Did you know that Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe is not just any wildlife sanctuary? It covers a vast area of over 1400 km2, making it one of the largest protected areas in the country.

This stunning park, located south of Lake Kariba, offers an unforgettable safari adventure with its diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes.

This park is just one of eleven beautiful national parks to visit in Zimbabwe.

Matusadona National Park

Key Takeaways:

  • Matusadona National Park is a wildlife sanctuary covering nearly 1400 km2.
  • The park is located south of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.
  • Visitors can experience thrilling safari adventures, including game drives and bird watching.
  • The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalos, predators, and over 240 bird species.
  • Precautions should be taken against malaria, as it is prevalent in the area.

Location of Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park is a captivating destination located on the picturesque shores of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley. The park is nestled within the boundaries of the Ume River to the west and the Sanyati River to the east, offering a stunning natural setting that is both diverse and breathtaking.

Spanning an expansive area of approximately 1370 km², with two-thirds of it lying south of the Zambezi Escarpment, Matusadona National Park showcases a remarkable blend of flat plains and rugged mountain country. This unique combination of landscapes provides visitors with a truly immersive and enriching experience.

RegionZambezi Valley
LakeLake Kariba
RiversUme River (west), Sanyati River (east)
SizeApproximately 1370 km²
LandscapeFlat plains and rugged mountain country

Matusadona National Park’s strategic location along the shores of Lake Kariba allows visitors to not only explore the surrounding wilderness but also enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the expansive lake. The park’s diverse landscapes and stunning scenery create an ideal environment for a wide range of wildlife. From sweeping plains to towering mountains, Matusadona National Park offers a captivating natural setting that is sure to leave visitors in awe.

Wildlife at Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park is a wildlife sanctuary teeming with a diverse range of animal species. Visitors can witness firsthand the incredible biodiversity that thrives within the park’s boundaries.

One of the park’s most notable inhabitants is the black rhino. These endangered creatures find refuge in the protected sanctuary of Matusadona, offering a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

The park is also home to a flourishing population of elephants and buffalo. These massive herbivores roam freely across the vast plains, taking advantage of the abundant grazing lands provided by the shores of Lake Kariba.

Matusadona National Park is not only a sanctuary for herbivores but also a haven for predators. Lions and leopards roam the park, showcasing their hunting prowess and offering visitors the chance to witness the circle of life unfold right before their eyes.

The Birdlife of Matusadona

With over 240 different bird species recorded, Matusadona National Park is a paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts. From colorful kingfishers and vibrant sunbirds to majestic African fish eagles, the park boasts a remarkable diversity of bird life.

Exploring the park’s varied ecosystems, from wetlands to grassy plains, gives visitors the opportunity to encounter a wide array of bird species.

Matusadona National Park Birdlife

Witness the astounding wildlife diversity of Matusadona National Park, from the endangered black rhinos to the mesmerizing birdlife, as you embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa’s beauty.

Best Time to Visit Matusadona National Park

The best time to visit Matusadona National Park is during the drier months, which are from April to October. This period is known as the dry season, and it offers optimal conditions for visitors to explore the park and experience its abundant wildlife. The dry season is characterized by clear skies, lower humidity, and minimal rainfall, making it an ideal time for game viewing and other safari activities.

During the dry season, there are fewer mosquitoes, providing relief from potential insect bites and malaria risk. It also means that wildlife congregates around water sources, such as Lake Kariba, which is located near the park. This concentration of animals increases the chances of spotting various species, including elephants, buffalos, lions, and leopards.

With easier access to the park’s diverse ecosystems, visitors can embark on thrilling game drives and walking safaris to observe wildlife up close. The dry terrain allows for better visibility, making it easier to spot animals and appreciate the park’s natural beauty. The absence of dense vegetation during the dry season further enhances game viewing opportunities.

Matusadona National Park is known for its spectacular game viewing experiences, allowing visitors to witness the magnificence of African wildlife in their natural habitat. Exploring the park during the dry season ensures an unforgettable adventure filled with remarkable encounters and unforgettable memories.

Best Time To Visit Matusadona

Key highlights of the best time to visit Matusadona National Park:

  • Optimal conditions for game viewing
  • Reduced mosquito activity
  • Increase in animal sightings near water sources
  • Clear skies and lower humidity
  • Easy access to safari activities

Getting to Matusadona National Park

To reach Matusadona National Park, the best option is to take a charter flight from either Victoria Falls or Harare. Although there are roads that lead to the park from both cities, they can be bumpy and unnavigable, especially during the rainy season. Opting for a charter flight ensures a smoother and more convenient journey.

Victoria Falls and Harare are the primary access points for travelers heading to Matusadona National Park. Both cities have international airports, making it easy to connect from major destinations. From there, a charter flight can be arranged to take visitors directly to the park.

