The name Zimbabwe derives from the Shona expression zimba ramabwe, meaning “big house of stone.” Zimbabwe’s recorded history goes back tens of thousands of years, a place where legends of Arab traders, English explorers, and Zulu warlords collide with the wildlife of Hwange National Park and the mountains of the Eastern Highlands.
HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
Covering almost 3.5 million acres, Hwange National Park represents the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. Its sandy soils support extensive broad-leafed woodlands that, despite low rainfall, erupt in a profusion of green during the summer months.
Along with saltpans, acacia scrub, and grasslands the park supports an abundance of wildlife, boasting some of the highest densities of wildlife in Africa, particularly its herds of elephant and buffalo.
MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK
Mana Pools National Park lies in the heart of the Zambezi Valley, where the Zambezi River meanders to the Mozambican border. Karell’s Mana Pools National Park Safari Tours offers spectacular views of the broad river, floodplains, riverine woodland, and the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment.
This particular stretch of the Zambezi River garnered fame for its four main pools (Main, Chine, Long, Chisambuk), for which the park is named. In actual fact, “mana” translates to “four” in the Shona language. These pools are remnants of channels of the river that stopped flowing years ago.
Named for the awesome feat of nature it borders, the town of Victoria Falls lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the western end of the Falls themselves. First settled at the turn of the 20th century, Victoria Falls remains a small quaint town centered on tourism to the Falls.
The Victoria Falls represent one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and upon first glance they immediately appear deserving of that reputation.
MALILANGWE WILDLIFE RESERVE
One of Africa’s best-kept secrets, Singita Pamushana Lodge is found within the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in south-eastern Zimbabwe. Nestling beneath the trees, the lodge incorporates the natural environment and the forest-like architecture enhances views of the pool, the lush gardens and the lake below.
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve is teeming with birds and wildlife, including rare and endangered species – such as the Roan and sable antelope, and the black rhino.
Lake Kariba is the world’s largest artificial lake and reservoir by volume. The lake has several islands, including Maaze Island, Mashape Island, Chete Island, Sekula, Sampa Karuma, Fothergill, Spurwing, Snake Island, Antelope Island, Bed Island, and Chikanka.
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.