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Zimbabwe

Visas
From Malawi if you want to continue to Zimbabwe you must get a visa to Mozambique in advance you can get it in Blantyre or in Lilongwe, if you stay in Wayfarer in Blantye which is nice place, but the stuff wasn't friendly, you can get a visa in 1 day and you don't need a passport photo. Also some people will need to get a visa in advance to Zimbabwe and this vias you must get in Lilongwe.

About the country
Zimbabawe one of the more developed countries in Africa and with many attractions for the tourist. If you come to Zimbabwe from another country in Africa except South Africa, you think you're in a western country, since you can find almost anything

Getting to Zimbabwe

If you take the bus with Translux show them your student card (if you got one) and you get 10% discount another company is Greyhound and they also give the 10% students discount. There's also an option to take the train to Johanesburg. The buses go from Harare and Bulawayo to Pretoria and Johanesburg

Going in Zimbabwe
The best is to use the train service which is cheap and comfortable, most of the trains go at night, The service inside Zimbabwe is from Harare to Mutare and Bulawayo and from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. There are the ordinary buses and the luxury buses which runs by Blue arrow, they're much more comfortable, but they're not faster.

Where to go
In Zimbabwe don't miss the Chimanimani mountains one of the places that I like more, first should go to Chimanimani town where you can find a hotel or a nice backpackers hostel which in the yard you can put your tent on the background of those mountains. The mountains are national park so noone lives on them, it's a very quiet place after you hike to the top you see a valey surrounded by mountains, you can hike for a couple of days in the region and see water falls and caves, you can stay at night in the hut or outside in of the caves, I reccomand to stay at least one day at the top, 'coz the sunrise is very beautiful there. The most known place in Zimbabwe is Victoria falls, the widests falls in the world. There are a lot of activity in the town you can do a banji jumping, water rafting and do a flight above the falls with a helicopter or a plane. The prices of those activit ies are in the sky and the banji junping costs 90 US$ and the water rafting costs 95 US$ for a full day. The biggest company to do all this stuff is Shearwater. the entrance to see the falls should be quite cheap, but I read that they increased the price and that it's quite expensive now, so I don't have any i dea about it, eventhough I don't think that if you come to the falls you wont' go to see them. You can cross also the border to Zambia to see the falls from the other side, you can get the visa in the border and some nationalities won't pay and the others will pay 10 US$. At least when there aren't so much water in the falls it's not so impresive the view from the other side. In the other side you can buy in the market also some stuff that you won't find in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe the things that you can buy in the market are wood and stone stuff, also some stuff is imported from Malawi. Near Victoria falls there is the largest game reserve Hwange, you can see plenty of animals there including lions, elephants and more... If you go there take the bus or the train to Hwange and in the camp site try to join some people with a car, because t he organise tours from Victoria falls are very expensive about 120 US$ for 1 day trip.

Harare
Harare is a good place to see a movie in the cinema, since it's one of the cheapest places to watch a movie, the price is 1 US$.

Where to stay
In Harare there are plenty of cheap places to stay, but the cheapest place if you want to camp is Msasa camp site, this is the municipal camp site, the disadvantage of this place is that the safty of your tent isn't the best and second that they don't have a r esturant inside, it's a very large area unlike the hostels that you can camp in their yard. A good backpackers hostel in Kopje 221 and Wayfarer, those hostels are in a private houses and they rent the rooms, the good in those places that they'll wait for you near the bus or train station when you arrive and give you a free lift to their hotel another hostel is Backpackers and overlands check their webpage to find if you like them or not.

Bulawayo
If you're in Bulawayo it's recommanded to take a day trip to Matopos park, where you can see the bushmen paintings and Rhinos, I took the tour with Sun Africa and they were very good. Also the museum is very nice.

Where to stay
The best place to stay in Bulawayo is Hitch Haven, the owner of this place Roger was the nicest person I met in the backpackers hostels in all Africa, he could explain you everything about how to arrange your trip in Zimbabwe, He's also the one who make the meals in this place and they were very good. If you need to go the town he'll give you a lift for free and also take you to your bus, he took me at 23:30 to the midnight bus to Johanesburg, but as I heard recently he's not working there anymore. A new place is opened by the owners of Sun Africa at 398 Thurso Road Killarney Tel (09)31528 or 76523. In November 2000 I got a message from Gulenor Petker who reccomended about Shaka's Spear hostel, which is in CNR of 2nd Avenue/Jason Moyo Street and is the centre of the city, their phone number is (09)79788 and e-mail shakasspear@hotmail.com