The remote Gona-re-Zhou wilderness borders Mozambique and South Africa. Part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, an area the size of Holland! Kruger Park is on the South Africa side, while the Limpopo National Park is in Mozambique. The major attraction is the vast tracts of unspoilt wilderness.
Very few visitors make it to the park even though it’s the second-largest in Zimbabwe. For this reason, you might not see another person in the park for days. Game viewing is rewarding but requires patience. With so much bush to get lost in, it requires long drives and a knowledgeable guide to find the wildlife. The name itself means ‘The Place of Elephants’, and there are plenty of them. A little-known antelope, the Nyala, is also found here in good numbers.
There is prolific birdlife in the varied vegetation. The wooded areas include mahogany, acacia albida and the strong-sounding ironwood tree. The best time for birding is after the rains which start in November.
Most visitors will take a trip to the scenic Chilocho Cliffs when visiting Gona-re-Zhou. These towering red sandstone cliffs are most photogenic. Rising 200 metres high, and spreading along 13 kilometres, they are the defining feature of the park.
There are just a few lodges and temporary mobile tented camps in the area. Activities in the park are game drives and walking. We suggest visiting the park in the company of a professional guide to get the best from it. A varied safari would include Matobo National Park near Bulawayo, with a visit to Great Zimbabwe Ruins on the way to Gona-re-Zhou National Park.
Access is via small plane charters direct from Johannesburg, South Africa to Buffalo Range Airport in Chiredzi. Alternatively, by air or road from Bulawayo or Harare.