The world’s best climate…

It’s true! Zimbabwe, for four consecutive years has garnered the coveted title of ‘World’s Best Climate’, according to the highly respected magazine, International Living (www.internationalliving.com). It’s near-perfect weather is really just a teaser, though.

Zimbabwe boasts five world heritage sites: Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Great Zimbabwe, Matobo Hills and Khame Ruins; along with 10 national parks, eleven recreational parks, four botanic gardens and four major safari areas including Tuli Parks and Wildlife Land which form the core of the Limpopo-Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

For the tourist, Zimbabwe offers a well developed infrastructure with good roads and lots of police check points leading to most tourist destinations; making it easy and pleasurable to drive through the length and breadth of the country, taking in Bulawyao, Msvingo, Harare, the capital and the eastern highlands, where the slowly vanishing and historically important Kalahari bushman can be found.

I flew Arik Air to Nigeria, connecting to South African airlines to Johannesburg and then through to Victoria Falls. Arik is the airline flying out of JFK to West Africa. Trust me: You’ve never flown in such luxury, with full fold-out massaging seats, beds, over-the-top dining selections and an attentive cabin staff. The mist and smoke of Victoria Falls “Mosi Oa Tunya or the smoke that thunders; was in full view as my plane dipped, and gently banked, landing at the Victoria Falls International Airport,

After a short ride by coach, I checked into the well-appointed Elephant Hills Resort hotel where my requested room with a view of the Falls and the Zambezi river was waiting. The hotel is literally located within a National Park and you won’t be surprised to see baboons, wart hogs and elephants roaming the gold course early in the dawn light.

Remember while packing to include a pair of black dress shoes (boys size 3) for the amiable and gregarious hotel greeter, Leon, who is quite short in stature but is clearly the finest hotel employee I’ve ever met with the biggest heart of gold.

After check-in, I immediately took off via a five-minute taxi ride to the foot of the Zambezi Bridge. I showed my passport to the immigration office, secured a visa and set out on foot to cross the bridge, see Vic Falls up close and cross into Zambia. It’s a dizzying and breathtaking experience at the half-way point on the bridge between two countries to feel the power and yes, the mist of Victoria Falls; a true wonder of the world.

One Love,

Joe Placide

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