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.
Best Time To Visit Gonarezhou National Park, June to October, in the Dry season, is the best time for viewing wildlife in Gonarezhou National Park. Spotting animals is easier in these months because wildlife gathers around water sources and the vegetation has thinned out. During the Wet season (November to April), access to certain parts of the park is restricted. Get more about Best Time To Visit Zimbabwe.
Gonarezhou National Park Widlife, Gonarezhou is a great park to see some of the more unusual antelope species, including the shy nyala antelope and the tiny suni. The magnificent roan and sable antelope can also be seen. The incredibly rare king cheetah is believed to occur in the park although it isn’t clear when they were last spotted. Get more about Zimbabwe Wildlife.
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.
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.
Gonarezhou National Park is a relatively isolated place in Zimbabwe.
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 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.
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.
There are 4 major entrances to get into Gonarezhou National Park:
Note: Entrance Fees is included in your Zimbabwe Safari Cost.
CONSERVATION FEES OF GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK-
Children (6-12 yrs)
Children (Bellow 6 yrs)
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-
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
January is part of the summer rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park. During this time, afternoon showers of rain occur frequently. The heavy rains cause the Limpopo, Runde and Save Rivers, which flow through the area, to flood. This restricts access to certain areas of the park. One can expect temperatures averaging 33°C in the day and dropping to lows of 20°C after sunset.
February is part of the summer rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park. During this time, afternoon showers of rain occur frequently. The heavy rains cause the Limpopo, Runde and Save Rivers, which flow through the area, to flood. This restricts access to certain areas of the park. One can expect temperatures averaging 33°C in the day and dropping to lows of 20°C after sunset.
March is the end of the summer rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park. The afternoon showers of rain occur less frequently. The heavy rains have caused the Limpopo, Runde and Save Rivers, which flow through the area, to flood. This restricts access to certain areas of the park. One can expect temperatures averaging 31°C in the day and dropping to lows of 19°C after sunset.
April is the official start of the dry season. Gonarezhou National Park is characterised by an abundance of cloudless blue skies and sunshine during this time. Temperatures still reach highs of 30°C but after the sunset, temperatures can drop to around 17°C.
May is the dry season in Gonarezhou National Park. There is no rain and the bush starts to dry out, making it easier to spot animals on Zimbabwe Safari Tours. Temperatures during this time can range from 27°C during the day to 11°C at night.
June is the dry season in Gonarezhou National Park. There is no rain and the bush is dry, making it easier to spot animals on safari. Temperatures during this time can range from 26°C during the day to 11°C at night.
July is the dry season in Gonarezhou National Park. There is no rain and the bush is dry, making it easier to spot animals on safari. Temperatures during this time can range from 26°C during the day to 10°C at night.
August is the end of dry season in Gonarezhou National Park. There is no rain and the bush is dry, making it easier to spot animals on safari. Temperatures start to warm up during this time, ranging from 28°C during the day to 12°C at night.
September is the end of dry season in Gonarezhou National Park. There is no rain and the bush is dry, making it easier to spot animals on safari. Temperatures start to warm up during this time, ranging from 31°C during the day to 15°C at night.
October is the end of dry season and the beginning of the rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park. Temperatures are hot during the day, ranging from 31°C during the day to 15°C at night. The end of the month sees the return of the rains in the form of afternoon storms. This is a welcome relief to the dry landscape.
November is the rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park. The summer rain showers generally settle into a pattern and are accompanied by breathtaking lightning storms, followed by blue skies. Temperatures range from 19°C at night to 33°C in the day. Summer also introduces higher water levels and guests can enjoy boating activities on the Save River.
December brings the highest level of rainfall, usually in the form of afternoon showers. The rain is a welcomed relief from the warm daytime temperatures of around 33°C. The heavy rains may prevent travel and activities in certain areas of the park.
At the very least, you should have a high-clearance vehicle. During the dry season, most of the park, apart from river crossings, is navigable in a high-clearance two-wheel drive.
However, we will recommend high-clearance four-wheel vehicles where ever possible. If you are travelling to the most remote areas of the Gonarezhou National Park, we recommend travelling with two-wheel vehicles and recovery gear.
The park itself is open all year round but the accessibility of the park for tourists is limited during the wet season. The more remote corners of the park, which become hard to access during the wet season are closed from November to March.
There are many options available to stay in Gonarezhou National Park. From the famous Bush Camp to self-catering accommodation and some other luxury lodges, Gonarezhou has every option of staying in comfort!
All of the accommodations are designed to ensure fulfilling your dream Zimbabwe Safari in the wilderness with some luxurious flavour.
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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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