Venture into the midst of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa to explore bucket list attractions. From stunning national parks, medieval ruins to dam cruises this land offers many exciting activities. We discuss the top things to do in Zimbabwe for the ultimate adventure. This is your ideal destination for a fun-filled holiday that is action-packed with scenic drives, game viewing, and more.
Top Things To Do In Zimbabwe, South Africa
1. Chill Out at Kariba Dam on a Houseboat
Kariba Dam is a great place to unwind with friends. Rent a houseboat from Kariba town and experience the dam. The eastern side of the dam wall is the most popular with an array of boats to choose from. Cruise along with one of the largest artificial lakes located about 5 hours from Harare. As you sail along expect to see loads of wildlife including the Big Five. Watch brilliant sunsets and indulge in fishing experiences in Zimbabwe’s playground.
Price: USD 1425 (Kariba to Binga 3 nights full lake tour)
Timings: Based on the tour
Pro Tip: Pack in sun cream with 30+ SPF and a DEET insect repellent, complete must-haves.
2. Tick Off a Bucket List Hotspot of Victoria Falls
Visit one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The beautiful Victoria Falls straddles between Zimbabwe and Zambia borders. This is a perfect spot in your itinerary for a South African tour. The falls are just the place to be for adrenaline fun. It is called the adventure capital of South Africa. Paddle down rapids upside down, swing across gorges, bungee jump off a bridge, white water raft and more await you at Victoria Falls. Walk the falls to enjoy the hissing sound of water from a 108 m height.
Price: $30 (walking tour)
Timings: 6.00 am to 6.00 pm
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bring your camera with a good zoom lens for astonishing snaps of the cascade.
3. Wildlife in Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a magnificent landscape and numerous boulders. Witness some gravity-defying geological formations here. Spot the black and white rhinos, leopards, black eagles and more in the game area. Explore the park on a walking safari and spend at least two days here. Book into a camping tour to make sure you get the best out of the park. It is known for the Matobo Hills created by erosion and the Nswatugi Cave that features Stone Age rock art.
Price: $15 (adult park entry)
Timings: 24 hours
Pro Tip: There is a camp 40 km from the entrance of the park, a great choice to book into.
4. A game drive at dawn in Hwange National Park
Wake up as dawn breaks over the vast plains and proceed on to an astonishing game drive. Witness the many experiences of the previous night across the park. View the many species of wildlife traverse the landscape from desert sand to woodland and grasslands. Proceed for the game drive to witness nocturnal inhabitants as the evening nears. The amazing drama unfolds right before your eyes of African wildlife from hippos, elephants, zebras, wildebeest and more. This is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe with 100 mammals and 400 bird species.
Timings: 24 hours (park timings)
Pro Tip: Bring along a Eurohike pair of binoculars to watch the animals up close.
5. Discover ancient Zimbabwe Ruins
The Great Zimbabwe Ruins was a large civilization settlement between the 11th century and the 15th century. It was famous for the Swahili gold trade and Rozwi culture. Witness some of the largest ancient structures in sub-Saharan Africa. Explore this medieval city that is an important UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is certainly one of the best things to do as the explorations take you back in time. The ancient city was once a capital of a great kingdom and lies in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe.
Timings: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (Monday to Friday) | Until noon (Saturday)
Pro Tip: Give yourself at least four hours or more to explore the attraction.
6. Walking Safari at Mana Pools National Park
Enjoy a walking safari, of course with a guide at the famous Mana Pools National Park. This is your chance to be amid wild and awesome nature. The park is unfenced and animals roam freely. You can also walk the landscapes amid elephants and lions. The ranger will ensure safety precautions are in place. Cruise on the Zambezi River in the park. View amazing aquatic birds, elephants, crocs, hippos and more. This is an unforgettable thing to do and a cherishable experience.
Price: Based on the tour
Timings: 24 hours (park timing)
Pro Tip: Book a campsite tour for an amazing time at the park.
7. Scuba dive in the Chinhoyi Caves
The ‘ Pool of the fallen’ is traditionally known as Chirorodziva. It is believed that the Angoni Tribe used to surprise people living near the Caves and flung them into the pool. This historical site is a must-see with rocky features. The Chinhoyi Caves were discovered by Frederick Selous, a famous European hunter. Before which the Caves were used by the notorious Nyamakwere who used to throw his murdered victims into the Silent Pool. Zip on your scuba diving gear and plunge into the depths of amazing marine life.
Price: $10 (Recreational Park entry)
Timings: Based on the tour (daytime)
Pro Tip: Remember to dive with a guide who is registered by the Zimbabwe dive club.
8. Delve into history at the Bulawayo Railway Museum
The museum is an interesting place to visit. It houses several exhibitions of the history of the railway system in Zimbabwe. Look out for the oldest exhibits such as Cecil Rhodes personal railway coach. The collections also include steam locomotives, wagons, trolleys, railway cranes and more. The museum is owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the curator is Gordon Murray. There are also artefacts and pieces of art displays. Train destination boards, tickets, models of locomotives and more make this attraction a fantastic place to understand the bygone era of transport.
Timings: 8.00 am to 4.00 pm
Pro Tip: You can let the kids climb into old locos and carriages for a good time.
9. Sample Nhedzi and Kapenta specialites
Savour into a dish of wild mushroom soup (Nhedzi) and small dried fish with malice (Kapenta). This among other wonderfully flavoured local cuisine is a lip-smacking thing to do. Relish the taste of aromatic spices and herbs that most of the recipes use. Dip into a delicious stew made of chicken, goat, cow, or pig accompanied by vegetables and cereals. Zimbabwean people love freshwater fish that is cooked on a grill and eaten with rice or corn. Sadza is a star food bread made from corn flour. It pairs well with beef stew and covo. Pick a top local cuisine restaurant and enjoy.
Price: Based on the order
Timings: Restaurant timings
Pro Tip: The Boma Dinner and Drum Show serves a superb selection of Zimbabwean dishes, a must-visit.
10. Safari Tour the Gonarezhou National Park
Book a reputed tour company and enjoy a camping safari tour. The huge park borders South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The safari offers great wildlife diversity and excellent birding experiences There is also a walking safari that you can take to discover the huge and untamed wilderness. See herds of elephants and buffalo, wild dogs, sable antelope, common nyala among others. This is Zimbabwe’s second-largest national park with endless tracts and mopane woodland. Admire the beautiful spread of mahoganies and tall acacia albida trees.
Price: Based on the safari tour | $15 entry fee to park
Timings: 24 hours
Pro Tip: The best time to visit is in April to October, the dry season.
Also Explore: 30+ Unique Things to do in South Africa