African safari trips off the beaten track Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a country less discovered. Which is what makes it so appealing. While Victoria Falls snatches the lion’s share of publicity, take a safari trip further afield to Hwange, Matusadona on Lake Kariba, Mana Pools in the Lower Zambezi, and the remote south-east lowveld, and you’ll start to question why.

Meaning “house of stone”, Zimbabwe (or Zim, as she’s affectionately known) is named after the mystical stacked-stone remains of Great Zimbabwe, an ancient medieval city thought to be the capital of the Shona trading empire. While the Arab coins and Chinese and Persian pottery discovered in its rocky ruins point to a rich past, modern-day Zimbabwe hasn’t been so lucky.

This ever-optimistic nation has suffered more than its fair share of political turmoil and economic woes. But these are usually dealt with like private family matters, behind closed doors and beaming smiles – and never in front of visitors. Zimbabwe might get a bad rap in the news from time to time, but its people couldn’t be friendlier, its hospitality more genuine or its diverse wildlife more spectacular.

Zim’s dry winter months – which coincide rather nicely with northern hemisphere summer holiday season – are the optimum time for game-viewing. Its safari guides, considered to be among the best in the world, will show you the time of your life, no matter when you go.

Perfectly paired with a visit to Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and its five-star tented retreats, boasts the country’s best Big Five safari experience. Further afield, Lake Kariba, the world’s largest man-made lake, offers elephant-dotted island escapes and riviera living at the foothills of the Matusadona.

Beyond Kariba’s dam wall along the banks of the Lower Zambezi, you’ll find Mana Pools. With its termite mounds, dappled shade and hindleg-balancing elephants reaching for tasty treats in the canopy above, this is one of Zim’s best-loved African safari experiences. Its banks are crowded with hippo, buffalo, antelope, wild dog, leopard, enormous crocodiles and tufts of adrenalin grass – so called for its anxiety-inducing ability to conceal hungry lions and grumpy daga boys (older male buffalos).

Travel east, far below the pine forests and rolling tea plantations of Nyanga and the Honde Valley, and you’ll find the wildlife-rich lowveld. Here, among sandstone outcrops, mopane woodlands, and chunky baobabs, the private Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and Gonarezhou are perhaps the country’s very best kept secrets. Teeming with elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard, those who venture out this far are always rewarded.

Zimbabwe fast facts

  • This landlocked country shares borders with Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.
  • Zimbabwe is home to five UNESCO World heritage sites including the famous Victoria Falls and Mana Pools, the Khami Ruins, Great Zimbabwe and Matobo Hills.
  • Victoria Falls, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, is listed as a Wonder of the Natural World. It is the world’s largest curtain of falling water.
  • Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made lake by volume.


Zimbabwe has a population of 15 million people.

When to go

  • Zimbabwe is a year round destination, but for safaris, the dry season is favourable. In particular, April, May and September offer moderate temperatures.
  • Victoria Falls is most impressive between February and May. Lower water levels from June to September offer good views.

Destinations within Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Itineraries

9 nights Custom Safari Southern Africa Honeymoon safari The iconic Southern Africa tour

Starts: Cape Town Ends: Cape Town

Price from USD $8,120 per person

9 nights Custom Safari Luxury South Africa Safari and Victoria Falls The iconic Southern Africa tour

Starts: Cape Town Ends: Cape Town

Price from USD $7,100 per person

12 nights Custom Safari Luxury treehouse safari Life in the trees

Starts: Cape Town Ends: Cape Town

Price from USD $17,290 per person

11 nights Custom Safari 12 day ultimate Zimbabwe safari Upper Zambezi, Lower Zambezi and everything in between

Starts: Harare Ends: Victoria Falls

Price from USD $10,850 per person

8 nights Custom Safari Highlights of Zimbabwe safari Wonderful wildlife and natural wonders

Starts: Victoria Falls Ends: Victoria Falls

Price from USD $8,995 per person

10 nights Custom Safari 11 day Zimbabwe and Zambia safari A taste of Zimbabwe and Zambia

Starts: Victoria Falls Ends: Livingstone

Price from USD $12350 per person

Lodges in Zimbabwe

This is why we do what we do Our travellers' stories


Take a look around for a bit of inspiration.

Tell us what your dream safari looks like. 

Next, your Personal Travel Planner will schedule a call to plan the perfect adventure.

Confirm your trip and get packing.


Ready to go? Give us a shout and let’s start planning your next adventure. We’re almost as excited as you are.