​User Reviews – Zimbabwe

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trevor j van rensburg   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: June 2010 Reviewed: Oct 17, 2011

Email trevor j van rensburg  |  20-35 years of age

Natures wonderland
Overall rating

Recently my girlfriend and I visited Zimbabwe and stayed athe Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. I was born there and left very young so this was my chance to go and experience what I missed out on as a child.

When many people think of Zimbabwe they may think of all the financial trouble, poverty and hard times that the people have have to face becase of the current governments greed and corruption.

I can happily say that the zimbabwean people, despite their situation, are some of the most welcoming and friendly people I have had the privilege of meeting.

We had the most amazing view from the lodge and private balcony, overlooking a water hole where wild elephants and buck came to drink every night. Lying in bed at night we could hear them trampling the bushes. In the evenings we had the chance to lie poolside or sit on the deck and watch the sunset knowing one of the friendly staff would soon be there to help quench our thirst.

The weather at this time of the year is perfect! Around 28degrees and sunny nearly everyday.

The staff at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge are exceptional! The food was unreal! A variety like I have never seen before with the choice of a traditional feast at the 'Boma' a short walk from the lodge itself. Rooms were in tip top shape and the mosquito nets surrounding the bed really made you feel like you were in the wild!

Transfort to and from the Victoria Falls was always on time and our guide was very knowledgable and so friendly!

One thing to do that i would HIGHLY reccomend is a quick flight over the falls in a helicopter! INCREDIBLE!!

Another highlight of our trip was taking an elephant back safari in one of the nearby reserves. This was something I would never forget!! The whole experience from start to end was truely unimaginable! Getting to meet the elephants, some of whom had been rescued from poachers snares, and seeing wild giraffe running through the veld was amazing! You even get the chance to buy a footprint painting of your elephant and all the funds go to the anti-poaching scheme in that area!

I would suggest the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge to anyone you wants to relax, enjoy being close to the wildlife and see and experience things that make you appreciate the world we live in.

I feel proud to say that I was born in Zimbabwe! It is one of the most beautiful parts of the world I have been fortunate to visit so far!

gellakat   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: June 2010 Reviewed: Oct 2, 2011

Email gellakat  |  20-35 years of age

Pure excitement! One of the best places I've ever been in my life!
Overall rating

I was on an organised safari trip with a company called Absolute Africa when I visited Zimbabwe, so my visit was unfortunately only 4 days. Despite this, I had the best time in Zimbabwe and it left a real impression on me. There is so much to see and do here and it really is beautiful. The majority of my time in Zimbabwe was spent not too far from the border near Vic falls, on a camp site called Shoestrings (a fantastic place to stay, I highly recommend it to anyone thats camping and likes a bit of socialising!) Obviously here a big attraction is Victoria falls, which is fantastic on the Zimbabwe side (having visited the Zambian side as well I'd say that the view is better from Zimbabwe, even if it is a bit pricey!). I really wanted to go into the "devils pool" (a pool right on the edge of the Vic falls where the water goes over, a real adrenaline activity!) as I had read about it before visiting but infortunately as I was there in June the waters were too high for it to be safe, so if thats something you're interested in make sure to visit in the drier seasons!
I did get to do elephant riding in Zimbabwe. This was such a fantastic experience. It helped that I was with a large group of friends and we all had an amazing laugh, but the company was great. It was nice to see how much they cared for the elephants. After the ride we were required to watch a short film about the conservation work the company does and how the elephants are looked after and rehabilitated. (however the elephant riders were using the sharp sticks when the elephant misbehaved. They said it wasn't hurting them but if you're against this it would probably be best to avoid it!)
Lion walking was a real highlight to my safari. Once again a short video was shown about how the company works. Basically it tells you how the lions there were orphaned, unable to live in the wild or bread in captivity. At the point where you walk with the lions, they are getting used to the bush, and the walks help them get familiar with the surroundings, play, swim and learn. As they get older contact with people is limited and the aim is to eventually release them into a reserve and them possibly into the wild. Because of this you will only ever be walking with young lions, but that doesn't mean they will be small! The two I walked with were 14 months old, a shock to me because they were huge. It really was a once in a lifetime experience sitting with those lions, stroking them, walking with them and watching them play. It's quite pricey (£80 I think?) but its so worth it! How many people can say they walked with lions!?
Although I didn't take part in these activities, other available sports were bungee jumping (one of the best in the world, over the zambezi. On the bridge between zimbabwe and zambia, you need your passport to get on the bridge!), zip lining across the victoria falls gorge, flying fox (I think it was called?). There are so many adrenaline activities here it is hard to choose! Also one of my friends did the helicopter ride over the falls and she said it was one of the best things she did the whole time we were in africa. White water rafting was another activity that was unavailable because of the high waters.
Another thing arranged by Absolute Africa was a cruise along the zambezi. We were lead to believe this was a bit of a booze cruise, which we were all greatly looking forward to. It was a great boat and yes, the drink was unlimited. However the captain of the boat told us many times that we were drinking too much and being too noisey (which although yes we were drinking and having fun, I didn't feel was disruptive or out of hand. Just loudness and laughing really!) and eventually told us that we weren't allowed any more drinks, which seemed pretty bad to us considering unlimited drink was a part of the price we paid!!
Many people have heard a lot of horrible stories about zimbabwe. I can only speak for myself and the destination I visited of course. I was nowhere near central zimbabwe where all the problems have been, but I found that everyone I interacted with in Vic Falls town were very friendly and welcoming. We went out for a fantastic meal at a place called Bomas (all you can eat meat and fantastic entertainment!!!) and went to local bars and clubs and didn't feel at all in danger or unwelcome, however I would not recommend going anywhere at night alone, but that goes for pretty much everywhere!
The only thing that can get quite annoying are the people trying to sell you things on the streets. The will see you from a mile away and follow you, constantly pleading for you to buy or trade for their products, and no matter how many times you say no they will keep persisting! Although, back to the trading; this is fantastic! In the markets and stalls the locals will trade for almost anything, particuarly clothes, socks, pens/pencils, soap. Small things that seem like nothing to us. And you'd be surprised how much you get for these things, so if you have anything in your luggage that you feel like chucking away... DON'T!
The weather was nice and hot in the days, but as I was there in the colder seasons the nights were quite chilly, so if you're camping be prepared for a chill! Nothing too drastic though.
Generally it was just a fantastic 4 days. Go! Enjoy yourself, and get ready to meet a really fun interesting bunch of people! Whether they be other travellers or locals!

