Zimbabwe - is it safe for tourists to visit?
  • I'm planning a trip to Zimbabwe in a couple of months (June), a place I've always wanted to visit for its breathtaking natural beatuy. I'm keen to visit Lake Kariba, Victoria Falls and maybe even Chobe Game Park.
    I'm quite concerned about the political situation and safety situation for my husband and I, as two white South Africans, visiting this country. Has anyone been there recently who can tell me what the situation is like and whether or not it is safe for tourists at the moment?
  • Hi Kirsta

    Even during the height of the political instability, Victoria Falls was and still is safe for tourists to visit. The main unrest really occurred around Harare. You can still see the effects of the political situation on Zimbabwe, as the villages and towns are quite run down and poor. This is why tourism to Zimbabwe is vital, as it provides a huge soucre of employment and income to the area. The fact that most of the hotels in Victoria Falls, for example, are doing renovations and refurbishments means that they are gearing up for welcoming more visitors, as travel has increased to the area.
    As for Chobe in Botswana, this has always been a safe destination, and a great combination with Victoria Falls.

    As a South African, I'm sure you already know that you need to be sensible when venturing out - keep your valuables close to you, and not on display (i.e.: cameras around necks, wallets/ handbags left lying around).
    However, as a female travelling on my own, at no time did I feel threatened or uncomfortable. I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip!
  • Hi Kirsta

    The places you wish to visit are safe and even in June 2008, which was the worst ever time as far as political unrest is concerned, people still visited Victoria Falls. We don't have to talk about Chobe NP as its in Botswana. You only have to take care of you valuables in Chobe as they have been instances of thieves breaking into campsites and stealing from Campers.I must self live in Harare and have been around Zimbabwe with some white friends without any problems. My advice to you is, no matter how safe the place is in Zimbabwe, never discuss politics because you never know whom you talk to irregardless of race.
  • Thanks so much for the info! That's really helpful... I'm not sure why I said Chobe (must have had a senior moment there). I actually meant Hwange National Park but by the sounds of things I've got all the info I need and Kate is right - as a South African I'm already naturally vigilant when it comes to my belongings.

    Many thanks for the help!

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