Zimparks

Mana Pools National Park

UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site

Mana Pools National Park is synonymous with the Zambezi River, elephants, lions, remoteness and wilderness.
This unique park is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe's most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile.
The name "Mana'' means "four" in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago as it changed its course northwards. Hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds are associated with the pools. ''Long Pool'', is the largest of the four pools, extending some six kilometres in a west-east direction. This pool has a large population of hippo and crocodiles and is a favourite for the large herds of elephant that come out of the thickly vegetated areas in the south to drink.

As one moves northwards towards the Zambezi River from the forests on the Karoo sediments, the vegetation changes to open Faidherbia albida woodlands on the old river terraces. This vegetation gives an unique look to the area and a surreal light filters through the trees giving Mana Pools its distinctive cathedral-like atmosphere.

On the old river terraces, tourists can walk unaccompanied by guides in the open Albida woodland because visibility is good and there is little danger of unexpectantly coming across dangerous animals. This privilege of walking alone in an area with dangerous wildlife is unique in Zimbabwe. Elephant, eland, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra, warthog and hippo are some of the larger herbivores to be seen regularly on the river terraces as they come out to eat the fallen Albida fruit. Lions, leopards, spotted hyaena and cheetah are present in the area, but their secretive nature makes them more difficult to see. Despite this, it is not often that the visitor leaves Mana Pools without seeing at least one of these large carnivores.

Northwards, off the river terraces, is the mighty Zambezi River flowing sedately on its way to the Indian Ocean. This now tranquil river was a major route for the trade in ivory and slaves in the dark past.

Mana Pools is 2,196 square kilometres in extent but is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east. This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area - even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.


Facilities

Tourist facilities include lodges, a communal campsite with ablution facilities and exclusive campsites where the visitor can be alone.

Lodges
There are 5 lodges in the Park, all located along the Zambezi River. There are 2 large lodges situated a short distance upstream from Nyamepi Camp, Musangu and Muchichiri. These lodges have a bathroom and shower with hot and cold running water; 2 toilets and a fully kitted kitchen with stove and deep-freeze and all utensils such as cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. All bedding and towels, etc are supplied. There is a large dining room and lounge, an outside braai area with seating where one can view the river and the wildlife coming down to drink or simply watch the African sun setting over the Zambezi River.

There are also 3 four-bedded lodges, all under thatch. Each lodge has 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each, a shower and toilet and seating areas outside near the Zambezi River. The kitchen is supplied with a deep-freezer, cooker, crockery and cutlery and other cooking implements. Bedding and towels, etc are supplied.

Camping Sites

There is one large communal campsite along the Zambezi River, and
a number of exclusive campsites where visitors can ensure their solitude.
Communal Campsite

The Nyamepi Camp camping area located along the Zambezi River is situated near the Mana Pools National Park reception office. Visitors need to bring their own camping equipment, bedding, toiletries, cooking implements, etc. There are ablution blocks nearby with hot and cold running water, flush toilets and laundry basins. Visitors can buy firewood at the reception office, and each campsite has a braai area. This camping ground has 30 sites.

Exclusive Campsite

There are a number of exclusive campsites situated along the Zambezi River. These camps are for the visitor who seeks solitude and who wants to truly experience the wildness and challenges of the bush. There is a braai stand at each site and rudimentary toilet. Water is collected from the river or the reception office. Visitors to these sites need to be fully self-equipped and be able to handle the remoteness and solitude of these unique camps. The camps are only allowed 2 vehicles and 12 persons per stay. Water may be drawn from the river.

Mucheni

8 kilometres west of Nyamepi and has 4 secluded camp sites

Nkupe

Just over 1 kilometre east of Nymepi and has 1 camp site

Ndungu

Just east of the carpark area and has 2 campsites

Gwaya

A short distance upstream from the lodges has 1 campsite, with cold-water shower, flush toilet and basin and a braai stand.

