Gonarezhou National Park

Gonarezhou National Park

About Gonarezhou National Park

Shona meaning “The Place of Elephants”, Gonarezhou National Park is Zimbabwe’s second-largest National Park and one of its most celebrated wilderness areas.

Zimbabwe has long celebrated its natural heritage through the creation and preservation of its National Parks. Gonarezhou National Park, in the South-East of the country, is one such refuge for Africa’s wild animals and a place of freedom unlike any other. When you will enter the Park, there are no tarred roads, barriers, or fences. Elephants are spotted right of way and the roars of lions claim the night for themselves.

Apart from the wilderness, Gonarezhou has also a unique conservation success story. It has a true conservation partnership between the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Gonarezhou National Park offers a unique and authentic Zimbabwe Safari experience. It is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.

Gonarezhou National Park TOURS AND SAFARIS

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Best time to visit

The Best Time to Visit Gonarezhou National Park is from June to October. This period, falling within the Dry season offers the prime wildlife viewing experience. Animals are more visible as they congregate around waterholes and rivers, and the sparse vegetation enhances visibility. While the Wet season from November to March sees some park areas less accessible, with the park usually closing in January and February, the Dry season months ensure the most rewarding and accessible safari adventures.


Gonarezhou National Park, known as the 'Place of Elephants,' is a Zimbabwe Wildlife haven home to Africa's iconic Big Five, including the recently reintroduced black rhino. With over 11,500 elephants, massive buffalo herds, and rare antelopes like Nyala and kudu, it offers a unique Zimbabwe Safari experience. Despite the elusive nature of predators like lions and cheetahs, the park's diverse animal population makes every visit memorable.

What To Experience

Travel Guide For Gonarezhou National Park

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Location and Map of Gonarezhou

Gonarezhou National Park is located in the southeastern region of Zimbabwe. It is situated in a remote corner of Masvingo Province, south of Chimanimani along the border of Mozambique.

Covering an area of 5,053 square kilometres, Gonarezhou is the country's second-largest national park, after Hwange National Park. The name Gonarzhou has the Shona meaning “The place of Elephants”.

This park comes under the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. It links Gonarezhou with Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The northeast of the park lies within the Zambezian and Mopane woodlands and the southwestern part lies within the Southern Africa bushveld ecoregion.

Best Time to visit Gonarezhou

Each season has its own charm in Gonarezhou National Park. But overall, the cool-dry season from April to August is the Best Time To Visit Gonarezhou National Prak with a comfortable day and night temperature. It offers the best of game viewing around the waterholes can be spectacular!

November to March is the warm wet season in Zimbabwe. The daytime temperatures often reach above 35°C, and thundershowers can be common. So it becomes difficult to explore the Park.

How to get to Gonarezhou National park

Gonarezhou National Park is a relatively isolated place in Zimbabwe.

By Air:

Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) is the point of arrival for most safaris to Zimbabwe. Or you can fly to Harare International Airport (HRE). Your safari package will probably include travel arrangements by the tour operator. They will transfer you from the airport to the hotel or lodge.

Chartered flights:

Chartered flights are generally organized by your tour operators, as part of the Zimbabwe Safari Package. Federal Airlines runs flights flies into Buffalo Range International Airport in Chiredzi.

By Road:

The park is also accessed by self-drive adventurers through two entry points: the North of the Park near the town of Chiredzi and the South near the Sengwe-Tshipise Corridor. These are joining Gonarezhou National Park to the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Gonarezhou National Park Entrance Fees

There are 4 major entrances to get into Gonarezhou National Park:

  • The main Chipinda Pools Entrance in the North is accessible from Chiredzi Town via Ngundu-Tanganda Road.
  • Save-Runde Basecamp Entrance is accessible via a sand crossing over the Save River near Mahenye. A 4WD vehicle is required!
  • Boli Gate is accessible from Mwenezi via Boli on the Boli-Sango main road. Tourists through this gate must report to Mabalauta Office before proceeding to their camp.
  • Sango Gate is accessible from Sango Border Post from Mozambique along the Sango-Boli Road (tourists through this gate MUST report to Mabalauta Office before proceeding to their camp)
  • Malati Gate is accessible from the Sengwe-Tshipise Corridor up from the Limpopo River or Beitbridge along the Beithbridge-Chikwararkwara-Sengwe road (gravel from Beitbridge).

