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Zimbabwe National Parks and Game Reserves

Chimanimani National Park is located on the eastern side of Zimbabwe and borders with Mozambique. The main focal point of this Park is the Chimanimani mountain range, superb for walkers and hikers and one of the only national parks in the country where you can walk unaccompanied. The whole area is very scenic with a diverse landscape of steep sandstone peaks and towers, savanna valleys, rivers and pools that are safe for swimming. A great region for enthusiastic botanists, the area boasts orchids, hibiscus, lobelia, heather aloes and many species of meadow wildflowers.

The Chizarira National Park lies astride the Zambezi Escarpment and known as Zimbabwe's most scenic park with its steep gorges, high plateau region and Busi flood plain all offering panoramic views.

The park is remote with difficult access but very wild and rich in wildlife, mammals found in this park include elephant, leopards, lions, warthogs and a numerous species of antelope.

Chizarira has very few services and food suppliers, fuel, spares and camping equipment must be taken with you.

Lying in the south eastern part of the country and an extension of South Africas' Kruger National Park is the Gonarezhou National Park which covers an area of 5,000 sq. kms.

The parks landscapes are impressive and the areas around the Mwanezi, Save and Runde rivers are where most the game can be found.

The name of the park originates from the local language of Shona and means "abode of elephants" - at one time this was the case, some of Africa's large tuskers were to be found here - but poachers and drought have taken their toll . The situation is now recovering slowly but "the elephant never forget" and here in this park in particular they have a reputation as being nasty.

Accommodation

There are several camp sites within the park which all have shelters, toilets, showers and bar-be-que areas. Other accommodation is available outside the park.

Hwange is Zimbabwe's largest national park covering an area of over 14,500 sq. kms located on the west, bordering with Botswana. The park is the country's most premier game viewing area being easily accessible and also most visited although its not too overcrowded.

The park holds the largest variety of animals and over 400 species of birds including elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hyena, lion, leopard, cheetah, a variety of antelope such as Sable, Kudu and Impala.

For game viewing the best time of the year to visit is during the driest months, September and October when large concentrations of game congregate around the water holes, particularly large herds of elephant. During the rainy season, mainly December to March the game, is much harder to spot as they are spread across this vast park.

Accommodation

There are three camps within the park, The main Camp, where the parks headquarters are, has a camping ground, pub, restaurant, shop, petrol station, cottage and lodges.

Sinamatella where accommodation comprises of camping, chalets, cottages and lodges. Escorted walks can be arranged for groups of up to six people

Robin camp which lies to the west of Sinamatella, has chalets with outdoor cooking facilities, a small grocery, a restaurant and bar. Here you can arrange guided day wand night walks with armed game scouts.

There are also many places to stay located just outside the park.

An enormous man-made waterway, covering an area of over 6500 sq kms, Lake Kariba was completed in 1958, for the purpose of providing the country with much needed hydro-electricity. The lake has since developed into one of Zimbabwe's greatest water playground with water skiing, sailing and fishing being big sports. Although swimming is not advisable due to the huge number of crocodiles and elephants that abound the lake and shores.

There is plenty of wildlife to be seen on the banks of the lake such as buffalo, rhino, elephant, many other smaller species of mammal and host to prolific birdlife including the Goliath heron, white egrets, grey heron, fish eagle and open-bill storks. Game viewing can also be seen by cruising the lake. The Matusadona National Park borders with the lake.

Accommodation

There is plenty choice of accommodation in Kariba town itself, camping, chalets, lodges and hotels.

Musango Safari Camp   P/V Bag 2019 Kariba Zimbabwe   Tel: +263 61 2899   Fax: +263 61 3242   email: musango@mail.pci.co.zw
situated on its own island on Zimbabwe's beautiful Lake Kariba, overlooking the Matusadona National Park. Guests stay in comfortably furnished large safari tents set under cool thatch and can choose from a wide range of safari activities. Canoeing, fishing, walking and cultural visits to the nearby villages are just a few of the options.

Mana Pools lies in the norther tip of the country bordering with Zambia. The name "Mana" means four which is reference to the parks four pools situated around the parks headquarters. The park is wild, fairly remote and natural. Walking around the park is allowed, the park is closed to motor vehicles during the raining season and is accessible by foot or boat.

All visitors to the National Park must have an entry permit which is available from the National Park Central Booking Office in Harare.

This park is a designated World Heritage site, and supports numerous species of bird life and a large variety of game including elephant, buffalo, zebra, kudu, waterbuck, hippos and crocodiles. The rare black rhino can also be found here. For game viewing, the best time to visit, is during the dry seasons between September and October.

Fishing at the Mana Pools and the Zambezi River is allowed without a licence. Canoes can be hired for the park office. Some companies offer canoe safaris.

