Opportunities to view wildlife during game drives, the might of the Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe UNESCO World Heritage Site are just three of the reasons that make Zimbabwe a rewarding destination for travel photography.
Travel photography in Zimbabwe
For travel photographers, the country has much to offer. Many of Zimbabwe’s people are easily approachable. Their willingness to be photographed and winning smiles makes it a joy to be on urban streets with a camera.
Zimbabwe is an interesting place to be at present. There’s a positive, upbeat mood in the country. One member of the travel industry said he could never recall having as many enquiries from British travel companies.
In November 2017 the leadership of Zimbabwe changed. Emmerson Mnangagwe replaced Robert Mugabe as the Zimbabwean president. Soon afterwards, he declared, “Zimbabwe is open for business.”
For years drivers had to factor in that frequent roadblocks would add time to journeys on Zimbabwe’s roads. During the group tour that I was part of, held in March 2018, we passed police checkpoints just a couple of times and were never subject to prolonged delays.
Exploring cultural heritage sites
Tourism numbers to Great Zimbabwe, near Masvingo, are still low, meaning that now is a good time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s next to nobody there to walk into your frame as you get ready to photograph.
Joining a walking tour led by Black Rhino Safaris in Matobo National Park allowed me to get within 20 metres of a group of white rhinoceroses on foot. Creeping through the bush with my camera in my hand was a thrilling experience. Fortunately, I was able to maintain my composure as one of the rhinos looked directly into my lens.
Wildlife photography in Zimbabwe
The dry season (from July into November) is widely regarded at the best time of year for wildlife photography in Hwange National Park. Yet even during the green season we enjoyed some impressive animal sightings and had some wonderful opportunities to photograph birds.
The rains of March meant that the Victoria Falls were almost in full flow during my visit. The water of the Zambezi is an impressive sight as it crashes across the Zimbabwe-Zambia border. To get an overview of the falls and surrounding landscape I booked onto the Flight of Angels helicopter ride over the waterfalls.
The prospect of bungy jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge is something that gives some visitors a buzz. But with so much to photograph, including hippos wallowing in the water of the Zambezi, I have to admit I was happy enough to mooch around with a camera in my hand.
As a destination for travel photography, Zimbabwe really does offer a lot.
Disclosure and information
Stuart Forster was invited to explore destinations in Zimbabwe on a group tour organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Rwandair flies to Harare, Zimababwe’s capital city, from London Gatwick via its hub at Kigali International Airport, Rwanda.
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