When you go on a private tour in Harare, Zimbabwe, you are getting the best of both worlds. There is the cosmopolitan city and then on the outskirts, you are within reach of the magnificent national parks and amazing Safari tours.
Should you be visiting Zimbabwe for safaris, it would be recommended to take a few days to stay in the city of Harare. It is a very laid-back and safe city with modern skyscrapers, historical buildings, monuments, museums and open spaces such as a botanical garden and woodlands.
There are excellent shops and boutiques, but the best way to experience shopping in Harare is by strolling through the open flea market at Mbare. Here you can buy anything from food, clothing to an array handcrafted colourful baskets.
The night life is great too; there are many wonderful restaurants serving delicious traditional food that everyone should try. The cafes and bars vary from quiet and cosy to wild and exciting.
It may surprise some people to know that Harare is a fantastic city to visit! Read More...
Take the Most Amazing Guided Tour to Wild Is Life Trust and Zen and See Orphaned Baby Elephants
A very endearing but amazing place to see by guided tour is the 'Wild is Life Trust and Zen'. This is a sanctuary for orphaned, rescued and protected animals.
It is wonderful to see the work that is being done for the animals but also the way the staff teach visitors so much about the animals.
The best part is definitely the elephant nursery. The baby elephants are so funny and misbehaving! You leave here feeling very uplifted.
Other interesting spots to visit are the Kuimba Shiri Bird Sanctuary, Mukuvisi Woodlands, Chapung Sculpture Park, Ngoma Kurira and the Lion and Cheetah Park.
Top 10 Things to Do in Harare
Wild is Life
For an unforgettable experience, take a guided tour to Wild is Life, a wildlife sanctuary that is situated close to Harare International airport. It is an incredible feeling to get so close to the animals here who have sad stories because they are with orphaned, rescued or protected species. The elephant nursery is a must visit as they are so adorable. Other animals found here are giraffes, lions and cheetahs.
Thetford Game Reserve
Why not take an exhilarating game safari tour of Thetford Game Reserve. This reserve has beautiful countryside, impressive mountain terrain and is teeming with wildlife just 30 kilometres outside of Harare city. The reason this game reserve came into existence was to create a safe haven for animals to breed. It is now where you will find over 150 species of birds and animals such as giraffes, zebras, impalas and rhinos.
Lion & Cheetah Park and Snake Park
Thirty minutes outside of Harare is the Lion & Cheetah Park which also has a Snake World. This very popular attraction is ideal if you want a short adventure as you can take a drive through the lion enclosure and get VERY close to these majestic animals. Other game to be seen here are zebras, wildebeests, cheetahs and impalas. After seeing the game, take a guided tour of Snake world where you are introduced to some deadly snakes
National Botanic Gardens
On a guided tour of the National Botanic Gardens in the north of the city of Harare, you are welcomed into a beautiful garden that has a wide range of garden plants and trees. The majority of that you see here are native to Zimbabwe, but there are also exotic plants and trees from places like the Far East, South America and India. One of the really good things here is the area where you can have a picnic surrounded by beauty.
Another place close to the city but makes you feel you are way out in the wilderness is Mukuvisi Woodlands. On a guided tour you get to see a jungle’s worth of vegetation and animals. There are horse safari for both adults and children and walking safaris with qualified guides to help you when you come close to Zebras, giraffes or impalas. See some famous bird species and look out for the crocodiles!
Chapungu Sculpture Park
An interesting guided tour to take in Harare is to the Chapungu Sculpture Park which is located in the Msasa Park suburb. This park was established in 1970 as an area for local stone sculpture and art to be displayed. It was so successful and has flourished so much that it is possibly the most prominent stone sculpture and art exhibition in Zimbabwe. There are opportunities to buy small and charming stone souvenirs.
Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences
Take a guided tour of the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences which tells the rich and colourful story of the cultured history of Zimbabwe. The type of items found in the museum includes very old artefacts of stone sculptures, ancient kitchen utensils and many works of wood. The famous stone instrument Ngoma Lungundu is also found in this museum, known as the ‘drum of the dead’ due to its traditional history.
Lake Chivero Recreational Park
The Lake Chivero Recreational Park is a recreational park that is surrounded by Lake Chivero which is one of the chief lakes in Harare. Due to the lake, there are boat safaris available and fishing trips. When you go on a game walk safari, the different animals you can see include the rare white rhino, sables, wildebeests, warthogs and an amazing array of bird species. It is also possible to go on a horse safari.
Take a guided tour to Domboshawa, translated means ‘The Red Rock’, just outside of Harare. This is a granite hill with rock paintings and caves. It is an easyish walk to the top but might be a bit too strenuous for some. For the most spectacular view, make sure the guided tour is at sunset, it is magnificent to watch the sun set from this point. Bring a torch though because it will be dark when leaving.
Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary
To visit this Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary on a guided tour is a wonderful experience. In the sanctuary, all the animals are orphaned or need rehabilitation. The type of animals found in the sanctuary include monkeys, lions and domestic cats. The guides are brilliant and very knowledgeable about everything going on in the sanctuary. For the lucky visitors who times their tour perfectly, they can feed the animals.
Travel Tips for Harare
Best Time To Visit Harare
If climate is not a priority for you then anytime during the year is a good time as the majority of attractions stay open all yer round. Having said that some national parks are not open during the rainy season. The most popular time for tourists is September to December (Spring) or January to April (summer). The months of June to August are the coldest with temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius.
Typical Costs in Harare
When you visit the city of Harare, you will find it very reasonable. On average a double room in a 4-star hotel will cost less than US$90 per night B&B. In a mid-range restaurant, a three-course meal will cost approximately US$30 for two people or during the day a light lunch will cost around US$7. Safari tours, guided tours or private tours will vary in price depending on the time of the year and travel operators.
Know Before Visiting Harare
Always research the area you want to travel too before booking anything. When you have decided and want do safaris or guided tours, it is advisable to book these before travelling. Make sure you have the correct documents needed when travelling i.e. valid passports or visas. When you are in Harare, even though it is regarded as a safe place, be vigilant especially when it is dark and never walk alone at nighttime.
Weather in Harare
Harare is very lucky in that it has a very pleasant climate of highland subtropical. The summers here are mild, humid and somewhat rainy. The temperatures average highs of 26 degrees Celsius. Surprisingly Spring is hotter with temperatures averaging 27 degrees Celsius. The wettest month is January and the driest months are June and July. These are also the coldest months of the year with temperatures around 6 degrees Celsius.