Friday, 29 August 2014

Out of Africa - Great Zimbabwe

This summer I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to make a trip I have been dreaming of for a very long time. Since studying African wildlife as a child at school I have longed to go on a safari; I have always gobbled up any nature documentaries on the continent and daydreamed about going there one day. J (my boyfriend and partner-in-crime) is originally from Zimbabwe and in July he and I took a two week trip over there: definitely a dream come true.

Zimbabwe is perhaps not the first country people think of visiting when they think of Africa, the political and economical climate has suffered greatly in recent years and many are anxious about its safety. However I can honestly say I had no problems of that kind at all. It is truly a beautiful country, nearly unspoilt by tourism, and full of life. Yes it has its many issues and I saw poverty of a kind that is a shock to the system having never ventured beyond Europe before but it is currently safe to visit and could really benefit from more tourism.

There is so much to see and do and the national parks are full of amazing wildlife. J worked as a park guide for a few years so it was like having my own personal guide with me. I am beyond thankful to have had the experience and I will treasure the memories forever. I thought it would be nice to share some of the many photographs that I took with you so that you can see the beauty too. As I took so many I am going to split them into several posts to stop them becoming overwhelming. I hope you enjoy!

One of the places I was really excited to visit was Great Zimbabwe. A beautiful World Heritage site, Great Zimbabwe is the ruins of an ancient city which was first settled approximately a millennium ago in the 11th century. The Hill Ruins are made up of a huge granite structure and are so impressive to behold. You have to climb many many winding stone steps up the hill which is a fair hike but the views alone are worth it.

Once you have reached the royal city at the top you can gaze over the kingdom down below. The stone structures are so impressive when you consider when they were built. The Great Enclosure is an equally amazing sight when you gaze down at it, it was constructed in the 14th century and is also made of granite.

The sky in Zimbabwe is amazing, it was early winter there and the skies were the bluest I've ever seen. These photos don't really do the bright colour justice but they were so wonderful, not a cloud to be seen.

Just look at these double walls, it's impossible to imagine them being painstakingly constructed manually all those centuries ago. It was so clever too as these passages between the walls are actually pretty chilly and were used to keep food, almost like an early fridge!

Stay tuned for more Zimbabwe posts, the next one will involve a dream come true for me and a rather large mammal with a very precious horn...


  1. One of my best friends is from Zimbabwe too and I am keen but really apprehensive to go! Reassuring to read your post :) Am really looking forward to reading the rest, especially the large horned animal one hehe xx

    1. Oh you should definitely go with them if you get the chance! Going with someone who lived there is definitely the way to go as they know how everything works and you feel a lot safer :) x