Wild Exclusive Camp Sites

There are 2 completely wild camping sites located in the southern sector of the Park - close to Chitake Spring, near the foothills of the Zambezi Escarpment. The check-in point for these camps is at Nyakasikana Gate. Both campsites are without any facilities and are accessible only with four-wheel drive vehicles.

Chitake Camp 1 (Nzou)

Located 150 metres downstream from the Chitake River crossing under a large Natal Mahogany near the river.


Chitake Camp 2 (Shumba)

Situated on top of a small hill near a number of baobab trees and has a magnificent view south to the escarpment, north to the far off Zambezi, east to Mangangai and west to the Rukomechi River. The camp is about 1 kilometre from the spring.

Tour Operator All-inclusive Tours

Visitors can book with a number of registered tour operators who will take care of all requirements including transport, food, accommodation, activities, safety and transfers. Visitors will need to make their own arrangements to hire a tour operator.

Activities

The following are some of the main activities offered at Mana Pools National Park:

Camping

Available around the Park at developed, minimum development and exclusive sites


Walking Safaris

These safaris are offered at full moon. Parks staff will take visitors on a 3 day hike in the wild of Mana Pools National Park. Visitors will need to be fit, provide their own rucksacks, food and toiletries. This is a unique experience for the nature lover and those who enjoy the challenge of facing nature one on one.

Lion Tracking

This is a limited activity whilst the lion research project at Mana Pools is in progress. Visitors are guaranteed a close view of the lions in most instances. This activity is unique and also assists in data collection for research projects.

Fishing
Visitors can fish in the Zambezi River and experience the excitement of hooking large fish for the pot. Half of the joy is experiencing the quiet, solitude and beauty of the unspoiled bush around you.

Game Drives

Usually most rewarding in the early morning and late afternoon. Long Pool is often worth visiting soon after sunrise.

Amenities

The Park is generally remote and far from any business centre. The nearest shops and fuel supplies are nearly 100 kilometres away, therefore visitors should be fully equipped for their visit.

Why Visit Mana Pools?
•    The unique guided and self-guided walks in the Park amongst many wild animals
•    Renowned ''World Heritage Site''
•    One of the world's wildest and preserved natural ecological areas
•    Rated the 5th Best Park in Africa by Getaway magazine (September 2003)
•    Excellent canoeing and river fishing
•    The remnant pools of the mighty Zambezi River are a marvel to watch as a prime habitat for several bird and mamal species


How to get to Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools is a truly remote park. Situated in the extreme north of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, Mana is far from any major town or human settlement. Drive along the main Harare/ Chirundu tarred road and at the bottom of the Zambezi Escarpment, branch off the tarred road onto a dirt road that will take you 70 kilometres into unspoiled bush to Nyamepi Camp. There are a number of game-viewing roads that run along the Zambezi River and further inland from which you can view the wide variety of wildlife. Visitors can get a free entry permit to enter the Nyamautsi wilderness area and Kanga Pan where vehicle entry is limited to 2 per day

Situated in the north-west corner of Zimbabwe between Kazungula and Hwange National Park, and south-west of Victoria Falls, the Kazuma Pan National Park is 31 300 hectares in extent. The Park which is an extension of the Matetsi Safari Area was developed to be a refuge for the animals during the hunting season.

The Baboon Trees

This is a unique feature of the Park which attracts large volumes of animals. The area has natural water springs and large concentrations of animals. Sightings of up to 2000 buffalo have been reported in the area.

Flora and Fauna

The area is virtually an undeveloped and unspoilt wilderness. Reminiscent in parts of the grass plains of East Africa, it is quite unlike any of the more familiar bush or woodlands.

The Park includes a series of pan depressions, some of which are continuously pumped from boreholes in the dry season. As a result, large concentrations of game seasonally migrate between Botswana and Zimbabwe, especially from September through to the first rains of November or December.

Species to be seen include: lion, leopard, giraffe, zebra, gemsbok, roan, sable, tsessebe, eland and reedbuck, whilst elephant and buffalo are present in large numbers when water is scarce. White rhino are also often seen.

