Zimbabwe: Anyone still going?

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Apr 3rd, 2002, 11:01 PM
  #1
Sandy
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Zimbabwe: Anyone still going?

My sister and her grown children are booked on a trip that will include a few days in Zimbabwe. Her husband was killed in a car wreck in the U.S. a couple of years ago, and he had always told her that if he died first, he wanted his ashes scattered in Hippo Valley, where he went several times on safari. They have been planning this trip for months, with a private plane to take them into Chiredzi. Everyone is telling them not to go, especially after the State Department Public Announcement issued on March 29, 2002. Any opinions?
Thanks.
 
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Apr 4th, 2002, 01:15 AM
  #2
Liz
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You may like to look at this site which is out of the UK but would still apply to Americans I should think. After reading it I certainly would not be going until I had the all clear, which perhaps maybe never.
http://www.fco.gov.uk/travel/countryadvice.asp?ZI
Good luck though in any case
 
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Apr 7th, 2002, 11:52 AM
  #3
sandy
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Liz,

Thanks for your reply and for the web address. It's just what I need to convince her (I hope!) not to go.

Sandy
 
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Apr 9th, 2002, 01:28 PM
  #4
Renea
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Hi Sandy. My husband and I were in Zimbabwe for four days in September 2001 and we found it very uncomfortable to be there. The people are so desperate to have access to a stable currency. We were constantly approached by people "wanting to help", or wanting money. It got old fast. We found ourselves being taken advantage of on several occasions, even by those at the hotel reservations desk who you would think you could trust.

My husband and I went to the airport six hours early because we didn't want to deal with it any more.
 
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Apr 10th, 2002, 04:23 PM
  #5
Lisa
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We are looking to book a hotel at Vic Falls for our group of 16 and I can't believe how high the prices are. There are different prices for Americans and for South Africans -for identical accommodation, service etc. If nobody is going I cna't believe they are still charging these prices.
 
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Apr 10th, 2002, 05:22 PM
  #6
Trevor
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I can't believe that anyone is still going to the falls or anywhere in Zim. If you know that there is a different price for Americans and Africans then I would do something about it - like refuse to go. They do not understand the economics of what they are doing in Zim. The Mugabe empire doesn't understand that without the white farms no-one will be able to make a living out of farming and the whole economy will go down hill. But they continue to get rid of the whites. So I doubt that they would think that charging high prices at the falls would be wrong even if only one person was there - if you know what I mean
 
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Apr 11th, 2002, 05:29 AM
  #7
jm1029
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What about the Zamibian side -- has had anyone had a problem there.
 
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Apr 13th, 2002, 10:06 PM
  #8
Rocco
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I just returned from Zimbabwe three weeks ago. Unfortunately, not even the beauty of Victoria Falls compensated for the political climate and poor service at what was supposed to be a very top end game lodge (Matetsi).
But maybe I shouldn't complain. Afterall, we did have a welcoming committee greet us in Victoria Falls, if that is what you want to call 250 of Mugabe's Zanu-PF thugs parading down the street, blocking our taxi for five minutes while staring menacingly at my wife and I and just looking for an excuse to start a conflict with anybody that dared look at them the wrong way. And then there was the excellent stay at Matetsi Game Lodge for three nights, at $330 US per night which was discounted 50% from the normal rate of $660. While the rangers were trying their best during the game drives and were very friendly, not once in our six game drives did we have a tracker! This did not make for the best game viewing, obviously. The food was very average at best but the sanitation did not seem to be very good, as both my wife and I were on antibiotics by the end of our stay. The scheduled final day in Zimbabwe, Matetsi "reconfirmed" my afternoon flight with the airport and I was driven 75 minutes to the airport only to learn that this flight had been discontinued two months earlier and that nobody from Matetsi ever called Air Zimbabwe that day to reconfirm a flight! I then had the pleasure of riding all the way back to Matetsi in the same van that had no airconditioning at about 2PM in the afternoon! I demanded to speak to the elusive General Manager and he did us both a service by putting me up, free of charge at the Victoria Falls Hotel (a mere 60 minute drive away in the same minivan!). He did this just as much to get me away from the other guests so I could not share this info as he did it to show true regret over the situation. He chalked it up to the unfortunate situation in Zimbabwe, adding that all of his best employees had fled the country.
Now remember, Victoria Falls is TAME compared to the rest of Zimbabwe and the climate was still unsafe. A tourist could not step foot onto the street without being hassled by vendors or unemployed men looking for a handout (these guys would follow you all the way to your destination and then act like they had guided you there, expecting a tip for their trouble).
The scenery at Matetsi and the actual Falls were beautiful, but I would have rather had those four days back and added to my eight days in Cape Town or even have an extra night or two at Singita Game Reserve (I only spent two nights there and it was wonderful).
I would definitely avoid everyplace in Zimbabwe, save Victoria Falls, but even at Vic Falls I would recommend no more than two nights and only at the Victoria Falls Hotel. Forget about the fact that it is an extra $150 or so a night than other hotels, it is worth it. The other hotels are NOT nice (Kingdom, Sprayview, etc.). Victoria Falls Hotel was like heaven after my bad experience at Matetsi.
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 07:19 AM
  #9
Christi in Houston
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This is such a pity to hear. Had the pleasure of visiting Zim back in '97. It was so beautiful. We stayed at Vic Falls Hotel and then onto Hawange Game Lodge. After having spent quite a bit of time in S.A.'s Transvaal and the Cape area, I felt that our truest African experience was in Zim. Now it is merely terrifying. So sad.
 
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Apr 26th, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #10
xxxx
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tt
 
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Jun 3rd, 2002, 03:51 AM
  #11
Erich
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I just returned from a 3 week stay in Africa. We spent 2 nights at Vic. Falls, and 3 nights at camp Lnkwasha in the Hwange preserve. We never felt in danger at any time during our stay. The vendors are very persistant, but if you understand the current monetary issues you will understand why. I would rate Linkwasha as the best camp we stayed in out of the 6 different places we went to. I saw the big 5 in two days there. including a leopard on a walking safari. If you want to see game go there.
Feel free to email me with any questions. Erich
 
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Jun 8th, 2002, 10:20 AM
  #12
who cares?
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Why don't you yankees just stay at home and spend your dollars (330$ per night, are you crazy?) on your 4.car or on a ton of ice cream?! What do you expect that africans who live with 1$ per day should do when they see guys like you? Of course they follow you! And if Mugabe happens to be a dictator that was not put into place by the US he surley is one of view!!!
 
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