Although Chizarira has four of the Big Five (rhino is missing), animal densities aren’t huge. The terrain is excellent for leopard, and there is a good variety of herbivore. Its main attraction is its enormous wilderness appeal. Walking safaris are a big part of the experience.
The terrain in the park is rugged and dramatic, dominated by the Zambezi escarpment. The park encompasses seven ecological zones, from lowveld valley savannah to highveld broadleaf woodland. Lush pockets of vegetation, fed by natural springs, are found in the valleys between the mountain ridges.
Weather & Climate
Chizarira’s mild climate is subject to two distinctive periods. The Dry season (April to October) is marked by generally warm days, but the cold nights can test the effectiveness of your thickest clothing. Everything changes with the coming of the very warm Wet season (November to March), especially in October when the park’s lower altitudes bake in temperatures of up to 40°C/104°F.
From the middle (July) to the end of the Dry season (April to October) is the best time to spot animals at Chizariria’s waterholes and rivers. Sunny, clear skies and an absence of mosquitoes are other advantages of visiting at this time of year. The greenery does flourish when the rains come, but this tends to be outweighed by unreliable roads and steamy conditions.
Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.
Seclusion close to Lake Kariba
Lying southeast of Lake Kariba, Chizarira looks reasonably near Hwange, Matusadona and Harare on the map, but once you’re there it feels extremely remote. I wouldn’t recommend Chizarira to anyone who’s primarily interested in Big...