A special species endemic to the Kazuma Depression is the oribi, a small antelope, not often seen in other parts of the country. Visitors may also occasionally see cheetah or wild dog while lions are fairly common.

The pan systems are also ideal habitat to a large variety of water birds, with a number of species including storks, crowned cranes, stilts, cormorants, ducks and kingfishers occurring throughout the area.

Seasons

Kazuma Pan National Park is closed to the public in January and February each year due to the wet conditions over this period that make the roads impassable.

Facilities

Camp Sites

There are two camp sites available in the park. Only two groups of visitors are allowed to camp in the Park at any one time. The camp sites each have bush toilets, braai points and water supplies. Each camp site can comfortably take 10 persons.

These sites are located in different habitats: Insiza, which overlooks the Kazuma Depression and Kasetsheti, near some natural springs.

Amenities

Visitors should note that Kazuma is an extremely remote area, and adequate provisions for fuel, food supplies and other basics should be provided for.

Attractions & Activities

    Bird watching
    Camping
    Game drives

Why visit Kazuma?

    An ornithologist's paradise
    Remote wilderness with some of Zimbabwe's most challenging game drive trails

How to get to Kazuma National Parks

Take the Robins Camp/ Pandamatenga turn-off from the main Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road . proceed for some 25 kilometres along this gravel road to the Parks & Wildlife offices in Matetsi where visitors are required to check-in before proceeding. The journey is continued along the Pandamatenga road for a further 39 kilometres to the border post. These roads are gravel and can be rough. As access to Kazuma is along the Zimbabwe/ Botswana border road, visitors are again asked to check-in with the Zimbabwe Republic Police at Pandamatenga. Kazuma Pan National Park is some 25 kilometres further along, north-west of Pandamatenga. Access may only be made by four wheel drive vehicles as the roads are rough and sandy in some areas. Access via Kazungula is strictly prohibited.

GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK

Gonarezhou National Park is situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers an area in excess of 5 000 square kilometres. "Gonarezhou" meaning "Place of many Elephants" is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes.
Alternative folklore suggests the are was named for the herbalists who would stock their medicines in tusks (known as gona in the Shona language).

Three major rivers - The Save, Runde and Mwenezi - cut their courses through the Park, forming pools and natural oases from which hundreds of species of birds, wildlife and fish gather to feed and drink. As its name implies, Gonarezhou is famous for its elephants, and many of the largest-tusked elephants in the region maybe found within the Park.

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP)

 

Gonarezhou National Park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), a massive Pan-African Park that includes South Africa's famed Kruger National Park and Mozambique's Gaza. This huge area is set to become one of the finest "peace parks" in the world and is dedicated to conservation, biodiversity and the economic development of the surrounding local communities. The vast and diverse nature of the mega-park will provide world-class eco-tourism to the visitor and strive to re-establish historical animal migration routes and fragile regional ecosystems.

The combined Park will include more than 500 species of birds, 147 species of mammals, at least 116 species of reptiles, 34 species of frogs and 49 species of fish.

Flora and Fauna

Lion, leopard, cheetah (including the rare king cheetah), buffalo, giraffe, zebra and many species of large antelope are also present within the Park. The rare nyala and smaller suni are two of the highlights of the Park's smaller antelopes. In addition, hundreds of species of birds may be spotted in the Park. Unique species of aquatic wildlife such as the Zambezi Shark, Freshwater Goby, Black Bream and the unique turquoise killifish can be seen within the Park's rivers and pools.


Chilojo Cliffs

One of the most prominent and enduring natural features of Gonarezhou National Park is the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs. These magnificent red sandstone cliffs have been formed through eons  of erosion and overlook the scenic Runde River valley.

Seasons

Gonarezhou experiences mild, dry winters and warm, wet summers (temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celcius can occasionally be expected). Mabalauta and Chipinda areas are open throughout the year. During the rainy season (November - April), access to certain parts of the Park is restricted and the visitor should consult with the Park's offices before undertaking game drives.
Bilharzia is endermic to all lowveld rivers and visitors should take appropriate precaution. In addition, malaria can be present within the region so visitors are advised to take prophylactics before, during and after their stay in the Park.

