Have just returned from a 6 week journey around Southern Africa including driving across Zimbabwe. We travelled in a Land Rover fitted for camping. Our first stop in Zim, we stayed at Vic Falls Rest Camp for a night and went to the curio markets and the falls from there (although we camped at Livingstone and did most of our adventure activities from there). What a fantastic part of the world. A visit to the original hotel, the Victoria Falls Hotel, is a must. My kids rated the pizza and fried chicken takeaways across the road from the Rest Camp by the 7 eleven. It is, however, a little sad when you see how few tourists are there. The quality and quantity of products at the markets is very high, but the stall owners are so desperate to make a sale they don't give you room to think and it just became too much of a hassle. We then drove through Zambia to Chirundu border post to Mana Pools National Park for 2 nights and thoroughly enjoyed the wildness and serenity. Saw plenty of wildlife and we even walked through the bush tracking a lion pride and were charged at by a lioness. Then drove to Harare and stayed with a local person and had repairs carried out on our vehicle in town. We spent 4 days there and really enjoyed the feel and look of Harare. We then drove to Mutare for a night before leaving for Mozambique.
Zimbabwe is an easy country to travel in. There is now no such thing as a Zimbabwe Dollar – just US Dollars (and SA Rands). Change is occasionally given in Rand coins, when available, or, in the supermarkets, till receipt credits. When moving through the rural areas people are interested in you - they stare at and approach you – but we (wife and I and 2 teenage kids) never felt unsafe, although it took a bit of getting used to. I reckon they can’t believe their eyes - seeing a tourist in the country! Don’t get me wrong, we have travelled bit in Africa, we’re just used to people approaching and wanting to sell us something or begging. The roads are very good, fuel is readily available, supermarkets are well stocked, the people are hospitable and things in the main still do work. I did get a speeding ticket 100 metres over the border but I was speeding and was given an official receipt. Harare has a good feel to it, lovely tree lined streets, a modern-ish city centre and a safe feel. Overall, in Zimbabwe, I was expecting to see poverty, starvation, cholera, corrupt officials, political unrest - but I didn't. That's not to say it wasn't there, but you don't see it. There is a feeling that if one man and his cronies disappeared tomorrow the country could get back on it's feet.
Thanks to all that posted on this forum - it really helped before and during our travels.