In the south-east ’lowveld’ of Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s wildest and least visited parks.
It is also part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a cross-border initiative with the Kruger National Park in South Arica and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. Gonarezhou is remote and will suit travellers looking for a more exclusive bush adventure.
Covering an area of around 5000 square kilometres, the park has a varied landscape of rocky hills, wide river valleys, dramatic cliffs, mopane and savanna woodland and is home to a variety of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, zebra and many species of antelope and smaller game. Game drives and walking safaris are available within the park.
One of the most prominent features of the park are the stunning Chilojo Cliffs. These impressive red sandstone cliffs tower over the impressive Runde River Valley. The sand veld habitat above the cliffs on the plateau is reminiscent of the great Kalahari regions to west and is home to a variety of wildlife that might otherwise not be found in the park.
Birding is also very good, with 452 different species recorded throughout the varying ecosystems of the park. Specialities include Arnott’s chat, pied avocet, yellow-fronted canary, blue-cheeked bee-eater, crested francolin, black coucal, narina trogon, purple-crested turaco, green malkoha, purple indigobird, African finfoot, bat hawk, and white-backed night heron.
Bordering the park is the 130,000 acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve which is home to the five star Singita Pamushana Lodge. Malilangwe is run as a conservation trust and is home to a full range of wildlife. Activities on offer are more varied than inside the park, with boat cruises, fishing, walking and night drives offered in addition to normal game drives.