Zimbabwe is undergoing a time of continuing political and economic tension and the advice of the British Foreign Office is against all but essential travel. In the current climate, visitors should exercise extreme caution, and avoid remote or farming areas, high density suburban areas and public transport. Contact the embassy for up-to-date advice on Zimbabwe.
The modern capital Harare is set on a plateau in the north-east of Zimbabwe. East leads to the pine-forested slopes of the Eastern Highlands, grazing the Mozambique border, while south reveals enigmatic stone ruins at UNESCO-listed Great Zimbabwe. The south-west is home to colonial-style Bulawayo and its rich Zimbabwean art collections. In the west are the spectacular Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, a haven for wild elephants.
Harare is rich with culture, from Shona sculpture at the National Gallery to the granite ruins of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, a memory of the medieval Mutapa Empire. In Zimbabwe's second city, colonial-era Bulawayo, the National Art Gallery showcases contemporary Zimbabwean paintings. Nearby, the Iron Age Kame Ruins are a warren of passageways and terraces said to have been used in rainmaking ceremonies.
Dwarfed by Zimbabwe's highest peak, Mount Nyangani (8505 feet), the Nyanga National Park shelters pine forests and gorges home to leopard, antelope and samango monkeys. The Matopos Hills rise south of Bulawayo, a bizarre landscape of granite rock formations sculpted over millennia. Down south in the Hwange National Park zebra, giraffe and elephants roam, while water thunders down the impressive Victoria Falls.