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trip to zimbabwe

montreal
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trip to zimbabwe

has anyone been to zimbabwe recently i would like to know what is going on as i should be going next month

thanks

jadore3535

Los Angeles
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7 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: trip to zimbabwe

My wife and I were there 2 1/2 weeks ago. We were at a private safari camp (Matetsi Water Lodge) and also went to Victoria Falls. I can tell you that there were no problems, everyone was very friendly and helpful. We were told that there are shortages of food for the locals, so everyone was crossing the border to get need supplies.

The border crossing with Zambia was peaceful but the lines are long. We did not see any violence or signs of unrest. I think everyone is waiting to see what is going to happen with the power sharing. Bottom line in the Victoria Falls area, -- all is well as far as safety issues are concerned. The country is a sight and we were told that unlike Zambia, hunting is NOT allowed. So bring your camera and enjoy!

Auckland Central...
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105 posts
37 reviews
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2. Re: trip to zimbabwe

I am here in Vic Falls now and largely agree with the other poster. It took about 2-3 hours to cross the border from Botswana but please do not skip Vic Falls. Except for the old main block it is really nice here - you couldn't meet more friendly people and everyone here is just trying to get by. Yes the gov't will get some income from tourists but the local people here need the tourists desperately and yet they are not desperate people; they are proud and hopeful for a better future to come and would much rather trade with you than beg.

When you come bring lots of USD especially in small notes as the local currency is not worth anything. Also it is more expensive than you might expect ie: $2-4 for a Coke but then the internet is about $3 per hour. The big hotels seem about 1/3 full and are the best places for eating.

Also bring anything you can to give away or trade. The people here are desperate for new clothes and shoes, we are regularly asked for socks, pens and insect repellant. Crayons and coloured pencils etc for the kids would be much appreciated and if you are staying at a smaller lodge and had the opportunity to bring in some foodstuffs I'm sure they would gatefully receive any gifts you made.

Where we are staying we are the only gets now that our tour has finished and there are way more staff than needed but the owner is extremely generous and I think he employs half the community. People seem to stop by for supplies regularly and he gives willingly. Today we ran out of cornflakes and I would love to have bought some over from Botswana to gift to them. Eggs, milk and meat seem in good supply but sugar, cooking oil, cereals and toiletries seem a bit harder to come by. The supermarket only accepts local money so I suggest you bring your snack food with you as the shelves are quite empty.

As far as the falls go this is the time of year when there is the least water so viewing from Zambia would be very dissapointing. We went at 6am on the Zimbabwe side to beat the heat which kicks in by 9am and had the place to ourselves until about 9 when the tours start arriving. Definitely worthwhile.

The sunset cruise was not good value for money and I wish we had taken the money spent to the market instead. But the Lion Walk (there are 2 companies - we used ALERT - $100pp) was totally worthwhile. We were the only people there so just imagine having 2 cubs and 5 guides all to yourself - an experience of a lifetime!

One last tip - be prepared to wait for your food. Food prep is definitely on Africa time. Our lodge and the big Vic Falls Hotel both take an age to deliver your meal but the Ilala Lodge was pretty quick when we told them we had a time limit.

london
2 posts
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3. Re: trip to zimbabwe

thanks for the information, very helpful.

at the moment we are trying to decide whether to go to the zambian or zimbabwean side, and after reading your post i think it will be zimbabwe since our flight arrives on that side anyway.

where did you stay? it would be helpful to know.

thanks again for your post

itzi

Auckland Central...
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105 posts
37 reviews
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4. Re: trip to zimbabwe

Hi

We stayed at the Pamusha Lodge. It is a few minutes drive out of town and they run a shuttle for $1pp each way. Shoestrings looked like the place to stay for Backpackers which is at the back of the town Centre. If you can afford it I would stay at Ilala Lodge or for a Victorian Experience at the Vic Falls Hotel. The Kingdom was desolate when we were there but looks good if you like that Las Vegas style. Pamusha was small and family run and probably a more economical option.

Have a good time and if you can do take clothes etc to give away or trade.

Cheers

Sussex
Destination Expert
for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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953 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: trip to zimbabwe

I was in Zim. 3rd - 12th Oct. inclusive, and concur with many of the comments posted above.

At no time did I feel unsafe (whilst the majority of my time was spent in the splendid isolation of Mana pools, I did spend time moving around Harare, & travelling to / from Mana Pools by raod via Chinhoi / Karoi / Makuti.

I used common sense in Chinhoi & Karoi (both of which we stopped in) - not using / leaving camera's on show for example. On 11th Oct. there were road blocks either side of Chinhoi where police were warning everyone that there was a Cholera outbreak in the town.

Most things are available in the shops if you search, the problem is buying them - the mind boggling inflation, allied to severe local currency shortages due to withdrawl restrictions (Z$50,000 per day per person as I left - barely enough to buy a loaf of bread) make paying for anyhting a challenge. Whilst it is (I believe) illegal to use US$ in many shops (they have to be registered with the government) pretty much everywhere / everyone will accept US$. The problem is getting a sensible price for things - there are still 2 prevailing exchange rates in opperation - the official and the unofficial. Applying these rates to a Z$ price tends to lead to either a stupidly low or high price for the item. For example, I was quoted US$200 for 4 cans of coke in Makuti!!!

As only US$ notes are used, this also makes for a somewhat 'clunky' currency - often US$1 is the lowest unit of currency, but sometimes it is US$5!

Victoria Falls...
Destination Expert
for Victoria Falls
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886 posts
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6. Re: trip to zimbabwe

Hi, hope you have a great time in Victoria Falls - there are some good places to stay no matter what your budget have a look at victoriafalls-guide.net/victoria-falls-accom… for some info on the hotel or b/b - it also gives some good advice on the safety situation.

Have a good trip

london
2 posts
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7. Re: trip to zimbabwe

thanks for all your tips, they are very helpful.

i have another question, have any of you got experience on paying in rands for accomodation? in afrizim.com the price in usd is about twice the price in rands. just wondering if they would accept non-southafricans to pay in rands

thanks

Sussex
Destination Expert
for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
Level Contributor
953 posts
43 reviews
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8. Re: trip to zimbabwe

SA Rand seems to be just as acceptable as US$'s, but watch out for the exchange rates!!!

PS - 'unoffical' exchange rates for the last few days look like this:

· Monday 110mill to 1US$

· Tuesday 300 mill to 1US$

· Wed 450mill to 1US$

· Thursday am 2.5bill to 1US$

· Thursday pm 10 bill to 1US$

Bare in mind locals can only access Z$50,000 per day!

9. Re: trip to zimbabwe

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