Note: Entrance Fees is included in your Zimbabwe Safari Cost.


Age limit








Children (6-12 yrs)




Children (Bellow 6 yrs)




Things to do in Gonarezhou National Park

The Gonarezhou National park is renowned for its rocky outcrops, and Chilojo Cliffs which are among its major attractions. While you visit this Park on Your Zimbabwe Safari Tours, you will find many exciting activities to get engaged with. Those are-

Game viewing:

Gonarezhou National Park is an ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts. Thanks to its diverse habitat and exciting safari activities. The Gonarezhou has several main attractions including game viewing in safari vehicles.

You can see many wildlife activities while driving through the park. The wildlife you can spot like lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebra, and wild dogs are one of the park’s best features. You can see buffalos roam the plains, and elephants are spotted daily along the Runde River. You will also enjoy the Zimbabwe wildlife through a canoe safari.

Walking Safaris:

Gonarezhou is widely known for its finest wilderness character and offers some of the most scenic views in the region. Visiting the Park and exploring this on foot is an adventure to discover its spectacular landscapes.

The park is home to hundreds of baobab trees and you can experience these while on a walking safari. There is also a good guide who will provide you with plenty of information on the animals and plants that inhabit it.

Explore the Chilojo Cliffs:

Apart from the wildlife, another major drawcard is its magnificent Chilojo Cliffs. So, go on a game drive to witness these authentic red cliffs, which have been formed through aeons of erosion.

The cliffs are located east-west for approximately 20 km immediately south of the Runde River and 180 meters above the river course. The form of the cliffs is two-fold, with the near-vertical lower and upper sections separated from each other by a terrace up to 500 meters wide. So, explore the scenic Runde River valley, where you can see lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, and other species.

Explore the Bush Camp in Gonarezhou:

Gonarezhou Bush Camp is a comfortable and beautiful tented camp located in the heart of Gonarezhou National Park. So, we suggest you explore this campsite while on your Safari To Zimbabwe.

Camp life is relaxed and gives comfort. The camp is operated on an exclusive booking basis. The welcoming staff and guides will treat you like very friendly and will make you enjoy the African camp life.

Wildlife Sightings

Gonarezhou is known as a Big Five destination with enormous wilderness. Game viewing may be a question of luck, but we can assure you will spot the elephant at some stage. After all, this is Gonarzhou, which means “the place of elephants”.

  • With an estimated 11,000 elephants, it is one of the highest densities of pachyderms in any protected area in Africa.
  • Apart from this, visitors can also spot a variety of wild animals including black rhinos, African wild dogs, lions, leopards, buffalos, hyenas, impalas, and so on.
  • The rare cheetah is believed to be in the park although it is not clear when they have last spotted.
  • Gonarezhou is an ideal park to witness some of the more unusual antelopes including the shy nyala antelope and the tiny suni.
  • Apart from impressive wildlife, the park is also home to around 450 bird species including some rare ones.

Safari Game Drive in Gonarezhou National Park

In Gonarezhou, self-drive safaris are mostly introduced to be self-led. But from July 2022, Gonarzhou has offered a guided game drive with open 4WD safari vehicles. It takes a maximum of six people per drive.

It also offers morning and afternoon game drive like other parks in Africa. Visiting Gonarezhou with a registered operator would enable you to enjoy game drives, nature walks, fishing, and other activities.

Explore the gem of Zimbabwe- Gonarezhou National Park!

Gonarezhou National Park is a unique and special place of scenic beauty that contains hidden secrets for those who know its vastness. Despite its small size, the park is a world-class wildlife sanctuary which you should ensure to visit in a Zimbabwe Safari. It is an incredible place for travellers who come to explore the natural wonders.

best month to Visit gonarezhou national park

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Gonarezhou National Park in January

January in Gonarezhou National Park marks the wet season, with refreshing rains that can lead to occasional park closures. Despite this, the season offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the park's landscapes at their most lush and vibrant, providing a different but equally captivating Zimbabwe Safari adventure.

Gonarezhou National Park in February

Rainfall continues in February, keeping Gonarezhou National Park vibrant and lush. While some areas may be less accessible, the park's beauty is enhanced, offering serene and picturesque safari moments.