Charter flights offer several advantages for travelers. Firstly, they provide a faster and more efficient mode of transportation, reducing travel time significantly. Secondly, they offer the opportunity to enjoy panoramic aerial views of the landscapes below, providing a unique perspective during the journey.

For those who prefer the flexibility of self-driving or are looking for a more budget-friendly option, it is possible to reach Matusadona National Park by road. However, it’s important to note that the roads leading to the park can be challenging, especially during the rainy season, when they may become impassable. Additionally, the journey by road can be time-consuming and tiring, as it involves navigating through rough terrains.

Overall, taking a charter flight remains the recommended choice for travelers wishing to reach Matusadona National Park conveniently and comfortably. It not only saves time but also provides an opportunity to appreciate the breathtaking scenery from above, setting the stage for an unforgettable safari adventure.

Activities at Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park offers a variety of activities that cater to the diverse interests of its visitors. Whether you’re seeking thrilling wildlife encounters or tranquil explorations of the park’s stunning landscapes, there are options to suit every adventure seeker.

Game Drives:

Embark on a game drive through Matusadona National Park and immerse yourself in the wonders of the African wilderness. Hop into a 4×4 vehicle and traverse the park’s rugged terrain as you search for the Big Five and other fascinating wildlife species. Experienced guides will lead the way, sharing their extensive knowledge of the park and its inhabitants.

Walking Safaris:

If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, join a walking safari and discover the hidden gems of Matusadona National Park on foot. Accompanied by knowledgeable guides, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the park’s diverse landscapes up close, observing the intricate details of the flora and fauna that call this place home.

Boating Excursions:

Set sail on Lake Kariba and embark on a boating excursion that will unveil the beauty of Matusadona National Park from a unique perspective. Drift along the tranquil waters as you witness a stunning array of wildlife, including elephants, hippos, and various bird species. The gentle sway of the boat and the breathtaking scenery will create a truly enchanting experience.


If you have a passion for angling, Matusadona National Park offers excellent fishing opportunities in Lake Kariba. Cast your line and try your luck with species like Tigerfish and Tilapia bream. Enjoy the serenity of the lake as you patiently wait for the perfect catch.

Experience the thrill of game drives, the tranquility of walking safaris, the beauty of boating excursions, and the excitement of fishing in Matusadona National Park. These activities provide unique opportunities to connect with nature and create unforgettable memories in this remarkable wildlife sanctuary.

Climate and Best Time to Go

Matusadona National Park experiences fluctuating temperatures throughout the year. Summer temperatures range from 18 to 40°C (64 to 104°F) from September to April, while winter temperatures range from 11 to 27°C (52 to 81°F). The park’s climate is influenced by its location near Lake Kariba.

The best time to visit Matusadona National Park is during the dry season, from June to October. During this time, the humidity is low, the skies are clear, and the floodplains have dried up, allowing for better game viewing. The dry season is ideal for spotting wildlife as they gather around waterholes and rivers. Visitors can expect comfortable temperatures and minimal rainfall, creating pleasant conditions for exploring the park.

A serene sunset over the Matusadona National Park, with the orange and red hues of the sky reflected on the glassy water of Lake Kariba. The silhouettes of elephants and hippos can be seen grazing peacefully in the distance, highlighting the park’s wildlife-rich ecosystem during the dry season.

On the other hand, the wet season, from November to March, brings afternoon showers and a rise in the water level of Lake Kariba. The park’s landscape transforms as lush vegetation flourishes and migratory birds arrive. However, the wet season can make certain areas of the park inaccessible due to flooding, and game viewing may be more challenging. It’s important to note that mosquitoes are more prevalent during this time, so visitors should take necessary precautions.

Wildlife Conservation at Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, with a special focus on protecting endangered species like black rhinos. The park’s commitment to wildlife conservation is evident in its efforts to rescue and relocate animals during Operation Noah, a significant rescue operation conducted when Lake Kariba was filling up. This initiative successfully saved numerous animals and released them into the park, contributing to the growth of diverse mammal populations, including buffalo and various predators.

Matusadona Elephant

The management of Matusadona National Park places a high priority on the protection and preservation of its wildlife, implementing sustainable practices to ensure the long-term survival of endangered species. By actively participating in wildlife conservation initiatives, the park plays a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance and safeguarding the future of the region’s biodiversity.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Matusadona National Park Accommodation Options

When visiting Matusadona National Park, there are several accommodation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer the comfort of a lodge or the unique experience of staying on a houseboat, Matusadona National Park has something for everyone.


