Earlier this month a New York Times article entitled “52 Places to Go in 2015” ranked Zimbabwe the 14th best tourist destination for 2015!
Just as there are 52 weeks in the year, so the news publication has decided to publish their pick of the top 52 destinations to travel to in the new year. Along with Zimbabwe, places such as Singapore, Adelaide, Tanzania, Milan and Durban were chosen.
Describing the country as a “once-avoided, now must-visit” destination, the impressive ranking gives validation to a tourism industry that has laboured through years of political unrest and economic collapse.
As the article explains, whereas there was once unrest, there now exists stability. Gone is the hyper-inflated Zimbabwean dollar; the US dollar is now used widely throughout the country – with relatively low prices to boot.
Combined with a new international terminal at Victoria Falls Airport set to open in July, and a host of new low-cost airlines recently established to provide affordable flights to and from Johannesburg, travellers from all over will now be able to revel in the natural beauty of this incredible country. As well as focusing on the traditional tourist spots such as Lake Kariba and Victoria Falls, the New York Times also places emphasis on Zimbabwean destinations such as the Unesco World Heritage site Matobo Hills, and the untamed Hwange National Park.
The biggest draw to the country, however, it is written, “might be the abundance of game, including hippos and lions, on full view on water safaris.” River boat safari cruises are offered on the banks of the upper Zambezi by Zambezi Wilderness Safaris in Victoria Falls. These offer the opportunity to view game such as elephants, buffalo, Kudu, impala, crocodile and hippo.
For more adrenalin-based river activities opt for Bungee jumping off the infamous Victoria Falls Bridge, or white water rafting on the Lower Zambezi River.
All of us here at Ilala Lodge, as Zimbabweans, are incredibly proud to have been featured in such a highly renowned publication, and to have been afforded the honour of such a high placement.