Any recent experience in Zimbabwe?

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Jul 15th, 2003, 01:50 PM
  #1
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Any recent experience in Zimbabwe?

We are going on a last minute safari to Zimbabwe. Has anyone been recently? I am a bit nervous given the political situation, and am relying on the professionalism of Wilderness Safaris to keep us safe and have a good time. They have always come thru in the past. We will be at Makalolo Plains and Ruckomechi. Anyone care to comment?
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Jul 15th, 2003, 04:04 PM
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patiricia,

I can only comment on Victoria Falls last March, five days after Mugabe's "re-election."

While there was some tension in the city, once we were at Matetsi, about an hour outside of Victoria falls and possibly halfway to Chobe (Botswana), everything was fine and we never even came in contact with other people.

I wanted to go to the very two places, Makalolo Plains and Ruckomechi, that you mentioned, but my wife refused. We ended up going to South Luangwa, Zambia, instead.

Personally, I would not hesitate to go to the places that you are going to, but I guess it all depends on a persons comfort factor. From what I know, there have been no major incidents with tourists.

I would relax and look forward to an incredible time. Best of luck.
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Jul 15th, 2003, 09:44 PM
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While the odds are in your favor that you'll be fine, I was surprised to see there was another tourist killing there. A S.A. family and the father witnessed the murder (part of a robbery of the family). Ironically, he works in tourism and said he felt this was the end of tourism in Zim because they don't offer enough protection. I am curious why you chose Zimbabwe at this time, at the last minute?

http://www.sabcnews.com/africa/south...,61098,00.html
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Jul 16th, 2003, 05:22 AM
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While no country is 100% safe, I believe that a single tourist killing should not give anybody too much concern. As any American will remember, there was a string of tourist killings in Florida, USA, just a few years ago.

Now this link seems like complete propoganda by a South African right wing group, but I am linking it just to show that South Africa is not foolproof either (but I have never had a problem in my two visits except for the time my wife and I made the mistake of going to an internet cafe in Green Point at night and then had a very hard time getting a cab at midnight, another good reason to stay at the Twelve Apostles with its 24 hour internet access). Here is the link and I do not agree with any of the political filth being spoken here, it is just to show that South Africa is no better than Zimbabwe in regards to crime against tourists:

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/.../4627/know.htm

Patiricia is staying at Wildnersess Safari establishments and would feel confident that they will take care of her. Regarding Zimbabweans, all I can say is that my wife and I found ourselves in the middle of a few hundred Mugabe supporters, armed with sticks, spears and clubs and while I was sure that they were going to steal my wife's purse and my camera, they never touched us. That was scary, but it is a testament to how crime against tourists is not condoned or tolerated by the Mugabe government, despite all of the governments other faults.
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Jul 16th, 2003, 06:31 AM
  #5
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Patiricia -

You have selected a good tour operator and two lovely camps.

While I have only been to Victoria Falls and felt completely comfortable and safe in the area, I have friends who did a complete tour of Zimbabwe (including a self-drive portion) only last year and they didn't run into any problems.

Still another friend drives yearly from JNB thru Zim to Harare and onto Lusaka and has never run into any people problems. The worst that happened was when a very very large male baboon flew out of the trees and onto the hood of his Land Rover - scared the heck out of him - simply waited till the baboon realized he wasn't getting any food or going to be shot - and was gone.

And another young man I've communicated via email is traveling on his own in a few weeks, and plans a stop or two in Zimbabwe.

Yes, there are problems in Zimbabwe and it's unfortunate that many White Zimbabwean's who were born and lived entire lives in Zimbabwe have been forced from their lands to leave the country, as well as those who have been killed. Something has to be done about this situation, but I don't have the answer.

As a tourist, I would still feel comfortable traveling where you are scheduled. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with an interesting history.

Enjoy your trip.
 
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Jul 16th, 2003, 08:40 AM
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Rocco, just for the record, it isn't just one tourist killing in Zimbabwe this year. About 6 months previous to this one, a tourist from down under was killed near the falls on the Zim side (it is mentioned in that link I included). The SA travel agent (father) of the last victim felt this wasn't an isolated problem but more symptomatic of a troubled gov. that was not providing protection. That being said, I agree the odds are that her vacation will not encounter any problems (other than the hungry baboons).
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Jul 18th, 2003, 08:23 PM
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I was in zimbabwe in november and had a marvellous time;the locals were terrific. I also have a good friend who used to live in zim who was hijacked in Pretoria, South africa. I received an e-mail from someone 4 days ago who lives there-he is the regional advisor for economic & ag business development to a PVO for the entire eastern & southern africa regions. He was telling me that the ex-pat community is huge in zim & told me that there is no particular danger to them. He said & I will quotequot;In fact, compared with a lot of other Africa postings,this seems very secure. Also I travel by road a lot so I get all over the country & I can say that things are really pretty cool here!"
That being said, unfortunate things can & do happen anywhere,nonetheless, always be prudent & aware. Have a great time.
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Jul 20th, 2003, 08:58 PM
  #8
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Thank you all. That is about what I was thinking. Because of the last minute planning of our trip, the camps in Botswana that we wanted were all booked. I have travelled with Wilderness 4 times before and always had a good experience. We have wanted to visit Zim in the past, but somehow always went with Botswana instead. I am looking forward to another country. Thanks for your input.
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Jul 21st, 2003, 07:15 AM
  #9
 
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A friend of mine just came back from a Wilderness Safari to Zimbabwe. He thought it was amazing and his family loved every minute of it ! His only comment was that he did not know how cold it could be ..and he never took enough warm clothes for the evenings !

Enjoy your trip.. and dress warmly !

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