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Wonders of Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, East Wall Great Enclosure
Great Zimbabwe, East Wall Great Enclosure. / Andrew Moore, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Zimbabwe is a gorgeous country with rich array of natural and man made heritage. The most amazing wonders of Zimbabwe are:

  • The only true large ancient stone structures south from Sahara. Best known by far is Great Zimbabwe, which gave a name and cultural symbols for the country, but there are hundreds of more sites.
  • Ecosystems and giant trees. Zimbabwe has southernmost African rainforest – Chirinda Forest, which has a truly unique mahogany tree. Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe have several outlying "islands" of tropical forest with numerous endemic species of plants and animals.

Among the other highlights should be mentioned gorgeous waterfalls (including one of world’s most impressive natural landmarks – Victoria Falls) and excellent prehistoric cliff paintings.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Zimbabwe

Geological wonders

Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya)

Matabeleland North (and also Zambia)

World’s largest curtain of falling water, 1,708 meters wide and 108 meters high waterfall. One of the most impressive natural sights in the world.

Victoria Falls in June
Victoria Falls in June / Steve Jurvetson, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Chinhoyi Caves

Mashonaland West

Group of legendary, sacred, and very impressive caves with up to 172 meters deep lakes (Sleeping Pool). Extremely high transparency of water where clouds and birds flying over can be seen from 30 meters depth inside the cave lake.

Sleeping Pool in Chinhoyi Caves
Sleeping Pool in Chinhoyi Caves./ Suesen, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Mutarazi Falls (Mtarazi Falls)


A 762 m tall waterfall, the second tallest in Africa. Part of the waterfall plunges free in the air (479 m) and then slides down along a very steep cliff.

Mutarazi Falls, Zimbabwe
Mutarazi Falls / Radozw, Wikipedia / GNU GFDL
Malindidzimu (Matopos Hills)

Matabeleland South

Summit of a mountain – enormous granitic monolith, with giant boulders on it. Ancient sacred place with great views. Controversial cemetery of the European invaders, e.g. Cecil Rhodes.

Malindidzimu./ Mike W., Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Mother and Child Kopje

Matabeleland South

Impressive balancing rocks that rise tall above the surroundings.

Mother and Child Kopje, Zimbabwe
Mother and Child Kopje / Susan Adams, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Epworth Balancing Rocks


A stack of enormous boulders, well known thanks to a depiction on banknotes.

Epworth Balancing Rocks
Epworth Balancing Rocks./ Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Pungwe Falls


243 m tall waterfall on Pungwe (Pungoe) River with several cascades and twists.

Pungwe Falls
Pungwe Falls./ Babakathy, Wikimedia Commons / public domain
St. Anne’s pegmatite

Mashonaland West

Rich find of gemstones with exceptional blue topaz, blue euclase, aquamarine, tourmalines, and other gems.

Biological wonders

Chirinda Forest


Stand of moist montane tropical forest at the height of 1,100 – 1,250 meters, area 606 ha. This is the southernmost African tropical rainforest. Contains numerous endemic species and enormous trees. Here grows also the Big Tree – some 65 meters high, and 4.5 meters stout (diameter) African Mahogany (Khaya anthotheca).

Dracaena fragrans in Chirinda Forest
Dracaena fragrans in Chirinda Forest./ Bart Wursten, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Chirinda Big Tree


An enormous African Mahogany (Khaya anthoteca) with a diameter of at least 4.5 m, and a height of at least 64 meters. Grows in the southernmost African rainforest – Chirinda Forest.

Victoria Falls “Big Tree”

Matabeleland North

Baobab with a circumference of 22.6 m, 24 m high.

Victoria Falls "Big Tree"
Victoria Falls "Big Tree" / Charles Haynes, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Devuri Baobab


Possibly the largest baobab in Zimbabwe, with a circumference of 27.61 m (1987), and 21 m high. It is not known if the tree survives up to this day.

Archaeological wonders

Great Zimbabwe


The capital city of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. It was inhabited around 1100 – 1400 AD. There could be up to 18,000 inhabitants in the city at its peak. Today remain impressive ruins of dry stone. The walls are more than 5 m tall, the architecture is monumental and highly distinct.

Ruins of Great Zimbabwe
Ruins of Great Zimbabwe / Ross Huggett, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Matabeleland North

Ruins of the former capital of Butua Kingdom. Built and inhabited roughly in 1450 – 1800s. Consists of seven built-up areas. Structures were constructed with great skill. Especially impressive is a 68 m long stone wall that is adorned with checkerboard ornaments.

Khami. / amanderson2, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Dombashawa Rock


Natural rock shelter with some 100 m long panel of paintings. These paintings are some 13,000 and some 2,000 years old and depict people, and hunting scenes.

Nswatugi Cave

Matabeleland South

Cave with beautiful prehistoric paintings of animals – giraffes, elephants, kudu.

Drawings in Nswatugi Cave
Drawings in Nswatugi Cave. / Carine06, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Pomongwe Cave

Matabeleland South

Prehistoric cave settlement with cave paintings (damaged). Archaeological excavations have provided 39,032 artifacts.

Pomongwe Cave
Pomongwe Cave./ Sindiept, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Inanke Cave

Matabeleland South

Cave with extensive prehistoric paintings.

Murewa Caves

Mashonaland East

Long caves, contain at least 1000 years old San paintings.

White Rhino Shelter

Matabeleland South

Cliff shelter with a prehistoric frieze that depicts large rhinos.

Architecture wonders

Victoria Falls Bridge

Matabeleland North

Steel parabolic arch bridge near Victoria Falls. The longest span is 156.5 m. The bridge was constructed in 1905.

Victoria Falls Bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls Bridge / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Danamombe (Dhlo-Dhlo)


Ruins of Rozvi town. It was constructed mainly in the 17th – 18th centuries. Structures were made from dry stone, possibly also from mud that was reinforced with wood.

Birchenough Bridge


Enormous steel through arch bridge, a beautiful structure. This bridge was built in 1935 and the longest span is 329.4 m long.

Birchenough Bridge
Birchenough Bridge./ Graph Geo, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0


Ruins of Rozvi town, built mainly in the 17th century. Dry stone walls are decorated with chevron and herringbone ornaments. One of the most impressive archaeological sites in Zimbabwe.


Matabeleland North

Ruins – colossal stone walls, platforms. Constructed in the 18th – 19th century by local people.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Zimbabwe (Bradt Travel Guide Zimbabwe)

This new third edition of Bradt’s Zimbabwe remains the most authoritative and trusted guide available, written in an engaging and entertaining style by an expert author who has been visiting Zimbabwe annually for nearly 30 years and now spends six months of each year there. In this new thoroughly revised edition, Paul Murray brings a particular focus for those wanting to travel independently as well as visitors on organized tours. Game viewing in some of Africa’s greatest national parks is a rewarding experience and this guide offers in-depth information on the facilities, advice on itinerary planning as well as how to select a safari.

The Last Resort: A Memoir of Mischief and Mayhem on a Family Farm in Africa

Thrilling, heartbreaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is a remarkable true story about one family in a country under siege and a testament to the love, perseverance, and resilience of the human spirit.

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