Overview – Matusadona NP

Matusadona National Park, on the shore of Lake Kariba, offers excellent wildlife viewing in a magnificent setting. All of the Big Five are present, including the endangered black rhino. Elephant and buffalo are abundant on the lake shore and hippos can be seen in small pods in the shallows. Spending time in a houseboat offers a unique safari experience.

Best Time to Go July to October (Dry season)
High Season July to September (The park is never crowded)
Size 1,407km² / 543mi²
Altitude 486-1,274m / 1,594-4,180ft

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent wildlife viewing
  • Great wildlife diversity, including the Big Five
  • Excellent birding destination
  • Walking, canoe and boat safaris are available.
  • Tracking black rhino on foot
  • Lots of accommodation options, including houseboats
  • Hot and humid from November to March, with many mosquitoes
  • Not easy to get to by road, and 4WD is essential

Matusadona NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

All of the Big Five are present and regularly spotted. Lion, leopard and hyena occur in good numbers. The park is well known for its large herds of buffalo that congregate on the lakeshore in the Dry season. There is a good variety of antelope species including waterbuck, sable and roan. The lake is teeming with hippo and crocodile.

Scenery

Matusadona reaches from the southern shore of Lake Kariba up to the rugged Zambezi escarpment. The Sanyati River in the east of the park is well known for its breathtaking gorge, which is most beautiful in the rainy season when small waterfalls are running down the steep, rocky sides. Sunsets over the lake, with the mountains in the background, are spectacular.

Weather & Climate

Matusadona stays fairly hot throughout the Wet season (November to March). The days of the Dry season (April to October) start off cool – don’t make the mistake of wearing a T-shirt and shorts on an early-morning game drive. But the sun soon warms things up.

Best Time to Visit

Matusadona NP can be visited throughout the year. However, the drier months (April to October), are best for observing animals wandering along the lakeshore. The Wet season (November to March) is less conducive to spotting wildlife, which is why some lodges shut up shop when the rains sweep in.

Want to Visit Matusadona NP?

Matusadona NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Where you really can walk on the wild side
5/5

Many people might quake at the thought of a bushwalk in big cat country. But if the prospect appeals, Matusadona is an excellent choice. On my visit it didn’t disappoint. This beautiful, wildlife-rich park, considered one of Africa’s...

Latest User Review
Nicole  –  
Zimbabwe ZW
Reviewed: Apr 20, 2015
Wonderful secluded destination by lake Kariba
5/5

Matusadona is a national park usually accessed by boat or plane. As such, it is a secluded destination where you will enjoy the bush away from any crowd. Its location along lake Kariba makes it a very scenic place, its sunsets over the...

Full Review