Matusadona National Park is home to a number of private lodges as well as Matusadona National Park lodges that provide comfortable and convenient stays for visitors. These lodges offer a range of amenities, including spacious rooms, delicious dining options, and stunning views of the park’s natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a luxury lodge experience or a more rustic and authentic stay, you’ll find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs.

Kariba Houseboats

If you’re seeking a truly unique experience, consider staying on a houseboat during your visit to Matusadona National Park. Houseboats offer the opportunity to wake up surrounded by the serene waters of Lake Kariba, with breathtaking views at every turn. Enjoy the tranquility of the lake, witness stunning sunsets, and fall asleep to the gentle rocking motion of the boat. With comfortable living spaces and amenities on board, staying on a houseboat is a memorable way to experience the beauty of Matusadona National Park.

To Book A Binga Houseboat Visit: Abangane Houseboat

Whichever accommodation option you choose, you can rest assured that your stay in Matusadona National Park will be a memorable one. Surrounded by the magnificent wildlife and stunning landscapes of this remarkable destination you will have a holiday to remember.

Exploring Lake Kariba

Nestled near Matusadona National Park, Lake Kariba presents a world of exploration opportunities for nature enthusiasts. Whether you are a fishing enthusiast or eager to embark on a boat safari, Lake Kariba offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors.

One of the popular activities at Lake Kariba is fishing. Anglers can partake in fishing excursions, aiming to catch species such as Tigerfish and Tilapia bream. The lake is known for its abundant fish populations, making it a perfect destination for fishing enthusiasts seeking a thrilling angling experience.

Boat safaris are another exciting way to explore Lake Kariba. Hop on a boat and venture across the expansive waters, taking in the breathtaking scenery and observing the wildlife. From the comfort of a boat, visitors can enjoy a unique perspective of the lake and its inhabitants, including hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species.

The shoreline of Lake Kariba is adorned with iconic dead trees, providing nesting spots for African fish eagles and other fascinating bird species. Birdwatchers can marvel at these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, while admiring the tranquil beauty of the lake.

Exploring Lake Kariba is an essential component of a comprehensive experience in the Matusadona National Park area. Whether it’s fishing, embarking on a boat safari, or immersing oneself in the vibrant birdlife, Lake Kariba offers a remarkable adventure for all nature lovers.


Matusadona National Park, located in the heart of Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley, offers a truly unique and unforgettable safari experience. With its diverse wildlife, impressive birdlife, and range of activities, the park is a dream destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Situated on the shores of Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park allows visitors to explore both land and water, adding to its allure.

Whether you’re embarking on exhilarating game drives, immersive walking safaris, or tranquil boating excursions, Matusadona National Park has something for everyone. Encounter majestic elephants, watch out for stealthy predators like lions and leopards, and revel in the park’s rich birdlife, boasting over 240 different species. With such abundant biodiversity, every moment spent in Matusadona National Park is filled with awe and wonder.

Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley, discover the untouched wilderness of Matusadona National Park, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Experience the magic of Africa at Matusadona National Park, an oasis of natural splendor and a treasure trove of wildlife.


What is Matusadona National Park known for?

Matusadona National Park is known for being a wildlife sanctuary and for its stunning location on the shores of Lake Kariba, offering a range of safari adventures.

Where is Matusadona National Park located?

Matusadona National Park is located in Zimbabwe, south of Lake Kariba.

What wildlife can be found at Matusadona National Park?

Matusadona National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black rhinos, elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, and various herbivores.

When is the best time to visit Matusadona National Park?

The best time to visit Matusadona National Park is during the drier months, from April to October, for better game viewing and fewer mosquitoes.

How do I get to Matusadona National Park?

The best way to reach Matusadona National Park is by charter flight from Victoria Falls or Harare, as the roads can be bumpy and unnavigable, especially during the rainy season.

What activities are available at Matusadona National Park?

Matusadona National Park offers a variety of activities, including game drives, walking safaris, and boating excursions on Lake Kariba.

What is the climate like at Matusadona National Park?

Matusadona National Park experiences fluctuating temperatures throughout the year. The dry season, from June to October, is the best time to visit, with lower humidity and better game viewing.

What is being done for wildlife conservation at Matusadona National Park?

Matusadona National Park plays an important role in wildlife conservation, particularly for endangered species like black rhinos. Efforts have resulted in strong populations of various mammal species.

What accommodation options are available at Matusadona National Park?

Matusadona National Park offers a number of lodges and houseboats for visitors, catering to a range of budgets and preferences.

What can I do at Lake Kariba?

Lake Kariba offers opportunities for fishing excursions and boat safaris, allowing visitors to experience the lake’s unique wildlife and explore its shoreline.

Is Matusadona National Park worth visiting?

Yes, Matusadona National Park offers a unique and rewarding safari experience, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.