Travel Inspiration: The Place of Many Elephants

By Vanessa Gambanga

Nothing ignites hope more than looking ahead, anticipating more road trips, family vacations and adventures in the sun. This lockdown has allowed me to work on my bucket list, and I must say this exercise has been therapeutic. I’ve been reading a lot on Zimbabwean destinations to go to after the lockdown and Gonarezhou stood out for me.  Here are some interesting insights I learnt about Gonarezhou;  

Gonarezhou is home to over a thousand elephants hence the native name which means place of many elephants. It is the second largest National Park in Zimbabwe, with an area of over 5,000 square kilometres. It is located in the south-east part of the country; at Zimbabwe’s border with neighbouring Mozambique.

© Chris Collyer

Gonarezhou is Zimbabwe’s prime wildlife reserve offering great wildlife sightings, stunning landscapes and several miles of bush tracks suitable for walking safaris. The area is ideal for nature lovers who will find the experience and leisure activities very rewarding.

The activities one can do when they go to Gonarezhou include game viewing, birdwatching, tours to Chipinda Pools, Chivivila Falls and Chilojo Cliffs. A lot of people have likened Chilojo Cliffs to the Grand Canyon and some have called them the mini Grand Canyon because of how the rocks are structured. People have marvelled at the beauty of the cliffs and they’ve found it hard to believe that these cliffs are found in Zimbabwe. Gonarezhou is home to the Big 5 (Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant and the Rhinoceros). Other game species to look out for include hippos, wild dogs, impala, waterbucks, kudus, the Nyala and zebra among others. The park also boasts of a diverse bird population with over 400 species. This makes Gonarezhou an ideal location for photographic safaris. 

©Grimwood Cooke

The best time to visit the park is between April and October when it is dry. It is accessible by road or by private air charter. Various accommodation options cater to the different types of tourists and these options include; campsites, and a variety of lodges which include; luxury, tented and self- catering. Most of the accommodation facilities have been strategically constructed to overlook the watering holes, where tourists get the chance to see vast wildlife in its element whilst they are in the comfort of their rooms. 

With that being said, I definitely can’t wait for this lockdown to end, I’ve read about what to see and expect in Gonarezhou, what’s left for me is to explore this paradise for myself!- © NZiRA Travel Zimbabwe

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