Top 10 Best National Parks In Zimbabwe
The top 1o best National Parks in Zimbabwe are; Hwange, Matusadona, Nyanga, Chizarrira, Gonarezhou, Mana pool, Matoba, Victoria Falls, Kazuma pan and Zambezi. The republic of Zimbabwe is found in the south east of Africa known for its magnificent and diversity in nature, the country being a landlocked state, its bordered by south Africa in the south, Botswana in the south west, Zambia in the north and Mozambique to the east and between Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.
Harare is the country’s capital and it’s the largest amongst all cities in the country. The country subdivided its beauty by gazzeting some area for its wealth and these are the national parks it established to ensure its nature and wildlife conservation. The top 10 best National Parks in Zimbabwe include;
1. Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe
Hwange national park is the largest national park with a wealthy biodiversity offering amazing wildlife scenery of the big jungle five like elephant ,rhinos, lions, leopard and buffaloes , bird watching of the many bird species of over 420 species recorded and among these include; Bradfield’s hornbill, Red-billed francolin, Burch ell’s sand grouse, Bronze-winged crosier and the Rufous-napped lark.
This makes the park a right destination for birding and wildlife safaris making it the most popular of all the parks in Zimbabwe. The Bateleur eagle is the most commonly spotted bird onsite. Other birds are also seen migrating into the park from neighboring place and this is common in the period of November to April, formally the park was known as wankie game reserve in 1928.
The huge concentration of many elephants in the park makes it a unique one and its key attraction. Hwange National Park has the most favorable climate in the region with both cool and warm climate, the climate is cool in the months of May to august while in the months of September to march the climate is warm.
Season in the park area are also favorable whereby during the months of November to march the area is wet and dry in the months of April to October.
When to visit Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe
Hwange national park is mostly amazing to visit in the months of June, July, August, September and October as its in these months that wildlife mostly gather to the parks waterholes and this makes it easy for onto spot and track them.
How to reach Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe
Hwange national park can be accessed by means of road transport as the drive to the main camp can take less than 3 hours covering a distance of 200kmsouth of Victoria Falls. A 4×4 WD is recommended during the wet seasons of May to October however one can use chartered flights as some lodges have airstrips.
2. Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe
Matusadona national park takes its name from matuzviadonha hills in the southern shores of lake Kariba. The park is situated in the north west of Zimbabwe offering beautiful views of wild life animals like lions buffaloes elephants and many others like the endangered black rhino , the park as established a national park in 1958 and its covers an area of 1400sq km.
Buffaloes and elephants plus hippos are the mostly seen animals on the Kariba shores. Shores of Lake Kariba in matusadona national park are excellent sites for viewing of animals like crocodiles, buffaloes, herds of elephants, hippos. Other animals like the lions, antelopes, spotted hyenas are other presents wildlife in the park.
The park is also famous for birding activities as it homes a wide number of bird species of over 240 of them and these include; African fish eagles, Grey heron birds, grey-headed gull, malachite kingfishers , , , Reed cormorant and darters. Beautiful sounds of cries from these birds are sweet for the ears and calm one’s mind on the safari within the park. These can be seen in the months of November to April.
When to visit Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe
Suitable times for the best views at matusadona are in the period of June to October during the dry seasons as animals from wherever in the park gather to the shores of Lake Kariba and the vegetation is thinner making the spotting easier.
How to access Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe
The best way to matusadona national park is by use of the chartered plane or boat across the Kariba waters that is 18km away.
The park is 470km northwest of the capital and a 4WD is key to drive from Victoria Falls which is rough to the park.
3. Nyanga National Park in Zimbabwe
Nyanga national park is one the fastest park to be declared by the government and it’s situated in the northern part of the country in the eastern highlands. The Nyanga Park is not rich with wildlife but has its best attractions for its visitors and these include birding, archeological sites like ruins of Iron Age villages and beautiful scenery views.
