Gonarezhou is Epic! A truly last frontier kind of wildlife area that is fast becoming harder and harder to find. It is second in size only to Hwange National Park when taken on its own but now that it has joined up with Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park and South Africa’s Kruger National Park to become The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, it is of a size that is quite hard to comprehend. This was done to allow the old migratory routes of animals that once circumnavigated this region to flow again, tearing down the fences and borders set up by the 3 countries. It is a wonderful project and is thriving.
The biggest distinguishing feature of Gonarezhou is the red sandstone Chilojo cliffs that tower above the park. In the right sunlight, it is simply an astonishing sight. The wildlife here is very good indeed with all members of the Big Five accounted for, especially Elephant, along with a supporting cast of almost all other species that Zimbabwe has. Even the elusive Nyala antelope can be seen on occasion. There are 3 river systems. The Runde, Save and Mwanezi help to attract all this game and importantly keep it all. Leopard & Wild Dog are in good numbers and along with Zebra and Giraffe, Hippo and Crocs.
What sets this region apart however as earlier mentioned, is the sheer unspoilt wilderness. There are only 2 camps and both of them are on the edges of the park rather than in it and in their own private reserves. You will not see another vehicles or people at all whilst out on safari other than that from your camp. The two camps are Singita Pamushana in its private Malilangwe Trust reserve and then right on the other side of Gonarezhou, you have Chilo Gorge Lodge. Both are fantastic. Singita the high-end option and Chilo the not so high end but still rather lovely! Gonarezhou is easiest to access from Johannesburg with several flights a week into both camps.
Walking safaris here are a must, as is sleeping out one night in a fly camp that both lodges offer. It should be said the standard of guiding in Gonarezhou is extremely high even by Zimbabwe standards!