Zimbabwe in April





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  1. #1
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    Mar 2016
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    Default Zimbabwe in April

    Hello,

    We are a Belgian couple with travel expierience through Africa(Overland Brussels-Cape Town 2011 in our own Toyota Landcruiser HZJ75). In 2011 we did not visit Zimbabwe.

    My wife and me travel to Zimbabwe in April, for 1 month. We have a rental Toyota Hilux at our disposal, arriving in JoBurg.

    I would like to have some advise about the roads in Zimbabwe in April?
    At the moment our trip is not yet complete, we had the idea to go to:

    - Gonarezhou NP (best approach?)
    - Matobo Hills
    - Hwange NP
    - Great Zimbabwe

    We consider going to Mana Pools? Is this easy to reach?(long drive?,...)
    After MP, maybe Chizarira NP, but the Karoi-Hwange road concerns me.

    Can anybody tell me something about the Mountains in the East? The A10 (Chiredzi)-A9 (Nyanga) road? Travel time? Conditions?.....

    Any advise,.... is welcome.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Jeroen Langendries

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Harare
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hello Jeroen,

    I hope that you have a lovely holiday in Zimbabwe. One month will give you time to have a lovely relaxed trip through the country, using a mixture of tar and gravel roads.

    Let me pre-empt my comments below with the very strong suggestion to not attempt to drive anywhere during the hours of darkness. Unlit vehicles, from bicycles, donkeycarts, through to passenger buses and 18 wheelers; animals both wild and domestic; and pedestrians, seem to proliferate on the roads between sundown and sunup.

    Are you camping or preferring to stay in chalets/B&B/hotels? Or a blend of all of these.
    Is your vehicle 2 or 4wd. Canopy/Roof top tent/Camper. Petrol or Diesel.?

    Because it is a hire vehicle, you will probably have to come through Beit Bridge - patience is the key, and if you need help, ask the guys in the customs building, don't be pressured by touts in the car park-(who knows what will be the situation in April).
    It is Africa's busiest road border crossing, closer to the time, others on the forum will be giving you advice on the best times to be there.
    After crossing the border, you could take a gentle 60km drive to Bubye River, and stay at the Lion and Elephant to catch your breath, and soak in some sounds and smells of the bush.

    From here you could drive through to Chiredzi, either via Mwenezi, and the gravel roads, or via Ngundu and the tar roads. This is the gateway to Gona-re-Zhou, which is so worth while visiting.

    Carrying on from Chiredzi, you cross the Sabi river, and head up towards Mutare. Along the way, Chipinge, Mt Selinda forest (with Zimbabwe's biggest tree) Chimanimani all beckon. The old wagon trail between Chimanimani and Cashel is particularly spectacular.
    Going into the Vumba and then through Mutare towards Nyanga, Mt Inyangani, Aberfoyle, Mtarazi Falls, Worlds View, the options for tar/gravel/trail are endless, with a great choice of accommodations.
    Head through to Harare, and swing north towards Mana Pools. Chinhoyi Caves is an interesting stop along the way, as is Makuti, at the top of the escarpment.
    After Mana, an interesting diversion would be Kariba, where, if the ferries are running, you could take a 24 hour ferry ride along the lake, where there are plenty of opportunities for game viewing. This will take you to either Binga or Mlibizi, depending on lake levels, and a drive back towards Chizarira is possible, without having to backtrack from Mana to Karoi and get on the road from there.
    Or, avoiding Chizarira, you could head to the Falls, and either stay at the game park right on the Zambezi, or in the centre of town, or in any of the numerous other options there.
    From the Falls, Hwange is just down the road, where you can drive in at the north end, and eventually leave at the southern. Matopos isn't far away, and well worth the trip, and Bulawayo is a friendly stop to gather your thoughts, and prepare for leaving.
    Getting from Bulawayo to Masvingo is easy on good roads, and a night or two at Kyle/Great Zimbabwe is fine.
    From here back to the border is an easy few hours, just watch out for the fast flying trucks and buses.