Gonarezhou National Park in March

The wet season eases in March, with diminishing rains and a mix of warm days and cool nights at Gonarezhou National Park. This transitional period offers a glimpse into the changing landscapes and wildlife patterns.

Gonarezhou National Park in April

Gonarezhou National Park Safari experiences a shift in April with the onset of the dry season, bringing cooler nights and diminishing rains. This period starts to offer clearer skies and better wildlife viewing opportunities as animals start congregating around water sources.

Gonarezhou National Park in May

May in Gonarezhou National Park sees the landscape drying out, with daytime warmth and significantly cooler nights. It's a time when wildlife begins to be more visible, gathering at dwindling waterholes, making early morning safaris particularly rewarding.

Gonarezhou National Park in June

June's cool and dry climate makes Gonarezhou National Park Safari Tours appealing for those looking to explore the great outdoors comfortably. With animals more visible and the landscape beginning to thin, it’s an excellent time for wildlife spotting.

Gonarezhou National Park in July

July offers some of the coolest weather for Gonarezhou Safari Tours, with clear, dry days and chilly nights. It’s the perfect time for visitors to enjoy extended game drives without the heat, spotting wildlife around scarce water sources.

Gonarezhou National Park in August

In August, Gonarezhou National Park begins to warm up, maintaining dry conditions ideal for game viewing. The thinning vegetation and gathering wildlife around waterholes make this month perfect for safari enthusiasts.

Gonarezhou National Park in September

Recognized as the Best Time to Visit Gonarezhou National Park, September offers warm, dry days for exceptional game viewing, with animals gathering at limited water sources.

Gonarezhou National Park in October

October is the hottest month in Gonarezhou National Park, right before the rainy season begins. The dry, hot conditions maximize wildlife spotting opportunities, with animals frequently visiting waterholes, offering spectacular safari experiences.

Gonarezhou National Park in November

The arrival of the rains in November brings a welcome relief from the heat in Gonarezhou National Park. While wildlife starts to disperse with the availability of water, the park’s beauty transforms, offering a different kind of safari experience.

Gonarezhou National Park in December

December sees Gonarezhou National Park in the full swing of the wet season, with regular afternoon showers and warm temperatures. The lush, green landscape and abundant water make wildlife sightings more challenging but reward visitors with stunning views and vibrant birdlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Gonarezhou National Park is situated in Zimbabwe's Masvingo province, southeast of the country. It's part of a larger conservation area that stretches into Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and South Africa's Kruger National Park, forming a vast trans frontier park.

Gonarezhou plays a crucial role in conservation, hosting a variety of species, including some at risk of extinction. Efforts to revive its wildlife populations showcase successful conservation that benefits from sustainable tourism, emphasizing the park's significance beyond its natural beauty.

The Best Time for a Gonarezhou National Park Safari is from July to October, during the dry season. This time offers milder temperatures and higher chances of wildlife sightings, as animals gather at water sources. The park closes annually from January 10th to March 1st due to the rainy season, affecting accessibility.

Yes, Gonarezhou falls within a malaria zone. Visitors should take precautions year-round, including taking prophylactic medications, using insect repellent frequently, and wearing protective clothing to minimize the risk, especially during the evenings.

During the dry season from April to October, Gonarezhou experiences little rainfall and moderate temperatures, especially from May to August. Morning and evening safaris can be cool. The wet season runs from November to March, featuring warmer days and potential storms.

Getting to Gonarezhou can vary. Some lodges offer airstrips for private charters, with common flight points being Buffalo Range International Airport or Harare International Airport, followed by a road transfer. For self-drivers, a 4x4 is recommended due to possible river crossings, especially when coming from Harare, Bulawayo, or crossing borders from Mozambique or South Africa's Kruger Park.

Bookings for Gonarezhou can be made directly with the park's reservation office or through partnering with us. They offer various options to accommodate visitors' needs and ensure a memorable experience.

For a Safari in Gonarezhou, wear purpose-made safari clothing tested for African conditions. Packing according to Gonarezhou's safari advice ensures you're prepared with all the essentials for an adventure in Zimbabwe, blending comfort with practicality for the outdoor experience.

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