The Park has the country’s highest land with perennial rivers and green hills. The park was established in 1926 and it covers an area of 472sq km. A few of the wild life present at the park are reedbucks, samango monkeys, greater kudu and klipspringer that can be spotted on the hike of the hills.
Amongst the parks wealth is the birding as it homes over 300species of bird and these include Livingstone’s turaco, brown-hooded king fisher, dideric cuckoo, augur buzzard and golden-breasted bunting among others present there. The park is globally recognized as the eastern Zimbabwe endemic bird area.
To the birders, Nyanga national park is the best destination for your safari in Zimbabwe as it gives the best bird hotspot. Nyanga national park has got rich green scenery of rolling hills, granite whalebacks, steep gorges and valley escarpments that give nice view of Mother Nature
Matarazi falls in Nyanga national park is the highest waterfall in the country with 762 meters dropping its waters in the Honde valley.
When to visit Nyanga National Park in Zimbabwe
The park gives its best view in the wet seasons which are in the periods of November to March and also at the beginning of the dry season in the months of April –May
How to access Nyanga National Park in Zimbabwe
The park is 260k east of Harare which is the country’s capital and one can use the road means to reach the park with a 4WD car as the terrain his roughed.
4. Chizarrira National Park in Zimbabwe
Chizarrira national park is another magnificent park in Zimbabwe located in the north west of the country which part is the great Zambezi escarpments .the Park ranks the third largest of all however it’s unpopular because it’s found on the escarpments of Zambezi. The park sits on an area of 2000km
The park’s terrain is good for some animals like the leopards and the big five with exception of the rhino as these are not present in the park. Among the wildlife present include the herds of elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards that can be spotted while on a safari in the park.
Large numbers of antelopes including greater kudu and impala are rarely seen on spot. Chizarrira national park also homes a variety of bird species, 360 of them are present in the park. Some of these bird species include crested francolin, southern carmine bee eater, lilac-breasted roller and striped king fisher among others.
When to visit Chizarrira National Park in Zimbabwe
The parks unique attractions are easily seen and spotted in the ripe months of July, august, September and October. In these months the animals are easily spotted feeding on water shores.
How to get to Chizarrira National Park in Zimbabwe
Accessibility to the park is kinder difficult as its situated in the remote region 200km away from the Victoria fall airport making it a four hour drive in the 4WD vehicle. Such a vehicle is recommended because the topography of the are not good as it requires a stronger vehicle to make it through the bad roads with ease.
5. Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe
Gonarezhou national park is also known as the elephant paradise ,making 2nd largest park in Zimbabwe bordered by river Mwenezi in the south ,save river in the north covering over 5053 square km at an altitude of 165-530metre above sea level. The park offers beautiful sceneries of landscape, wildlife, bird watching and favorably human stay climates.
Large herds of elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards, antelopes, wild dogs can be spotted while on a safari in the park.
When to visit Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe
During the months of June to October suit the best viewing of Mother Nature at Gonarezhou national park as spotting animals is easier in those months because wildlife gathers around water sources and the vegetation has thinned out exposing the animals in their hideouts.
How to access Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe
One can get to the park by using either road or air transport basing on their choices , one using the road mean need to use a 4WD vehicle as the road are in poor state. One can use chipinda HQ which is 550km south of Harare, mabalauta HQ which is 667km south of Harare
Lodges at the park have airstrips making it better for chartered flights to land to the site.
6. Mana Pool National Park in Zimbabwe
Mana pool national park is an eco system site situated in the northern part of Zimbabwe. The park is unique from other parks with wildlife species like herds of elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, lions and these are commonly spotted at springs waiting for preys to attack as they come to the pool shores. Over 400 bird species which include the woodland and water birds are permanents creatures at the park pool.
When to visit Mana Pool National Park in Zimbabwe
Best time for magnificent views of the wildlife and birding at mana pool national park is during the period of April to October when animal groups gather to the water sources of Zambezi River for hydration.
