Now Zimbabwe is once more on the tourist radar, it is becoming an increasingly popular self-drive destination. The country is famous for the Victoria Falls, and two thirds of the falls are in Zimbabwe. However just south of Victoria Falls is the Hwange National Park, which is slowly recovering its past glory. Here, wildlife viewing can be very rewarding, especially in the dry winter months, and it is an easy park to self-drive through.
Further south is the Matopo Hills National Park, a very different area featuring granite outcrops and a site of great historical interest – World’s View and Rhode’s grave for recent history, as well as ancient history in the form of hundreds of rock art inscribed on the walls of the many caves in the hills.
The only other area covered in Zimbabwe at the moment is Mana Pools National Park and Matusadona in the north of the country. Mana Pools is a beautiful park, with the mountains of the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia providing a very picturesque backdrop. Together with Hwange, Mana Pools offers exceptional game viewing.
Matusadona is an exceptionally scenic park, especially bordering Lake Kariba, with the dead trees and the backdrop of the mountains in Zambia making for stunning sunsets. Game viewing is best done on foot, and there are good options for doing this from the rustic safari camps which operate in the park.
Off the beaten track, between Hwange and Matusadona is the lesser known Chizarira National Park. While not a big game destination, it is true undisturbed wilderness and the incredible views from the park’s Mucheni View and Mucheni Gorge campsites are unforgettable.