I am completing this blog post a year after my trip so things may have changed!
I arrived in Zimbabwe from Botswana with my G adventures group as I was on a 7 day tour from Windhoek to Vic Falls.
After the Tour I then stayed alone in Zimbabwe.
To get from Vic Falls to Harare I flew with FastJet.
The flight was quick but expensive.
I enjoyed seeing Zimbabwe from the air, and getting a quick glimpse of Vic Falls again.
I struggled to find a way to travel without flying so for me this seemed the easiest option.
The domestic departures lounge is tiny, there isn’t even a cafe. I had a water filter bottle so was able to fill up from a tap.
The plane was super tiny, I’ve never been on such a small plane – clearly I haven’t travelled enough!
On the plane I got a free snack and juice or water.
Harare is busy!
I dressed in a more conservative way then I did in other places, I felt like I stuck out enough being a white female without bringing attention to myself with my clothes.
I always wore trainers as the pavements aren’t always great and I felt happier in them, also I had a bad foot so they were more supportive.
Things to do:
Free walking tour, this tour takes you around the main sights of the city and helps give an orientation of the city. You also visit the National Art Gallery.
Museum of Human Sciences. This is quite a way out of town, I walked really far to get there and found out it was 10 USD to enter, I refused and turned around and walked back into town!
Botanical Garden. I didn’t make it to the gardens, I had done a lot of walking so took food over gardens! Again this is a bit far out of town so maybe get a taxi.
I went on a private day tour of a national park where I got to see a Rhino up close and a Crocodile which was in an enclosureur but I never knew how big they are! They are crazy big!
I made friends with someone on a Africa travels Facebook page (Backpacking Africa) I would highly recommend joining for advice and meeting people when travelling.
I got a bus and travelled to Bulawao, I stayed at Choice Guesthouse and Backpackers, there are 2 hostels and I stayed in the 1 a bit further out from the centre of town. The guy who owned the hostel was really lovely and always happy to help with suggestions on places to go and how to make sure we stayed safe.
Bulawayo is a nice little town, there is a railway museum but I didn’t make it, blame the poorly foot! I spent a lot of my time just chilling out and hanging out with my new friends. One of the girls in the hostel got an art internship at the local Art Museum which was pretty cool and I went to a few events with her. I went Rhino trekking for the day at Matopo National Park which was an amazing day out it was just me and my friend who I made at the hostel so we had the guides undivided attention and the park was really quiet. We went to Cecil Rhodes grave where there are amazing views over the park.
One of my favourite things to do was to visit Earth Cafe which is a lovely cafe that sales amazing food and has wonderful staff and owners who were really helpful with pointing us in the right direction to things we needed.
From Bulawayo I took a trip to Great Zimbabwe, see my post on travelling to Great Zimbabwe. I am so glad I went I think it’s a really important part of Zimbabwe’s history and is a beautiful place to visit.
I spent a few weeks of my time living at a Orphanage in Matapo which was an amazing experience, I had no phone signal and had Giraffes as neighbours!
The money situation in Zimbabwe is pretty crazy, you can not access any money in Zimbabwe you have to take it all in with you. When I first got there you could use USD especially in Vic Falls, when you left the touristy areas it was better to use local currency which you could get from money exchanges on the street which are illegal but the banks have no money…… During my time there the government banned USD which sent the prices of everything sky rocketing and the exchange rate crashed, I was lucky that I could leave if things got to crazy but the people who live there had to cope every day with the instability of the money.
I had a Kwasi Visa which meant I could enter Zimbabwe and Zambia but when my visa ran out it meant that I could not renew it which was a bit of an issue as I had to leave the country on the Saturday and only realised on the Thursday! I took a 16 hour bus to Johannesburg and crossed over into South Africa with an hour left on my Visa!
I’m glad I decided to independently travel in Zimbabwe and I really enjoyed my time there I think it’s a beautiful country but the money situation is crazy and it is quite hard to travel in, I see why most people only go to Vic Falls. But I think it is definitely worth exploring further into Zimbabwe.