    I hope this helps as a start, I'm sure there will be plenty of others from the forum jumping in to help as well.
    Ex - 109 SIIA R6 pickup, rebuilt from a kraal find, still thrashing around in the Zim Lowveld.
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    Life is a journey. Have you determined your final parking spot?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Goeferdinge
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hello Steve,

    Thanks for the reply, sounds great!

    We are driving a 4x4 Hilux with a rooftop tent.

    Do you think we have to book in advance? The only thing we booked in advance is a 4 day walking safari in Hwange.

    Do you have advise about the road conditions?

    Many thanks for now

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    belgium
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Jeroen,

    perhaps i didn't tell you at Reismarkt,
    I suggest entering Gona from the south (Mabalauta). Nice place
    and continu through (passing the cliffs) the park to North Gate (Chipinda Pools)

    goede reis
    Jan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Nelspruit
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hi Jeroen and Jan

    I think most of the rivers in Gonarezhou will not be crossable in April. You will need to enter via Beit Bridge and then go to Gonarezhou north via Chiredzi. You can cross the Runde at Chipinda Pools if you want to go south. The Runde River was in flood last week and I think the Limpopo is flowing again.

    Send me a PM if you want more info Gonarezhou etc. You need at least 4 days at Gona.You can also go to Mabalauta from The Beit Bridge road (The turn off is just after the Mwanesi Bridge and you travel through the Nuanetsi Ranch area. A Lovely drive) and then up to Chipinda pools via the Chipinda Pools Causeway. If you approach the south side of Runde River then the best is camping at Chinguli. It has full ablutions facilities.

    Is your planned trips April 16 or April 17. I think you are too late for booking at Mana for April 2016. There are a number of threads on the forum that describe the trip from Hwange to Mana Pools. You need to give yourself at least 3 nights.

    I would suggest Gonarezhou then Zimbabwe Ruins then across to Motobo Nat Park then up to Hwange and return via Botswana.

    Regards
    [SIGPIC]MikevR Be determined to live the unlived life within you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hey Mike,

    I would like to have some more advise, please?

    I was thinking maybe doing the eastern mountain region?

    What do you think?

    Thanks

    Jeroen

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Eastern Highlands

    Hi Jeroen

    Herewith a few threads to read up on regarding Eastern Highlands
    http://www.kevinandmichelle.co.uk/tr...bwe/index.html

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...tern+Highlands

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...tern+Highlands

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...tern+Highlands

    These threads will give you a better understanding of the area.

    Regards
    [SIGPIC]MikevR Be determined to live the unlived life within you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    belgium
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hi Jeroen,

    Eastern Highlands, some people told me, are similar to Scotland, so why spending time over there when so close to home...

    If not doing Manapools, why not going to Chobe NP, (Ihaha campsite)
    Easy to reach and nice nature (in dry season I've seen)

    good luck!
    Jan

  9. #9

    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Camping Zim: http://www.kevinandmichelle.co.uk/ca.../zimbabwe.html

    Really miss our weekends in Belgium. Lovely beer in the little bars in Brussel. Moules frites. Cheese and celery salt. Could go on. Enjoy your visit!
    Kevin and Michelle Heyes
    [/SIGPIC]
    www.kevinandmichelle.co.uk

  10. #10
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    Goeferdinge
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hello,

    Some latest road conditions advise about Zimbabwe? anybody?
    Main roads as wel as gravel roads, NP roads,...?

