This new third edition of Bradt's Zimbabwe remains the most authoritative and trusted guide available, written in an engaging and entertaining style by an expert author who has been visiting Zimbabwe annually for nearly 30 years and now spends six months of each year there. In this new thoroughly revised edition, Paul Murray brings a particular focus for those wanting to travel independently as well as visitors on organised tours. Game viewing in some of Africa's greatest national parks is a rewarding experience and this guide offers in-depth information on the facilities, advice on itinerary planning as well as how to select a safari. Accommodation is covered with up-to-date information on everything from luxury safari camps to budget stays for younger travellers who arrive overland, heading for the fast flowing waters of the Zambezi gorge. There are also details of en-route accommodation not found in other guides following a complete countrywide review of all destinations that are key to independent travellers, making this by far the most up-to-date guidebook to Zimbabwe on the market. As political tension relaxes, wildlife enthusiasts and curious tourists are returning to Zimbabwe, a country which not so long ago was southern Africa's premier tourist destination, with some of the finest national parks in Africa, stunning landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. The mighty Zambezi River offers adventure holidays, and Victoria Falls will leave visitors breathless, while the range of birdlife draws enthusiasts year-round.
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About the Author
Paul Murray has been visiting Zimbabwe annually for nearly 30 years and has been spending six months of each year in the country for the last five years. As author of the Bradt guide he has been shortlisted in the Zimbabwe’s Achievers Award for services to Zimbabwean tourism. He has worked on the editorial team of Zambezi Traveller, a 48pp regional broadsheet and is advisor on a web-based safari booking agency. Paul has written for several other publications and tourism-related initiatives as well as being a trustee of a prominent Zimbabwean wildlife charity.
Read an Excerpt
By Murray, Paul
Bradt Travel GuidesCopyright © 2010 Murray, Paul
All right reserved.
Great Zimbabwe, 25km southeast of Masvingo
This magnificent ruined city, the largest stone structure to be built south of the Sahara, was the base for a succession of kings and rulers spanning four centuries and has subsequently had the whole country named after it. The name Zimbabwe is derived from the Shona words dzimba dza mabwe translated as ‘houses of stone’, referring not just to this prime site but also to the hundreds, if not thousands of similar but much smaller dzimbahwes or zimbabwes to be found in this area and further afield. The rather strange carved soapstone birds found here have provided the country with its national symbol.
Although this region had almost certainly been already settled for a number of centuries it is believed the first stone structures were erected around 1100 AD and there followed continual building development probably into the 15th century. Despite what we now know, the provenance of Great Zimbabwe has up until relatively recently been the subject of heated, often bitter debate stemming from the early European belief that Africans could not possibly have built a structure of such complexity. Indeed, since its discovery by the Portuguese it had been popularly believed that this was the lost kingdom of Ophir with all its fabled treasures and was linked with biblical figures such as Sheba and King Solomon. Much later, others, including Cecil Rhodes continued to attribute the ruins to the Phoenicians. Instead, this was clearly a massively important religious and political centre, not a military fort but a continually developing tribute to a long succession of rulers who had wide reaching influence. It is believed that in its heyday the city complex housed a society of up to 20,000 people. Today it is one of Zimbabwe’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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Table of Contents
Should you go to Zimbabwe?
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 Natural History and Conservation1
Flora, Fauna, National parks
Chapter 3 Practical information
When to visit, Highlights, Planning your trip, Suggested itineraries, Wildlife activities, Tour operators and agents, Red tape , Tourist information, Maps and GPS, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, What to take, Electricity, Money and budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation , Eating and drinking, Public holidays, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Media, Communications, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART TWO THE GUIDE
Chapter 4 Harare
History, Getting there, Getting around, Tourist information, Tour operators, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping , Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Harare, North of Harare,
Northwest of Harare, Northeast of Harare, Southeast of Harare , Southwest of Harare
Chapter 5 Central Zimbabwe
Kadoma, Kwekwe, Gweru, Masvingo and Great Zimbabwe
Chapter 6 Lake Kariba and the Zambezi Valley
Deka to Binga, Chizarira National Park, Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park, The Middle Zambezi , Northern Zimbabwe
Chapter 7 Victoria Falls
History, When to visit, Getting there, Orientation, Getting around , Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat,
Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping , Other practicalities, What to see and do, Activities, Zambezi National Park
Chapter 8 Hwange
Hwange town, Hwange National Park, Kazuma Pan National Park, Towards Bulawayo
Chapter 9 Bulawayo
History, Getting there, Getting around, Tourist information, Tour operators, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Bulawayo, Matobo Hills, Plumtree
Chapter 10 Southern Zimbabwe
Beitbridge, The A6 from Beitbridge to Bulawayo, Lowveld towns, Gonarezhou National Park, Around Gonarezhou National Park
Chapter 11 The Eastern Highlands
Getting there and around, Southern area, Central area, Northern area, To Nyamapanda
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Glossary
Appendix 3 Further Information