Go Beyond

Fully-supported, privately guided and
and personally tailored self-drive safaris throughout southern Africa.

 


Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe - despite its current political and economic tensions - still offers superb wildlife experiences in some of the finest reserves in Africa, and its people are as warm and friendly as ever. Although visitors shouldn't become complacent when travelling through the country, life does go on as normal and, aside from long queues outside petrol stations and some shops, most visitors will not see evidence of a country in crisis. The road network which was once excellent, has today been neglected, but you can still get around fairly easily. A 4x4 isn't essential, but it is recommended and you should always travel in convoy with another vehicle. Most of the national parks and game reserves offer good camping facilities with hot showers and flushing lavatories. However, private and secluded campsites are also on offer and will require you to create your own bush camp with portable shower or bucket and a long-drop lavatory.

None of the national parks and game reserves in Zimbabwe are fenced and the wildlife moves freely through the camps.

In line with many of Africa's national parks, off-road and night driving is not permitted except when staying in private lodges or unless otherwise specified.

 

 

GONA-RE-ZHOU NATIONAL PARK

This park was once known as 'the home of the elephant', and provides a landscape of baobabs - or 'upside down trees' - scrublands, winding rivers and golden sandstone cliffs. Gona-re-zhou borders Mozambique’s wildlife reserves and South Africa’s Kruger National Park and is hoped to form part of The Great Limpopo National Park with South Africa and Mozambique in the future.

SEASONS

The park is usually only open during the dry season from 1st May to 31st October.

Dry Season: The cool dry season is from the end of April to August. This six month period of almost completely dry, sunny weather gives average temperatures in the mid 70's°F to the low 80's°F (23-28°C). By late June the leaves begin to fall from the trees and the tall grasses have been trampled by game, making it prime game-viewing time. The hot dry spell is from September to early November and game viewing is at its peak especially in the cool of early morning and early evening. Midday temperatures are a sizzling 90°F+ (34°C+), but humidity is low.

Rainy Season: From November to March it rains about one out of every five days. The sun emerges after every thunderstorm and humidity and heat are high. The greenery is lush and wild flowers emerge in profusion. Thousands of migratory birds arrive to take advantage of the abundant food supply, and nature puts on her fullest displays. Temperatures rise to and exceed 104°F (40°C).

GONA-RE-ZHOU SPECIALITIES

  1. Huge elephants
  2. Exceptional scenery
  3. Walking and boating safaris

FACTS

The park covers 1950 miles² (5,053 km²) and was created in 1967.
This is a malarial area.

HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

This is the largest park in Zimbabwe and renowned for its massive population of elephants. It is a place that is greatly contrasted between the wet and dry seasons.

SEASONS

Dry Season: July to September is hot during the day but can drop to below freezing on particularly cold winter nights. During these dry months the animals are concentrated around the man-made waterholes, without which they would die.

Rainy Season: Big fluffy clouds release the summer rains and the vegetation bursts into life. The area has a relatively low average rainfall of between 22½-25½ inches (570-650 mm) per annum. Temperatures can reach over 100°F (38°C), while on average they range from 65-83°F (18-28°C). Birdlife is most spectacular at this time.

HWANGE SPECIALITIES

  1. Thousands of elephants
  2. Over 100 different types of animals and 400 species of birds
  3. Strategically placed viewing hides
  4. A visit to nearby Kazuma Pan National Park - an unusual area of savannah in an otherwise wooded landscape with the heart of the park being a large grassy pan that is home to Zimbabwe's only oryx

FACTS

The park covers an area of 5,656miles² (14,651km²) with an average altitude 3,300 ft (1,000m) above sea level.
It is situated on the main Bulawayo to Victoria Falls road in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe and borders Botswana.
This is a malarial area.

KARIBA AND MATUSADONA NATIONAL PARK

Lake Kariba is like an inland sea in a landlocked country. Picturesque sunsets are a distinctive feature of Kariba, as are the bleached skeletal trunks and bare branches of dead trees that were drowned in the dam all those years ago. Matusadona National Park lies along the southern shores of Lake Kariba and is an excellent all-round safari destination.

SEASONS

Dry Season: It is dry from June to October and animals come to the lake to drink and graze along the banks. As the rain clouds build, October's heat is oppressive and temperatures exceed 86°F (30°C). The dry season is the best time to visit.

Rainy Season: It rains intermittently from early November to the end of April and animals have no need to stay so close to the lake. The rainy season summer months are very hot and humid.

KARIBA & MATUSADONA SPECIALITIES

  1. Massive Nile crocodiles
  2. Swimming elephants
  3. Lakeshore lodges, houseboats and floating chalets
  4. Spectacular watery sunsets
  5. Masses of hippos
  6. Dead trees like sculptures
  7. Tiger-fishing at Matusadona

FACTS

Matusadona National Park is 543²miles (1,407km²).
Lake Kariba is 175 miles long (280km) and up to 20 miles wide (32km).
There is an overnight ferry from one end of Lake Kariba to the other, which takes 22 hours.
Operation Noah saved over 5,000 animals of 35 different species from drowning when Lake Kariba was formed and deposited many of them in what is now Matusadona National Park.
This is a malarial area.

MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

This portion of the Zambezi Valley is a true wilderness area with one of the highest dry-season concentrations of animals in Zimbabwe. It is best known for its canoe safaris.

SEASONS

Dry Season: From June to October large numbers of animals come to the river to drink and graze along the lush banks during these months. The increasing build up to rain in October creates considerable heat with temperatures over 86°F (30°C).

Rainy Season: It rains intermittently from early November to the end of April and most animals move away from the river towards the escarpment. It is hot and humid with temperatures around 82°F (28°C). Most roads within the park are closed during this period but charter flights operate to two airstrips in the park.

MANA POOLS SPECIALITIES

  1. Canoeing on the Zambezi
  2. Walking safaris
  3. Hippos and crocs
  4. Canoeing past grazing elephants and buffalo
  5. Remote luxury lodges
  6. True wilderness experience

FACTS

The park is 845miles² (2,190km²), on the southern side of the Zambezi River downstream from Lake Kariba.
The Zambezi River forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Canoe safaris can last from 3 to 9 days with an option from budget to luxury with basic camping and cooking around a campfire, to top class tents with cots and mattress, cook and camp staff.
This is a malarial area.

MATOBO HILLS

The extraordinary Matobo hills are full of hidden caves, sacred places and Bushman paintings. The massive rock formations of Matobo are awesome in their grandeur and create a unique atmosphere.

SEASONS

Dry Season: The cool dry season is from the end of April to August and the hot dry spell is from September to early November when temperatures get to 90°F (34°C), but humidity is low.

Rainy Season: From November to March thunderstorms unleash their might every few days but the sun re-emerges and humidity is high.

MATOBO SPECIALITIES

  1. Precariously balanced boulders and stunning scenery
  2. Cecil Rhodes' grave
  3. Black and white rhino
  4. Eagles

FACTS

The park covers 164²miles (424km²).
The region boasts over 300 rock paintings, many of which can be hiked to.

VICTORIA FALLS

The Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia are one of the wonders of the natural world. They are known as the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ (Mosi-oa-Tunya) by the local people because the spray and noise can be seen and heard from miles away. Around the falls is a riverine jungle that provides the perfect setting to view the five cascades. Antelopes can be seen in these areas and troops of baboons patrol the walkways. The Victoria Falls are shared by both Zambia and Zimbabwe and the area is deservedly known as the adrenalin and adventure capital of Africa.

The Zambezi National Park lies close to the falls. It stretches along the Zambezi River frontage and a spread of wildlife-rich inland forest and savannah.

SEASONS

Dry Season: May to October is usually dry and September and October allows better photo opportunities at Victoria Falls as there is much less spray, but the torrent is slightly less impressive. The dry season is also better for viewing game in the Zambezi National Park.

Rainy Season: It usually rains anywhere from November through to April, creating a hot and humid climate. The falls are at their wettest and most spectacular by the end of this summer rainy season.

VICTORIA FALLS & ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK SPECIALITIES

  1. Victoria Falls is one of the greatest natural wonders in the world and the adventure capital of Africa
  2. High adrenaline sports on the 'Mighty Zambezi' - white-water rafting, bungee jump, fishing, bird watching and game viewing along the river
  3. Flight of the Angels over Victoria Falls
  4. Riding elephants
  5. Full moon lunar rainbow
  6. Sundowner drinks on a boat in the Zambezi
  7. Impressive birdlife

FACTS

Victoria Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world and a World Heritage site.
The Zambezi or “great river” is named in the language of the Batonka tribe.
The Zambezi is 1,687 miles long (2,700 km) and is Africa’s fourth largest river.
It originates in central Africa and ends in Mozambique at the Indian Ocean. To the Mozambicans it is known as the “river of great floods.”
Cameras and clothes tend to get wet when visiting Victoria Falls, but waterproof capes and umbrellas are available for hire.
There is plenty of accommodation in this area ranging from elementary fishing camps to rustic or exclusive safari lodges and five-star hotels.
This is a malarial area.

CHIZARIRA NATIONAL PARK

This park is considered to be Zimbabwe's most scenic national park, but the only way to see it is on foot with a guide. Chizarira is actually three parks: the Zambezi Escarpment - an area of deep green river gorges, The Uplands - an upland plateau which is prime wildlife country, and The Busi Valley - an area of wild and remote beauty along the wildlife rich banks of the Busi River. This is the right place to enjoy a walking safari. This is a malarial area.

 

If you would like to download a PDF File with more detailed information, please click the link below.

Zimbabwe Fact File (pdf)

Information courtesy of the Game Reserve website

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