Overview – Matusadona NP
Matusadona National Park, on the shore of Lake Kariba, offers excellent wildlife watching in a magnificent setting. A unique wildlife viewing experience is offered along the shoreline from houseboats. All of the Big Five are present, including the endangered black rhino. Elephant and buffalo are abundant on the lake shore.
Pros and 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 house boats
- It gets hot and humid from November to March, and there are many mosquitoes
- Not easy to get to by road, and 4WD is essential
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.
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 Sanyati 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 rain-soaked Wet season (November to March), except for the upper reaches of the escarpment which get cooler the higher you go. 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
In the drier months (April to October), visitors spend much of their time observing the animals that wander along the lakeshore. Or they track them through the thin inland vegetation. The Wet season (November to March) is less conducive to spotting wildlife, which is why many of the local lodges shut up shop when the rains sweep in.
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Matusadona Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Melissa is an award winning travel writer for Fodors, Frommers and Insight, including guides to Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Matusadona – a drowned forest by a manmade sea
The name Matusadona trips operatically off the tongue but the park takes its name from the Matuzviadonha Hills – and their name means ‘falling dung’! Like so much opera, not quite so romantic in translation… Having said that,...
Latest User Review
Wonderful secluded destination by lake Kariba
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...