For a small, landlocked country in southern Africa, Zimbabwe offers an astounding variety of natural beauty and spectacular scenery. The country holds great appeal for active adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and those with an appreciative eye for exquisite beauty - from the majesty of the famous Victoria Falls, to the giant marble-like boulders of the Motopo Hills, the verdant mountains of the Eastern Highlands, the national parks teeming with wildlife and the Great Zimbabwe ancient ruins to the country's impressive capital city, Harare.
Sadly, Robert Mugabe together with his corrupt cronies has allowed Zimbabwe to disintegrate into an impoverished, disease ridden state.
Wildlife flourishes in the untamed wilderness of the Zambezi Valley, in national parks, and on the shores of Lake Kariba, where hippo, crocodiles, buffalo, rhino, elephant and lion roam freely. Remote and protected wildlife reserves line the banks of the Zambezi River and the region offers some of the finest canoe safaris in Southern Africa, particularly the World Heritage site at Mana Pools, which is renowned for its outstanding variety of game. The saltpans and grassy plains of Hwange National Park support one of the largest concentrations of animals in the world, and is the largest game reserve in the country. Lake Kariba is treasured as a source of hydro-electricity, as well as for its fishing resources. It is a beautiful stretch of water studded with islands and the sun-bleached branches of dead trees, surrounded by mountains and forests. Houseboats offer a wonderful opportunity to relax and take in the spectacular sunsets, enjoy a variety of water sports, and spot the vast quantities of game attracted to the lake, including huge Nile crocodiles and hippo.
The ongoing social and political unrest in Zimbabwe, together with an economy near to total collapse, has deterred most potential travellers from visiting Zimbabwe and experiencing some of the most breathtaking scenery and first-class game viewing safaris in Africa. Although visitors to the country are urged to exercise caution at all times and to remain aware of recent developments, the main tourist areas, and national parks in particular, have been largely unaffected by the political situation, being far from the cities where much of the instability exists. In a desperate attempt to attract business, many game lodges are offering extremely competitive prices to travellers.