​Wildlife & Animals – Zimbabwe

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip has traveled through Zimbabwe several times and is the author of more than 20 guidebooks to various African destinations.

Philip is the Zimbabwe expert for SafariBookings and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Philip is our Zimbabwe expert and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Home to all the Big Five, Hwange National Park is very accessible from Victoria Falls and excellent for overall wildlife viewing. Mana Pools National Park is an exciting and relatively off-the-beaten-track wilderness destination where walking safaris are the specialty. More remote still are little-visited Matusadona and Gonarezhou National Parks, which both host growing populations of elephant, buffalo, lion and other safari favorites.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeCommon
HippoAbundant
BuffaloCommon
ZebraCommon
Black RhinoVery Rare
LionCommon
HyenaCommon
Wild DogOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Most parks in Zimbabwe support dense elephant populations. Numbers in Hwange peak in the Dry season (April to October), when several hundred elephants often gather around a single waterhole. Other Hwange specials include sable antelope, brown hyena, bat-eared fox and springhare. Zimbabwe is generally a good destination for buffalo, hippo, lion and the endangered African wild dog. Most reliable for rhino sightings is Matobo National Park.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The best time for wildlife viewing is the Dry season (April to October). Animals are easiest to spot during the middle and end of the season, particularly from June or July to October, when they tend to gather around the few available water sources. Afternoon showers can be expected in the Wet season (November to March).

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

  • Stuarts’ Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa
    Top choice if you’re traveling in southern Africa only.

    Chris Stuart and Mathilde Stuart
  • Stuarts’ SA Mammals (app)
    Recommended app version of ‘Stuarts’ Field Guide’.

    Chris Stuart and Mathilde Stuart
  • The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals (book and app)
    Definitive guide for serious Africa wildlife enthusiasts.

    Jonathan Kingdon
  • The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
    Not a field guide but a fascinating intro to mammal behavior.

    Richard D. Estes
  • Tracker Manual: A Practical Guide to Animal Tracking in Southern Africa
    Covers tracks, scats and other spoor for 160 animals.

    Alex van den Heever, Renias Mhlongo and Karel Benadie

Wildlife Photos

Want To Visit Zimbabwe?

149 Zimbabwe Safaris

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Wildlife Photos

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