How to access Mana Pool National Park in Zimbabwe
Accessibility to the park is kinder difficult as it’s located in the remote region 388km away from the Harare capital city with drive in the 4WD vehicle. Such a vehicle is recommended because the topography of the are not good as it requires a stronger vehicle to make it through the bad roads with ease.
7. Matoba National Park in Zimbabwe
Matoba national park lies in the southwest Zimbabwe offering scenic views of granite rocks on the park plains, wildlife safaris is another ideal attraction with wildlife like black and white rhinos, hippos, and zebra. Wildebeest, leopards, hyenas. However the park has no elephants and buffaloes.
The park mainly lays its focus on the scenery and cultural activities to be done as the wildlife is relatively low.
Bird watching as another activity and attraction of the park with 320 species of bird and these include; augur buzzard, mocking-cliff chat, black-shouldered kite, black-collared barbet and coqui francolin.
These can be spotted on rock tops soaring along the cliffs, migratory bird join the park resident birds in the months of November to April.
When to visit Matoba National Park in Zimbabwe
Bird watching and wildlife viewing is best in the months of June to October where animals are easily spotted gathering to the water sources.
How to access Matoba National Park in Zimbabwe
The road to Matoba national park is favorable as any vehicle even if it’s not a 4WD can be used .the most accessible is 50km south of Bulawayo.
8. Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls national park is the world’s largest waterfall ranking among the Seven Wonders of the World because of the water smoke that arise from the water fallings. It’s situated Zimbabwe in the western part of the country on an area of 23.4 square km. the park is UNESCO natural heritage site.
Victoria Falls national park is known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” by the local people tribe who are kololo tribe. River Zambezi is the source of the falls serving as part of country border with its neighbors’ Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls national park has a number of falls connected and these include Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. River Zambezi serves as the mother source of the falls and also the national boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It stretches 1708 m wide and 108 m high.
Large population of animals such as eland, hippos, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes are some of the wild animals to view while on game drive in the park.
Victoria Falls national park stretches along Zambezi national park which is 6km above the falls and 12 km below it. A good number of attractions can be seen at the park and these include cataract view point, bird watching, horse-shoe falls, main falls, devils cataract, rainbow fall and activities such as lunar viewing, bungee jumping, white water rafting are some of them that can be carried out at the park.
9. Kazuma Pan National Park in Zimbabwe
Kazuma pan national park is found between Zimbabwe and Botswana in Africa.it was proclaimed a national park in 1949. It stretches 31300 hectares of Zimbabwe land. The park has magnificent wildlife and various plant species. The park has got wildlife species that inhabit the place and these include giraffes, buffaloes, zebra, spotted hyenas, lions, leopards and antelopes. Amongst the wildlife also includes the bird species like.
How to access Kazuma Pan National Park in Zimbabwe
Access to the park is along the Zimbabwe/ Botswana border road , its 25km North west of pandamatenga access via kazungula . pandamatenga road is 39 km to border point however kazungula is prohibited for passage.
10. Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe
Zambezi national park is Located next to Victoria Falls on the Zambezi valley, the Zambezi is one of the smallest Zimbabwe national parks. It was split off from Victoria Falls National Park, this park is one of the scenic game reserves in Zimbabwe.
The park boasts of the scenic Zambezi River filled with opportunities to see the magnificent giant African hippo and crocodiles.
At safari drive into the park, you will likely see elephants, buffalos, giraffes, and zebras. Zambezi national park is also home to a variety of antelopes including the waterbuck, sable, and impala. Zambezi National Park should not be overlooked because it is a great park to visit.
Zambezi national park is subdivided into two separate woodland savannah habitats, northern region of the park which is characterized by Miombo and mopane woodlands which tend to be on higher grounds. The area along the river reflects a floodplain ecosystem.
The southern region of the park is characterized by Zambezian and mopane woodlands. Collectively, the diverse vegetation and terrain serve as an ecosystem where big game thrives. Some of the larger wildlife species include elephant, cape buffalo, crocodile, and the hippopotamus. Some of the predator species include lion, leopard, hyena, and wild dog. A variety of antelope and other African species complement these popular species.