Mabalauta

Facilities-Lodges

Mabalauta was once a communal area until the 1960s when it became a game reserve. It was later declared a national park in 1975 when it became part of Gonarezhou. The name Mabalauta hails from a hardwood tree species common in the region. The Mabalauta section in the Mwenezi sub-region includes the Swimuwini rest camp, "The place of the Baobabs". The camp is situated 8 kilometres from the warden's office and overlooks the the Mwenezi River. There are thatched self-catering accommodation facilities at the camp.

Camp Sites

Camping is possible at Swimuwini at the Mabalauta Camping site which has ablution facilities.
Caravan sites

Visitors with caravans on tow can also camp at Swimuwini and use the same facilities for standard camp sites.

Picnic Sites

There are several picnic and braai sites located in the Park.

Amenities

Visitors are encouraged to bring in adequate provisions from Mwenezi or from larger business centres since there are no shops in the Park.

Chipinda Pools

Facilities

The name Chipinda is derived from the Ndau dialect meaning "enter". There are predominantly camping facilities in this section and there are no self-catering accommodation facilities.
Camp Sites
•    Chipinda Pools

There are 9 sites at the beautiful Chipinda Pools Camp, each with basic shelter, braai area and ablution facilities.

Chinguli

There are 5 camping sites in the Runde sub-region at Chinguli which also have similar facilities to those at Chipinda.

Undeveloped Camping Sites

Camps with minimum facilities are located at Nyahungwe, Madumbini, Bopomela, Lisoda, Gota, Chitove, Chamaluvati and Chilojo. These exclusive sites may be booked by a single party of up to 10 people and there are no attendants available. Visitors need to bring their own water. Dead wood in the vicinity may be collected for firewood.

Picnic Sites

There are also several picnic and braai points in this section of the Park that include Massasanya and Machaniwa.

Amenities

Supplies must be obtained from Chiredzi town as there are no shops within the Park.


Attractions
•    Game viewing - best along the riverine regions and close to the many perennial pools and springs. The elephants in this Park are notoriously aggressive so visitors are encouraged to keep a safe viewing distance.
•    Fishing
•    Walking safaris - permitted in certain areas and at the pools at Samalena Gorge ("the place of killing") are of major interest
•    Viewing the cliffs at Chilojo, Mwatomba Pool and Makonde Pool
•    Viewing points - these can be found at Guluji and Chamuchanzi among other places
•    Natural water pans - include the one at Chindhlambai and Tembahata, an exceptional birding place
•    Chibilila Falls - the falls are on the Runde River and are 600 metres wide and 7 meters deep
•    Duguvi Falls - on the Pambazi River and are very attractive during the rainy season

Why visit Gonarezhou?

•    Daytime and full moon walking trails
•    Excellent bird watching
•    Unique view of the sunset from the red hills
•    Panoramic platform views
•    Numerous viewing points from numerous pools and pans

How to get to Gonarezhou National Park

Visitors may access the sections of the Gonarezhou National Park as follows:

Chipinda Pools (Runde and Save sub-region)

Follow the main tarred road from the Chirediz turn-off to Mutare for 18 kilometres.Turn off to the south at the Chipinda Pools sign post. Follow the gravel road for approximately 34 kilometres to the entrance of the Park, about 59 kilometres from Chiredzi


Mabalauta (Mwenezi sub-region)

Turn east off the main Masvingo - Beitbrifge road at the Mwenezi Police Station turn-off, about 20 kilometres south of Rutenga. Proceed down the the dirt road about 3 kilometres and turn left at the entrance to the Police Station - the signboard indicates Mwenezi Ranch HQ and Chikombedzi. Follow this road for about 60 kilometres to Chikombedzi Business Centre. Do not turn off this road. The road you take follows the Mwenezi River southeast from the Mwenezi Police Station to Chikombedzi (the river will not be visible from the road). The only major intersection you will encounter is 20 kilometres from the Mwenezi Police Station and is signposted. Head straight through the intersection to Chikombedzi.

