HOME to some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world, the Matobo National Park is one of the unsung highlights of Zimbabwe. This Unesco World Heritage Site is a stunning and worldly landscape of balancing rocks, kopjes — giant boulders unfeasibly teetering on top of one another…
IT is early in the morning as the sun hesitantly climbs out of the womb of its wise mother from the east. Grass and tree branches sing notes from the sunrise wind, helped by a cacophony of singing birds, yonder in the hills and hillocks. The multifarious array of balancing rocks stands unveiled, blushing in …
Source: Great Zimbabwe
The KAZA project is the largest cross-border natural reserve on the planet. But the fight for conservation in some of the poorest regions of southern Africa has many challenges, including finding the right balance between tourism and wildlife protection.
THE beauty and rich natural diversity of the Matopo Hills have been preserved for eternity in a book that documents the hills’ natural history, which was launched late last year.
The oldest man-made structure on Earth.
The most threadbare word in travel would surely be “paradise”. But what exactly do people mean when they over-use this descriptor? The simplest manifestation of a traveller’s nirvana is a magnificent location. But one person’s notion of beauty is another’s monochrome.
Deserts or big-sky plains could be heaven to some, alarmingly unstructured to others. Mountains and forests are one person’s spiritual home, another’s claustrophobia. Thickly peopled cities, with their weight of history and culture, are the essence of civilisation or its betrayal. Even the ocean and its salty associations, though commonly accepted as the apotheosis of paradise, has its critics.
Paradise is more a state of mind – not simply a beautiful place but an emotional condition, a spiritual epiphany, a sense of serendipity or accident of fate where perfection collides – or all of the above. Paradise is highly personal, because it’s where you feel happiest.
At its most complex, it could be a yearning for something unique, pure and mystical, for perfection in a flawed world. It might relate to our happy childhood places.
Read more from source: The most beautiful places on Earth
There certainly are many things to divide us, but there is one aspect of Africa that can’t be argued over our natural heritage. Proof of that can be found in the amount of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that we have spread out around our continent.
Here are a few top World Heritage sites around Africa that will allow a moment to appreciate our continent’s beauty and how privileged we really are to call it home.
1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
This isolated forest is the most diverse in East Africa, with more than 160 species of trees and 100 species of ferns. It gets its name from having a very dense cover of herbs, vines and shrubs, with steep ridges and slippery valleys. The terrain is difficult to explore, giving it a truly adventurous side.
Appreciate this: More than half of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population can be found here and you can go on a gorilla trekking expedition to observe them and see just how closely we’re related.
2. iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
Read more from source: Top Five World Heritage Sites In Africa You Should Know About | How Africa News
From giant flat-screen televisions to 3D 12-channel surround sound IMAX, the technology now exists to bring the wonders of the natural world to our living rooms and cinema screens in ever more realistic ways. Hence the appeal of Blue Planet II, the most-watched television series in Britain last year – so popular in China that it slowed the internet.
But however advanced the gizmos, nothing can match the visceral thrill of witnessing animals in the wild. Whether it is swimming with a whale shark on Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, or coming face-to-face with a silverback gorilla in Uganda, nature has a way of reminding us how insignificant we are.
Everyone has their favourite animal. For me, it is any of the big cats – and I’ve been lucky enough to witness everything from the mating rituals of leopards to a tigress playing with her cubs. I’ve even been charged by a lion on a walking safari in Zambia. Happily everyone in our group remembered the golden rule: “Whatever you do, don’t run!”
These beautiful waterfalls can be found across all continents, from coast to coast.
14. Iguazu Falls
The Iguazu Falls are one of the best awe-inspiring sights in the world. They are located in Iguazú National Park, which is shared by both Argentina and Brazil. The falls were discovered in 1541 by a Spanish explorer known as Alvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca. Their beauty recently earned a place as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Nature. Tourists have the unique opportunity of experiencing panoramic views from the Iguazu Falls footbridge.
13. Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls is a combination of three waterfalls: American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. It is located on the border of Canada and the US. Niagara Falls is an important source of hydroelectric power. Niagara Falls is a beautiful sight to behold and a perfect spot for honeymooners.
In the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe, not too far from Lake Mutirikwe, visitors will find one of the most stunning historical monuments in Africa; The UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Great Zimbabwe.
The ruins of the Great Zimbabwe are said to be the capital of the Queen of Sheba, at least that is what the legend claims. Instead, it is believed that members of the Gokomere culture, ancient relatives of today’s modern Shona people are the ones who constructed the stone edifices.
The ruins form three distinctive architectural groups, the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex and the Great Enclosure. The Hill Complex is the oldest and was occupied from the 9th to the 13th centuries. The Great Enclosure was occupied from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries and the Valley Complex from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.
GREAT ZIMBABWE NATIONAL MONUMENT, Zimbabwe — Black Africans could never have built the Great Zimbabwe monument, or so the white rulers used to say.
Clearly, it was made by the Phoenicians or other visitors from faraway places, they insisted. Never mind that archaeologists and carbon dating had confirmed the obvious: that the monument was constructed by the ancestors of the Africans living nearby.
The Great Zimbabwe, a Unesco World Heritage site that is one of the few surviving precolonial monuments in sub-Saharan Africa, has long been the continent’s fiercest archaeological battleground. Europeans used its supposed foreign origins to justify their domination. Liberation fighters used it as a rallying cry for their cause, eventually naming their newly independent nation after it.
But the fight over the Great Zimbabwe did not end with independence.
Victoria Falls is much more than just a mesmerising 100-metre plunge down a cliff. As a £120m airport opens nearby, Samuel Fishwick falls for its thrills and spills.
Not much makes a 13-hour-and-40-minute journey fly by. Still, after departing from Heathrow Airport and arriving via a transfer at Johannesburg Airport, my first sight of Victoria Falls puts it all in perspective. Rumbling between Zimbabwe and Zambia, where the two nations meet, the world’s largest sheet of falling water has taken 150 million years to form, thundering between rock faces as if trying to escape their outstretched arms.
Last November, President Robert Mugabe (yes, still there) opened Zimbabwe’s £120m Victoria Falls International Airport, promising direct flights to Europe — as well as floods of tourists from it.
Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is a force of nature – a force so strong people cross continents to witness it.
For many years visiting this Unesco World Heritage Site has not been particularly straightforward, thanks largely to the region’s creaking infrastructure. But that is set to change with the opening of Victoria Falls International Airport.
Unveiled last week, the US$150 million airport is capable of handling around 1.5 million passengers annually and its smooth new runway can accommodate some of the world’s largest jets – raising the prospect of new direct international flights to Victoria Falls.
Opening the airport on Friday – amid accusations that his security personnel had abducted six anti-government activists – was Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.
Finding myself working for Wilderness Safaris in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools seems less by coincidence than by appointment at the right time as my forefathers lived in the area around Mana Pools long before it was inscribed as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1984. My father was born somewhere in the Zambezi Valley in 1922 and lived here with his parents until they were moved out and settled in the Hurungwe area as chief and headman in the new area. The chiefs then were Mudzimu, Dandawa and Nyamhunga.
Every time I make it down the escarpment from Makuti I have a sense of homecoming. This is what makes my time at Ruckomechi Camp so special because I feel the reconnection with my ancestors.