19 May The Great Zimbabwe: Falls, Lions and Ruins…
It is possible that some backpackers might avoid Zimbabwe due to the political turmoil that has plagued the region for decades. However, when this land contains some of the most gorgeous natural sights known to man, I was never going to overlook it on my gap year travels. Be warned: some of the activities in Zimbabwe can be quite pricey, so make sure your budget is as good as it can be before heading off. They say good things come in threes (right?), so reflecting this, here are my top three things to do in Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya)
This wonder of the natural world should be anyone’s first point of call when visiting Zimbabwe. When I arrived at the Victoria Falls National Park and set eyes on the wondrous view of the waterfall, spray billowing from beneath it, I grabbed my camera and filled up the memory within about ten minutes. First piece of advice: bring a spare memory disc for your camera; you will get through it quickly. Visiting this Park costs $20 from the Zimbabwe side, a tiny cost considering the multitude of experiences available. Nearby, there are opportunities for adrenaline junkies to throw themselves off of a bridge (attached to a bungee cord, of course) as well as white water rafting though the intense rapids of Zambezi. Sadly, I am not THAT brave and opted for the relatively safer version…
Walking with Lions
Alright, maybe not that safe. Walking with lions is a fantastic experience for anyone visiting Victoria Falls National Park. Not only do you get to get a real feel for the African Wildlife, you get to make a few friends! The lion that I was keeping an eye on was adorable and not nearly as intimidating you might think. The experience costs around $115 (including snacks, soft drinks and beers), but if you feel you could face an Elephant Back Safari, both experiences would only set you back $175. A true bargain.
Home to one of the most famous stone buildings in southern Africa, Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city dating back to around 1100 AD. Anyone who is interested in the ancient civilisation of Zimbabwe, this place is a must-see. Wandering around these ruins, I felt a million miles away from the adrenaline activities that take place in Victoria Falls. Great Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination for anyone looking for a more relaxed, less frightening excursion. Hence why it was perfect for me…
Zimbabwe is a land full of natural and ancient beauty, with a fascinating cultural heritage as well as plenty for tourists to do. Even though I chickened out of the more adrenaline inducing activities, the people that I met clearly had an amazing time. What can I say? I prefer hanging out with lions and ancient cities then risking my life hanging over a waterfall….!
Author Bio: Jade Eva
Jade Eva is an English Literature student who has read books based in all the corners of the world. But now she wants to see it for herself. From Verona to Vegas, Peru to Portugal, Jade will see it all!