Matusandona National Park is one of several protected wildlife areas with shorelines on Lake Kariba. Some 338,000 acres (1370 km2) in the area, it is bounded on the west by the Ume river and the east by the Sanyati River. Two-thirds of it lies south of the Zambezi Escarpment formed by the 1968 foot (600 m) high Matusadona Hills from which it takes its time. Matusadona boasts a unique combination of pristine and rugged wilderness, together with the water frontage of Lake Kariba. It is one of the last remaining sanctuaries of the endangered Black Rhinoceros. It is commonly recognized as having the second largest concentration of wild Lions in Africa after Ngorongoro crater. Its relatively poor accessibility by road and an extremely harsh internal network of roads keep the crowds and the traffic low.

Many of the animals rescued during operation Noah when Lake Kariba was filling (following the construction of  Kariba Dam) were released into Matusadona, which now hold healthy populations of most mammals occurring in the Zambezi Valley. Buffalo is especially prominent, and herds of up to 1,000-strong often congregate along the shoreline in the dry season.

Lowveld and Gonerzhou National Park

Gonerzhou National Park is a National Park located in south-eastern Zimbabwe in a relatively remote corner of Masvingo Province, south of Chimanimani along the Mozambique border. At 5,053 km2 Gonerzhou is the country”s second largest game reserve after Hwange National Park. The word Gonarezhou means “Place of Many Elephants.” It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Gonarezhou with the Kruger National park in South Africa and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. Animals can move freely between the three sanctuaries. 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 may be found within the park.  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 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.

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. This park is worthwhile a visit whilst on safari in Southern Africa.

Where to stay

Musango Safari Camp – Lake Kariba

An Island Paradise, just off the shoreline of the Matusandona Park – Lake Kariba, a 12 bedded camp. Wildlife and birdlife are in abundance so enjoy walking safaris, Big 5 game drives. Out on Lake Kariba catch tiger, bream or Vundu. Explore Starvation Island or visit a local village and interact.

Accommodation

  • 6 x sizeable luxurious safari tents under thatch – each has en-suite bathrooms built out of natural stone.
  • 2 x Honeymoon Suites are uniquely designed in natural stone under roof with original canvas interiors ensure total privacy. En-suite bathrooms with private verandahs and a secluded, intimate plunge pool.

Facilities & Activities

Game viewing walks into Matusandona Park, boat cruises, fishing (fully equipped with tackle and bait), pontoon cruises, canoeing, village trips, game drives, baby black rhino orphanage visits, specialist birding trips, dinosaur fossil site visits.

Spurwing Island Safari Lodge, Matusandona, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.

Bordering Matusandona National Park with the wide-open expanses of lakeshore, stunning views of the escarpment, Sanyati Gorge and Lake Kariba. Spurwing is a unique destination, an ideal island getaway for families and honeymooners.

Accommodation

  • Chalets (3 in total): stone under thatch with en-suite bath – separate shower – toilet and washbasin. Twin bedded with built in cupboards – dressing table and chairs –ceiling fan – plug socket – (220V AC) square pin – mosquito nets. Rooms have French doors which open out onto a verandah. Optional double bed or extra beds for children.
  • Tents (11 in total): enclosed with two zip entrances – one onto a small verandah and the other into an en-suite bathroom which has a shower – toilet and washbasin.
  • Cabins (6 in total): stone under thatch with en-suite shower – toilet and washbasin – twin bedded with built in cupboards and dressing table – plug socket (220V AC) – ceiling fan – mosquito nets # optional double bed or extra beds for children.
Activities at Ku Chawe Inn

Facilities and Activities

  • Game viewing options incorporating both glasses of water (by boat) and land by foot and by vehicle guests have entrance to some of the most beautiful game and viewing in the country.
  • Elephant, buffalo, cheetah, and lion are usually sighted.
  • More than 200 bird species in a several of habitats from floodplain through woodland to montians.
  • A preferences retreat for hunters and a photographer.
  • Game Cruises, Game Drives, Game Walks, Fishing.
  • Catering: all meals are served in the central dining area. The dining room is open under thatch. We can provide for any specific dietary conditions on request.
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