Visiting the magnificent Victoria Falls is a bucket list experience for travelers around the world. The is Zimbabwe’s leading attraction, and with good reason.
However, there is much more to Zimbabwe than Victoria Falls. In addition to exciting wildlife safaris and an opportunity to learn about the many different cultures of Zimbabwe, the country offers a unique opportunity to get off the beaten path and really explore.
Here are a few of our favorite unexpected things to do in Zimbabwe.
Visit the Mysterious Ancient City of Great Zimbabwe
In the province of Masvingo, lies the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe. Hidden in a small, forested grove, you can wander through these ruins made from almost perfect stonework. The height (10 meters) and thickness (5 meters) of the walls is simply amazing. While there are a number of theories, no one can say for certain how this level of perfection was attained hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Constructed in the 7th century, you’ll notice how perfectly the stones line up even to this day. And the consistently curved structure was all constructed without mortar.
The most popular theory of the history of Great Zimbabwe is that the city was built by the ancestors of the Shona tribe, a Bantu-speaking group.
Visit an Abandoned Safari Camp
Chilo Gorge, one of Zimbabwe’s newest and most luxurious safari camps, is remotely located near a town called Gonarezhou. This property is a shining example of conservation that involves the local communities. Here visitors can enjoy the riches of the local Shangaan culture, witnessing firsthand the bright promise of a truly sustainable future.
While staying at Chilo Gorge, don’t miss walking through this pristine wilderness. You’ll witness animals in their most natural state, towering ancient baobab trees and the presence of elephants everywhere.
On this journey, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the site of the former Mahenye Lodge. This is our version of a ghost town. This lodge is no longer in use, and you’ll be amazed by how fast the African bush has reclaimed this land. Swathed in tangles of dense trees and winding vines, you can almost hear the stories of safaris past.
Join Africa Leading Anti-Poaching Team
Another favorite property of ours is Bumi Hills. Located on the shores of Lake Kariba, the property is only accessible by a 1.5 hour speed boat ride from Kariba Town.
Here you can join the property’s award-winning anti-poaching team on one of their daily patrols around the property and adjacent conservation land. You’ll get a first-hand understanding of exactly what happens behind the scenes to keep a large concession like this in prime conditions.
Like in countries across Africa, poaching is a very real problem yet one that the safari industry and conservationists around the world continue to fight. Poaching teams like this are doing very important work, and seeing encouraging results.
As you’ll be covering ground on foot, this can be physically demanding and we only recommended for fit and healthy individuals.
Want more? Check out the best hotels near Victoria Falls here.