Zimbabwe VISITOR INFORMATION

Zimbabwe has many attractions to offer and to visit them all in just one visit could be impossible. Following are just a few of the great places to visit whilst in Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls is Zimbabwe's number one attraction. The falls measure a huge 1.7km wide and drop between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge. With the size and sound of the magnificent waterfall, it is hard to think that anything else exists in the surrounding jungle. Zambezi is, however, packed with wildlife. You may spot warthog, crocodile, hippo, or even elephant, buffalo and lion.

Hwange National Park is the easiest to reach out of all of Zimbabwe's game parks and offers the biggest variety and concentration of game.

The Great Zimbabwe Ruins is sub-Saharan Africa's greatest archaeological site. It's also an astonishingly peaceful place to relax for a couple of days of camping and exploring.

Chimanimani National Park is home to Zimbabwe's wildest and most rugged mountain wilderness. There are no roads in the park, however, there are many hiking tracks that offer the best bushwalking in Zimbabwe.

Matobo National Park is the best place in the world to see white rhino. The Matobo Hills near Bulawayo also shelter hundreds of amazing caves and rock paintings.

Mana Pools National Park is one of the only parks where visitors are alowed to venture out alone on foot. Access to Mana Pools is difficult, the best way to arrive here is by canoe safari along the Zambezi River.

Lake Kariba is a favourite amongst Zimbabweans. Around the lake you can find great fishing, boating, game viewing and camping.

Vumba National Park is famous for the beautiful forests and botanical gardens. Vumba offers excellent walking opportunities and expansive views across nearby Mozambique.

Domboshawa and Ngomakurira are located just 30km from Harare. They offer brilliant hiking over stunning lichen-covered domes, you can also see as well as the opportunity to see lots of rock paintings.

Bulawayo Museum of Natural History includes information on the geology, palacontology, anthropology, zoology and history of Zimbabwe. This is a must see and is definitely Zimbabwe’s best museum.

Mzilikazi Arts & Crafts Centre is located just outside Bulawayo. It displays the amount of artistic talent to be found in Zimbabwe.

Culture

There are a huge percentage of artists in Zimbabwe. Many Zimbabweans make a living out of traditional arts, such as pottery, basketry, textiles, jewellery and carving. The work is brilliant and Zimbabwe has some of the best sculptors in the world.

A little less than half of Zimbabweans belong to Christian churches. The Mwari cult is the dominant non-Christian religion. This entails ancestor worship, and spiritual mediation. Mwari, the unknowable being, speaks to his human subjects through The Voice of Mwari, a cave-dwelling oracle who is most often female. The oracle serves as an intercessionary between the spirits, the god and the people.

English is the official language of Zimbabwe, however, it is the first language for only about 2% of the population. The rest of the population are native speakers of Bantu languages, the two most prominent of which are Shona, spoken by 76% of the population, and Sindebele, spoken by 18%.

Zimbabwean cuisine is mainly made of sadza, a white maize meal porridge and nyama, which is meat, usually beef or chicken, but can also be crocodile, kudu and impala. Fruit and vegetables are limited.

Local Currency

The currency in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe dollar (Z$).

Banks are open Monday to Saturday (closed Wednesday and Saturday afternoons). All brands of travellers' cheques in US dollars or UK pound denominations can be easily exchanged for Zimbabwe dollars at any bank. Major international currencies are also accepted. Informal currency exchange is illegal and not worth the risks - you're almost certainly dealing with a scammer. Credit cards are accepted by establishments catering to tourists and business people.

There's a 15% tax on hotel rooms, safaris and other tourist services. Tips of around 10% are expected by taxi drivers and in tourist-class hotels and restaurants. Some establishments automatically add a 10% service charge to the bill.

Transport

Air Zimbabwe connects Harare and Bulawayo with Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park and some other places.

There are two types of buses, that you can catch, express and local. There aren't any schedules for local buses and they depart from the 'African township bus stations, which are never in the town centre.

Car and 4WD rental in Zimbabwe is expensive.

Zimbabwe has a good railway system, which connects Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Victoria Falls, and if you travel economy class they are cheaper than the express buses. Most trains also travel at night.

Visa Information

Most visitors are not required to obtain a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

 

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