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Attractions

Zimbabwe boasts of numerous tourist attractions, and is filled with beautiful natural sights and wonders that often get massive attention from local and international tourists.


Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls are situated on the Zambezi River, which flows between Zimbabwe and Zambia, The force of the water sends a spray up into the air that can be seen from a 30 km (19 mile) distance. Due to its formation, excellent viewing of the fall is possible from many angles, making it great for photographic opportunities. Victoria Falls is one of the world's most beautiful and romantic destinations. Designated a protected World Heritage Site, it is one of the few waterfalls in the world where one can witness up close the spectacular sight of over 550 million liters (145 million gallons) of water barreling down a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) wide precipice.


The largest National Park in Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park is one of Africa's finest havens for wildlife and is home to vast herds of elephant, buffalo, and zebra and has a very large concentration of giraffe. It is also home to many predators and endangered species plus very large and varied birdlife.  Zimbabwe's specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and The Park is situated on the main road between Bulawayo and the world famous Victoria Falls.

Hwange National Park covers just over 14 600 square kilometres. The Park carries 105 mammal species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. Elephant make up the largest proportion of the biomass.  All brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. The population of wild dog to be found in Hwange is thought to be of one of the largest surviving groups in Africa today. The landscape includes desert sand to sparse woodland as well as grasslands and granite outcrops. Due to the lack of water, man-made waterholes were introduced to sustain the animals through the dry season. The park has an interesting variety of landscapes with one part running alongside the North-eastern end of the Kalahari Desert. The south is sandy with extensive forests and open grassland. A  eature of the area is ancient fossil dunes - ancient sand dunes held together by vegetation. Walking, driving and horseback safaris are a popular way of seeing the wildlife. Accommodation is provided at a number of game Lodges. To travel through Hwange National Park today is to see what much of the interior of Africa might have been like more than 150 years ago.


About Matopos National Park
This attraction is well known by its rock outcrop, rhinos and world’s view and also spectacular accommodation facilities traditionally designed.  It was Mzilikazi who christened the balancing rocks of the Matobo National Park, Sindebele - "The Bald Heads". This levitating landscape has been inhabited for forty thousand years, by man and beast, as the many ancient San paintings here will attest. This has long been rhino territory and remains so today in the game park. It is also sacred ground and amongst the cracks and crevices of the Matobo Hills is the Ndebele rain shrine to Mwari, the god of their ancestors. The British imperialist Cecil Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) is buried here at his own request, but there has been some controversy over whether he will stay. The spiritual struggle between the resting place of Rhodes and the rights of the Mwari is a political tug of war. Should it be the park, or the people, who have been squeezed out by farmlands and nature reserve? At present, the park survives, guarding its rhino from poachers and its rock art from the rain. The people survive outside its boundaries but do come in to cut thatch.

 


The Great Zimbabwe Ruins
The Great Zimbabwe Ruins (sometimes just called Great Zimbabwe) are sub-Saharan Africa's most important and largest stone ruins. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1986, the large towers and structures were built out of millions of stones balanced perfectly on top of one another without the aid of mortar. Great Zimbabwe gave modern Zimbabwe its name as well as its national emblem -- an eagle carved stylishly out of soapstone which was found at the ruins. The Rise of Great Zimbabwe: The Great Zimbabwe society is believed to have become increasingly influential during the 11th Century. The Swahili, the Portuguese and Arabs who were sailing down the Mozambique coast began trading porcelain, cloth and glass with the Great Zimbabwe people in return for gold and ivory. As the Great Zimbabwe people flourished, they built an empire whose huge stone buildings which eventually spread over 200 square miles (500 km2). It is thought that as many as 18,000 people lived here during its heyday.

The Fall of Great Zimbabwe: By the 15th Century, Great Zimbabwe was in decline due to over population, disease and political discord. By the time the Portuguese arrived in search of rumoured cities built of gold, Great Zimbabwe had already fallen into ruin.

Recent History of Great Zimbabwe: During colonial times when white supremacy was in vogue, many believed that Great Zimbabwe couldn't possibly have been built by black Africans. Theories were bandied around; some believed that Great Zimbabwe was built by Phoenicians or Arabs. Others believed white-settlers must have built the structures. It wasn't until 1929 that archaeologist Gertrude Caton-Thompson categorically proved that Great Zimbabwe was built by black-Africans. Nowadays, various tribes in the region claim that Great Zimbabwe was built by their ancestors. Archaeologists generally agree that the Lemba tribe is most likely responsible.


About Inyanga
What to see and do in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. For some of the best trout fishing in Africa you should visit the Gairesi Valley. The national parks and private dams provide good fishing for brown and rainbow trout, making the Nyanga area one of the best districts for trout fishing in Africa. Three major rivers – The Save, Runde and Mwenezi – cut their courses through Gonarezhou national park, forming pools and natural oases from which hundreds of species of birds, wildlife and fish gather to feed and drink.


Mana Pools
Situated in the extreme north of Zimbabwe, Mana Pools is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs along the Zambezi River from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east.  At Mana Pools the Zambezi river has left behind the remains of old channels, forming small seasonal pools scattered over 2000 square kilometers This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area - even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation

Something Unforgettable -  Walk Unaccompanied by Guides Or Guided.  On the old river terraces, tourists can walk unaccompanied by guides in the open woodland because visibility is good and there is little danger of unexpectantly coming across dangerous animals.