Turn right after entering Chikombedzi Business Centre at a 4-way intersection where a National Parks sign indicates the route to Gonarezhou, Mabalauta, Right. About 300 metres down the road another sign indicates the route - turn left. Follow this road around a small dam and DO NOT turn off it.

About 6 kilometrees further you will pass Zhou School and 3 kilometres later you will come to Gonarezhou Natioonal Park boundary. The route from there to the Warden's Office, Mabalauta is clearly signposted. The total distance from the Masvingo - Beitbridge Road to Mabalauta is 105 kilometres.

HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the Mighty Victoria Falls.
It became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19 th Century and was set aside as a National Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park's elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The Park has three distinctive Camps and administrative offices at Robins, Sinamatella and the largest one at Main Camp.

Main Camp

Main Camp is situated at the main entrance to the Park. There are numerous pans and pumped waterholes around Main Camp and the area is rich in game.

Facilities

Main Camp has facilities including self-catering lodges, cottages and chalets, a camping and caravan site, bar and restaurant, grocery store, curio shop and petrol station.

Lodges

Lodges in Hwange National Park are units with one or two bedrooms, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator and stove, lounge and verandah. Cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery are provided.

Cottages

Cottages are units with 1 or 2 bedrooms, bathroom and verandah. Cooking facilities are communal, with electric hot plates provided. The cottages have a centrally located thatched, open dining area with refrigerators available for communal use. Normally no cutlery or crockery is provided.

Chalets

These are units with 1 or 2 bedrooms, and a verandah. Cooking facilities are available on wood or charcoal braais. Electric refrigerator and sink are provided in each unit. Ablution and toilet facilites are provided in a communal block.

Camping and Caravan sites
Camping and caravan sites have piped water to each stand. Cooking facilities are available on wood or charcoal braais. Ablution and toilet facilities are provided in communal blocks. Visitors should note that tent and camping equipment are not available for hire.

Conference Facilities

Conference facilities can be made available at Main Camp. Visitors who intend to hold a conference or an organized gathering requiring such facilities will need to contact the Central Reservation Office for details.
Attractions & Activities
•    Ngweshla Pan - the loop road is a pleasant day-drive
•    Nyamandhlovu Platform - prime game viewing area at a pumped water hole
•    Dom waterhole - an exceptional view of the African Sunset
Amenities
•    Restaurant and bar
•    Grocery store
•    Curio shop
•    Fuel station - please note petrol deliveries are not reliable so visitors have to take precautionary measures
Sinamatella
Established in 1966, this part of the Park was a former cattle ranch. The camp is located near the northern boundary of the Park on an outcrop, 55 metres high, overlooking a distant riverbed and grassy plain. The name Sinamatella is a distortion of the name of a local shrub called "chinamatira" which characteristically will stick to clothing when brushed against.

The Camp is approximately 120 kilometres from Main Camp. Vehicles are not allowed to travel between the two camps after 1400 hours. Sinamatella is an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ)

Facilities

The Camp has lodges, chalets and camping sites as described in Main Camp. In addition, a restaurant, bar, shop and fuel are available. Apart from these facilities at the Rest Camp there are also several exclusive camps in the area:

Exclusive Camps

Bumbusi Camp

Bumbusi is situated 24 kilometres northwest of Sinamatella and consists of 4 "A" frame accommodation units, a cottage and a central lounge area. The kitchen is fully equipped with freezer and stove. A central ablution block comprises 2 toilets and 2 bathrooms. The maximum number of persons that may be accommodated at Bumbusi is 12. There are no electricity facilities available. The access road is rough, but can be negotiated by low clearance vehicles in the dry season.

Lukosi Camp

Located 11 kilometres from Sinamatella. With facilities similar to Bumbusi, the maximum number of occupants is 10. Lukosi Camp is only available for bookings from November through April.