Accommodation

Nyamepi Camp is popular among campers, having showers, baths, toilets and sinks. Campers need to bring their own stoves or fuel. There are several other small camps sites.

Also available is a couple of National Park lodges, Musangu and Muchichiri, having a limited number of beds - you will almost certainly need to book in advance

There are also a couple of luxury camps, Ruckomechi Camp located on the western side of Mana Pools and Chikwenya Camp situated where the Sapi and Zambezi rivers meet.

Located in a region packed full of history, the Motopos National Park lies is the south western part of the country, just 40kms from Bulawayo.

The park offers a fine combination of history, scenery and wildlife, is famed for being the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, which lies on the top of Malindidzimu Mountain, which Rhodes named "View of the World". Throughout the park are numerous caves, with paintings by ancient bushmen, depicting the life that existed in the area many thousands of years before Zimbabwe was every discovered.

Most of the animals can be found in the small Whovi Game Park; which holds dense population of wildlife which includes the white rhino, giraffe, ostrich, wildebeest, leopards and number of different antelope and if lucky, the elusive and rare black rhino may been spotted.

Be aware that all the park waters contain bilharzia.

Accommodation

There a several campsites within the park including Sandy Spruit Dam close to the northern entrance, Toghwana Dam, Mjele Dam and a small tent site a Mezilume Dam. The most popular camping is at Maleme Dam, but this gets very crowded at weekends and during school holidays. At Maleme Dam there are also chalets and lodges, including two luxury lodges, the Fish Eagle and the Black Eagle, but booking in advance is essential.

There are other lodges scattered throughout the park.

As well at being set next to the southern shores of Lake Kariba, the Zambezi Escarpment runs along the Matusadona National Park border, providing a combination of flat plains rising high and wild mountain country.

The park has a fair amount of wildlife including large herds of Buffalo and elephants as well as a large number of fish eagles.

Accommodation

The are two camping ground. Sanyati West, situated near the mouth of the Sanyati river and the Tashinga Camp which is at the park headquarters. Camping equipment is available for hire at both. There are several other chalet camps.

Nyanga N P, adjoins with the Mtarazi Falls National Park and is a favourite with visitors from Harare becoming a popular weekend destination. Its located, in the Eastern Highlands, provides some beautiful scenes, plenty of waterfalls and Zimbabwe's highest mountain, Mt. Nyangani.

Although there is not much game in the park, it is the perfect destination for those who enjoy hiking and prefer cooler weather.

Accommodation

There is a lovely camping and caravan site lying between the Nyangombe River and the main road. There are several other lodges and chalets throughout the area.

Regarded as one of the worlds' most spectacular natural wonders, Victoria Falls spreads 1,700 wide and is an awesome sight as it falls into the gorge below. There a lots of tracks around the rim that lead you to good viewing sports. The most dramatic of which is Cataract View, Danger Point is also superb, but the trek to it can be extremely slippery. By far the best view to be had of the falls is from the air, and if your budget allows - it's not to be missed.

The Victoria Falls is said to be in its lowest flow around the October-December time frame. Under this condition, the falls will likely to have been segmented into several smaller "strands" of water with much of the underlying basalt bedrock wall exposed. On the flip side, plenty of other activities become possible. Among such activities are the Devil's Swimming Pool, which lets you swim right at the edge of the falls! Plus, aquatic activities in the Zambezi River below the falls becomes possible.

There is such a large variety of activities available all around the area. Not for the faint-hearted, but fast becoming the most popular for those seeking an extreme adrenaline buzz is bungee-jumping of Zambezi Bridge. There are a number of companies offering white water rafting trips just downstream from the falls, which is host to some of the worlds wildest rapids.

For those seeking something a bit less exhilarating, more relaxing but equally as enjoyable, the area has excellent walks through the "rain forest", where you will come across a fair amount of wildlife include, warthog, hippo, crocodile, antelope, elephants and buffalo. Upstream, a sundowner cruise is a relaxing and peaceful way to see the wildlife and environment.

Although Victoria Falls is obviously a very popular destinations with thousands of visitors passing through the area, it is well preserved and unspoilt.

Accommodation

Throughout the whole region there is no shortage of places to stay of varying style, comfort and cost. Ranging from camping, backpackers hostels, chalets, lodges, cottages and hotels.

Bordering with Zambia the Zambezi National Park has 40kms of the impressive Zambezi River running through it, making the park rich in wildlife, mopane forest and savannah.

Game found within the park consists of hippo, elephant, giraffe, sable and other species of antelope, zebra, buffalo amongst others. Game Drives, Game Walks and Horse Riding is available.

Accommodation

Camping is available in the parks at several places. There are three fishing camps and a number of lodges.

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