Like many African cities, Harare has a chequered past. Many tourists planning a trip to Africa focus on the vibrant plains and natural wonders, but there are some stunning and incredibly intriguing cities on offer too. If you’re thinking of arranging a personalised Zimbabwe holiday, don’t be scared to visit Harare. The Zimbabwean capital has undergone a resurgence in recent years, and you may be surprised at what you find. If you like the sound of marrying city slicking with outdoor adventures, a trip to Harare and Victoria Falls offers the perfect combination. Here is a guide to help you plan your itinerary and make the most of Zimbabwe’s highlights.
A couple of days in Harare
Like many other cities in Africa, Harare has a less than perfect reputation. People who don’t know much about Zimbabwe may be fearful of strolling through cities as a tourist. The reality is that Harare is no more dangerous than most other cities. If you follow advice you’d take for any other city break, and use your common sense, you’ll be fine. This is, to many people’s surprise, a beautiful, cosmopolitan metropolis. It’s positively bursting with parks and gardens, and you’ll find an impressive array of chic cafes, trendy bars and fine dining establishments. Tree-lined boulevards lead to towering skyscrapers, and the abundance of plants and red earth beds makes for a captivating sight at any time of year.
During your time in Harare, there’s no risk of getting bored. Major sights and attractions include the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, National Heroes’ Acre and Harare Gardens. A trip to Tobacco Floor offers a unique experience. Watch the city’s high-fliers go head to head with farmers as they negotiate the best prices for bales of tobacco. Animal lovers will appreciate a visit to Wild is Life, a wildlife sanctuary, which also offers afternoon tea and glasses of Champagne.
Visiting Victoria Falls
Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is one of Africa’s most prized possessions. The thundering cascades of water afford sensory experiences you’ll never forget. You’ll hear the tumbling torrents long before you see them, such is the power of the falls. When you reach your final viewpoint, you won’t be disappointed. No matter how many photographs you’ve seen, this incredible natural wonder will still bowl you over.
Victoria Falls is not simply something to marvel at from afar. There’s also a lot going on in this area, especially if you’re an adrenaline junkie. Navigate the crashing waves and unpredictable currents and go white water rafting, or let loose with a bungee jump. To take advantage of incredible views, swap travelling on foot for zip lining. For something a little more sedate, you could book an elephant ride or a hot air balloon tour.
If you’re visiting Zimbabwe, you’ll encounter a country offering a fascinating blend of urban adventures and encounters in the wild. Split your time between the capital and stunning Victoria falls to enjoy the best of both worlds.