There are 11 national parks in Zimbabwe, found throughout the country, all of which offer an incredible variety of wildlife and will immerse you in the African bush.
Outstanding wildlife, kilometers of grasslands and woodlands, plus breathtaking rivers and waterfalls – the stunning natural beauty of Zimbabwe leaves all visitors to the country amazed.
Visiting the country’s different national parks is the greatest way to enjoy its stunning landscapes and animals. They give the opportunity to have unique experiences – from getting a close glimpse at Africa’s big five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo) to soaking in breathtaking sunsets.
Tourists can discover Zimbabwe’s wild environment via bushwalking, safaris, boat trips and experience its splendor first hand.
The Zimbabwe National Parks are managed and run by the Authority that provide tourists with recreational and accommodation services such as lodges, chalets, cottages, caravan sites, camping sites and picnic spots.
No hunting is allowed in the National Parks as the Authority attempts to preserve the pure and original nature of these locations. Zimbabwe’s National Parks each offer drastically varied and gratifying wilderness experiences.
These parks are dispersed around the country and tourists can look forward to a wide variety of scenic, cultural and wildlife activities.
Read on to discover the top national parks in Zimbabwe.
List Of National Parks In Zimbabwe
- Mosi-ao-Tunya or Victoria Falls National Park
- Hwange National Park
- Matusadona National Park
- Mana Pools National Park
- Matobo National Park
- Gonarezhou National Park
- Nyanga National Park
- Chizarira National Park
- Kazuma Pan National Park
- Zambezi National Park
- Chimanimani National Park
What To Expect In The Parks
3 Best National Parks Near Victoria Falls
Although not all of the national parks in Zimbabwe are mentioned, the parks showcased below are in the immediate vicinity of the waterfall and are within easy reach from the town in order for you to experience your African bush safari.
Take in the sights – from the world-famous elephants of Hwange to the lush green beauty of the Zambezi river banks. There are so many beautiful sights to be seen!
Take advantage of the proximity of these African wildlife sanctuaries to the Falls. Visiting the many Zimbabwe national parks gives you the opportunity to experience safaris in Zimbabwe. Add a true wildlife adventure to the sights and activities you will experience in this beautiful country.
Hwange National Park
The Hwange National Park is a haven for the famous African elephant herds that can be seen in abundance during the dry season when large numbers come down to the watering holes in the evenings to drink and cool off in the water.
Other wildlife includes herds of buffalo, zebra, impala, giraffe, and various plains game, making up the immense ecology of this park.
There are predators in the parks and you may see a pride of lion resting under the shade of trees during the midday heat. Leopards are not so easily sighted as they are more solitary animals, as with cheetahs.
The park is home to the largest group of wild dog or “Painted Dog” in Africa. These protected “dogs” are wonderful sightings with their distinctive coloring.
There are plenty of accommodation options within the park offering various types and budgets. Most offer Zimbabwe national parks lodges which are basic but comfortable.
Take walking safaris and game drives in order to experience the African bush to its fullest.
Victoria Falls National Park
This park extends along the Zambezi river about 6 kilometers above the falls to approximately 12 kilometers below the waterfall and is the most visited of the national parks in Zimbabwe.
The Victoria Falls National Park, above all the others, encompasses all that Victoria Falls is famous for. This makes it the most visited in the country.
The Zambezi River walk takes you on a walking safari along the riverbanks above the falls with the Waterfall Path showcasing the magnificent Waterfall. The route follows the gorge opposite the waterfall. It provides breathtaking vistas of the different sections of the falls that make up the largest curtain of falling water in the world.
The Rainforest is enclosed in this section of the park, with its almost permanent rainfall sustaining this marvel of nature.
Zambezi National Park
Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, the Zambezi Park showcases the riverine birdlife as well as the wildlife found in the African savannahs and grasslands. These include a wide variety of larger species such as lions, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, and several species of antelope, including elands, kudus, waterbuck, impala, and sable.
Canoe trips are available up the river from a point in the park, enabling you to spend the day getting up close to the Zambezi river and its array of birdlife.
Picnic spots are plentiful along the river bank offering fishing opportunities and beautiful views of the river.
Notable National Parks In Zimbabwe
Apart from the 3 national parks that are closest to Victoria Falls, there are 8 more Zimbabwe national parks that are just as impressive and offer excellent wildlife viewing and stunning panoramas of the African natural bush, landscapes and birdlife.
Matusadona National Park
The Matusadona National Park, which is comparatively undiscovered and has undulating hills and open woodlands, is situated on the banks of Lake Kariba.
There are many different animal species living in the park with the black rhino being one of the most well-known. Elephants and lions have also been seen in this location.
Taking a boat allows you to take in the scenery and the activities along the river, making it one of the greatest ways to see the park. Walking safaris are a wonderful option due to the landscape.
You must not miss the rare sight of “drowned woodlands” in the lake’s northern regions. An eerie sight at certain times of the day.
Mana Pools National Park
Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is well known for its pristine natural beauty. It is possibly the most beautiful of the national parks in Zimbabwe along the Zambezi River.
The park is found in the North of Zimbabwe on the southern bank of the Zambezi River. Together with the four main pools, the river’s low-lying flood plains transform into lakes during the rainy season, attracting a variety of wildlife and making the area an ideal location for game viewing.
You can enjoy a canoe journey that offers breathtaking scenery or discover its splendor on foot along the pathways.
Gonarezhou National Park
The beautiful Chilojo Cliffs, which are towering, multi-hued natural sandstone formations, are the most well-known feature in Gonarezhou National Park. You will not find a sight like these cliffs anywhere else on the planet.
