwange is well known for some of the best walking safaris that Africa has to offer.
Hwange National Park
It's impossible to think of Zimbabwe, without an image of the fabulous Victoria Falls coming to mind. Most visitors will want to spend a few days at the Falls, and from there visiting some of the parks in the North and West of the country is an easy journey.
With marvellous flora and fauna and a diversity of landscape across the country, it's all about exploring your surroundings and the biodiversity in the company of experienced and talented guides.
Mana Pools National Park
Situated in the heart of the Zambezi Valley, Mana Pools National Park is a remote park characterised by stunning scenery and it’s collection of oxbow lakes. The landscape at Mana Pools is beautiful and is one that is best explored either on foot or from the river itself. With no physical boundaries, wildlife is free to move throughout the area and across the Zambezi river into neighbouring Zambia.
Covering an area of around 2000km2, Mana Pools is famous for its four large main pools, Main, Chine, Long & Chisambuk as well as for the smaller seasonal pools, all of which act as a magnet for a wide variety of wildlife and birdlife. Large herds of elephant, lion, hippo and buffalo are frequent sights here, as is a stunning variety of aquatic wildlife and over 350 bird species.
Designated as a World Heritage Site, Mana Pools offers visitors the opportunity to walk unaccompanied by guides in the open Albida woodland. Walking alone on the old river terraces is something quite special! The park offers a range of activities including guided walking safaris, hiking, canoeing, fishing and game drives.
Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park
Located on the Zambezi River, Lake Kariba is one of the world’s greatest man-made lakes. Matusadona National Park, located on the southern side of the lake boasts large concentration of wildlife that can be viewed on foot, from a vehicle or from the water.
Chizarira National Park
Chizarira National Park, a remote region overlooking the Zambezi Valley in North Zimbabwe is best explored by walking and 4WD game drives.
Chizarira's isolation means that there are relatively few visitors, giving it a very wild and exclusive feel. The rugged terrain dotted with gorges and ravines attracts those who take walking and safaris seriously and who appreciate a genuine wilderness experience.
Wildlife includes elephant, buffalo, leopard, antelope species as well as over 70% of Zimbabwe’s bird species.
© ecoTravel Africa 2011