CHIZARIRA NATIONAL PARK
Chizarira’s National Park is a National Park that lies in Northern part of Zimbabwe. At 2,000 square kilometers (490,000 acres), it is the third-largest national park in Zimbabwe, and also one of the least known because of its isolated situation on the Zambezi escarpments It has good wildlife populations and some majestic scenery. The name of the park comes from the Batonga word, which translates into English as “great barrier”, referring to Zambezi Escarpment, of which Chizarira’s rough terrain forms a part.
The northern portion of the park is situated within Southern Miombo Woodlands ecoregion, while the solution part.is located within Miombo Woodland s ecoregion, while the southern part is located within the Zambezian and Mopane Woodlands ecoregion. The escarpment falls steeply some 600 meters (2000 feets) to Zambezi River valley floor and offers magnificent views towards Lake Kariba, 40 kilometers about 25 miles north. Rivers such as the Micheni and Lwizikulu have cut almost sheer gorges in the escarpment. At the north eastern extremely of the park lies Tundazi, a mountain on which according to local legend, resides an immense serpent, the river god Nyaminyami. The southern boundary is marked by the Busi River which is flanked by floodplains supporting winter thorn woodlands
Chizarira is Zimbabwe’s 3rd largest national park, with a high population of four of the Big five animals with the Rhinos missing.
The terrain is excellent for leopard, and there is a good variety of herbivore. Its main attraction is its enormous wilderness appeal. Its main attraction is its enormous wilderness appeal. Walking safaris are a big part of the experience. Arguably Zimbabwe’s third largest National Park and indisputably the most remote wilderness area, Chizarira national park derives its name from the Batonga word “Chijalila” which means “The Great Barrier”, an orientation of phenomenal mountains and copious hills that form a fabulous portion of the Zambezi Escarpment. The terrain in the park is craggy, punctuated with ragged mountains, intensely incised by gorgeous gorges and awesome gulches. In the intensely impenetrable valleys, sandwiched by the unique open plain rests the lush vegetation comfortably suckled by vibrant natural springs. This has made the park an amazing place to appreciate nature.
Chizarira National Park, plays host to most of the expected plains wildlife as well as megafauna such as African Elephant, lion, leopard and cape Buffalos. There are also many species of smaller wildlife, including the Klipspringer, known for its ability to thrive in near-vertical rocky outcrops. Chizarira has a large variety of bird life and hundreds of species have been sighted within the Park. Sought after birds recorded include the African broadbill, Livingstone’s’ flycatcher, emerald Cacoo and the rare and elusive African pitta. Chizarira is also home to the Taita falcon which breeds within the Park
Chizarira was declared as a non-hunting reserve in 1938 and as a game reserve in 1963; it was given National Park status under the Parks and Wild Life Act (1975). The park has its headquarters at Manzituba
This remoteness and the few visitors has meant that Chizarira has experienced increased risk from poachers in recent years.
The lack of lodges and safari operators in the park has meant that poachers have free rein and the park has suffered as a result, particularly during the economic crisis that engulfed Zimbabwe in the early 2000s.
From Bulawayo on the A8 for Chizarira National Park turnoff east at Cross Roads 50 KM south of Hwange town, then travel 28 KM to Kamativi on good gravel road, then 50 KM to the Mlibizi turnoff. Continue east 54 KM to the Binga turnoff. Continue east toward Siabuwa, but turn right after 47 KM soon after crossing the Mucheni River where a sign indicates Chizarira National Park. A further 20 KM of dirt road up and over the escarpment gets the visitor to Park headquarters at Manzituba.
Coming from Harare on the A5 turnoff toward Gokwe at Kwekwe. At Gokwe take the Binga tarred road for 120 kilometres until you reach a T-junction with a sign post indicating Binga to the left. Take this dirt road towards Binga via Siabuwa Business Centre until you see a sign indicating “Chizarira National Park” at the 47 KM peg. Turn left and proceed for 20 KM to the Park headquarters.
From Karoi a 4X4 is required to drive inland west towards Siabuwa crossing the Sanyati and Ume Rivers.
The nearest fuel and supplies are obtained at Binga on Lake Kariba, approximately 90 KM away.
There is a light airstrip at Manzituba, but prior arrangements must be made with ZPWA
Romantic outdoor getaway, luxury walking vacation, or exciting family break full with outdoor activities. Whatever the occasion, hotels near Chizarira National Park deliver. If you adore the great outdoors, getting a place to say near Chizarira National Park is the answer. Indulge in hiking through meadows, canoeing along rivers, bouldering, climbing, and filling every day with outdoor adventure and discovery. There are many lodges and many include, Chizarira Wilderness lodge, Hide ways Masumu River lodge, Maabwe Bay Lake Kariba lodge, the Journey’s end Lodge, Kulizwe lodge, Journey’s end Lodge, The Chilila cottages and many others within and outside or near the national park