Three rivers crisscross the park, creating a beautiful natural setting with plenty of opportunity to see wildlife. You may expect to see a lot of elephants as the name Gonarezhou means “the place of the elephants.”
Other species like the big five, hippos, and giraffes are also sited regularly in the park.
Chizarira National Park
Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe is farther away than the other national parks and has a harsh environment with majestic canyons and gulches as well as stern mountains.
Many species, including four of the “big five”—elephants, leopards, lions, and buffaloes—as well as smaller creatures like hyenas, waterbucks, and kudus—call the vast plains and rich flora home. Due to its relative isolation, the park is home to uncommon wildlife that may not be found in other parks, like the Roan antelope and common tsessebe.
In particular, the 3-mile (5.0-km) long gorge inside is a great place to go bird watching. Yet, because this park has very few facilities, tourists must be prepared for a real African safari.
Kazuma Pan National Park
The boundary between Botswana and Zimbabwe is where Kazuma Pan National Park is located. This park offers unspoiled African scenery to appreciate and is relatively underdeveloped.
The Baboon Trees, which are one of its distinctive features and draw a large number of animals, are one of them. With its green plains, you can see lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes, among many other animals.
The park is particularly well-known for the migrating birds it draws as well as its sizable buffalo population. The oribi, a unique species of antelope, can also be seen in the park.
Nyanga National Park
Nyanga National Park, the first national park in Zimbabwe, is a picturesque wonderland with miles of rolling green hills and lush riverscapes. It’s a terrific place to unwind and appreciate nature because of its cool climate.
Hike or mountain climb through the park’s paths to explore the stunning scenery.
Pungwe Falls, a stunning tiered cascade that is the park’s main attraction, is a breathtaking sight that shouldn’t be missed.
Chimanimani National Park
Africa’s least well-known natural reserve is undoubtedly the Chimanimani National Park. It features the spectacular Chimanimani Mountains, a vast barrier of old and jagged crystalline rock forming the boundary with Mozambique.
These mountains have always attracted daring travelers because of their spectacular beauty and unspoiled atmosphere. The park now only offers minimal amenities, geared toward independent travelers. It’s a park for individuals who desire nothing more than to savor the heart-soothing beauty of nature. Activities include hiking, rock climbing, birding, and camping in caves among the glittering waterfalls and natural swimming pools.
It is a well-known hiking location with stunning views and several noteworthy, local-only characteristics. Most of the park is only accessible on foot, has been well-preserved and offers a clean and unspoiled eco-system to the enthusiastic hiker.
Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park, which covers more than 44,000 hectares, is a region rich in history and culture 35 kilometers south of Bulawayo. It is one of the smaller national parks in Zimbabwe.
You’ll feel as though you’ve traveled back in time in these landscapes, which are distinctively ornamented by a variety of domes, spires, and balancing rock formations that have been hewn out of the solid granite plateau over millions of years of erosion and weathering.
A 100 square kilometer area of the national park has been designated as a game park, and it has been stocked with animals like black and white rhinoceros and many other small wildlife species.
The diversity of the vegetation supports a wide variety of wildlife, and the majestic and rugged terrain is a hiker’s paradise.
Additionally, the area has a long human history, dating back to the Bushmen 2,000 years ago, who left behind a valuable collection of rock art and brilliantly preserved rock paintings on the cave walls.
The scenic viewpoint and burial site of Cecil John Rhodes is World’s View. The site has a spectacular 360 degree view of the park and its granite kopjes.
Contact Zimbabwe National Parks
If you are wanting to stay at or visit any of the national parks in Zimbabwe and need information on entrance fees, national parks accommodation or any other information you require, contact the National Parks Authorities on the below:
The e-mail address for National Park reservations:
Tel: +263 24 2706077/8
You can also contact the following ZimParks reservations clerks direct:
Christine Mhuriro: firstname.lastname@example.org
Audrey Maponga: email@example.com
Sekai Gonyora: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUERIES: For queries regarding Zimbabwe National Parks fees or, please contact:
The Customer Services Executive: Choice Mushunje
Zimbabwe National Parks Reservations
There are ZimParks lodges in Victoria Falls which you can book for small and large groups. These accommodations are simple but very reasonably priced.
BOOKINGS: Bookings and reservations for the national parks in Zimbabwe are available from one year in advance of the date of arrival. This is the same for both local and foreign clients.
Payment needs to be made in advance with clients treated on a first come first serve basis.
How to pay:
- Via Bank Transfer
- Cash at any ZimParks booking office
PLEASE BE AWARE: there are no facilities at ZimParks booking offices for card payments.
ZimParks Accommodation Regulations
- Accommodation fees are for overnight stays in the ZimParks lodges, chalets, cottages, camping and picnic facilities
- Bookings for seven consecutive nights in Parks accommodation are entitled to a 10% discount
- Accommodation fees include a 2% tourism levy and 15% VAT for both locals and foreigners
- Camping and picnic fees are charged per site. Sites range from a maximum of 6 people and 2 vehicles to exclusive and undeveloped sites with a maximum of 12 people and 3 vehicles
- All children (6-12 years) camping fees are 50% of the adult fee
- Educational tours groups are charged 50% of normal camping fees
- Accommodation is charged per lodge per night
- Firewood will be provided after payment
- Cancelation prior to 14 days of arrival – 50% refund
- Cancelation within 14 days of arrival – no refund
- Booking alterations prior to 30 days – 15% admin fees