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Gonarezhou National Park is Zimbabwe’s’ 2nd largest national park rivalling Hwange National Park. “Gonarezhou” meaning “Place of many Elephants” is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes. Alternative folklore suggests the area was named for the herbalists who would stock their medicines in tusks (known as gona in the Shona language). The Gonarezhou National Park is one of the iconic wilderness areas of Africa, with relatively few tourists but boasting an amazing diversity of landscapes, features, and growing wildlife populations. By far, the most well known and prominent feature of the Park is the Chilojo Cliffs, sandstone cliffs towering 180 meters high and running for some 20 kilometers along the south bank of the Runde River.
Gonarezhou National Park is situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers an area in excess of 5 000 square kilometres. The park covers over 5000 square kilometres and borders South Africa’s’ Kruger National Park and the Limpopo National Park of Mozambique, the three parks make up an area that is known as ‘The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park’ which is in total 35 000 square kilometres of untamed wilderness. The Save, Runde and Mwenezi rivers flow through the park attracting the numerous species of wildlife especially birdlife, the river teeming with numerous species of fish.
Gonarezhou National Park is a national park located in south-eastern Zimbabwe. It is situated in a relatively remote corner of Masvingo Province, south of Chimanimani along the Mozambique border. Owing to its vast size, rugged terrain and its location away from main tourist routes, large tracts of Gonarezhou remain as pristine wilderness. At 5,053 km2, Gonarezhou is the country's second largest National Park after Hwange National Park. The name Gonarezhou is translated from the Shona as meaning "The Place of Elephants"
Gonarezhou National Park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Gonarezhou with the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. Animals can move freely between the three sanctuaries.
The Gonarezhou National Park was first established as a protected area in 1936 as a Game Reserve, eventually being proclaimed a National Park in 1975. The park has had a turbulent history and was closed to the public during the Rhodesian War and again during much of the Mozambique civil war but was re-opened in 1994. Between 1994 and 2007, the Gonarezhou National Park was wholly managed by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, however the economic challenges in Zimbabwe up to 2007 meant that there was little reinvestment in infrastructure and protection of the Park. In 2007, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority entered into a financial and technical assistance model for the Gonarezhou National Park with the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Visitors may access the sections of the Gonarezhou National Park as follows:
What to take with you
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park:
Flora and Fauna:
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.
How to get there
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