Gonarezhou National Park
|Gonarezhou National Park|
Buffalo Bend on the Mwenezi River, Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe
|Location||Chiredzi (District), Zimbabwe.|
|Area||5,053 km2 (1,951 sq mi)|
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. Gonarezhou is a Shona name meaning "The Place of Elephants" 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.
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.
Historically the park has been a habitat for the endangered Cape wild dog (Lycaon pictus pictus); and in 2010 there were 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 in South Africa and Mozambique. Other mammals that inhabit the park are elephant, giraffe, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, black and white rhinoceros, lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena.
Accommodation and camping
- Swimuwini Rest Camp - managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Authority, this is self-catering accommodation on the Mwenezi River.
- National Parks and Nature Reserves of Zimbabwe, World Institute for Conservation and Environment
- Matiza, T.; Crafter, S. A., eds. (1994). "Wetlands in Zimbabwe: an overview". Wetlands ecology and priorities for conservation in Zimbabwe: proceedings of a seminar on wetlands ecology and priorities for conservation in Zimbabwe. IUCN. pp. 1–20. ISBN 978-2-8317-0202-5.
- C. Michael Hogan (2009). "Painted Hunting Dog: Lycaon pictus". GlobalTwitcher.com. Archived from the original on 2010-12-09.