Nyanga is known for its spectacular views with wonderful names: Worlds View, Honde View, Pungwe View and Mutarazi View. In Nyanga National Parks there is Mount Inyangani: the highest mountain in Zimbabwe, with a fairly easy climb, except when it rains.
History left its marks in the whole area. There are remnants of early settlers: forts, the so-called pit structures, all quite well documented in the Ziwa museum. Near Rhodes Nyanga Hotel there is a museum, telling the stories of Cecil Rhodes who left part of his legacy in Nyanga.
Main roads are excellent, but access to Nyanga National parks requires a 4 x 4, or a car with high clearance.
Go have tea and scones at Troutbeck resort, and warm yourself at the cosy fireplace, or something more challenging: try trout fishing in the crystal waters of the Pungwe river.
Masvingo is the home of the world famous Great Zimbabwe Monuments. Zimbabwe – meaning big house made of stone – derived its name from it in 1980. Historians and archaeologists are still excited about this place. Even if you despised history at school you will like the stories of these ruins.
They are surrounded by unanswered questions: Who built them? Where are the graves of the deceased leaders? Why was it abandoned? We advise you to take at least 2 to 3 hours for your visit, and make sure you hire a local guide: they are excellent!
On the other side of lake lies Mutirikwi National Park. It has its own charm, especially the viewing spots on the shoreline. It is an appetizer: once you have seen wildlife you want to see more ….
Masvingo itself has a typical relaxed and friendly atmosphere; some call it “the slowest town of Zimbabwe”.
In Masvingo we have partnered with a local group of people called Chesvingo. We have created with them a guided walk through the communal lands, full of rolling landscapes between the Zimbabwe ruins and lake Mutirikwi. This walk takes you to various villages. Great views! It gives you a unique insight of the day-to-day live in rural Zimbabwe.
This walk takes about 4 hours and includes lunch. A great way to meet local people in their day-to-day life!
A visit to Bulawayo may change the perception that cities are busy and boring. Bulawayo is full of life and splendour. Take an extra day to see the City of Kings with a local tour guide. It has many historical sites and it has marvellous architecture. The Bulawayo Arts Gallery is a charming place, also an ideal place for a delightful small lunch. The National Museum is certainly worth a visit as well as Mzilikazi, one of the oldest townships close to the city centre. If you have time left, then the Khami ruins are a must. Great structures with great stories.
Thinking of Kariba is seeing a huge man-made lake, created in the late 50’s, to generate electricity, but in the process creating vast opportunities for wild life to prosper.
Kariba town is usually visited for one night, for an onward transfer to one of the many lodges on the endless shoreline of Lake Kariba. A visit to the dam wall is worth a visit, especially when the gates are open, but this happens maybe once in two years. The small church at Kariba Heights, near the dam wall, serves as a monument which tells the story of the construction of the dam. Quite a heroic exercise indeed!
There are many fabulous lodges on the shoreline of Lake Kariba, each with its own characteristics.
All of them border Matusadonha National Park where game drives and game walks are offered.
The Park comprises some 1 400 square kilometres 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. 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.
A multiple day journey by house boat is certainly an affordable and attractive option to consider, especially for groups. A house boat does what it says: it provides a home on the water, simple but comfortable, a very relaxing journey, with excellent cooks on board.
Currently access to Kariba is a bit taxing: from Victoria Falls either by air charter, or by road through Zambia which takes a full day with two border crossings, or from Victoria Falls by road and ferry between Mbilizi and Kariba, a 2 – day trip in total, or by road via Binga and Karoi (but this option is only for very experienced and patient 4 x 4 enthusiasts, since the road can only be described in one word: terrible! By tar road from Victoria Falls via Bulawayo, Chegutu and Chinoyi, a 2 – day trip.
Access from Harare is by road (400 km, around 5 hours) or by air charter.
Hwange National Park is the largest national park of Zimbabwe (1.5 million hectares). It has a great diversity of wildlife, and has more than 200 bird species.
The standard of professional guiding in Zimbabwe is very high. Full of passion and knowledgeable about every living thing: insects, grasses, flowers, birds and wildlife. With their guidance you may encounter elephant, sable antelope, lion, wild dog and with some luck the leopard. But don’t be surprised to spend 15 exciting minutes near an ant-hill to hear the amazing story of what‘s going on inside!
It is this unique wildlife experience which will make you come back to the magic of Africa!
