Information on Zimbabwe
Some of the places we like to visit:
Mana Pools Game Reserve – A game reserve in the extreme North of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi river and bordering Zambia. Dominated by huge trees. During the rains, most of the big game animals move away from the river and into the escarpment. They start returning to the riverine areas from around April, as the pans in the bush dry up. As the year progresses, increasingly large herds of elephants and buffalos are seen, as well as kudu, eland, waterbuck, zebra, impala and many other antelope.The game is very relaxed about people on foot, making Manapools one of Africa’s best national parks for walking safaris
The Park is at the Centre of a network of protected areas in Zimbabwe which stretch from Kariba to the Mozambique border. Manapools is located in Mashonaland West Province and falls under the ambit of the Hurungwe Rural District Council for higher level administrative purposes. There are over 20 000 km² of wildlife protected land in the vicinity of Manapools. It is in the Middle Zambezi Valley covering an area of 2196 square kilometers (848 square miles) extending from the Zambezi River in the north to the escarpment in the south. A timeless wilderness considered by many to be the Jewel of Zimbabwe and a Treasure for Africa.
Hwange Natonal Park : Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the Mighty Victoria Falls.
It became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19 th Century and was set aside as a National Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The Park has three distinctive Camps and administrative offices at Robins, Sinamatella and the largest one at Main Camp.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins : The Great Zimbabwe ruins are the largest collection of ruins in Africa south of the Sahara.
Located in the heart of southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, they are testament to a culture of great wealth and great architectural skill.
Built between the 11th and 15th centuries, Great Zimbabwe was home to a cattle-herding people who also became adept at metal-working. The ruins are the largest of their kind on the Zimbabwe Plateau, but they are by no means unique.
Other, smaller sites were ransacked by European treasure-hunters in the 19th century. These smaller ruins are called zimbabwes and can be found as far as Mozambique.
The granite walls – embellished with turrets, towers, platforms and elegantly sculpted stairways – seem to have had no defensive function. But, in the words of archeologist Peter Garlake, they display “an architecture that is unparalleled elsewhere in Africa or beyond.”
Although inexpertly restored in many places, the ruins at Great Zimbabwe are still by a good margin the most impressive ancient structures in sub-Saharan Africa. They are also the source of considerable pride for present-day Zimbabweans. After all, the huge chiseled walls of the Great Enclosure, with its soaring stone tower and complex chevron patterns, are a work of high engineering skill.
Much about Great Zimbabwe is still a mystery, owing in large measure to frenzied plundering of the site around 1902, but it can be stated with certainty that the Queen of Sheba never drew breath here. Instead, at any given time during Great Zimbabwe’s heyday, anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 black Africans did.
By the thirteenth century, they dwelt at the epicenter of an industrious southern African empire, with trading links stretching as far away as India, Persia and China.
In a small museum that stands near the site nowadays, you can inspect shards of Persian pottery, a Chinese writing set and brass ornaments from Assam in India, all unearthed amid or near the ruins and all extremely old.
Outside the splendid stone buildings, however, the mass of people lived in conditions resembling a modern slum. By the 16th century, when the Portuguese arrived in southern Africa, Great Zimbabwe had fallen into obscurity. No one is certain why.
Gonarezhou National Park is situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers an area in excess of 5 000 square kilometres. “Gonarezhou” meaning “Place of many Elephants” is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes.
Alternative folklore suggests the are was named for the herbalists who would stock their medicines in tusks (known as gona in the Shona language).
Three major rivers – The Save, Runde and Mwenezi – cut their courses through the Park, forming pools and natural oases from which hundreds of species of birds, wildlife and fish gather to feed and drink. As its name implies, Gonarezhou is famous for its elephants, and many of the largest-tusked elephants in the region maybe found within the Park
Matusadona National Park is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba but was proclaimed a non-hunting area on 7 November 1958 before the dam was built.
It became a Game Reserve in 1963, and in 1975, in terms of the Parks & Wildlife Act, it became a National Park. The Park comprises some 1 400 square kilometers of diverse flora and fauna. Before the lake was built, Matusadonha was a vast, rugged wilderness with limited access.
With the lake came ecological changes. One in particular, the lakeshore contributed greatly to the increase of large mammal populations in the area, especially elephant and buffalo. The grass found on the shoreline is Panicum repens and is a rejuvenative grass – needing only fluctuating lake levels to replenish its nutrients. With this ready food source, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, and even impala have thrived and with them the predators. Matusadonha is an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) and home to several relocated rhinoceros.
Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks are situated on the western tip of Zimbabwe. The Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as Mosi oa Tunya- The Smoke that thunders, is one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” and one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls on earth.
Matobo Park . The park of international acclaim occupies a total area of 44 500 hectares . Established in 1953, the park was awarded World Heritage Status in June 2003. The park is an Intensive Protection Zone for endangered black and white rhinocerous. The park offers a diverse package of tourist attractions and activities.
The park is rich in cultural history which is resembled in numerous cultural and historical sites. The park is located 34 kilometres south of Bulawayo along the Kezi / Maphisa road. The main road to Maleme is tarred while all other park roads are gravel and mostly in good condition.
The park is well known for its unique balancing rock features with the popular “mother and child” balancing rocks.
Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume. It lies 1,300 kilometres upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe