World's worst places to backpack #11

Zimbabwe - House of Stone

Flag of the Republic of Zimbabwe (1980-present)

Its that nagging moral dilemma that lingers in the minds of potential travellers. If i enter this country am i effectively endorsing the current ruling body, whether that be a shady 'elected' government or a straight out military dictatorship. Am i acknowledging them as a legitimate force? In same way or form, respecting them? The very thought disgusts some travellers. leaves them with a taste of distain in their mouths. So they dont go. Simple.

Free Zimbabwe graffiti

Other travellers on the flip side may cast these thoughts and reasonings aside and for all god intentions, enter the country believing that their actions will have more or less positive ripple effect on the country and is people. Fair enough. If your a conscious traveller and make attempts to circulate and distribute your money amongst communities and individuals then your intentions for entering that country deserved to be labelled moral in someway.

Zimbabwe Border

So there you have it, a traveling moral dilemma. Zimbabwe, where the majority of the nations people have seen living standards drop and where Robert Mugabe resides and rules.

Wanted: Robert Mugabe poster outside the Zimbabwe information centre

For a start, to travel anywhere is going to require two backpacks or perhaps 3 smaller flashpacks. Due to the worlds highest hyperinflation figures, carrying cash around is going to be awkward. Lets face it, they issued a 100 trillion dollar note. Looooose.

Zimbabwe: 100 000 000 000 000

Guys shouldn't hang around too long, Zim has one of the lowest life expectancy rankings in the world, just a mere 44 for males. Not that you'd want to hang around long. Ok theres Victoria Falls, one of the most fascinating waterfalls in the world.


Victoria Falls

The Zambezi river of course, a major drawcard, famous for its wild roar. A favourite for any rafting enthusiasit out there. One of the more crazier rivers in the world to raft, unfortunately the majority of the best part lies in neighbouring Zambia.

Zimbabwe - Aug 10th

Zimbabwe - Aug 10th
"Been there, done that, got the t-shirt"

And of course, theres the animals.

Walking with Lions in Zimbabwe

This is a stunning country, the topography is classic southern africa. A landlocked nation that borders along two of Africa's famous rivers, the bamboozling Zambezi and the limpid and long Limpopo. But it suffers. Zimbabwe suffers from internal bleeding.

The Eye

The large swaths of rainforest have virtually disappeared. The rule of law is toyed with like a cat and a half dead mouse. Human rights abuses are as commonplace as the bouts of cholera that break out. The government have drained the coffers of the nations wealth and in the process, abused natural resources and abused the human resources, the Zimbabwean people.

The countries recent history is turbulent. I visited when Mugabe first initated the land reform program. It was loco. Quite tense, almost sent the country back into civil war. Its poo control and lack of vision over the entire process has effectively crippled the economy. Perhaps the aims of fairer land distribution were fair, viewed in an objective manner, but the way about which the government and its bands of war vetrans went about it have been the epicentre of conflict ever since Mugabe and the Rhodesian Bush war.

Anti-Guerrilla Operations in Rhodesia

Mugabe has sort to punish and blame the colinizers for most of his countries problems. By no means was Rhodesia a saint of a country, nor its colonial rulers, but Mugabes 30 year rule begs a lot of questions.

So after weighing up the pros and cons of traveling in Zimbabwe it has made it on my list of worlds worst places to backpack at #11.

World's worst places to backpack #12

Haiti - the pearl of the Caribbean...

Haitian Flag, the National Flag of Haiti

Its one large island, split down the middle. On one side - the tropical tourism hot spot of Dominican Republic. With its white sandy beaches ....

Port Salut Beach, Haiti

On the other side of the island, theres Haiti, where the waterfront looks more like this...

Ocean-Front view in Haiti

Haiti was once one of France's richest colonies. Now its a decaying mess of corrupt politicians, depleted national resources and a population with a broken spirit.

It is the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
It has been raped, pillaged and left out for the vultures to pick at whatever is left.

Decades of poverty, environmental degradation, coups, violence, dictatorships and instability have left this country hanging in the midst of hell and the hands of multinational interests.

Crisis in Haiti

First there was the mother of all earthquakes....

Amazing Haiti Earthquake Aftermath Montage - by Khalid Mohtaseb

Then the cholera....

Distribution of clean water around Kibati

The bright sunshine of the Caribbean somehow doesn't shine down on poor old Haiti. Its dark, disease ridden and death is constantly knocking on the door.

Haiti earthquake 2

Its a failed state. Perhaps Wlcef Jean could of got it back on tracks, however the stiff ling bureaucracy and corrupt politicians didnt want that happening and as a result he was barred from standing for presidential election.

Respè pou Wyclef

Make no doubt about it, times are tough.


If your into looting, diseases, roadblocks by illegal armed gangs, kidnapping, car-jackings and the odd natural disaster then Haiti comes recommended.

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