Bush Camps

These are undeveloped sites found at Lukosi, Vhikani, Rhino Bar, Salt Springs and Tshakabika. Four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles are necessary for visitors to Tshakabika.


Attractions & Activities

 
•    Mandavu Dam - provides a beautiful viewing hide to watch animals coming to drink, 27 kilometres from Sinamatella
•    Masuma Dam - excellent hide for game viewing about 15 kilometres from Sinamatella
•    Detema Dam - exceptional game viewing hide
•    Wilderness trails
•    Walks
•    Fishing


Amenities                                                 
•    Restaurant and bar
•    Small shop
•    Fuel station - please note petrol deliveries are not reliable so visitors have to take precautionary measures


Robins

Robins Camp is close to the western boundary of Hwange approximately 60 kilometress from Sinamatella and 140 from the Main Camp. Through traffic from Main Camp is required to leave by 1200 hours. This camp was bequeathed to the government in 1939 by a local farmer, Harold Robins.

 

Facilities
The Camp has lodges, chalets and camping sites. In addition, a restaurant, bar, shop and fuel are available. There are also several exclusive camps in the Robins area:

 

Exclusive Camps

Nantwich Camp

The Camp consists of 3 lodges and is located 11 kilometres northwest of Robins Camp. Each lodge is fully equipped and self-contained. This remote camp is built on a small bluff which overlooks a natural pan and grassy plain.

Isilwane Lodge

This luxurious lodge is a top of the range accommodation facility overlooking an artificial waterhole. The lodge is only a few metres away from Nantwich Camp.

Deka Camp

Deka Camp consists of 2 family units, each with 2 bedrooms, bathroom and toilet. An additional facility contains a dining room, lounge, scenic verandah and kitchen with refrigerator and stove. The camp is serviced and fully equipped and takes a maximum of 12 persons. Deka Camp is situated 25 kilometres west of Robins Camp. Access is by four-wheel drive vehicles only. The camp is normally closed during the rainy season.

Attractions & Activities
•    Big Toms & Little Toms - these are viewing hides which provide excellent game viewing opportunities and are named for the farms of Harold Robins who bequeathed his land to the Park in 1939.
•    Amenities
•    Restaurant and bar
•    Small shop
•    Fuel station - please note petrol deliveries are not reliable so visitors have to take precautionary measures
Other Activities
•    Escorted daytime walks - available from all camps for a charge to groups of up to 6 persons
•    Moonlight game viewing - available from Main Camp around the full-moon period subject to weather conditions
•    Wilderness trails - available in the Sinamatella and Robins Camp areas


Picnic Sites

Camping is permissible in Hwange National Park at Shumba, Kapula, Mandavu Dam, Masuma, Ngweshla, Jambile, Kennedy 1, Guvalala,and Detema Picnic Sites. Each site consists of an enclosed picnic area (usually with shady trees or thatch cover) and a small ablution block with running water. Groups of up to 10 people may camp overnight at these areas but the sites are also open to all visitors during daytime.
How to get to Hwange National Park

Access to the Park may be made by:

Air

An unlicensed airstrip exists at Main Camp for private/ charter aircraft. Prior permission to land must be obtained at Main Camp. Please note there are no hangars. Hwange National Park Airport is situated nearby.

Road

It is usually possible from May to October to enter the Park by any designated access road and to drive to any of the camps. During the wet season though, advice should be sought as to the best routes. The visitor reception at each camp will provide advice on the many game-viewing drives of the 480 kilometres of the Park's road system. Please note that the camps are interconnected by a road network, however, the roads are not always in the best of conditions.

To Main Camp
The turn-off to Main Camp is at the 264,5 kilometre peg on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. From here a tar road (15 kilometres) leads to the Park boundary at the railway crossing, a short distance from the Camp.

To Sinamatella Camp

A tar then gravel road branches off the main Bulawyo - Victoria Falls Road near the town of Hwange. The Camp is reached 45 kilometres further on via Mbala lodge in the Deka Safari Area.

