Pioneering the ancient migratory wildlife paths of Gonarezhou is an irresistible invitation for the intrepid traveller. This rough and remote location embodies the ideals of freedom. Buried in a remote corner of Southern Eastern Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou is an unspoilt oasis of biodiverse wildlife and eco-systems. Honouring the urge to truly escape – this national park provides an ecological mosaic to satiate your African safari curiosity.
As the second largest park to Hwange National Park, Gonarezhou is home to sandstone precipices, mopane shrubland, riverine forests, and major rivers flowing through its vast 5000 km sq. The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) is a visionary international drive to protect 10 million hectares (five times the size of Kruger National Park) spanning South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique! A conservation success story with animals able to roam freely between the three areas.
The two main rivers of the national park, the Save and the Runde, host life along their riverbanks in all seasons. These rivers are the life-blood to abundant and various species; from the endemic ‘nyala’ – a striped and shy spiral horned antelope, a myriad of predators, to mass herds of elephant at the water’s edge. A territorial footprint has been placed on this sacred ground, living true to its name, “Place of Elephants”. This is their kingdom.
The riverine forests fringing the rivers are a birders paradise – the shady canopies a haven for a variety of species. Colourful bursts of Meyers Parrots and Purple-Crested Turacos compliment the grey tones of Goliath Heron and pied Kingfishers. A private viewing for bird aficionados in this riverine treasure chest is a special experience.
Gonarezhou’s Chilojo Cliffs
The addiction of Gonarezhou’s solitude is held in its timeless and artistically sculpted sandstone towers; the Chilojo Cliffs. Demanding respect through their ancient origins formed under oceans eons before, these cliffs have been moulded and changed through centuries of erosion. Watching over the Runde to the distant hills beyond, stories have collected in sandstone folds, woven into the pink and orange hues. The cliffs emanate a quietness that remains with you beyond your safari.
To experience Gonarezhou, Africa’s final frontiers of pure wilderness, Chilo Gorge Lodge awaits at the edge of serenity. With limited accommodation options in the park, Chilo offers simple and elegant comfort and the best views for thousands of kilometers. If you’re lucky you may even have the chance to meet with Clive Stockil, owner and passionate conservationist, and hear his story about how he helped turn a history of embittered wildlife conflict into a conservation success.
Remaining largely undiscovered, the chance of an uninterrupted and intimate wildlife experience led by dedicated wildlife icons such as Clive, is almost guaranteed. Still predominantly void of tourists, the wild maintains its sovereignty. Honoured guests in this unspoilt wilderness, dry season (June to October) is the best time for game viewing, the animals accepting respectful presence as they gather at the waterholes.
To quench the thirst of your inner explorer, feel free to contact our safari specialists to create a tailor made journey to the wild and free Gonarezhou National Park.