Gonarezhou national park Accommodation
Gonarezhou park is one of the last parks in Africa where you can still enjoy an african camping safari as it was 100 years ago
Gona-rez-hou map | Chimanimani | Gonarezhou | Vumba | Nyanga
Remote Camping Sites: Bring everything including water and long drop toilets to have a real Out Of Africa Experience
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
Gona-rez-hou experiences mild, dry winters and hot, wet summers (temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celcius can occasionally be expected)The two Main Camps are Mabalauta and Chipinda
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 drives
Mabalauta was once a communal area until the 1960s when it became a game reserve. It was later declared a national park in 1975 when it became part of Gonarezhou.
The name Mabalauta hails from a hardwood tree species common in the region. The Mabalauta section in the Mwenezi sub-region includes the Swimuwini rest camp, “The place of the Baobabs”. The camp is situated 8 kilometres from the warden’s office and overlooks the the Mwenezi River. There are thatched self-catering accommodation facilities at the camp
Camping is possible at Swimuwini at the Mabalauta Camping site which has ablution facilities
Visitors with caravans on tow can also camp at Swimuwini and use the same facilities or standard camp sites
There are predominantly camping facilities in this section and there are no self-catering accommodation facilities.
There are 19 sites at the beautiful Chipinda Pools Camp, each with basic shelter, braai area and ablution facilities
There are several picnic and braai sites located in the Park
Visitors are encouraged to bring in adequate provisions from Mwenezi or from larger business centres since there are no shops in the Park
There are 14 camping sites in the Runde sub-region at Chinguli which also have similar facilities to those at Chipinda
Undeveloped Camping Sites
Gona-rez-hou national park is one of the last parks in Africa where you can still enjoy an African camping safari as it was 100 years ago
Camps with minimum facilities are located at Nyahungwe, Madumbini,
Bopomela, Lisoda, Gota, Chitove, Chamaluvati and Chilojo. These exclusive
sites may be booked by a single party of up to 10 people and there are
no attendants available. Visitors need to bring their own water. Dead
wood in the vicinity may be collected for firewood.
There are also several picnic and braai points in this section of the
Park that include Massasanya and Machaniwa
Supplies must be obtained from Chiredzi town as there are no shops within the Park
How to get to Gonarezhou National Park
Visitors may access the sections of the Gonarezhou National Park as follows:
Chipinda Pools (Runde and Save sub-region)
Follow the main tarred road from the Chirediz turn-off to Mutare for 18 kilometres. Turn off to the south at the Chipinda Pools sign post. Follow the gravel road for approximately 34 kilometres to the entrance of the Park, about 59 kilometres from Chiredzi.
Mabalauta (Mwenezi sub-region)
Turn east off the main Masvingo – Beit Bridge road at the Mwenezi Police Station turn-off, about 20 kilometres south of Rutenga. Proceed down the the dirt road about 3 kilometres and turn left at the entrance to the Police Station – the signboard indicates Mwenezi Ranch HQ and Chikombedzi. Follow this road for about 60 kilometres to Chikombedzi Business Centre. Do not turn off this road. The road you take follows the Mwenezi River southeast from the Mwenezi Police Station to Chikombedzi (the river will not be visible from the road). The only major intersection you will encounter is 20 kilometres from the Mwenezi Police Station and is signposted. Head straight through the intersection to Chikombedzi. Turn right after entering Chikombedzi Business Centre at a 4-way intersection where a National Parks sign indicates the route to Gonarezhou, Mabalauta, Right. About 300 metres down the road another sign indicates the route – turn left. Follow this road around a small dam and DO NOT turn off it. About 6 kilometrees further you will pass Zhou School and 3 kilometres later you will come to Gonarezhou Natioonal Park boundary. The route from there to the Warden’s Office, Mabalauta is clearly signposted. The total distance from the Masvingo – Beitbridge Road to Mabalauta is 105 kilometress.
Flora and Fauna
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 highlights of the Park’s smaller antelopes. In addition, hundreds of species of birds may be 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
Bilharzia is endermic to all lowveld rivers and visitors should take appropriate precaution. In addition, malaria can be present within the region so visitors are advised to take prophylactics before, during and after their stay in the Park