knowing our national parks

Did you know that ???
By Kim
Wildlife estate in Zimbabwe covers about 12.5% of total land. It consists of 11 national parks, 9 recreational parks, 4 botanical gardens, 4 safari areas and 3 sanctuaries. Amongst the 11 national parks we have Chimanimani national park, Chizarira national park, Gonarezhou national park, Hwange national parks, Kazuma national parks, Mana pools national parks, Matusadona national parks, Matobo national park, Nyanga national park, Victoria falls national park and Zambezi national park.
Chimanimani National Park
It is located in the southernmost area of the Eastern Highlands, a mountainous terrain with peak heights of 2,436 meters. There are also views of the Pork Pie mountain range and the Bridal Veil Falls in the Eland sanctuary. It is 150 kilometers from Mutare town. There is a lot of wildlife that is found in Chimanimani such as shy cats, spotted leopard, blue duiker, bush buck, eland and sable to mention a few not forgetting a lot of butterflies, birds and snakes.
Chizarira National Park
Located in northwestern Zimbabwe. ‘Chizarira’ loosely translated to English means “great barrier”. Though it is one of the largest parks due to its location in the remote Zambezi Escarpment a number of people have no knowledge of its existence. It is rich in with its valleys, gorges, plateaus and flood plains. Its large game includes elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. The big five birds are found in Chizarira they include the African broadbill, Livingstone’s flycatcher, yellow-spotted nicator, emerald cuckoo and the Taita falcon.
Gonarezhou National Park
Gonarezhou National Park is found in southeastern Zimbabwe it is in a remote region and is the second largest park in the country. ‘Gonarezhou’ means “place of many elephants.” The park’s rich wild life consists of about 500 species of birds, 147 species of mammals, more than 116 species of reptiles, 34 species of frogs and 49 species of fish. Rivers and pools found in Gonarezhou have unique aqua life which includes freshwater goby, black bream, turquoise killifish and Zambezi shark.
Hwange National Park

The Hwange National Park established in 1929 with an area of 14,650 km2 is the largest park and game reserve in Zimbabwe. The park is close to the edge of the Kalahari desert, a region with little water and very sparse vegetation. Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are all found in Hwange National Park. It is characterized with very large elephant population.
Kazuma Pan National Park
It is located in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe, between Kazungula and Hwange National Parks, and south-west of Victoria Falls. It has a series of depressions, which enriches the ground water which is then pumped during the dry season. It has the largest concentration of about 2,000 buffaloes and also elephants, rhinos, lions, zebras and many more.
Mana Pools National Park
It is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site it covers an area of 2,196 km2. ‘Mana’ in Shona means “four” referring to the four large permanent pools formed by the meandering ox-bow lakes of the middle Zambezi river. The park has the country’s biggest concentration of hippopotamuses and crocodiles.
Matusadona National Park
It was declared a national park in 1975 covering an area of 1,400 km2. It is bounded on the south by the Omay communal, on the north of Lake Kariba, on the east of the Sanyati River and its gorge, and on the west of the Ume River. Black rhino, elephants and buffalo inhabit the park.
Matopo National Park
It is part of the UNESCO Matopo Hills, became a national park in 1953. It has an exclusive “Intensive Protection Zone” to protect the large population of black and white rhinoceros. The name Matopo means “bald heads”. Matobo Hills includes a range of domes, spires and balancing rocks. The park is also rich in bird life the black eagle, pied crow, weavers and many more.
Nyanga National Park
The Nyanga National Park in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe located at about 268 kilometers from Harare. It is rich in flora and fauna. Waterbuck, wildebeest, kudu, zebra, impala, sables and eland are found in the park. We found special fish which is called the Nyanga trout in the park also. Visitors are mainly attracted by the Mount Nyangani, the Nyangombe Falls, Mutarazi Falls, Pungwe Gorge & Falls, Nyamuziwa Falls, Nyangwe & Chawomera Forts and the Trout Hatchery near Purdon Dam.
Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park
The Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks, are located on the western edge of Zimbabwe. The Victoria Falls, one of seven natural wonders of the world, is 1.7 kilometers wide, cascades 70–108 meters into the gorge and is formed by five different “falls”, out of which four are in Zimbabwe. An attraction is the large baobab tree near the Falls which is 16 m in diameter and 20 meters tall. The notable wildlife in the parks consists of elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards and white rhinoceros apart from herds of sable antelope, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and impala. The Zambezi River is rich in fish such as bream and fighting tigerfish.