Gonarezhou National Park – Zimbabwe Wildlife Safaris
Gonarezhou National Park: Gonarezhou National Park is a well-known, isolated, and mainly unspoiled region of around 5,000 square kilometers in Zimbabwe’s southeast Lowveld, with its long south-eastern boundary constituting the international border with Mozambique. The Park’s status as a leading site for great animal observations is expanding as it is widely renowned for its distinctive wilderness nature. The Gonarezhou, which is home to over 11 000 elephants, fully merits the moniker “Place of Elephants.”
In this dry region, camps and commercial lodges are grouped around the Mwenezi River in the south and the Save and Runde Rivers in the north, shaded by huge, green riverine trees. Naturally, the wildlife of the park is drawn to the banks of these flooded sanctuaries, where hippos repose in pools and enormous crocodiles bask on the sandbanks. The center, southern, and western portions are sandy with deciduous forests, Miombo, and pans, but the north has more fractured basalt topography with some mopane trees and acacia throughout the park.
The Gonarezhou national park in Zimbabwe is governed by a Board of Trustees, made up by members from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Attractions in Gonarezhou National Park
Wildlife in Gonarezhou National Park
All major safari animals, including the Big Five, are potentially present as part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park which covers three nations. However, there are very certainly no rhinos left in the region. The park boasts a strong elephant population, and buffalo herds of up to 150 heads may be seen. All of the large cats have been found, although they are quite timid.
After Hwange, Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe’s second largest national park. Parts of the park have vast swaths of combretum and mopane forest, which protects magnificent stands of mahoganies, ironwoods, and towering acacia albida trees. The red sandstone Chilojo cliffs tower over the Runde River valley.
Gonarezhou is a great birding location, with over 500 bird species documented. An incredible variety of birds may be found in two huge river systems (the Save and the Runde), as well as numerous large pans. Narina trogons and Angola pittas, which are generally very covert, can be seen during courting from December to February when they are loud. Raptors are abundant, and migrating birds may be found from November to April.
Things to do in Gonarezhou National Park.
Gonarezhou National Park is a fantastic place to observe some of the more rare antelope species, such as the secretive nyala antelope and the small suni. There are also superb roan and sable antelope to be observed. The exceedingly uncommon king cheetah is said to exist in the park; however it is unclear when they were last seen.
The dry season (June to October) is the greatest time to see animals in the park. Because the forest is thinner and animals congregate near reliable water sources, wildlife is simpler to detect. During the Wet Season, roads may become difficult to travel (November to March).
Gonarezhou national park is home to over 500 bird species hence making the national park a perfect destination for birding safaris in Zimbabwe. Birding at Gonarezhou national park is best from November to April, however it is usually good all year. Migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present and easily discovered during this period.
During these months, many resident bird species are nesting and may be observed in their breeding plumage. The dry season (June to October) is the greatest time to see animals.
Fishing in Gonarezhou national park is available for visitors spending a night or two in the park. Fishing activities are available at designated campsites within the national park, along the Runde and Mwenezi Rivers.
Accommodation in Gonarezhou National Park
Accommodation facilities in Gonarezhou National Park include; Singita Pamushana Lodge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, Nyala Chalet, Mabalauta Rest Camp, Mabalauta Campsite, and Chilo Gorge Tented Camp to mention but a few.
How to get to Gonarezhou National Park.
Gonarezhou National Park is remote and difficult to reach. There are two locations to visit: Chipinda headquarters is 550km/342mi south of Harare, and Mabalauta headquarters is 667km/414mi south of Harare. The park’s roads are frequently in poor condition, especially during the wet season, and a competent 4WD vehicle is required.
Some resorts have their own airstrips, and your tour organizer may arrange chartered flights for you. Federal Airlines, in collaboration with Pamushana Lodge, operates scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Buffalo Range International Airport twice weekly. The road travel from the airport to the resort takes 45 minutes.
The majority of safaris will arrive via Victoria Falls Airport. You may also travel to Harare International Airport. Your safari package will most likely include travel arrangements within the nation that have been pre-arranged by your tour operator. They will also arrange for you to be picked up from the airport and/or hotel.