Gonarezhou National Park

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Gonarezhou National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Buffalo bend.jpg
Buffalo Bend on the Mwenezi River, Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe
Location Chiredzi (District), Zimbabwe.
Coordinates 21°40′S 31°40′E / 21.667°S 31.667°E / -21.667; 31.667Coordinates: 21°40′S 31°40′E / 21.667°S 31.667°E / -21.667; 31.667
Area 5,053 km²[1]
Established 1975

Gonarezhou National Park is a National Park located in south-eastern Zimbabwe. It is situated in a relatively remote corner of Masvingo Province, south of Chimanimani along the Mozambique border. Owing to its vast size, rugged terrain and its location away from main tourist routes, large tracts of Gonarezhou remain as pristine wilderness.

At 5,053 km² Gonarezhou is the country’s second largest game reserve after Hwange National Park.[1] Gonarezhou is a Shona name meaning "elephant's tusk." It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Gonarezhou with the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. Animals can move freely between the three sanctuaries.

History of the park[edit]

The Gonarezhou National Park was formed in 1975, by uniting former hunting areas and tsetse fly control corridors.

The park was closed to the public during the Rhodesian War and again during much of the Mozambique civil war but was re-opened in 1994.

The Park is part of the international Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.


The park is a lowveld region of baobabs, scrublands and sandstone cliffs.


Historically the Park has been a habitat for the endangered African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus; and in 2010 there have been several sightings of wild dogs in the park. It is thought that the cross-border link to national parks in Mozambique would be the best opportunity to restore or preserve the viability of this species in adjacent national parks[2] in the adjoining countries of South Africa and Mozambique.

Accommodation and camping[edit]

Swimuwini Rest Camp
  • Swimuwini Rest Camp - managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Authority, this is self-catering accommodation on the Mwenezi River

Privately operated camps[edit]

  • Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge - a lodge overlooking Chilo Gorge. Expert guiding provides visitors access to these pristine wildernesses within Gonerezhou. [3]
  • Senuko Safari Lodge - meaning the place where animals drink in Shangaan.
  • Gonarezhou Bush Camp is a privately operated mobile tented camp [4]


  1. ^ a b National Parks and Nature Reserves of Zimbabwe, World Institute for Conservation and Environment
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2009). "Painted Hunting Dog: Lycaon pictus". GlobalTwitcher.com. 
  3. ^ "Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge Website". Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  4. ^ "Gonarezhou Bush Camp". Retrieved 2012-07-05.