Zimbabwe itinerary


Dec 15th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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Zimbabwe itinerary

Going to Zimbabwe in April with my husband, 2 children and both of our parents. Any ideas on an itinerary???? We fly into Harare and have no plans yet. Would love a recommendation for Safaris suitable for kids and seniors. Any info welcome.
marychris is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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Your best bet will probably be with the Wilderness Safari camps, Matetsi Water Lodge and/or the Victoria Falls Hotel, although I don't think this place is really appropriate for children.


Best of luck.
Roccco is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2003, 06:43 AM
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I would suggest booking flight immediately our of Harare and into Victoria Falls to begin safari. You should check out Lonely Planet's online forum (Thorn Tree) which gives much more current info about the situation in Zim than this board. I understand it is safe in the parks, but I wouldn't spend any time in Harare or walking around Vic Falls -- I understand there are very, very few tourists. Also, don't convert money at official exchange centers -- the rate at the black market is much, much better.
thit_cho is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2003, 12:44 PM
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The exchange rate might be better on the Black Market (in fact 100% over the officiaql rate), but way too many tourists have been "taken" in one way or another. Besides the first thing tourists are advised is not to deal wih the Black Market.

That said, you DON'T need Zim Dollars. You might want to exchange a few USD to ZD, say US$20, at your hotel at whatever the official rate. We used USD for everything - in small denominations of $1, $5, $10. We never carried or showed more than small bills and you can negotiate on just about everything.

If you choose to use your credit card, note that there is a hefty commission added to the price of purchase at small shops which actually prefered USD. This was not the case with our hotel bill - nothing was added over/above the actual amount.
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Dec 17th, 2003, 07:33 AM
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Understand that the Official Exchange rate is currently about ZD825/USD$1 - in other words not worth much and you'd wind up with a wad of Zim money with an official exchange, let alone what you'd get if successful attempting a "black market" exchange.

When we visited 2-yrs ago the Official Rate was ZD55/USD$1 - so it's obvious they have problems.

There are lots of beggers in the streets, food is hard to come by and is expensive, petrol is limited, if any. Drivers going thru Zim, buy petrol in SA and take along with them till they pass thru the country, as there is no guarantee where you can find a place to refuel.

People wait hours (even days) at the Passport Agency just to get an application (so many just want to leave the country) and sometimes have to pay their limited funds to get to front of line and hope there are applications once inside.

In addition, the government is clamping down on "communications" especially Internet - guess there's another Rat, named Mugabe, that needs capturing.

Didn't plan to be political, but it's a terribly unfortunate situation that most outside have no idea; yet Zimbabwe is an absolutely beautiful country with a very interesting history.
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