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Zimbabwe Safari Tours & Holidays

Be prepared for an exciting journey full of surprises when going on safari in Zimbabwe. Go for a game drive in search of the Big Five in Hwange National Park. Push up the heat with a canoe or walking safari in Mana Pools National Park on the mighty Zambezi River. Search for ancient rock art on the balancing boulders in Matobo National Park, and get drenched in the spray of Victoria Falls (Vic Falls), one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Wherever you go, you’ll be charmed by the friendly people you meet along the way. Slow down and make time for a conversation here and there. Once back home, you might find that these moments are among the most precious memories of your trip.

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1-20 of 238 trips, packages and vacations to Zimbabwe

6 Questions About Zimbabwe Safaris


6 Questions About Zimbabwe Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What are the best parks to visit in Zimbabwe?

“There are lots of great national parks in Zimbabwe. Hwange, Mana Pools and Matobo are highly recommended, but so too are the more remote and little-known likes of Matusadona and Gonarezhou National Parks. Zimbabwe is best known for the magnificent Vic Falls, which, at 1.7km wide, is one of the world’s largest waterfalls. A beautiful feature of Victoria Falls National Park is the rainforest, nourished by the spray of the waterfall. Although the forest is home to many small mammals and birds, this isn’t a real wildlife-viewing destination. For a real safari experience, Hwange NP, Zimbabwe’s biggest and most popular Big Five destination, is only three hours’ drive from Vic Falls. The waterholes provide great viewing in the Dry season, when elephants are particularly abundant. Hwange is well-equipped for self-drive visitors, but the surrounding private concessions provide high-end five-star luxury and exclusivity. Mana Pools NP, with 70km of Zambezi River frontage, offers a true wilderness experience. Best explored on foot or by canoe, the park is home to huge numbers of buffalo and elephant, while predators include lion, leopard and African wild dog. Matobo NP is less densely populated with animals, but it’s a good place to track white and black rhino on foot. The ‘balancing rocks’, which dominate the dramatic landscape, are home to some superb rock art sites. For repeat safari-goers who want to get off the beaten track, Matusadona or Gonarezhou are highly recommended. Matusadona lies on the shore of Lake Kariba, while Gonarezhou is a very scenic park focused on the Same and Runde Rivers and spectacular Chilojo Cliffs. Wildlife densities, though relatively low after years of poaching, are swiftly recovering in both parks under dynamic new private management.”


What is the best time of the year for a safari in Zimbabwe?

“The best time of the year to visit Zimbabwe is from June or July to October. This is the middle and end of the Dry season, which is most favorable for wildlife viewing. As the water dries out in the bush, animals gather around waterholes and rivers, which makes them easier to spot. The lush vegetation shrivels as the Dry season progresses and this also makes viewing easier. Note though that the Dry season is the southern hemisphere winter, and it will be cold at night and in the mornings, particularly so on early morning and later afternoon game drives. The optimum time to see Vic Falls is from February to September. It’s most powerful up to June, when the Zambezi River flows at its highest, but views are clearer as the flow decreases from July. The waterfall is less spectacular from October to January but emphatically still worth visiting.”


Is it safe to go on safari in Zimbabwe?

“Although the country has had a turbulent past, it is basically safe to visit. On an organized tour, your guide will take care of your well-being at all times. You’ll only stay at reputable hotels and lodges where safety isn’t a concern. The political situation has improved a lot since the death of former president Robert Mugabe in 2019, and while there is still a lot of poverty, you’re very unlikely to get into any trouble when visiting parks and other tourist hot spots.”


How much will this safari cost?