A typical safari day in Hwange: wake up at 5:30 am, have tea, get into an open vehicle and drive around to look for wildlife. Back at 9 am, have breakfast, read a book, and watch wildlife near the waterhole. Have lunch, have a nap, and at 4 pm depart again. Back at 630 pm, have dinner and sleep. Sounds boring?? It is not! We can assure you.
https://nyati-travel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/P5060618.jpg1080810Andrehttps://nyati-travel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/nyati-wide-logo-300x68.pngAndre2011-07-31 10:42:122018-03-09 13:04:22Hwange National Park
A wonder of the natural world, the Victoria Falls contain the largest sheet of falling water in the world, in terms of area. It is truly a stunning spectacle to gaze upon, and if you haven’t seen it, you do not know what you are missing. It is termed by the Tonga tribe living in the area as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World on the list compiled by UNESCO.
When you get to the Victoria Falls, columns of spray can be seen from miles away. At the height of the rainy season, more than 500 million cubic meters of water per minute plunge over the edge, over a width of nearly 2km, into a gorge over 100m below. The wide; basalt cliff over which the Falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a meek river into a fierce gush cutting through a series of deep gorges. A famous feature of the Falls is the naturally formed “Armchair” (now sometimes called “Devil’s Pool”), close to the edge of the Falls on Livingstone Island on the Zambian side. When the river flow is at a certain level, usually between September and December, a rock barrier forms a whirlpool with a slight current, allowing adventurous swimmers to splash around in relative safety a few feet from the point where the water pours over the falls.
Facing the Falls is another steep wall of basalt, rising to the same height, and covered by a mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the visitors prepared to brave the marvellous spray, with an incomparable series of views of the Falls. One special vantage point is across the Knife-edge Bridge, where visitors can have the premium view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot, where the river turns and heads downwards into the Batoka Gorge. Other vantage points include the Falls Bridge, Devils Pool and the Lookout Tree, both of which command panoramic views across the Main Falls.
Different times of the year will offer totally different experiences of the Falls region. Peak flood season is around March and April when the full power of the Falls is experienced in all its glory. Due to the multitudes of spray rising from the fallen water, the full width of the Falls can’t be seen on foot. The aerial view at this time is remarkable. With clouds of spray rising high into the sky. As the floods subside the view of the Falls gets better and better through the year. At its lowest, around November and December the Falls become little streams running over the edge and in some places along the width, no water falls at all. The pleasure of visiting the Falls in this season is the view of the extraordinary cliffs that form the Falls’ wall, and the extent of the gulf can be fully cherished.
The two national parks at the Falls are rather small – Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is 66km2 and Victoria Falls National Park is 23km2. Animals can move between the two Zimbabwean parks and can also reach Matetsi Safari Area, Kazuma Pan National Park and Hwange National Park to the south. On the Zambian side, fences and the outskirts of Livingstone tend to restrict most animals to the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. In addition fences put up by lodges restrict animal movement.
Wildlife & Vegetation
The national parks have plentiful wildlife including substantial populations of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and a variety of antelopes. Lions, leopards and cheetahs are only irregularly seen, but monkeys and baboons are quite the common site over there. Klipspringers, honey badgers, lizards and clawless otters can be glimpsed in the gorges, but they are mainly known for 35 species of raptors. The Taita falcon, black eagle, peregrine falcon and augur buzzard also breed there.
The river above the falls comprises of large populations of hippopotamus and crocodile. Elephants cross the river in the dry season at particular crossing points. Also in the river above the falls, herons, fish eagles and numerous kinds of waterfowl are common. The river is home to 39 species of fish below the falls and 89 species above it. This demonstrates the efficiency of the falls as a dividing barricade between the upper and lower Zambezi.
The most notable aspect of the area’s vegetation is the rainforest fostered by the spray from the Falls. It contains plants rare for the area and a number of creeper-plants. Mopane woodland savannah predominates in the area, with smaller areas of miombo and Rhodesian teak woodland and scrubland savannah.
The attraction of Victoria Falls is that is very easily accessible and is hence comparatively inexpensive to reach. There are many action-filled activities like rafting, bungee-jumping, boat cruises, canoeing and kayaking, national park drives, elephant rides, walking with lions, helicopter rides, a trip on the steam train and many other exciting things to do!
Both countries allow tourists to make day trips across the border to view the falls from both perspectives. Visitors with single-entry visas are required to purchase a visa each time they cross the border; visas can be obtained at both border posts. Visa regulations change frequently. Additionally, before crossing the border in either direction, foreign tourists may purchase a KAZA visa that will permit visitors to travel between Zambia and Zimbabwe for up to 30 days as long as they remain within the covered countries.