Fly to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. There are soaring mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and vast plains where lions, elephants, zebra and more roam. Add to that fascinating local cultures, and some of Africa’s most vibrant cities, and it’s easy to see why more and more people are visiting the country.
Where to stay
It’s easy to find cheap, friendly accommodation near Zimbabwe’s big sights, with local guest houses from around $30 per person, and hostels starting at $15 per person. For a different experience, self-catering apartments are available across the country.
Luxury travelers are also well catered for. There are beautiful, secluded safari lodges in national parks, and hip boutique hotels in Harare and other major cities.
How to get around
Zimbabwe’s trains are reliable and cheap. There are daily services between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Bulawayo and Harare, and Harare and Mutare. There are also sleeper services, with tickets starting at around $20.
Many private bus companies run services throughout Zimbabwe, and on to neighbouring countries. For example, you can travel direct to Blantyre, Malawi, by bus. City and regional buses fall into two categories: express and local. Local buses are cheaper, but they tend to be very crowded, and only leave when they’re full.
Minibus taxis are a good, inexpensive option for inter-city transport, but make sure you only use licensed ones: there is a growing trade in illegal taxis.
What to eat
Sadza – cornmeal porridge – is a cheap, nutritious Zimbabwean staple. You eat it with your hands: roll a bit of sadza into a ball and use it to scoop up stews and other dishes.
Other traditional foods include peanuts, butternut squash, corn on the cob and bowara (pumpkin leaves). Most vegetables are served in stews; dovi (peanut butter stew) is one of the most common.
In summer, you’ll find dried mopane worms and flying ants being sold by the pound. Eaten fried, they have a unique buttery, salty taste.
For a basic room, local food and public transport, expect to spend around $30-$40 a day. Mid-range expenses are around $50-$180 a day, and if you’re willing to spend over $200 a day, you can expect a top-end luxury experience.
The currency used in Zimbabwe is US dollars. Credit and debit cards are rarely accepted, but you can withdraw USD from cashpoints across the country.