“There are a lot of factors that determine the cost of a Zimbabwe safari. As a guideline, you can expect prices for a 7-day mid-range private tour to start at about US$2,200 per person, while luxury packages start at around US$3,300 per person. Most budget friendly is a supported self-drive safari. You’ll be kitted out with a sturdy 4x4 and camping gear, and all bookings will be made for you. While this might be appealing to people wanting full independence, most visitors prefer a guided tour. There are plenty of different tours available in different price brackets. You have the choice of joining a group tour, where some costs are shared, or booking a private holiday. However, the biggest cost difference between tours is the level of accommodation. The cheapest option is a camping trip. Going up from camping are different kinds of lodgings ranging from budget no-frills parks accommodation to five-star luxury lodges in private concessions. Road safaris are great as they give you a chance to see the countryside away from the parks, but more costly fly-in safaris are more comfortable and time-efficient. I recommend getting a few quotations before booking a safari in Zimbabwe.”

Factors influencing the cost of a Zimbabwe safari 4

Which animals can I expect to see?

“Zimbabwe offers excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities. The country’s most popular and accessible Big Five destination is Hwange NP. The elephant numbers are phenomenal in the Dry season and predator sightings are usually good too. Lions are most easily seen. Hwange is home to one of Africa’s biggest wild dog populations and sightings of these endangered sociable animals are very special. The antelope diversity is another drawing card. Aside from common species such as impala, greater kudu and waterbuck, you might see rarities such as roan and sable. The Zambezi River has incredible numbers of crocs and hippos, and the best place to see them is in Mana Pools NP. This exquisite wilderness is also known for big herds of elephants, buffalo, all three of the big cats and healthy numbers of wild dogs. Your best bet to see rhinos in Zimbabwe is in Matobo NP. White rhinos are quite easily spotted, provided you arrange a foot tracking excursion with a local guide, but black rhinos are notoriously shy and tend to stick to the thickets.”


What type of accommodation can I expect?

“Zimbabwe offers a wide range of accommodation styles suiting different budgets. The cheapest accommodation inside the parks (aside from camping) are the government national parks’ chalets and cottages. These are basic self-catering units, often in need of some maintenance. For better service and ambience, there are usually several privately owned lodges and camps available too. Top safari lodges tend to be fully inclusive of guided activities, meals and even drinks. There is plenty of accommodation in the towns too, especially in tourist hot spots, such as Vic Falls. There you’ll have the choice between owner-managed B&Bs, big luxury hotels, friendly guesthouses, safari lodges and backpacker hostels.”


Zimbabwe Safari Reviews

4.3/5 110 Reviews
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Zimbabwe: A Country on the Cusp…

If I had only one chance to go back to Africa and could choose only one country, it would be Zimbabwe. I first visited, going to Victoria Falls, at the height of the country’s toughest times back in 2004, when a trillion-dollar note...

Full Review

Anthony Ham  –  
Australia AU

Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.

Zimbabwe: The Next Big Thing in Safaris

Forget everything negative you’ve heard about Zimbabwe. This is one of my favorite safari destinations. Hwange, in the country’s east, belongs among the elite of African national parks. I especially love it for its elephant and lion...

Full Review

Tracey Geyser  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Feb 9, 2024
It has a natural beauty, the local people are friendly, the wildlife good but the roads terrible.

We used Serious fun tours for our 4 days in Zim. we wanted to do Victoria falls and a game drive. We got so much more. What a pleasant experience! They communicated well from the start. They offered the biggest variation of things to do...

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Caroline Page  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jan 17, 2024
Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with amazing scenery, great animal sightings, & friendly people!

Our family (four adults) had an amazing time on our trip to Zimbabwe. We loved the scenery on our drive from the Vic Falls airport to our first accommodation stop (Robins Camp). We saw so many wild animals just on that drive alone including...

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Eunice Sameke  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Nov 19, 2023
Fantastic place to visit and knowledgeable guides

Zimbabwe is a beautiful and peaceful country. We had an amazing time visiting Victoria falls and Chobe. All guides were very knowledgeable. I would recommend anyone wanting to visit Zimbabwe not to hesitate.

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Mary  –  
New Zealand NZ
Reviewed: Jul 26, 2023
Wonderful wildlife, but poor conditions for its people

Victoria Falls was amazing - the sound and power of the water was incredible. Hwange National Park was a wonderful experience, numbers and variety of animals was fantastic. Elephants, giraffes, impalas, baboons, zebras, lions, spider...

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