Matusadona National Park is situated on the southern shore of
and is bounded on the east by the dramatic Sanyati Gorge and to the west by the Umi River. Two thirds of this 1500 km² national park is accessible only on foot.
is a melodic word for Mutuzviadonha it actually means “constant dripping of dung” in reference to the huge elephant population that roams the Park and shores of Lake Kariba. Before the construction of Lake Kariba, Mustadonna was a vast wilderness with diverse flora and fauna habitats. The park is now covered in grasslands along the lake shore, thick motane woodland, deep valleys and escarpments.
Matusadona National park is a great spot for guided game walks and its drowned forests, relics of the flooded dam, provide irresistible sunset photo opportunities. Interesting activities include Hiking and escarpment climbing, birding, walking trails, canoe rides and fishing on Lake Kariba
shoreline is also home to large concentrations of buffalo, waterbuck, impala, klispringer, duiker, gemsbok, waterbuck, scrub hare, porcupines and zebra, especially during the dry months from May to October giving you the best of game viewing on
. Elephant herds are almost always in view close to the water. Rhino are present but elusive in the Matuzviadonha hills and woodland areas. Lion, leopard, warthog, kudu and bushbuck are endemic.
The animals that can be considered to be common are vervet monkey, civets, hippos, chacma baboon, side-striped jackal, kudu and bush squirrel. Uncommon animal species are clawless otter, white-tailed mongoose, spotted genets, reedbuck, sable, and eland. Some rare species include wild dogs, caracal and bush pigs.
If you are talking about
, Mustadonna has a larger share of lion prides in Africa, greater than the concentrations in
or even in
. Other predators found here include cheetahs, wild dogs, spotted hyena
The combination of vegetation diversity and the permanent water ensure an extraordinary variety of bird life. Find over 300 species of birds on Sanyati Gorge such as fish eagles, herons, cuckoo shrike, black headed oriole, augur buzzards, black eagle, saddle billed stork, white egrets, crowned horn billed and many other water birds.
There are a few camps and safari lodges that offer overnight facilities with running water, camp bon fires, clean rooms and iconic views of the park. Sanyati Camp offers accommodation for 6 people on each of its two campsites. Find other bush camps at Jenje and Kanjedza however you’ll need 4X4 vehicles if you are backpacking and enough food supplies.
Exclusive and luxury camping is available from Changachirere Camp, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Carribea Bay Sun Hotel, Kiplings, Matusadona water wilderness camp, Urne Lodge and Mbalabala near Bumi river and Maronga near Chifudzi substation among other camps
The dry season begins June to October when many herds of animals collect near waterholes and Bumi River and is the best time to visit more sights of game. The rains immediately come later in November to April and animals move far way into the hills however the birds collect near the shores instead.