Zimbabwe is a land of dramatic contrast ranging from the Kalahari sands of Hwange, across its many game rich destinations, to the remote and beautiful Mana Pools, and then of course, on to the magnificent  Victoria Falls – one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Visitors to Zimbabwe are enchanted with the country’s spectacular natural beauty, friendly people, rich culture and climate, and a trip to any (or all) of its five UNESCO World Heritage Sites are so worthwhile: Mana Pools, Khami Ruins National Monument, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Victoria Falls and the Matobo Hills.

The country is landlocked between South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, and has the mighty Zambezi River at its northern frontier and the Limpopo at its southern border. The country has a variety of habitats, from the granite hills of the Matobos to the majestic mountains, lush forests and beautiful rivers of the Eastern Highlands.

Despite two decades of governmental mismanagement, political violence and economic disaster, Zimbabwe continued to welcome visitors with the same grace and politeness that they were famed for. And with the recent change in government, there is much hope for a new era.

There is so much to be discovered here including wildlife viewing and adrenalin adventures. Our experienced team at Ikewana would be delighted to help you create your perfect Zimbabwean holiday and look forward to hearing from you.

Zimbabwe's Climate

Zimbabwe enjoys a pleasant temperate climate with 365 days of sunshine and average of 10 sunshine hours per day. The seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere, with midsummer at Christmas and winter lasting from May to August. In winter, the days are generally dry and sunny with cold frosty nights in the Highveld. In summer, the temperature averages between 25 – 30 degrees Celsius (77 – 86 Fahrenheit), with October being the hottest month when temperatures can exceed 32ºC (90ºF). In low-lying areas like Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Gonarezhou and the Zambezi Valley, it is much warmer throughout the year compared with Harare and other Highveld areas.

In Zimbabwe, the rainy season falls between December and March, and the further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe’s higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones. By April and May, most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting, which is starting to dry out. Especially in more southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop.

The nights between June and August become much cooler, so warmer clothes are recommended, while the days are still clear, cloudless and warm. This is the start of Zimbabwe’s “peak season”. In September and October, the temperatures rise once more. It can get very hot in Zimbabwe’s lower-lying rift valley where the Mana Pools are – particularly in October. Game viewing is at its best as wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources. November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry, it can also see the season’s first rainfalls and on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.

  • Victoria Falls These world-famous waterfalls are known to locals as "The Smoke That Thunders". A visit to view them is a must as it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The sheer power of this massive body of water plunging into the Batoka Gorge is awe-inspiring and unforgettable.
  • Boulders at Matobo National Park Zimbabwe is famous for its balancing rocks and Matobo offers some stunning examples. This is yet another opportunity for thrill seekers to grab a mountain bike or scramble over some boulders.
  • Magnificent National Parks Blessed with pristine tracts of wilderness the country boasts all of Africa's celebrity animals in the various game parks. Top on the list are Hwange, Mana Pools, Matusadona and Chizarira.
  • Adventure activities abound For those that delight in an adrenalin rush there is plenty on offer, including white water rafting with Grade 5 rapids, bungee jumps, ziplining over stunning gorges, kayaking, microlighting and parachuting.
  • History & Culture Enjoy archaeological sites, the impressive city ruins of Great Zimbabwe and ancient San rock paintings dating back 10 000 years.
  • Sunshine Because of its location on a high plateau, the country enjoys an excellent tropical climate, averaging 10 sunshine hours per day.
  • Capital: Harare

    Language: English is the official language and all others are Bantu (a branch of the Niger-Congo language family) of which Shona and Sindebele are the most widely spoken. Other languages include Tonga, Shangaan and Venda.

