WHERE TO EXPLORE IN GONAREZHOU
Massasanya Camp – North Gonarezhou
This semi-permanent camp has 4 chalets overlooking a large waterhole in the North of Gonarezhou. The rooms open up with traditionally made reed shutters that give you a great view over the dam, while letting in a cool breeze. There is running hot and cold water, a basin and a shower in your room, solar lighting, and the enviro toilet is separate to your room and can be seen in the video. The covered dining area and fireplace are at the heart of the camp.
The area where this camp is located is excellent for walking or to spend time around the Chilojo Cliffs and upper Save River. Some days there is no need to leave camp as there is so much activity right here in front of you! Herds of Elephants and Buffalo are a common sight here, along with the resident Hippos, Impala, Zebra, Kudu, Waterbuck and Warthogs. It is a great area to look for Leopard, Lion, Caracal, Spotted and Brown Hyena. African Wild Dogs have frequently denned not far from here and are often seeing hunting through the valleys and grasslands of this area – sometimes through the camp itself!
We can set up a fly camp at a variety of sites along the Mwenezi and Runde Rivers, or spend a night out camping at one of the seasonal pans in the heart of of Gonarezhou – all part of the adventure and great for a really genuine safari experience!
The fly camps we set up have 3m x 3m canvas dome tents with two stretcher style cot beds, an extra mattress on top, and proper linen for a comfortable nights sleep. They have a solar light inside and outside you have a hand basin. For your ablutions, we set up a screened off, bucket shower system where the water is preheated – great at the end of a long day on safari – and there is a dry, long drop type toilet. Both of these are a shared facility and not attached to your tent. Depending on the number of nights and location we will set the dining area either under the shade of large tree, or a gazebo type set up.
Mwenezi Camp – South Gonarezhou
This semi-permanent camp has 4 well spaced chalets with thatched roofs, and the sides of the rooms open with traditionally made reed shutters – giving you great views overlooking the Mwenezi River, and letting in a nice cool breeze. Attached to your room is a bathroom with solar heated running water, a flush toilet, basin and solar lighting. The covered dining area and fireplace are in the center of the camp. We often have full days out from this base, setting off with a picnic lunch to explore along the river or at some of the seasonal pans close by.
This remote area of Gonarezhou is known for its great for herds of Buffalo and interestingly, despite being quite rocky, there is a tremendous amount of Aardvark activity here – you may have the chance of seeing one on a moonlit night near your room!
Star Bed – Platforms
In Gonarezhou National Park, there are currently two platforms – one at Bhenji Weir, and the other at Malugwe Pan. These are great for families or groups of up to 4 people to spend the night out under the stars and overlooking a seasonal water point. The set up is very similar to the Fly Camping in terms of the sleeping arrangements, except we do add a mosquito net as well. Your meals and drinks are all at the platform and the ablutions are the same as what was described in Fly Camping, set up to the side of the platform and easily accessible.
Typically we use these only for one night, however longer is possible as well. These platforms are fantastic on full moon nights, and also for the chance to immerse yourself in nature.
Chilojo Cliffs Tented Camp
The Chilojo Cliffs are one of the iconic geographical features of Gonarezhou. They are towering sandstone cliffs formed by millions of years of sediment deposition, and then a similar time frame of erosion by the Runde River. The camp is a private tented camp that is set on the banks of the river, looking towards the cliffs, in the heart of an excellent game viewing area.
The large walk in safari tents with en suite bathroom facilities are a very comfortable way to spend your time here in this beautiful location, with our experienced team on hand to ensure you are well looked after.
Your Food, on Safari
Our team have all traveled extensively around many safari camps of Africa, and one short coming we all agree on is that most camp food is generally what any Western tourist would recognize from home, even though it may have some local ingredients, it is still blended into a Western style dish. We all feel that what we want you to enjoy on safari, is a more genuine food experience of Africa. As such, every day we try and theme the food, especially dinners, around a particular country or area of Africa to show you the diversity and flavors of this amazing continent. If you have a specific dietary requirement we are happy to cater for this where possible, so please just let us know.
WHAT A SAFARI COSTS
There are two main ways of getting to Gonarezhou – by road or plane.
Road transfers, in a private air-conditioned minibus, are available from Harare or Bulawayo. This is approximately US$150 per person, depending on your start point. Seat rates on air transfers from Harare are about US$500 per person, depending on the type of plane. Alternatively you can charter the whole plane from other destinations like Hwange or Victoria Falls, and this would be about $4,500 for the plane – depending on the aircraft and route.
As our trips are all private, each safari is costed and designed according to your and your groups specific needs. As an indication you can consider between US$600 and US$750 per person per night. This is an all inclusive rate with National Parks Fees, Private Guide and Safari Vehicle.
Please get in touch and we will be happy to provide you with a custom quote, according to how many people, the number of nights and any special inclusions you may want!
Complete Safari Options
This is an example of how a safari in Gonarezhou, combining the various camps and areas, would look like. We can make this safari longer or shorter and focus on areas that appeal to you and your specific interests.
Adding Other Destinations
Zimbabwe has many other safari destinations, all very different from Gonarezhou. These range from the incredible Victoria Falls, to the world-renowned Mana Pools, to the vast plains of Hwange – all part of what makes this such a special and diverse country.
We would love to discuss which areas you are interested in visiting, and put together a complete safari itinerary for you!
OTHER DESTINATIONS TO COMBINE GONAREZHOU WITH
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of The World for good reason. This is an amazing spectacle and a great place to start or finish any safari in Southern Africa. It is well connected with international flights from many other regional destinations.
Hwange National Park
This is Zimbabwe’s largest National Park, famous for it’s diversity and big herds of elephants – Africa’s second biggest population. It is easily accessed from Victoria Falls and has a good variety of safari camps.
Mana Pools National Park
One of Africa’s most beautiful National Parks, it has a tremendous density of wildlife along the flood plain area which is great for walking safaris – following behind a big elephant bull, on foot, as he wanders along the flood plain is unforgettable.
Matopos National Park
This park is unique in Africa as it combines amazing human history from the ancient to contemporary with great game viewing, including black and white rhino. The dominant feature though are the huge granite outcrops separated by open grassed valleys, it really is a beautiful and interesting park.