Now in Zimbabwe!

Since the last time I wrote, we’ve left Malawi, have driven through Zambia and am currently in Zimbabwe! We didn’t see much of Zambia, and drove through in 2 days.
Our first night in Zambia we had some visitors at our camp site!

Zimbabwe is the 4th or 5th poorest country in Africa (and there are 54 countries!). Due to government problems, their economy completely collapsed years ago, but they’re slowly recovering. Just last year the got their own currency again, but widely accept USD. You can’t get money out of ATM’s though, as they don’t have enough money in the country. You also can’t exchange their currency in any other country, since it’s so new and still unstable. Paying at the grocery store, we paid with dollars but then you get Zimbabwe currency back, but need to use it all before you leave the country.

A few years ago, the grocery store shelves were completely bare – it was too expensive to import products in, and the locals and stores couldn’t afford it. They’re fully stocked now though, but interesting prices. Some things are really cheap – $1.00 for a beer, $.75 for a loaf of bread, $1.50 for a big carton of yogurt, but then other things are really pricey (relatively speaking, if you were a local) – $7.00 for a bottle of shampoo, $7.50 for a bag of shredded cheese, etc.

Once arriving in Zimbabwe, had the option to do a 3 day/2 night houseboat on Lake Kariba. It was expensive, and only half of the group opted to do it, but it was really fun! The rest of the group just stayed at a campsite with the driver, while the tour leader came with us.

Lake Kariba is a man made lake, and it took 9 years to build. It’s huge and certainly didn’t feel like we were on a lake!

The lake is in Matusadona National Park, so we were able to do a few game drives on a smaller boat. We saw crocodiles, hippos, elephants and gazelles.

In the deeper parts of the lake (away from the crocs!) we were able to jump into the water. We went off the second story and the water was so refreshing!

We had a chef on board so we didn’t have to cook or clean. It was so nice to have a bed and hot showers as well! Good change of pace from camping.

It was someone’s birthday the first day, so we had a costume party for her. Before getting on the boat, we stopped at a market and bought some funny clothes to wear. Fun night!

We’re in Zimbabwe for about a week more. We’re currently at an Antelope Park for 3 nights and then we head to Victoria Falls for 4 nights!


3 thoughts on “Now in Zimbabwe!

  1. Zimbabwe! When I was growing up it was known as Rhodesia, a British colony. Then in 1979, they achieved their independence from England.
    The country was euphoric. Bob Marley went and gave a concert to celebrate their independence . He even wrote a song called’Zimbabwe ‘ which is one of my favorite Marley songs.
    Unfortunately, things didn’t work out to well. A dictator, Robert Mugabe, took over and the country went into a long steady economic decline….
    I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country. Looks like you’re having fun! What a great idea to hook up with a tour group. It’s fun to travel with other people who all share the same interest in traveling.
    The houseboat trip looked like fun. I hear Victoria Falls is just amazing. Glad to hear all is going well. You look great in all the pictures.
    Love you and miss you.


  2. There are quite a few people from Zimbabwe now living in New Zealand. A lot of the Europeans left after Mugabe. Such a shame that beautiful and once prosperous country is in such a state now. Great you’re seeing the beauty of the place. All looks exciting and quite fabulous.


  3. Glad to see that you finally got some decent internet. The houseboat trip looked like it was a lot of fun. Like you said, a nice break from camping. What a wonderful opportunity to see more animals in a different habitat. I can’t wait to hear about Victoria Falls; they are supposed to be gorgeous. Hope you keep enjoying yourself. Love you!


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