Expert Reviews – Chizarira NP
Paul is a travel writer, author of the Bradt guidebook to Zimbabwe and is closely involved in promoting tourism to Zimbabwe.
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The Gorges are Gorgeous
Very few people come here as it’s way off the beaten track but Chizarira is a stunning park with pristine forests and deep gorges along the Zambezi escarpment, making it one of the few remaining true wilderness areas. Poaching is taking its toll so although there are lion, leopard and hyena with their attendant prey species including sable, tsessebe, roan, kudu, giraffe and other plains game, they are all wary of humans, as are the elephants. When you do see them it really makes your day so this park is better suited for the more experienced safari visitor. It’s very underdeveloped and there’s currently no recommendable ‘formal’ accommodation in the whole area so you’ll probably come here with one of the specialist operators who camp and walk in the park, rather than drive. I’ve had some magical nights camping here, sometimes perched right on the edge of the dizzying Mucheni gorge; other times on a basic platform overlooking a valley, or by a small river in a secret, wooded environment.
The bird life is fantastic with the rare Taita falcon patrolling the cliff faces as well as the holy grail of birders, the African (Angola) Pitta in the forest undergrowth. You should plan for the dry season as many of the tracks are impassable during the rains.
Late Good News – A large amount of foreign money is now being pumped in to boost the anti-poaching fight here.