Zimbabwe has had a troubling past filled with violence and hyper-inflation. After 2009, there was finally a lift of the ban on the US Dollar. After this the country has slowly been making its way back to being a friendly and safe African country. Today, you can easily find ATMs that dispense USD and your credit cards will work fine. However, always carry ZAR with you in case you run into a situation where you need to use it because of how hard it is to come across US change for smaller denomination bills.
Zimbabwe has a decent bus and train scene, which makes it fairly easy to connect to different cities. The most popular train will take you from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo via Hwange National Park and from Bulawayo to Harare. The next best option, in my opinion, is to hire a car, especially if you have a group of people, as it will save you money if you want to visit Matobo National Park or the Great Zimbabwe ruins.
Youll find accommodation in Zimbabwe similar to other countries like South Africa as it has a decent network of backpacker hostels. However, you many find many are closing their doors because of a reduced number of travelers. When you do find an open hostel you can expect a fair price and a friendly owner. They will typically be white and some of the hostels may just be private homes that people open up for travelers. Theres also the option to camp and national parks have decent accommodation and camping. Price-wise youre looking at about $20-30 USD for a bed.
You shouldnt have a problem eating and drinking what you like here. If youre looking to eat like the locals ask for sadza and tsunga. Sadza is a thick ground corn paste which will resemble polenta and has the consistency of extra thick mashed potatoes. Tsunga is a stew. The locals eat it virtually every meal, because its cheap, tasty and filling. During the wet season you need to be careful of malaria (especially in the valley). During the dry season the malaria risk is very low.
- One of the most popular tourist destinations in Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls and its located in the western corner of the country. There are many things to do and places to stay depending on your budget. Accommodation ranges from budget (Shoestring Backpackers Lodge) to ultra-swanky (Victoria Falls Safari Lodge).
- Great Zimbabwe is where you can see and learn about the vast empire known as the Munhumutapa through the archaeological remains of this ancient city, which was built from stone. The word Zimbabwe means house of stone.
- If youre looking for beautiful landscapes and views then head to the Easter Highlands. You will be on the border of Mozambique. Look for the village, Chimanimani, which is a popular destination, especially if youre into walking.
- If you like nature then head to Kariba, in the north. Here you have the opportunity to watch African wildlife in the closest to pure natural environment that you can find. Its also the largest source of hydro-electric power for Zimbabwe. If you have the time/money you could rent a houseboat for a few days, which will give you fantastically unique experience.
- Matobo has some beautiful rock formations that seem to be impossible. They were caused by the wind blowing out the sand between them.