missprice   –  
United States US
Visited: August 2010 Reviewed: Oct 23, 2011

35-50 years of age

A top-notch safari experience
Overall rating

I stayed at the Linkwasha camp in Hwange National Park as part of an organized tour that also visited camps in Botswana and Namibia. The terrain at Hwange is a bit different from these other parks as it is more flat, less bushy, more like a savannah where you can see open areas of flat land and many animals together in the same environment. It was in Hwange where we saw large groups of giraffes, together with zebras, wildebeest, etc all in the same area. We also were fortunate to see many lions here, including a family with cubs who came out to play a few feet in front of our vehicle while we watched the parents on a hunt for ostrich. We also were very lucky to spot a leopard in Hwange - our guides hadn't seen one for a few months! Linkwasha camp was very comfortable, and had a spectacular view of a watering hole very close to the camp deck, where elephants were on view during any given time of the day. Our guide, Temba, was excellent. He always seemed to have a sense of when animals were close by, and would find them for us. He had a great sense of humor, too. Other highlights in Zimbabwe were visiting a village and school, as well as a flight to view the spectacular Victoria Falls. August was a great time to go, with sunny days that were cool in the mornings, with layers coming off and sunscreen needed for middays. Ideal for animal viewing! I would go back to Zimbabwe in a hearbeat!

T Sharp Visited: June 2008 Reviewed: Nov 22, 2011

Zimbabwe is a country of rich culture and history, friendly locals, and stunning natural beauty.
Overall rating

My stay in Zimbabwe was a very memorable one. I had the good fortune of meeting some local guides on my first day in Victoria Falls, and so was able to see some local sights that I feel I wouldn't have otherwise. I watched the sunrise over the falls, went on bushwalks, and camped in places that were very secluded and special. Zimbabwe is a photographer's paradise, and the opportunities for good shots were endless. I was there during their fall/winter, and the weather was brisk at night, and very temperate during the day. I loved the food, especially some of the more exotic dishes, and in rare cases wild game meat. Though their economy has seen better times, the quality of safari available there, as well as the unmatched natural beauty, continue to make it a desirable destination for many adventurers, photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts. I truly hope that I can return to Zimbabwe soon, because there is more to see and do there than anyone could write about. Safari njema!

Philip & Doris Morgan Visited: October 2008 Reviewed: Nov 9, 2011

Incredible wildlife, people and scenery
Overall rating

The highlight of the visit was to see Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side which without a doubt is the better side to view the falls. The wild life is to be found everywhere from the waterhole next to our hotel called the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge to the animals wandering around the Victoria Falls. You can expect to see elephants and many exotic animals if you take a boat ride on the Zambazie river or a local safari. The scenery takes your breath away and you can not stop taking pictures of scenery such as the falls or the Zambezie river. In fact our trip to Africa produced around 2,500 digital photographs each for my wife and i. We were also concerned about the food quality but were pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality and the interesting content. In fact this is true of all the amenities provided such as the transport, drivers and guides who went out of their way to provide service in a pleasant and friendly manner. One special event was high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel and i still have the bill which came to Z$25, 650,000 or US$26 at the time. Again walking around the grounds of the hotel resulted in encounters with many baboons and warthogs. The poverty is a culture shock but buying local goods and services must help the people survive and provide hope for a better future. The locals are more than willing to exchange the old Zimbabwe currency at attractive rates i.e. a 5 billion dollar note for US$1 and gifts for the children such as good quality hats are well received and appreciated.

