WE VISIT THE FOLLOWING 5 REGIONS
1. HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie
Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls and near to Dete. The Park hosts over 100 mammal and 400 bird species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. All Zimbabwe's specially protected animals are to be found
in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. Grazing herbivores are more common in the Main Camp Wild Area and Linkwasha Concession Area, with mixed feeders more common in the Robins and Sinamatella Wild Areas, which are more heavily
wooded. Distribution fluctuates seasonally, with large herbivores concentrating in areas where intensive water pumping is maintained
during the dry season. The population of the Cape wild dogs to be found in Hwange is thought to be of one of the larger surviving groups in Africa today, along with that
of Kruger National Park and Selous Game Reserve. Other major predators include the Southwest African lion, whose distribution and hunting in Hwange is strongly related to the pans and waterholes, African leopard, spotted hyena and South African cheetah.
2. MATOBO HILLS NATIONAL PARK
Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an
area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe. The hills were formed over 2 billion years ago with granite being forced to the surface, this has eroded to produce smooth
"whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation. Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele nation, gave the area its name, meaning 'Bald Heads'. The Hills cover an area of about 3100 km² (1200 sq mi),
of which 424 km² (164 sq mi) is National Park, the remainder being largely communal land and a small proportion of commercial farmland. The park extends along the Thuli, Mtshelele, Maleme and Mpopoma river valleys. Part of the national park is set aside as a 100 km² (39 sq mi) game park, which has been stocked
with game including the white rhinoceros. The highest point in the hills is the promontory named Gulati (1549 m; 5082 ft) just outside the north-eastern corner
of the park. Administratively, Matobo National Park incorporates the Lake Matopos Recreational Park, being
the area around Hazelside, Sandy Spruit and Lake Matopos. The national park is located within the southern Africa bushveld ecoregion.
Cecil John Rhodes PC (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) was a British businessman, mining magnate and politician in South Africa, who served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896. An ardent believer in British imperialism, Rhodes and his British South Africa Company founded the southern African territory of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia), which the company named after him in 1895. South Africa's Rhodes University is also named after him. Rhodes set up the provisions of the Rhodes Scholarship, which is funded by his estate, and put much effort towards his vision of a Cape to Cairo Railway through British territory.
The son of a vicar, Rhodes grew up in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, and was a sickly child. He was sent to South Africa by his family when he was 17 years old in the hope that
the climate might improve his health. He entered the diamond trade at Kimberley in 1871, when he was 18, and over the next two decades gained near-complete domination of the world diamond market. His De Beers diamond company, formed in 1888, retains its prominence into the 21st century. Rhodes entered the Cape Parliament in 1880, and a decade later became Prime Minister. After overseeing the formation of Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe) during
the early 1890s, he was forced to resign as Prime Minister in 1896 after the disastrous Jameson Raid, an unauthorised attack on Paul Kruger's South African Republic (or Transvaal). After Rhodes's death in 1902, at the age of 48, he was buried in the Matopos Hills in what is now Zimbabwe. At the time of his death he was already a very controversial figure.
3. KARIBA HARBOUR AND STAY 3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS ON A HOUSE BOAT
Kariba is the world's largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume. It lies 1300 kilometres upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba Dam at its northeastern end, flooding the Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River. The Zimbabwean town of Kariba was built for construction workers on the lake's dam, while some other settlements such as Binga village and Mlibizi in Zimbabwe and Siavonga and Sinazongwe in Zambia have grown up to house people displaced by the rising waters.
MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK
Mana Pools National Park is a 219,600
ha wildlife conservation area and national park in northern Zimbabwe. It is a region of the lower Zambezi River in Zimbabwe where the flood plain turns into a broad expanse of lakes after each rainy season. As the lakes gradually dry up and recede, the region attracts many large animals in search of water, making
it one of Africa's most renowned game-viewing regions. The park was inscribed, in conjunction with the Sapi Safari Area (118,000
ha) and Chewore Safari Area (339,000 ha) as a single UNESCO World Heritage site (for a total of 676,600 ha) in 19844. MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK
5. ZIMBABWE RUINS NATIONAL PARK
is an ancient city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the country's Late Iron Age. Construction on the monument began in the 11th century and continued until the 15th century. The most widely-accepted modern archaeological theory is that the edifices were erected by the ancestral Shona. The stone city spans an area of 7.22 square kilometres (1,780 acres) which, at its peak, could have housed up to 18,000
people. It is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Great Zimbabwe is believed to have served as a royal palace for the local monarch. As such, it would have been used as the seat of political power. Among the edifice's most prominent
features were its walls, some of which were over five metres high. They were constructed without mortar (dry stone). Eventually, the city was abandoned and fell into ruin. The earliest known written mention of the Great Zimbabwe ruins was
in 1531 by Vicente Pegado, captain of the Portuguese garrison of Sofala, who recorded it as Symbaoe. The first confirmed visits by Europeans were in the late 19th century, with investigations
of the site starting in 1871. Later, studies of the monument were controversial in the archaeological world, with political pressure being put upon archaeologists by the government of Rhodesia to deny its construction by native African people. Great Zimbabwe has since been adopted as a national monument by the Zimbabwean government, and the modern independent state was named for it. The word great distinguishes the
site from the many hundreds of small ruins, now known as "zimbabwes", spread across the Zimbabwe Highveld. There are 200 such sites in southern Africa, such as Bumbusi in Zimbabwe and Manyikeni in Mozambique, with monumental, mortarless walls; Great Zimbabwe is the largest of these.