Overview – Gonarezhou NP
This huge park borders Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and South Africa's Kruger National Park to make up a vast wilderness area: The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Due to heavy poaching, wildlife densities have historically been very low, but there has been a marked increase in populations over the last few years. The new Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, set up by the Frankfurt Zoological Society in June 2016, might well speed up this process with various plans in the pipeline, including the re-introduction of rhino in 2018.
Pros and Cons
- Huge, untamed wilderness area
- Great wildlife diversity
- Excellent birding destination
- Few visitors, and it never gets busy
- Walking safaris are available
- Wildlife densities are low
- Limited accommodation options
Theoretically, all of the Big Five are present, but rhino might well be locally extinct. Animals tend to be quite skittish, and densities are still recovering from years of poaching. The park offers a chance to see some large herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as a good variety of antelope – including the less common nyala, roan and sable antelope. Wild dog are sometimes spotted, as well.
Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe's second largest national park after Hwange. Parts of the park are endless tracts of combretum and mopane woodland, protecting beautiful spreads of mahoganies, ironwoods and tall acacia albida trees. The Runde River valley is overlooked by the red sandstone Chilojo cliffs.
Weather & Climate
The weather at Gonarezhou is sunny and bright throughout the Dry season (April to October), though you need to slip on plenty of layers to deal with the chill of early-morning game drives. The Wet season (November to March) sees the temperature rise and storm clouds spread across the sky most afternoons.
Best Time to Visit
You can visit Gonarezhou in the humid Wet season (November to March), but you’ll find that the thriving plant life provides great hiding places for tourist-shy animals. A lot of the local lodges also shut their doors for most of the damp months. It’s better to visit when the rains have ended and the vegetation has thinned out in the Dry season (April to October). Despite the arid conditions, the wildlife watching will be a lot more rewarding.
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Gonarezhou Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Paul is a travel writer, author of the Bradt guidebook to Zimbabwe and is closely involved in promoting tourism to Zimbabwe.
Home of the Grey Ghosts
Gonarezhou is a huge park, the second largest in the country that in recent years has reaped the fruits of a long and concerted conservation initiative. Many years ago poaching devastated the wildlife here and earned the park the...
Latest User Review
A Wild and Unknown Gem
I recently stayed for a week in Gonuarezhou National Park. I stayed for one week at Gonarezhou Bush Camp where I was guided by Ant Kaschuala who is without a doubt one of the finest guides in Africa. I thought that the bush vibe,and scenery...