GREEN PASSPORT FRIENDLY DESTINATION: ZIMBABWE
A few weeks ago, I visited Zimbabwe also known as the World of Wonders. And truly, Zimbabwe is a land of wonders. The nation is blessed with vast fresh green land, diverse wildlife, herbal plants and warm people.
Zimbabwe is Green Passport friendly because getting the visa for Nigerian passport holders is not stressful.
DAY 1: LAGOS TO NAIROBI TO HARARE
My travel crew and I spent five days in Zimbabwe. Our 5 hours flight with Kenya Airways landed Nairobi first. We had about two hours wait at Nairobi airport before boarding ours 3 hours flight to Harare. We arrived Robert Mugabe Airport and finally got to our hotel about 12am WAT (Zimbabwe is 1 hour ahead of Nigeria).
*** Kenya Airways Nigeria treated us with a business class experience on board Kenya Airways Dreamline on our way to Nairobi. It sure was a ‘Dreamline Experience’ *smiles*
DAY 2: VISIT TO BULOWAYO – CITY OF KINGS
The next day, we flew Air Zimbabwe to Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe after Harare. It is also known as the ‘City of Kings’.
We lodged at Cresta Churchill then headed to visit Matabo National Park which is a UNESCO Heritage site. We had a fantastic tour guide, Norman who took us on a tour to see Rhinos and other endangered species. We had the opportunity to get an up close view of some Black Rhinos. Norman told us how rhinos behave, how to track and approach them. These endangered species are targets for poachers who hunt for their horns. They believe the horns produce aphrodisiac (Rhinos can mate for over an hour!) and cure prostrate cancer. But they have not been scientifically proven to do so. Both the Zimbabwe Tourism Board and private organizations protect these endangered species by cutting off their horns. Even the small part on the rhinos are still eyed by poachers. So the rhinos are kept and heavily guarded in safaris. These horns are said to be worth over billions of dollars. The cut horns are kept in save archives.
We also visited the remains of Cecil John Rhodes, who was the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony that spearheaded the colonization of Zimbabwe. He is known as the Founder of Zimbabwe. Norman gave a brief summary about Rhodes and some of his generals who were also buried few distances away from him. Rhodes’s story is quite intriguing. You can read more about him here.
After lunch at the World’s View park, Norman took us to the ancient cave paintings that tells the history of settlers in Zimbabwe before it was colonized. Through out our trip Norman kept showing us different types of herbal plants and fruits found across the land. One fruit that caught my attention was the Marula fruit. It is used to make one of Zimbabwe’s famous alcoholic drink called by Amarula.
Back at the hotel, we had dinner with the Zimbabwe Tourism Board’s CEO and his team. We discussed about how the tourism industry in Zimbabwe is thriving and how they look forward to more Nigerians visiting the land of Wonders.
DAY 3: ROAD TRIP TO HWANGE AND VICTORIA FALLS
Early in the morning, we took a six hours road trip heading to Victoria Falls. We did a stop over at Hwange for a site inspection at Hwange Safari Lodge and had lunch before we hit the road to Victoria Falls.
About four hours from Hwange, we arrived Victoria Falls and lodged at the Elephant Hills Hotel. We were then transferred for a Sunset Cruise with Zambezi Explorer. It was a tranquilizing experience. As we moved about the ‘Signature Deck’ which is at the uppermost level of the ship, we were treated with gourmet hors d’oeuvres and premium beverages. During the sail, we saw some hippopotamus and crocodiles. An hour later, as we sailed back to shore, the sky which was once blue turned to orange as we watched the beautiful sunset.
Our Victoria Falls experience was filled with activities for the next two days we were there. Read more about our adventures in Victoria Falls.
FACTS ABOUT VISITING ZIMBABWE
(1) Did you know that Zimbabwe is visa on arrival? Costs $30 (Thirty Dollars). But you need to first fill their e-visa on their website and get visa approval. Payment is made at the Zimbabwe airport.
(2) Did you know you can fly to Zimbabwe from Lagos with Kenya Airways? To Harare: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. To Victoria Falls: Friday, Wednesday and Sunday.
(3) Did you know that the Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa and that it cuts across Zimbabwe and Zambia? During our cruise we touched a bit of Zambia as we turned back to shore. Now I can claim that I have been to Zambia too *shines teeth*
Have you been to Zimbabwe before? How was your experience? Please do tell in the comment section below.
NOTE: This trip was organized by Tour Brokers International and sponsored by The Zimbabwe Tourism Board in conjunction with Kenya Airways. All opinions are based on my own personal experiences.