Has anyone traveled to Zimbabwe in the last year and has any travel advice for places to stay and best time of year to go?
Hey, also grew up in Zimbabwe and recently moved back. As mentioned before it is very poverty stricken at the moment. The economy is in shambles which is a shame, because it is such a beautiful country with some much potential - Although this may be a biased opinion, Zimbabwe has some of the loveliest people. Despite everything that they are facing, they are very helpful and caring people.
But doesn't mean that you cant enjoy it. Places like Victoria falls, Karbia and Hwange national park which are all outside the capital city Harare almost seem like they are untouched by the poverty (inside the resorts). Would recommend staying in these places. Although if you want to experience the real Zimbabwe as it stands now, then staying in Harare will give you real first-hand experience.
So ultimately really just depends on what sort of a holiday you looking for.
I have lived there most my life so ask away. Depends on how much you want to spend. Its expensive but animal viewing is amazing. Best is the winter for game parks. Many closed in the summer due to heavy rains and malaria and flooded roads. I would suggest you see Kariba, Victoria Falls, South Gonarezhou National Park ( four wheel drive only), but dont try it alone , use a travel company. Corruption and scams are rife. Also outside Harare, Imire is amazing and you can stay there. See my beautiful country...I miss it. Sunsets over Kariba will leave you breathless. Go to Spurwing Island Lodge, fly from Harare.
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I have been to Zimbabwe and found it to be absolutely stunning if still quite poverty-stricken in places. I did a rhino trek at Matobo National Park with the outstanding guide Ian Harmer who you can contact through his site http://www.african-wanderer.com/About.aspx and visited Hwange National Park with the same company. Also you cannot forget a visit to Victoria Falls and I highly recommend a houseboat stay on Lake Kariba. One place I have always wanted to go but not yet managed is Mana Pools National Park. Sept-Oct is a fantastic time to go as it is at the end of the dry season so game is concentrated by water holes - particularly at Mana Pools. At the start of the dry season (April-May) you will have beautiful lush landscapes but harder to see game. I went in March and saw quite a bit but it did rain a fair bit too - probably best to avoid wet season if possible!
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