Following on from my advice to where you can see the Big 5 in Africa and ahead of our virtual event on the African Safari, this week the spotlight is on another of the continent’s wildlife hotspots. In addition to being the setting for one of Africa’s most iconic natural landmarks, Victoria Falls, the landlocked country of Zimbabwe is also another haven for observing the native fauna. Here are five places where you can see African wildlife in Zimbabwe.
Hwange National Park
Perhaps the most famous reserve in the country is Hwange National Park. Encompassing over 5,850 square miles (14,600 km²) in western Zimbabwe, this is the largest park in the country and provides a home to over 100 kinds of mammal and over 400 bird species. Hwange is popular as it’s the place that you are most likely to witness the Big 5 in Zimbabwe and it is located close to Victoria Falls so you can easily combine your vacation with a visit. Hwange is one of the best national parks in the whole of Africa for seeing elephants.
Mana Pools National Park
Spanning 2,612 square miles (6,766 km²) and situated in the north of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, this reserve is a riverine wonderland of watering holes and floodplains which delight the endemic wildlife. The best way to experience Mana Pools National Park is via canoe which enables you to observe the likes of hippos, buffalo, elephants, crocodiles and aquatic birdlife hydrating and bathing. Away from the water, you may spot zebra, lions and even African painted wolves basking in the shade of the mahogany and acacia trees.
Matobo National Park
This protected area attracts visitors as much for its peculiar rock formations as for its wildlife. The land is strewn with isolated boulders known as kopjes that tower over the surrounding vegetation and have been christened the ‘balancing rocks.’ The national park itself only measures around 164 square miles (424 km²), however, it is part of a far wider stretch of communal land. Besides the fascinating geology, Matobo National Park is also a sanctuary for endangered black and white rhinoceroses and a large population of leopards.
Gonarezhou National Park
Bordering Mozambique in the southeast of Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou National Park is the setting for the scarlet-hued Chilojo Cliffs that offer dramatic views over the Runde River. Over 11,000 African elephants dwell among the wide meandering rivers, bushlands and woodlands that form the 1,951 square miles (5,053 km²) of parkland, alongside impala, buffalo and zebra. Gonarezhou is one of the best places in Africa for viewing nyala. Lions, leopards and cheetahs all reside in the reserve however sightings are less frequent.
Wild Is Life
Wild Is Life is sited in the southern outskirts of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. This is a not for profit sanctuary that rescues and rehabilitates compromised African wildlife. Guided tours provide you with the opportunity to learn about re-wilding initiatives while sighting pangolin, elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, monkeys, and beyond.
Remember to sign up for my virtual presentation on the African Safari on Thursday, August 12th at 5:00 pm. This event is free to attend and provides the golden opportunity to ask any questions you might have about planning and taking a safari vacation in Africa.
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