Highlights of a Zimbabwe wildlife safari

The vast tracts of wilderness and magnificent parks of Zimbabwe are home to over 100 mammals, and an impressive array of wildlife. Traverse the plains by foot, tracking animals via their prints and trails. 

Ride horseback past tall mountains and deep rivers or enjoy your wildlife safari from the comfort of your 4x4.

Hwange and Matusadona

Hwange National Park is the country’s largest wildlife reserve and a popular big game area due to its variety of habitat and social waterholes. Here you find the big cats, such as lion, leopard and cheetah living amongst the smaller ones, serval and civet. Varying concentrations of zebra, giraffe, antelope, kudu, impala and hippo live amongst packs of wild dog and hyena. The world’s largest population of elephant resides in Zimbabwe and the largest herds in Hwange!

Matusadona National Park is a real wilderness highlight, with vast lush plains spread throughout its 1,400 square kilometre area and the spectacular Matuzviadonha Hills (meaning ‘falling dung’) puncturing the skyline. This relatively undiscovered park is superb for wildlife viewing, with a choice of driving or walking safaris and even travel via canoe or houseboat down Lake Kariba. As well as the Big Five, the smaller critters, such as scrub hare, vervet monkey and bush squirrels are abundant and you could also spot leopard, cheetah or bushbuck. 

Matusadona is said to have the highest concentration of wild lions in the whole of Africa and is also one of the last remaining sanctuaries for endangered black rhinos.

Mana Pools and Birding

The area around Mana Pools is not only famed for its magical scenery of curving pools and canoeing but also has quite large populations of more relaxed wildlife, including hippo, elephant and buffalo. As the oldest National Park in Zimbabwe, Matopo, is also rich in wildlife, with sable antelope, black rhino, black eagles all common with leopards as rare sightings.

Zimbabwe is also a popular destination for ornithologists, with a total of over 670 bird species recorded, including martial and black eagle, rollers and common waxbills. 

The Mana Pools are particularly well known areas for birding with over 300 species having been recorded here alone, but Hwange and Lake Kariba are also popular spots.


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