Gonarezhou is one of the least visited of Zimbabwe's national parks, this area of the country is only now beginning to open up and is an area for true wildlife and wilderness enthusiasts. The park lies along the Mozambican border, and forms part of a vast wilderness area known as The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This vast protected area covers 35,000 square kilometres and includes South Africa's Kruger National Park and Mozambique's Limpopo National Park. This area of Southern Africa is steeped in history, legend talks of elephants taller than trees and the ivory hunters who pursued them over centuries past.
A small number of operators offer mobile bush camp safaris within Gonarezhou itself, here the focus is on the experience of an unspoilt wilderness area. Activities centre around walking safaris with highly qualified and knowledgeable guides.
The environment is well suited for memorable game viewing experiences in the wide sandy riverbeds and from the red sandstone hills of the Chilojo Cliffs. The park is immensely diverse, with environments ranging from open grass plains to swampy wetlands and dramatic rocky escarpments of dense bush. Sightings of large herds of elephant and buffalo are common, as well as varied antelope species and healthy populations of the big cats. Birdlife is prolific in the area, it is at its most diverse immediately following the rains at the beginning of the season.
The bush camps are only operational in the dry season, between 1st April and 30th November. The safari experience is excellent throughout this period, however, as the dry season extends, the game-viewing improves as the thickness of the bush dies back and the riverbeds become more accessible.
The focus of Gonraezhou's bush camps is not to provide a luxury hotel within the bush, instead to provide a comfortable base from which to explore the area. As the camps are lightweight and mobile some of the luxuries enjoyed by permanent camps are unavailable. That said, attention to detail and level of service have not been overlooked: hot showers, comfortable beds and wholesome, freshly prepared food are all provided.
In contrast to the bush camps of Gonarezhou, possibly the most luxurious lodge in Zimbabwe is located close to the park. Singita Pamushana Lodge is set within the private Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, which shares its southern boundary with Gonarezhou National Park. Just six luxury suites and a villa feature spacious en-suite accommodation with sweeping views from private decks and plunge pools, 24 hour electricity, a spa and a range of dining options. Alternatively, on the eastern border of the park is the recently refurbished Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. Perched high above the Save River, which forms the border of the national park, Chilo Gorge offers a luxurious safari experience in an incredible location from which to explore the surrounding wilderness.