To Robins Camp

A gravel road turns off the main Bulawayo - Victoria Falls Road 48 kilometres south of Victoria Falls. From the junction it is approximately 70 kilometres to Robins Camp and en route there is a turn off to Matetsi Safari Area headquarters and to Pandamatenga. Robins Camp can also be reached by road through the Park from Main Camp and Sinamatella during the dry season. If proceeding through one of these camps obtain information about the route from the relevant camp.

CHIMANIMANI NATIONAL PARK

Chimanimani National Park is situated along the eastern boundary of Chimanimani district (bordering Mozambique) in an area of rugged mountain grandeur, enhanced by many spectacular gorges and high peaks rising to 2436m.

 

There are several streams cascading through the mountain formations as  well as numerous mountain springs.

Development in the park has been limited in order to preserve  the  natural, pristine beauty and wild landscapes of this mountainous area.

Wildlife species found in this area include eland, sable, bushbuck, blue duiker, klipspringer and an occasional leopard.

Forest lovers will take a delight in the virgin forests of the area. The thick, moist, evergreen forest that is found here is rare. Several species of butterfly, birds, plants, snakes and shy cats are commonly seen.

There are no roads in this wild area and only footpaths and narrow tracks lead to the various places of interest. This adds to the fun of the wild and unspoilt character of the area.

 

Facilities & Attractions

The Mountain Hut Chimanimani Mountains

There is a hut at 1630m above sea level that is not furnished. This hut acts as a refuge and rest point. It may be used on a communal basis and cannot be used by an individual party exclusively. The ablution and cooking facilities are ideal for up to 20 visitors. However, daring visitors have the option of spending the night in either Terry's or Peter's caves (disused mine shafts).

Hikers to the summit are usually encouraged to take either of two routes. Experienced hikers will find The Bailly's Folly a worthwhile challenge, while the aspiring hikers are best advised to take The Banana Grove.


Campsites

Visitors are also allowed to camp free of charge anywhere within the park except at the Base Camp. However, it should be noted that such camping is at the visitors' own risk.

The Base Camp

The Base Camp is available for limited numbers of visitors wishing to spend the night at the foot of the Mountains. There is a car park, an information office and ablution facilities at the base camp.

Visitors will have to pay the prevailing camping rates for use of this facility.Visitors are also allowed to camp free of charge anywhere within the park except at the Base Camp. However, it should be noted that such camping is at the visitors' own risk.

Picnic Sites

Bridal Veil Falls Chimanimani Bridal Veil

A picnic site is located at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls in The Eland Sanctuary. The sanctuary itself offers spectacular views of the Porkpie mountain range and The Bridal Veil Falls which plunge 50 metres down into a base about 10 metres wide.


The Corner Camp

 

 

Hikers who do not like the physical challenge posed by the trails to the mountain hut may prefer this area. This area borders the Chikukwa rural village. Visitors can relax at the picnic site at the base of the Muhohwa Falls or take a plunge in the cool crocodile free pools along the Muhohwa River.
Other attractions in this area include viewing the rare Barrosus Palm tree and the unique rock formation of the Mawenje Mountain. Visitors to this part may also look forward to viewing the Nyakwaha and Haroni Botanical Reserves, as well as the Haroni and Mukurupiri waterfalls.

Activities

* Camping
* Mountain hiking
* Cave viewing
* Viewing of spectacular scenery
* Walking safaris

Why Visit Chimanimani?

* Unrestricted camping
* Scenic and picturesque landscape
* Challenging hiking trails
* Unspoiled beauty and natural wild

How to get to Chimanimani national Park

Access to the foot of the mountain range can be made by car from Chimanimani village. The gravel road can be described as fair and gives the visitor access to the base camp some 19 kilometres from the village. The game scout on duty will advise visitors on the best route to take into the mountains. These paths climb from the Base Camp at 1250m above sea level to the refuge hut which is situated on the West bank of the Bundi River about 1630m above sea level. Two or three hours should be allowed for this walk by any one unused to mountain walking.


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