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Stepping into the bush after a long journey is a jolt – a pleasant one, but a jolt nonetheless. The bustle of airports and crowded airplanes disappears almost instantly, washed away by the sounds, sights and smells of nature. The trees almost radiate a sense of calm, though there is life among their branches. The smells depend on the season – fresh and redolent with moisture during the wet season, a bit of smoke with a sweet rot in the dry season. Once a bit more acclimatized to the surroundings, it is possible to pick up movement – birds in the foliage, a majestic sable in the distance. En route to the lodge, more antelope species appear from the bush while baobabs tower over the vehicle and a rhino ambles slowly by as if in welcome.
Zimbabwe is one of Southern Africa’s treasures. This landlocked country features natural wonders like Victoria Falls, the mighty Zambezi River and more than a dozen parks and reserves (three of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites) filled with myriad wildlife. Zimbabwe is also home to many man made wonders including Lake Kariba; one of the world’s largest engineered bodies of water (and a photographer’s dream), Great Zimbabwe; the largest stone structure ever built south of the Sahara, and incredible, unique rock art sites dotted throughout the country.
Zimbabwe is on the cusp of rediscovery by savvy travelers, though it is still under the radar. Front-runners of travel will find that the country has all of the features of other safari destinations, along with a strong value proposition for the level of luxury on offer. It is also where some of the best safari guides on the continent are found. Zimbabwe’s guide training is extremely rigorous, and those that make it through to certification are exceptional, translating into incredible safaris for visitors.

For a truly unique experience in the remote African wilderness, look no further than one of the most biodiverse places in Southern Africa. Singita Pamushana is carefully tucked away in the pristine and wild landscape of the Malilangwe Trust bordering Gonarezhou National Park. Malilangwe, meaning ‘call of the leopard’ in the local Shangaan language, is a ‘bio-refuge’ that is home to myriad wildlife including the Big Five, the ‘small six’ (a collection of small antelope), and more than 500 species of birds, including 14 different species of eagle. Rare species such as wild dog, black rhino and brown hyena are also found in Malilangwe.

Echoing the ruins of Great Zimbabwe in its design, Singita Pamushana welcomes guests with its thick walls, detailed stonework and bright Shangaan design elements amid the towering trees. With just six luxury suites and one 5-bedroom villa, along with its remote location, it is one of Zimbabwe’s most exclusive lodges. Each villa comes with its own private plunge pool and breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. It is luxurious safari destinations such as Pamushana that have drawn the attention of international travelers.

A trip to Zimbabwe is unforgettable, and a retreat to Singita Pamushana is transformational. Between witnessing the incredible resident wildlife with your expert guide and experiencing all that the lodge has to offer, guests wish their holidays would never end. The fantastic cuisine and unparalleled wine cellar are the icing on the cake. This special corner of Zimbabwe is not to be missed.

Zimbabwe has been a neglected destination over the last decade due to negative press about its political situation. While much of the news was true, some was overblown, and it impacted perceptions greatly, causing a sharp decline in tourism numbers. Things are stable now, and both foreign and local companies are reinvesting in tourism and other industries, with the result that camps are being refurbished, and new facilities are coming online. This is great news for Zimbabwe’s parks and wildlife, and travelers are once again discovering all that Zimbabwe has to offer.

The biggest problem that today’s tourists to Zimbabwe will face is trying to choose how to spend their precious holiday time – there is so much to see. Now is the time to go. Be first – before the rest of the world arrives on its doorstep.

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