AN EXOTIC AND ATTRACTIVE TOURISM DESTINATION
Zimbabwe is an exotic and attractive destination for tourists interested in traveling to Africa and many tourists dream of visiting Zimbabwe once in lifetime. In 2019, about 2.2 million tourists visited Zimbabwe, accounting for 3 percent of all tourists coming to Africa (International Tourism Highlights 2020 Edition, p.2). Zimbabwe has designated the month of September as Tourism Month and this year’s theme is Tourism for Inclusive Growth, celebrating tourism’s ability to drive inclusive development, and the role it plays in generating economic opportunities for millions across the globe
By His Excellency Dr. Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Consul General of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Former Member of Parliament & Advisor to the Prime Minister, Royal Thai Government & Chairman of Nation-Building Institute
Even though COVID-19 has not only affected tourism to Zimbabwe, but to all the world, Zimbabwe has so far vaccinated 2.7 million people, against a target of inoculating two-thirds of its 15 million population by the end of the year, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has paid for 12 million COVID-19 doses.(3)Zimbabwe has reopened the Victoria Falls land border with Zambia for fully vaccinated tourists to allow the smooth flow of tourists. The development follows the successful rollout of a vaccination program that has seen more than 60 percent of residents in the border town of Victoria Falls being vaccinated.(4) Tourists come to Zimbabwe for varied reasons,but some of the features of Zimbabwe that attract tourists include the following:
WILDLIFE SANCTUARY AND WONDERFUL SAFARI DESTINATIONS
Zimbabwe is a tourist destination with one of the greatest varieties of wild animals. Within 11 national parks and many special reserves in the country, you can effortlessly find the Big Five – elephants, leopards, rhinos (black and white), buffalos and lions. Elephants are especially plentiful: Zimbabwe is home to one of the largest concentrations of elephants in the world. Other creatures include wild dogs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wild beasts, crocodiles and hippos. Zimbabwe is also renowned for its birdlife, with more than 600 species recorded countrywide. Zimbabwe is therefore a great place for a safari experience. It’s an exclusive place to travel as there are no masses of people or vehicles gathering around wildlife as in other tourist spots in its neighboring countries. Mana Pools National Park is the best park and one of the finest wildlife areas in Africa, situated at the northern most point of Zimbabwe, straddling the Zambian border with outstanding views of the beautiful riverside wilderness beside the Zambezi River, floodplains, baobab trees and forests. Hwange National Park is one of Africa’s top national parks, located in northwestern and roaming Hwange’s savanna grasslands and woodlands. The park has the biggest diversity of animals of all the world’s national parks and is also home to some 50,000 elephants, cheetahs, leopards, lions, and also one of largest populations of the endangered wild dogs and birds. If you love safaris and want to experience adventure, another highlight you should try is exploring the untamed wilderness through horse riding. Almost every national park, including the surrounds of Victoria Falls, has this activity.
VARIOUS NATURAL WONDERS AND DIVERSE LANDSCAPES
Zimbabwe is a destination with abundant natural wonders and diverse landscapes. You can go to Zimbabwe and find great lakes, natural parks, wonderful waterfalls, and rolling mountains. National parks in Zimbabwe are amongst the finest in Africa. Some of them are truly spectacular, suchas Hwange National Park (the third largest in Africa), Mana Pools (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site) and Victoria Falls National Park. Zimbabwe has spectacular waterfalls in all shapes and sizes. Victoria Falls is one of greatest waterfalls in the worldand one of the world’s most visited attractions. The best view of the waterfalls is from the Zimbabwe side. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989 and is classified as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. There are also the Mtarazi Falls, which is Zimbabwe’s highest waterfall, and the Nyangombe Falls, a wider collection of cascading falls that form natural swimming pools. The Eastern Highlands is a mountainous area of astounding natural landscapes with lively forests, misty valleys, rugged peaks, lurching hills, deep gorges, descending waterfalls, and calm rivers and lakes. The Eastern Highlands has a cool damp climate and green landscapes, which diverge into the dry savanna ofother regions of Zimbabwe. Tourists visit the Eastern Highlands for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, golf and horse riding, as well as the admirable birdlife and the memorable scenery.
Lake Kariba is a massive man-made lake situated in the north of the country and sharing a border with Zambia. The lake is best explored by a slow cruise on a houseboat where tourists can spend days relaxing on drifting small boats or canoes, going fishing and spotting wildlife in Matusadona National Park on the lake’s shores. Not mentioned here are the many other places to experience, which tourists should not miss.
PLENTY OF LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND GENUINE CUSTOMER SERVICES
Zimbabwe has endless adventures to offer. In just the town of Victoria Falls alone there’s white-water rafting on the Grade 5 rapids of the mighty Zambezi River, bungee jumping, horseback safaris, gorge swinging, zip lining, abseiling and crocodile cage diving. Zimbabwe is an excellent, more affordable, option to some of its neighbors which offer similar experiences. As guiding is a comparatively wellpaid career in Zimbabwe, it means that there are plenty of high-quality candidates willing to do the job. Moreover, Zimbabwe’s education system is one of the best in southern Africa. Therefore, Zimbabwe is full of well-educated guides who speak excellent English. They also have a reputation of being among the best in the business. Their passion for wildlife is infectious and they delight in showing you what makes Zimbabwe so special. Not just as tour guides, Zimbabwean people are truly a joy to meet. They are warm, friendly, genuinely happy to see you enjoying their country and keen to share their own experiences. There is no better place to experience this than being on safari in Zimbabwe.
UNIQUE HERITAGE, HISTORY AND MUSEUMS
Zimbabwe is full of notable historic attractions. Evidence of ancient civilizations can be found in many places in Zimbabwe. The UNESCO site of Great Zimbabwe, or Great Enclosure, is the best place to start. The giant drystone walls are one of the main attractions of Zimbabwe today and can provide people who interested with an insight into Zimbabwe’s incredible history and remain as a reminder of ancient African civilizations. There is another UNESCO title holder, which is similar to Great Zimbabwe in many ways. It is called the Khami Ruins and is the site of a former Iron Age capital that was constructed without any mortar, and housed residents and a royal family for around 200 years. Another interesting place to go see the best-preserved rock paintings in Africa is the Matobo National Park, in the southwest of Zimbabwe. There is a selection of interesting artefacts dating all the way back to the pre-middle Stone Age, or more than 13,000 years. For museum lovers, Zimbabwe has some excellent collections for you to see. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare shows the country’s heritage. The Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences is home to the oldest wooden artefact discovered in sub-Saharan Africa. The Bulawayo Railway Museum has a collection of locomotives, carriages and provides a potted history of the city’s role at the heart of Zimbabwe’s once burgeoning railway network. Zimbabwe is a great destination for you to visit at least once in your lifetime. Zimbabwe is beautiful. It has a great number of tourist facilities. It is generally a safe country. Even though Zimbabwe may not be your first thought for a tourist destination, the country has developed gradually to become one of the world’s hidden gems among tourist destinations.
- World Tourism Organization. International Tourism Highlights 2020 Edition. https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/
- https://www.facebook.com/ Ztaupdates/
- https://www.reuters.com/world/ africa/get-covid-19-vaccineor-please-quit-zimbabwe-tellsgovernment-workers-2021-09-07/
- http://www.xinhuanet. com/english/africa/2021- 07/31/c_1310099488.htm