Have you ever heard of the statement “ Travel while you are still young, explore the world and find yourself.” We have heard this statement way too many times. While this is true, and we live by that mantra, it is often hard for Zimbabwean millennials to put travel as a priority because of the current economic situation. We still believe that as women, we should explore the world and the place that we should start with is our own “backyard” as termed by South African travellers (Travelling Cheapskates), our beautiful country Zimbabwe.
Lonely Planet and National Geographic named Zimbabwe as one of the top ten countries to visit in 2019. We couldn’t agree more because Zimbabwe has so much to offer. It has everything from adventurous activities to total relaxation. We will share some of favourite travel destinations in Zimbabwe that are budget friendly and some that you will need to save up for and still not break the bank.
Honde Valley is our absolute favourite place to visit in Zimbabwe to date. We are lovers of nature and adventure. Located in the Eastern Highlands,Honde Valley is a 5 to 6 hour drive from Harare. It provides a wide range of activities that will cater for your spirit of adventure from zip lining in a canopy forest to white water rafting along Pungwe river. As if that’s not enough, it is also home to some of the best tea plantations in the country. These make for a scenic and enjoyable walks and if you are lucky enough, you will find tea farmers that will give you a brief history of how tea is grown. We stayed at the Aberfoyle lodge during the Mountains and River Festival. If you love festivals and adventure, it is best to go around that time they have festivals. Look up for their page Far and Wide Zimbabwe.
Costs: Honde Valley is a holiday that you will need to save for. Aberfoyle is great lodge that accommodates large groups.There are different types of accommodation- staying at the lodge or camping at the Aberfoyle campsite.
Tip: To cut costs, you can grab a group of your friends and share accomodation and transportation. For trips like these, you can start saving up early i.e pay for accomodation months before your vacation. Wec recommend Honde Valley to anyone who is adventurous.
We are sure by now, most of you have been to Mutorashanga. No matter how many times we’ve been to Mutorashanga, we keep wanting to go back. After a long week of working, Mutorashanga is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and it is only an hour and 30 minute drive away from Harare. It is also the perfect place to sunbathe and totally relax with friends. Should you like to throw yourself from a high up cliff and plunge into deep water, Mutorashanga is definitely the place for a little thrill seeking by cliff jumping! It is also a great place to have a braai or a picnic with friends without using a lot of money.
Cost: Most women love a good deal, be it on clothes, furniture or shoes!! We are always looking out for the racks in the store that have a 20% or 50% off sale. Now, you can imagine the reaction we get if something is FREE!! Mutorashanga has no entrance fee, the only costs you have to incur when you travelling to Mutorashanga is transportation and food. So make a date your friends and escape the city for a few hours!
You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy the day at a vineyard tasting different types of Zimbabwean made wines.The experience and the ambiance are enough for you and your girlfriends or loved ones to enjoy a day or a weekend away at Bushman Rock. We absolutely loved our experience at Bushman Rock. We were taken on a journey of wine making and by the time, we were ready to taste the wine, we knew a few things like what glass to use when you drinking white wine or red wine or how to see if the wine has aged or not. To top that off, Bushman Rock offers a three course meal that will make your experience complete! What’s not to love? An afternoon spent with good wine, good food and great company!
Cost: Bushman Rock offers affordable rates for a wine tasting and a three course meal. Other activities include horse riding, canoeing and a game drive.(Prices are subject to change)
Chimanimani is another budget friendly travel destination that we love. Besides Victoria Falls being the largest falls in the world, Chimanimani is home to many waterfalls. If you are an adventurous traveler and you love all things nature, Chimanimani is the place for you. It is an affordable destination that you and your girlfriends or partners can plan for a weekend away. Activities include hiking, taking a dip in the natural pools and waterfalls. It is also another travel destination to just relax and appreciate nature.
Costs: If you are into trying out new things, you can camp. There are also different types of accommodation including self catering lodges, fully catered lodges and a hotel in Chimanimani town.
This is one place every Zimbabwean should travel to at least once in their lifetime. It is a popular tourist destination, therefore it is more on the pricier side. We absolutely loved the Victoria Falls, not only because it is a world wonder but it gives one an ultimate holiday experience for every type of traveler. Activities that you should not miss when traveling to Victoria Falls include the obvious one, a visit to the falls which is very affordable for Zimbabweans. Other activities include a cultural experience at the Boma restaurant where you eat a lot of Zimbabwean delicacies including the mopani worm and other wild meats. The night is full of performances including interactive drum show and being serenaded by a group of singers on your respective tables. Victoria Falls is also the adventure capital, there are activities including white water rafting, bungee jumping and a flight over the falls. It is also a great place to relax and enjoy all the luxurious activities it has to offer. This is one vacation that is worth saving for!
Tips: If you still want to visit Victoria Falls on a budget, you can cut costs by staying at a self catering lodge, travelling by bus or better yet make it a roadtrip with friends.
Quick Tips when Travelling in Zimbabwe:
● Travel with a group of friends, it will cut costs (transportation and accomodation)
● Always have a spare tyre if it’s a road trip.
● Invest in a power bank because this country is beautiful and of course what’s a trip without having photos to look back on.
● Start planning early for your trip. Pay for accommodation and activities before the trip.
● If you love travelling, have a separate bank account for your travels.This will make sure that you are not taking away money from your savings.
● Find your travelling style and this will determine how many trips you can make in a year that’s within your budget.
● Travel doesn’t always have to be overnight, take a lot of day trips!