Dominik Visited: May 2006 Reviewed: Oct 3, 2011

Victoria Falls
Overall rating

We spent two days in Victoria Falls during a two week safari (going throuhg national parks in Botswana). Of course there we visited beautiful and waterfalls. There was ample possibilities for "entertainment" as well: aerial view of the waterfalls by helicopter or micro-light, bungee jumping, elephant rides and walking with lion cubs. Other attractions are boat cruises on the Zambezi river or barbecue dinners in the evening. Be aware: for all of this you pay high dollars (USD of course).
In a high contrast to this is the situation of the citizens: extreme poverty, extreme inflation, unemployment and hunger crisis.
My travel experience is from 2006, since then the situation got even worse regarding economics and politics. Considering this i would not recommend to travel to Simbabwe.

Ronel van Zyl   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: November 2003 Reviewed: Apr 24, 2012

Email Ronel van Zyl  |  35-50 years of age

A Gem of Southern Africa
Overall rating

Zimbabwe away from the big cities in the unspoilt bush is a true wildlife and nature enthusiast's paradise. We visited the Victoria Falls area. The upsetting thing is that everything is charged for in US dollars which make it expensive. River rafting the 18 rapids on the Zambezi with the experienced guides make the trip a pleasure. Who has done 5 grade 5 rapids in one day? The safari lodges and hotel serve great food and it is recommended to visit a few for different dining experiences. The elephant back experience and the hot air balloon flight over Victoria Falls was magnificent. We stayed for two weeks in this area and it still felt not long enough. Petrol/ gas is a problem and one should fill up as often as possible if self driving. Great lodges, guesthouses and B&B's in the area with lots of friendly locals.

choofly   –  
United States US
Visited: October 2009 Reviewed: Oct 13, 2011

35-50 years of age

Wild beauty
Overall rating

Matetsi was a dream. The lodge was not full, which was very nice for us, but we found ourselves wishing more people would spend time there for the good of those who depend on tourism for a living. The service was top notch and everyone we met was genuinely friendly and lovely. We had perfect weather (not too hot, no rain) and we saw wildlife we hadn't seen in south africa, botswana, or tanzania -- wild dogs. We also saw african fishing eagles, elephants, giraffes, leopards, and lots and lots of wildlife. Amazing. The food was also top notch, but we found ourselves feeling very guilty eating such luxurious meals while food was difficult to come by in town. I would return to Zimbabwe in a heartbeat.

kgates Visited: February 2011 Reviewed: Oct 7, 2011

You will not regret a trip to Zimbabwe.
Overall rating

My husband and I were part of a tour group that visited Zimbabwe in February of 2010. I came away with wonderful memories and an incredible respect for the people of that country. I felt so welcomed into this land, so foreign to my experience, and found its citizens warm and eager to explain their lives. We stayed at the breath-taking Victoria Falls Hotel. I could not have wished for a more beautiful setting and we even did the "foofie slide" over the Zambezi River-- an even more "breath-taking" experience. Victoria Falls itself was an unforgettable experience.

We visited several markets (one for visitors and one for residents) and even had a chance to have a meal with a local family and compare our lives. Our local tour guides were amazing people who made our experience even more meaningful.

While in Zimbabwe, we boarded a jeep, hoping for sightings of the rare Black Rhino at the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve. We had a great view of a pair of these huge animals, and also saw elephants, zebra, impala, warthogs and baboons. And birds galore! Even more fun was spotting the warthogs, monkeys and elephant tracks around our hotel itself. We also visited a lion-rehabilitation center, getting to pose with three huge cubs, and rode an elephant through the brush while learning about elephants from our guide.

The animals in Zimbabwe were amazing, but what made the Zimbabwean experience truly memorable for me were the people of this country, so courageous and generous. I hope to return some day.

Portland, Oregon, USA

Jeni   –  
United States US
Visited: June 2000 Reviewed: Oct 6, 2011

Email Jeni  |  20-35 years of age

Zimbabwe was a fantastic wilderness experience with a great cultural vibe.
Overall rating

Our trip was absolutely fabulous - a trip of a lifetime! The scenery was gorgeous; the weather was perfect while we were there. Our accommodations in the bush were way better than expected, but still provided the rustic feel we were going for. I don't know who cooked our food, but if it was over an open fire, that chef was brilliant and way better at cooking in the bush than I would ever be. Our trip incorporated land rovers, station wagons, canoes and more. All worked out well for each situation. The wildlife was incredible and our walking safari guide, Gary, from Sengwa Safari's was top notch. I had a very up close encounter with an elephant that was just amazing and we saw several lions with their cubs while out for a drive. There were too many other animal sightings to mention, but that was a good thing! We ended our trip in Victoria Falls where we had a great white water rafting and bungee jumping experience. Seriously, this was the best vacation I've ever been on. I hope to repeat it some day with my husband.

Average User Rating

  • 4.5/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star 32
  • 3 star 8
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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