    Thanks in advance

    Jeroen

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    We have just returned from Troutbeck.
    The eastern highlands are beautiful.
    Visiting Vumba and the Nyanga Higlands should not be rushed.
    We did not have any bad experience with police intervention or traffic fines. Make sure that you have white reflector strips on the left and right front of your car as well as red reflector strips on the left and right back of your car.
    We were required to display a fire extinguisher as well as reflecting triangles. Our suitcases were x-rayed at Beitbridge on the Zimbabwe side

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hey Tienie,
    Thanks for the advise.
    I think Mana Pools will be for a next time, booking zimparks is very difficult, no replies till now!
    Maybe we stay some more time in the eastern highlands.
    greetz out of Belgium

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Elsieken



    We were in the Highlands area twice in the last 3 years. You can consider, our trip Sept 2015 included Mana Pools, Nyanga, the Vumba and Gonarezhou
    • Chimanimani - The Frog and Fern http://www.thefrogandfern.com/contact-us small camp site, pleasant hikes, and a pleasant drive along the Cashel road to the Bvumba. -Comfortable drive from Chipinda Pools Gonarezhou with shopping in Chiredzi. The road is not that great but do-able .
    • The Bvumba http://www.seldomseen.co.zw/ - Magnificent birding, one great camping spot at Seldom Seen Cottages, ask them it is not advertised - amazing! http://www.seldomseen.co.zw/ other wise camping at the botanical gardens.
    • Aberfoyle Lodge in the Honde Valley http://www.aberfoylelodge.com/ check it out amazing scenery and birding. The escarpment scenery is beautiful.
    • Nyanga the camp site in the park had been upgraded somewhat, not inspirational though, we have opted to stay at the Pungwe Drift Cottages in the east of the park. Also consider the camp site close to the Mturazi falls, see Far and Wide http://www.farandwide.co.zw rustic but fine with great walks. Again the road is not great but do-able. Great drives to Mt Nyangani and the northern section of the park, beautiful waterfalls.
    Driving around the area is very pleasant with great scenery!


    If coming from SA you can combine Gonarezhou and the Zim ruins with the highlands, at the ruins camp at Norma Jeans


    The Bradt guide is the best with good information and sketch maps.






    Regarding the roads all are fine, except for the road from Gonarezhou towards Chimanimani and then the gravel section towards Pungwe Drift, both do-able in your Toyota

    Hope this helps, you can PM me should you have more questions.
    Johan

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Hello,

    Any latest road conditions updates in the NP's? Gonarezhou,...

    Thx

    Jeroen

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    The rains have been heavy?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Elsieken View Post
    Hello,

    We are a Belgian couple with travel expierience through Africa(Overland Brussels-Cape Town 2011 in our own Toyota Landcruiser HZJ75). In 2011 we did not visit Zimbabwe.

    My wife and me travel to Zimbabwe in April, for 1 month. We have a rental Toyota Hilux at our disposal, arriving in JoBurg.

    I would like to have some advise about the roads in Zimbabwe in April?
    At the moment our trip is not yet complete, we had the idea to go to:

    - Gonarezhou NP (best approach?)
    - Matobo Hills
    - Hwange NP
    - Great Zimbabwe

    We consider going to Mana Pools? Is this easy to reach?(long drive?,...)
    After MP, maybe Chizarira NP, but the Karoi-Hwange road concerns me.

    Can anybody tell me something about the Mountains in the East? The A10 (Chiredzi)-A9 (Nyanga) road? Travel time? Conditions?.....

    Any advise,.... is welcome.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Jeroen Langendries
    Hi Jeroen
    On a different note, did you also tour through Namibia during your trip in 2011. Reason I'm asking, I met and assisted a newly wedded couple from Belgium on their honey-moon trip with a land cruiser who got stuck in the Fish River.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Currently: 2013 Ford Ranger 3.2 D/C 4x4
    Previously: 2006 v6 Ford Ranger 4.0 Super cab 4x4
    Previously: 1998 v6 Ford Courier 3.4 Single cab 2x4
    Previously: 1996 v6 Nissan 3.0 Single cab 2x4

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Goeferdinge
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    Default Re: Zimbabwe in April

    hey,

    We visited Namibia in 2011,but we did not get stuck at Fish River

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