ZIMBABWE has been voted the third top country in 2019 to visit, with its people described as very friendly and having attractive scenery, among other reasons, according to a top Australian travel publication, Lonely Planet.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
In its survey for “Best in Travel 2019 Top Countries”, Zimbabwe was also voted third in terms of safety out of the 10 countries observed.
Zimbabwe was voted third after Sri Lanka and Germany, and was followed by Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Indonesia, Belarus, São Tomé and Príncipe and Belize.
“While it may be known for making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Zimbabwe has always been a country that travellers on the ground have raved about. Not only is it one of Africa’s safest destinations, it’s one blessed with ultra-friendly locals, Big Five-filled national parks, World Heritage-listed archaeological ruins, forested mountains and, of course, the mighty Victoria Falls,” Lonely Planet said.
“Although the controversial 2018 election may have dampened the unbridled optimism following the end of Robert Mugabe’s time in power, the sense of hope for what the country can become remains strong in Zimbabweans. And,, as always, a visit here is viewed by locals as a sign of support of them on their journey to a new dawn.”
Lonely Planet said throughout its past two decades of governmental mismanagement, political violence and economic disaster, Zimbabweans continued to welcome visitors with the same grace and politeness that they are famed for.
“And as a result, those who did travel here (Zimbabwe) usually left insisting that the country was hands down one of the safest, friendliest and most spectacular countries on the continent,” the travel publication added.
“In 2017, the post-Mugabe dawn that millions of Zimbabweans longed for finally arrived, and their excitement of what the future may hold is still palpable to all who visit.”
For top 10 experiences to have in Zimbabwe, Lonely Planet voted visiting Victoria Falls as number one, followed by Great Zimbabwe, Mana Pools National Park, Harare, Eastern Highlands, Hwange and Matobo National Park.