Located in the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a busted city in the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe. About a three-hour drive from Harare, if you are interested in history and architecture, we highly recommend a visit to this area. A visit to Kyle Recreational Park is worthwhile while in this region of the country. go out for boat cruises, fishing on the Lake and see a mixture of game in the park including buffalo, common duiker, reedbuck, warthog, waterbuck, white rhino carousel and, ostrich, crocodile impala, kudu, , wildebeest, zebra, squirrel, black-backed jackal, leopard, giraffe, honey badger, rock dassies, hippopotamus.
Great Zimbabwe used to be the capital city of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe throughout the country’s Late Lion Age. Building on the monument by ancestors of the Shona people begun in the 11th century and continued until the 14th century, occupying an area of 722 hectares which, at its peak, could have housed approximately 18,000 people. Known as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The capital of the Queen of Sheba of The ruins of Great Zimbabwe, according to an age old legend are an individual testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city, which includes an area of nearly 80 ha, was an important trading center and was famous from the Middle Ages.
Protected since 1893
Great Zimbabwe helped as a royal palace for the Zimbabwean sovereign and would have been used as the seat of political power. One of its most noticeable features were the walls, some of which were over five meters high and were constructed without mortar. Eventually, the city was deserted and fell into ruin.
The city has been legally protected since 1893 and is currently preserved under the National Museum & Monuments Act, which provides for the legal security of the resources within the property.
Harare officially called Salisbury until 1982 is the capital of Zimbabwe, with an estimated population of about 2.1 million. Harare is Zimbabwe’s leading financial, commercial, and communications center, and a trade center for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactured goods include textiles, steel and chemicals, and gold is mined in the area. Harare is situated at an elevation of 1483 meters and has a pleasant subtropical highland climate.
Numerous suburbs surround the city, retaining the names colonial administrators gave them during the 19th century, such as Warren Park, Borrowdale, and Mount Pleasant.
Two South American species of trees, the jacaranda and the Flamboyant, which were introduced during the colonial era, contribute to the city’s color palette with streets lined with either the lilac blossoms of the Jacaranda or the flame red blooms from the Flamboyant. They flower in October/November and are planted on alternative streets in the capital.
In spite of economic difficulties over the years, Harare is still a vibrant and buzzing city and is friendly and safe to visit. I still call it the “Sunshine City” – full of smiling and happy faces! There is a variety of good quality hotels and lodges, including the World Famous Meikles Hotel, celebrating its Centenary next year! There is a good range of restaurants and cafes offering a mixture of local and international cuisine and some great spots for listening to local music. There is plenty for a visitor to do in and around Harare including a visit to the well-known Silver Smith, Patrick Mavros, Doon Estate which offers a variety of local arts and crafts for sale, Chapungu Sculpture Park where you will see the work of some world-famous sculptures, Domboshawa Rocks and much more.
Collective of the Scottish Highlands and the English Moors, the Eastern Highlands boasts Zimbabwe’s most extended mountain range. The Nyanga, Mutareor Bvumba and Chimanimani mountains span the fields eastern spine for three hundred kilometers, separating the Zimbabwean Highlands from the Mozambican floodplains.
The Bvumba area sites entail the Mbiga Falls, Bvumba Botanical Gardens, Lake Alexander, Bunga Forest Botanical Reserve, Hivu Nursery, Mutare Museum, Mutare Heights, and the Small Bridge Dam. The Leopard Rock Game Reserve is place to impala, wildebeest, zebra, nyala as well as kudu. There is a golf course at the Leopard Rock Hotel that is famous worldwide.
A breathtaking part of the country where you will encounter a more relaxed and wetter climate, rolling hills, streams and rivers and mountain forests. For those who enjoy hiking and fresh mountain air, this is a definite must on your Zimbabwe travels.
The moist climate is ideal for planting tea, coffee, and hardwoods. However, much of the original vegetation remains, especially at higher altitudes, which are not suitable for farming. Large areas of the Highlands are protected, including the 171km2 Chimanimani National park and Nyanga National Park.
The variety of different types of habitat results in a richness of animal life too. Animals found in the Highlands include Blue Monkey the, SamangoSykes’ Monkey, East African Little Collared Fruit Bat and Marshall’s Pygmy Chameleon.
Victoria Falls is the delightful little town in the western portion of Zimbabwe, across the border from Livingstone, Zambia and near Botswana. The city lies immediately next to the Victoria Falls, and from many parts of the town you can hear the thundering of the falls in the distance and see the spray rising above the bridge.
Whilst the falls are a major attraction, this famous tourist town offers both adventure seekers and sightseers plenty of opportunities for a more extended stay. Activities include white water rafting, canoeing, elephant back safaris, helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls, bungee jumping and gorge swing activities to name a few. The Victoria Falls Airport is located 18 km south of the town and currently has international services to Johannesburg and Namibia.
The Victoria Falls, also known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga: the smoke that Thunders), is classified as the most significant fall in the world, based on its width of 1,708 meters and height of 108 meters resulting in the world’s most massive sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls.
The settlement began in 1901 when the possibility of using the waterfall for hydro-electric power was explored and expanded when the railway from Bulawayo reached the town shortly before the Victoria Falls Bridge was opened in April 1905, connecting Zimbabwe to what is now Zambia.
The town offers a wide variety of accommodation – including the world-famous Victoria Falls Hotel – steeped in history and well worth a visit even if you are not staying there. They serve a superb high tea on the Terrace overlooking the Victoria Falls Bridge. Whether you prefer a hotel environment or a smaller more personal lodge, there is a range of excellent standard properties to choose from.