Chizarira National Park
Chizarira National Park is located in the north-western section of Zimbabwe, on top of the huge Zambezi Escarpment, overlooking the enormous Zambezi Valley and the upper waters of Lake Kariba. It is one of the most remote national parks in Zimbabwe.
Chizarira national park is the third largest national park in Zimbabwe. This vast distant region of 192 000 hectares of unspoilt flora and wildlife is equipped with breathtaking gorges, plateaus, and flood plains, making this pristine park a wonderful destination for every tourist. The solitude and rugged beauty of Chizarira National Park are unparalleled due to its wild and secluded character.
Zimbabwe’s Chizarira National Park was designated as a non-hunting reserve in 1938 and a game reserve in 1963; it was designated as a national park under the Parks and Wildlife Act of 1972. (1975). Manzituba serves as the park’s headquarters.
Chizarira gets its name from the Tonga word “sijalila,” which means “big barrier” in the native tongue. The majestic Zambezi Escarpment Mountains define the Park’s western border and provide hard hikes as well as excellent vistas of the valley below. The Park is well-known for its walking paths, which provide visitors with an unequalled opportunity to get up and personal with nature.
Wildlife Viewing in Chizarira National Park-Zimbabwe.
Most of the typical plains species, as well as mega fauna such as African elephant, lion, leopard, and Cape buffalo, may be found in Chizarira National Park. There are also numerous smaller animal species, such as the klipspringer, which is recognized for its capacity to flourish amid near-vertical rocky outcrops.
Bird Watching in Chizarira National Park
Chizarira national park in Zimbabwe has a diverse bird population, with hundreds of species spotted within the park. The African broadbill, Livingstone’s flycatcher, western Nicator, African emerald cuckoo, and the uncommon and elusive African pitta are among the most sought-after birds documented. The Taita falcon, which breeds within the Park, also calls the park home.
Because of its remoteness and lack of visitors, Chizarira has seen a rise in poachers in recent years. Due to a lack of lodges and safari companies in the park, poachers have had free reign, and the park has suffered as a result, particularly during Zimbabwe’s economic crisis in the early 2000s.
Best Time to Visit Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe.
Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe can be visited throughout the year; however, the best time for visitors to visit the park is between July to October when it’s the dry season in the park. This is the greatest time to see wildlife in the park’s rivers and waterholes. Other benefits of traveling at this time of year are sunny, clear sky and a lack of bugs. When it rains, the vegetation flourishes, although this is often overshadowed by the unreliability of the roads.
Climate and Weather in Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe.
The moderate climate of Chizarira national park in Zimbabwe has two distinct seasons. The Dry season (April to October) is distinguished by warm days and cool nights. Everything changes when the very warm Wet season (November to March) arrives, especially in October, when the park’s lower altitudes broil in temperatures as high as 40°C/104°F.
Where to stay in Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s Chizarira national park has seven exclusive bush camps where wildlife enthusiasts can spend a night or two. Each of the camps is usually limited to a maximum of 12 persons.
Mucheni Gorge Camp
Located on the rim of one of the spectacular canyons that characterize Chizarira. A thatched shelter, a long drop, and a braai stand are available. Water may be obtained at the Parks headquarters, which is 3.5 kilometers distant.
Mucheni View Camp
Located atop the Zambezi Escarpment, it has a wonderful view of the Zambezi Valley floor and a constant refreshing wind that makes you want to remain forever. A thatched shelter, a long drop toilet, and a braai stand are among the amenities. Water may be acquired at the Park headquarters, which is 4 kilometers distant.
The Busi Camp is located 40 kilometers from the park headquarters and is surrounded by miles of untamed forest. It is located along the beautiful Busi River and is home to vast herds of buffalo and elephant. Busi is also favoured by Lions. It’s a real African bush camp, characterized by Acacia albida flood plains. The road to this site is quite rocky, necessitating the use of a 4 x 4 or other high clearance vehicle.
The Platform Bush Camp
This is a bush camp with a lengthy drop and a game viewing platform overlooking a popular watering hole for elephant, waterbuck, buffalo, kudu, impala, zebra, and many other animal species present in the Park.
Located 6 kilometers from the Park headquarters on the upper banks of the Rwizilukulu River. The camp has a water-borne ablution facility, a braai stand, and elevated pole and thatch beds called “Ngazi,” which are inspired by the traditional shelters of the native Tonga tribe.
How to Get to Chizarira National Park.
There are three major road routes entering Chizarira National Park.
Take the Bulawayo Road from Victoria Falls and turn left at Cross Dete toward Kamativi. From Kamativi, take the Binga Road until the 133-kilometer marker, and then turn right onto the Siabuwa Road. Continue on this gravel road until you reach the 47-kilometer marker, where there is a sign saying “Chizarira National Park.” This winding route climbs the escarpment for 20 kilometers to the Park headquarters.
If you’re driving on the Harare-Bulawayo Highway, take the Kwekwe exit toward Gokwe. Take the Binga tarred road from Gokwe for 120 kilometers till you reach a T-junction with a sign indicating Binga to the left. Continue on this dirt road towards Binga past Siabuwa Business Centre until you reach a sign announcing “Chizarira National Park” at the 47-kilometer mark. Turn left and go 20 kilometers to the Park headquarters.
Turn off the Victoria Falls route at Gwayi River on the Lubumbi road at the 246 kilometer mark from Bulawayo. Follow the road for 96 kilometers towards Lusulu, then turn left at the “Chizarira National Park” sign; the Park headquarters are 70 kilometers beyond this sign.