‘Zim one of the 10 countries to visit in 2019’
Zimbabwe has been ranked as one of the safest destinations to visit in 2019.
The list of countries to visit next year was published by Lonely Planet, a large travel guide book publisher which is guided by global travel experts.
Zimbabwe was ranked third, behind Sri Lanka and Germany.
According to the lonely planet website, Zimbabwe is described as one of the safest destinations in Africa.
“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,” read the citation.
The travel guide does acknowledge the political challenges and economic crisis that has rocked the country but highlights Zimbabweans remain optimistic about their country’s growth.
“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,” said Lonely Planet.
The Dutch Embassy in Zimbabwe also affirmed the ranking.
“#Zimbabwe has long been Africa’s best kept secret. But no more! @lonelyplanet just released the 10 best places to visit in 2019, #Zimbabwe is the 3rd country on the list!”
Another twitter user, Adam Theofilatos, said: “Magnificent Zimbabwe has been named as number three on the best places to visit in 2019. Despite all of its problems, it will always be among the most nations on earth.”
For 37 years under Robert Mugabe’s rule, the country was known internationally for its poor human rights record and economic ruin, with most tourists shunning the country.
But since the coming in of Emmerson Mnangagwa last, his administration has set eyes on deepening relations with other global countries under the mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business.’
Other countries on the 2019-to-visit Lonely Planet list are Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Indonesia, Belarus, Sat Tome and Principe and Belize.