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Chizarira National Park is situated on top of the great Zambezi Escarpment in the north western part of Zimbabwe – overlooking the mighty Zambezi Valley and the upper waters of Lake Kariba.
This large remote area of 192 000 hectares of wild, untouched flora and fauna is endowed with magnificent gorges, plateaus and flood plains, which make this pristine park a spectacular destination for any visitor. Because of its wild and remote nature, the tranquility and rugged beauty of Chizarira National Pak is indeed unequalled.
Chizarira takes its name from the word “sijalila” meaning “great barrier” in the local Tonga dialect. The magnificent range of mountains which are part of the Zambezi Escarpment form the Park’s western border and offer challenging hiking and spectacular views of the valley below. The Park is renowned for its walking trails which offer the visitor an unparalleled opportunity to getup-close to nature.
Most of the plains game are present in Chizarira National Park, along with bigger species such as elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. There are also many species of smaller game, including the klipsringer, famous for its ability to inhabit rocky outcrops.
Chizarira offers an abundance of unique bird life and several hundreds of species have been sighted within the Park. The Big Five birds of the area include: the African Broadbill, Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Yellowspotted Nicator, Emerald Cuckoo and the rare and elusive Angola Pitta. Chizarira is also home to the Taita Falcon which make its nests within the Park.
Best time to go
The Park is usually open to visitors all year round, with restrictions on local movement being imposed during the wet season.
Chizarira National Parks has 7 exclusive bush camps for the real wildlife enthusiasts. Each of the camps is usually limited to a party of 12 persons.
Mucheni View Camp
– Located on the edge of the Zambezi Escarpment and offers a spectacular view of the Zambezi Valley floor with a perpetual cool breeze that makes one want to stay forever. Facilities include a thatched shelter, a long drop toilet and braai stand. Water may be obtained from the Park headquarters 4 kilometres away.
Mucheni Gorge Camp
-Situated on the edge of one of the beautiful gorges that are so characteristic of Chizarira. There is a thatched shelter, a long drop and braai stand. Water is available from the Parks headquarters 3.5 kilometers away.
-This is a bush camp with a long drop and game viewing platform overlooking a favourite watering place for elephant, waterbuck, buffalo, kudu, impala, zebra, and many other animal species found within the Park.
-Situated 40 kilometres away from the Park headquarters, surrounded by miles of untamed wilderness. It is situated on the scenic Busi River and is home to large herds of buffalo and elephant. Lions also favour Busi. It is the true African Bush camp dominated by Acacia albida flood plains. Road access to this camp is very rough and 4 x 4 or other high clearance vehicles are necessary.
-Situated on the upper reaches of the Rwizilukulu River , 6 kilometres from the Park headquarters. The camp is equipped with a water-borne ablution block, braai stand and raised pole and thatch bedrooms called “Ngazi” styled after the traditional shelters of the local Tonga tribe.
Travel and Access
There are three main routes by road into Chizarira National Park.
From Victoria Falls take the Bulawayo Road and turn left toward Kamativi at Cross Dete. From Kamativi follow the Binga Road and turn right along the Siabuwa road at the 133 kilometre peg. Follow this dirt road and turn right at the 47 kilometre peg where there is a sign indicating “Chizarira National Park”. This undulating road leads you up the escarpment for 20 kilometres to the Park headquarters.
If you are using the Harare-Bulawayo Highway, one turns 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 Busness Centre until you see a sign indicating “Chizarira National Park” at the 47 kilometre peg. Turn left and proceed for 20 kilometres to the Park headquarters.
From Bulawayo, along the Victoria Falls road, turn off at Gwayi River on the Lubumbi road at the 246 kilometre peg. Follow the road for 96 kilometres towards Lusulu and turn left at the sign post written “Chizarira National Park” the Park headquarters is 70 kilometres beyond this sign.