    Electricity: Electricity current in Zimbabwe is 220 – 230 AC voltage. Most outlets take a 13 amp fused square pin plug, but round pins are still in use. We recommend that you bring an adaptor that can take both.
  • Airports: Harare International Airport (HRE) lies 12 km (7 miles) southeast of Harare. Its runway, at 4 725 metres (15 500 ft), is one of the longest in Africa. Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport is situated some 20 km outside of Bulawayo with 2 airlines in operation: Air Zimbabwe and South African Airlink. Victoria Falls Airport is an International Airport located 21 km from Victoria Falls town. There are 4 international airlines operating from here: British Airways Com Air, South African Airways, Air Namibia and Air Zimbabwe. Charles Prince Airport is located approximately 8 km northwest of Harare. Visitors usually fly into Harare or Victoria Falls with regional flights servicing the small Victoria Falls airport. Air Zimbabwe and KLM service Harare from Europe, while most long-haul visitors stop in Johannesburg en-route.
  • Currency: The use of the Zimbabwe Bond Dollar was temporarily suspended as local currency. In the meantime, the country has resorted to the use of multiple currencies as legal tender which include the US Dollar, British Pound, Euros, South African Rand and Botswana Pula. It is advised to carry small denominations of change with you, and it is best to pay for as much as possible outside of the country. Dollars work best and are widely accepted in supermarkets, and for curios, accommodation, activities and gratuities. South African Rand and Euros are only accepted in some places in Victoria Falls. Do not plan on being able to use cash machines. We recommend that you exchange all the money you will need for your trip, into USD before leaving home (in 1, 5, 10 and 20 denominations as change is not always available). In an emergency, Barclays, Stanbic or Standard Chartered Bank will infrequently accept foreign debit cards for withdrawing cash. Only VISA and MasterCard are accepted in Zimbabwe, and it should be noted that very limited facilities will have credit card machines.
  • Getting Around: Despite the potholes, Zimbabwe has a good road infrastructure, by African standards. If you are driving yourself around Zimbabwe, remember that traffic drive on the left side of the road and that road blocks between major towns are common. If you are covering long distances within the country, be sure to check on fuel availability in advance and ensure that you carry extra fuel in 5 or 10 litre metal containers in case of emergency. Fuel is generally available, but supply can fluctuate and note that fuel is only available for cash. Taxis are safe and reliable, and can be booked through your hotel front desk. It is recommended that you always take a taxi at night.

    Buses: The express or ‘luxury’ buses operate according to published timetables. We recommend that you carefully check when booking as most bus companies have both local (‘chicken buses’ for locals) and luxury coaches. For example, Pioneer and Zupco have both luxury and chicken buses.
  • What to wear: Due to the heat, we recommend that you wear light, loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton or linen, as they are cool and easy to wash. Dress casually, and don’t forget your sunscreen, brimmed hat and sunglasses. Especially between June and August, warmer clothes are advised for the evenings and rainwear for the wet season between December and March. For safaris, appropriate clothing in earth tones is advisable such as browns, greens and tans.

    When to go: Zimbabwe can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to enjoy Victoria Falls is from May through September. And for prime safari time, the dry season is best between May and October when animals congregate around the rivers and waterholes.
  • Area: Zimbabwe’s total land area is 386 850 Km2 (149 364 sq. miles) which is about the size of Germany or California. It is a landlocked country in central southern Africa and because of the impact of its colonial history on the nation's political, economic and socio-cultural life, it generally is identified more with Southern Africa than with Central Africa. It lies between the Zambezi River to the north and the Limpopo River to the south and is bordered by Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. Most of the country is a high to middle veld plateau with extensive areas of wooded savanna and a temperate climate; the lowveld of the Limpopo and the Zambezi Valley is hotter and has less rain. On the Mozambique border, the only mountainous area, the Eastern Highlands, runs from Nyanga in the north to Chimanimani in the South. Rainfall is higher North of the Eastern Highlands and in the lower Zambezi Valley and lowveld.
  • Great Zimbabwe The mysterious ruined city of Great Zimbabwe is the biggest and most significant stone archaeological complex in sub-Saharan Africa and date back to the 11th century. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1986, the large towers and walls were built out of millions of rectangular granite blocks stacked on top of one another without the aid of mortar.

    Matobo National Park Matobo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world. The national park is separated into two sections: the recreational park and the game park.

    In the recreational park visitors can enjoy a stunning and otherworldly landscape of balancing rocks or giant boulders unfeasibly teetering on top of one another. It also includes World’s View which is a scenic viewpoint and burial site of Cecil Rhodes, as well as ancient San rock art caves.

    The game park may not have the most prolific wildlife (thanks to poaching), but it remains one of the best places to see both black and white rhino. It also has the highest density of leopards in Zimbabwe and is home to one-third of the world’s species of eagle including black eagles, African hawk eagles and the rare Cape eagle owls.
  • Hwange National Park Hwange National Park (Pronounced ‘Wang-ee’) is Zimbabwe’s largest National Park and covers an area of 1.4 million hectares (3.4 million acres). It is situated on the border with Botswana in a convergance zone between the Kalahari to the west, the moist miombo woodlands to the east and a broad band of mopane that separates the two. As a result there is a captivating diversity of species, as well as the densest concentrations (particularly its herds of elephant and buffalo) on the continent. Hwange National Park has great visibility during the dry season between June and October, when animals gather at the waterholes.

    Mana Pools National Park Mana Pools National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) lies at the heart of the Zambezi Valley and is one of the most remote and beautiful areas in Zimbabwe. Its views of the broad river, floodplains, riverine woodland and the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment are spectacular. In this stretch of the Zambezi River are its four main pools (after which the park is named – "mana" means four) i.e. Main, Chine, Long and Chisambuk. The area offers intensely exciting walking safaris, as well as canoe safaris. Enjoy spotting plenty of wildlife including hippos, crocodiles, zebra, elephant, lions, leopards and cheetahs.

Destinations in Zimbabwe