Zimbabwe - Making its way back into the tourist market, Zimbabwe is able to offer some incredible wilderness and exciting wildlife, along with the wonder that is Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe's political climate and issues have been well documented through the world's media, and it is no secret that tourist numbers to the country have dropped substantially.
However, everything which made Zimbabwe one of the most popular safari destinations is still available, with operators moving back into the world famous areas of Hwange, Mana Pools, the Lower Zambezi and Lake Kariba.
Victoria Falls thunders mightily on the Zambezi River, and the canoeing and rafting experiences are as exciting as ever.
The people of Zimbabwe have always been one of the major highlights, and it is particularly pleasing that tourists are filtering through the borders again, rewarding the patience of the fantastic guides and conservation workers who have remained dedicated to Zimbabwe's wildlife areas.
Situated only 3 hours' drive south of Victoria Falls, and bordering Botswana to the west, Hwange National Park has become famous for its wildlife density and enormous elephant population.
Due to the arid region, the park is an incredible dry season safari destination, with animals converging on the many man-made water holes, and game viewing being especially rewarding.
With over 100 species of mammals, and 400 species of birds, Hwange National Park is sure to provide you with some excellent photo's and is a great inclusion on a Zimbabwe safari itinerary.
Recently added scheduled flights from Victoria Falls have made Hwange even more accessible.
Africa's largest dam, at 226 kilometres long and up to 40 kilometres wide, Lake Kariba is a brilliant location to wind down with some stunning scenery, idyllic cruises, beautiful sunsets, and relaxed fishing.
Water sports can be enjoyed, or just spend time drifting along in a houseboat, watching the world sail by.
On the southern banks of the Zambezi River, across the water from the Lower Zambezi National Park, lies the legendary Mana Pools National Park. With "mana" meaning "4", the park is named after the 4 main pools cut off from the Zambezi on its floodplains, which attract an enormous amount of wildlife.
Still largely undeveloped, the area is a true wilderness, and offers exciting activities allowing travellers to explore Africa as it was in days gone by.
Only accessible by vehicle during the dry season, in the rains the park has to be accessed by foot or boat only.
Recently added scheduled flights from Victoria Falls have made getting to Mana Pools a bit less costly, so it is a great time to be venturing into this wonderful wildlife haven.
About 30 kilometres south of Bulawayo, Matobo National Park is visited for its other-worldly rocky landscapes, historical and cultural significance, wildlife sightings, bushman paintings and walking excursions.
Combining well with Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls in the north, and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins to the east, Matobo National Park offers something a bit different from the usual safari and wildlife areas.
Historically, Matobo plays a big part in Zimbabwe, with the name Matobo meaning 'bald heads' being chosen for the area by the great Ndebele King, Mzilikazi. He is buried in the Matobo Hills just a short distance from the park.
Cecil John Rhodes having chosen his grave site to be on Malindidzimu Hill, or World's View, and which is now a draw card for numerous visitors each year.
"Mosi Oa Tunya", or "The Smoke That Thunders", Victoria Falls are as magnificent on the 10th visit as they are on the 1st, and their thundering roar makes everything else seem strangely quiet once you leave them behind.
As the mighty Zambezi flows over a chasm of 1 mile wide, and 110 metres high, to violently crash on the rocks below, the resultant spray is sent tens of metres up into the air, before it lands back down in a continuous rainfall. The water then rushes through an opening of only 50 metres, as the Zambezi races further along, over churning rapids and through the deep Batoka Gorge.
While the Falls are the major drawcard, there is a thriving tourist industry developed around them, with adventure activities of all forms being available.
Tourism has been evident here ever since David Livingstone was the first European guided by the local tribes to this remarkable natural wonder.