This privilege of walking alone in an area with dangerous wildlife is unique in Zimbabwe and what makes Mana Pools the magical place it is.

The mix of morning walks, canoeing and game drives gives great variety and interest - it's a good combination

  • Huge numbers of antelope including kudu, eland, waterbuck and sable along with their predators: lion, cheetah and wild dog.
  • 450 species of birds to be seen in summer and in winter birding reverts to excellent
  • The frequent mists of winter mornings in June and July along the Zambezi River can be a photographer's delight
  • Excellent canoeing and river fishing. For an experience of Africa bereft of the excesses of twentieth century it is hard to beat a canoeing safari along the Zambezi past Mana Pools National Park.


MATUSADONA NATIONAL PARK OVERVIEW
Matusadona National Park is situated on the southern shores of Lake Kariba in northern Zimbabwe.

In the late 1950’s, following the establishment of the Kariba Dam wall, the middle Zambezi Valley was flooded and Lake Kariba, one of the world’s greatest man-made lakes, was created. As the waters of Lake Kariba rose, wildlife sought refuge along the islands and southern shores of the Lake, and many of the wild animals rescued from the rising waters of the newly-formed Lake Kariba by conservationist Rupert Fothergill and his teams during the much-publicised Operation Noah in 1958 were released onto the southern shoreline area. In 1963 the area was proclaimed as a Game Reserve before officially becoming Matusadona National Park in 1975.

Taking it’s name from the local Matuzviadonha Hills, the park covers an estimated 1400 km2 of remote flat plains and rugged mountain terrain, protecting a diversity of flora and fauna species, including three distinctive ecological areas. The first is Lake Kariba and its shoreline grasslands, the second is the floor of the Zambezi Valley, with its thick Combretum Jesse thickets and Mopane woodland, and the third is the Escarpment area of Julbernardia and Brachystegia woodlands. The Park lies about 20km across the lake from the town of Kariba, and is bounded by two spectacularly beautiful rivers, the Ume in the west, which meets the lake in a wide estuary, and the Sanyati in the east, with its magnificent, steep sided, rocky gorge.

The creation of the lake caused profound ecological changes. In particular, the availability of grazing on the lakeshore has contributed to an increase in the populations of large mammals in the park, especially those of elephant and buffalo which are regularly seen on the floodplains along the shoreline during the dryer months. The species of grass growing on the shoreline is Panicum repens which grows as long as the lake levels fluctuate bringing nutrients to the shore. This source of grazing has allowed populations of large grazers such as buffalo, waterbuck, common zebra, and impala to thrive, attracting the associated predators.

Today, Matusadona National Park remains an Intensive Protection Zone for the endangered black rhinoceros and elephant, despite steady declines in population numbers over the last 10 years. This park is a treat for visitors wanting to see Africa’s other big mammals including elephant, buffalo, hippo, lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra and various antelope species. Around the shoreline
Around the Matusadona region and the shoreline are some excellent safari lodges and rustic tented camps, offering game drives, birding safaris, walking safaris as well as fishing excursions and boat cruises which explore the lake’s riverine inlets and creeks. This is also a favoured destination for houseboat holidays. If you want to get away from it all and enjoy a wilderness experience which combines the harsh beauty of the African bush with the wide horizons of a vast inland lake, the Matusadona National Park is for you.


Gonarezhou National Park Overview
At 5053 km2, Gonarezhou is the country’s second largest game reserve after Hwange National Park, and is situated in a relatively remote corner of Masvingo Province along the Mozambique Border. Formed in 1975, the park is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Gonarezhou with the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, wildlife can move freely between the three protected areas. This huge area is set to become one of the finest “peace parks” in the world and is dedicated to conservation, biodiversity and the economic development of the surrounding local communities. The vast and diverse nature of the mega-park will provide world-class ecotourism to visitors with one of it’s major aims being to re-establish historical animal migration routes and fragile regional ecosystems.


Owing to its vast size, rugged terrain and its location away from main tourist routes, large tracts of Gonarezhou remain as pristine wilderness and its diverse landscape stands in stark contrast to the rest of the country, with one of the most prominent and enduring natural features being the spectacular Chilojo Cliffs. These magnificent red sandstone cliffs have been formed through eons of erosion and overlook the scenic Runde River valley.


“Gonarezhou” meaning “Place of many Elephants” is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes, primarily made up of lowveld scrublands, baobabs and sandstone cliffs. As its name implies, Gonarezhou is famous for its elephants, with many of the largest-tusked elephants in the region being found within the Park.


Gonarezhou has plenty of appeal in the wildlife department and hosts a wide range of predators and herbivores, but often what people find most astounding about this remote region is its incredible landscape; rocky outcrops, sandstone cliff faces, flowing rivers, and plateaus of dense bush, and baobabs.


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. In addition, the park contains a number of perennial pools and springs as well as the impressive Chivilila Falls.


There are few truly wild places in Africa that remain unspoiled by mass tourism and for the time being, Gonarezhou is one of them. Located far from the heavily tramped northern circuit, Gonarezhou is an absolute jewel of a wilderness area.

 

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
+263775 424 558
info@asmtravel.co.zw
www.asmtravel.co.zw

 

ASM Travel is a proud member of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority

 

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