Chizarira National Park

Chizarira National Park, one of Zimbabwe’s largest national parks, offers a captivating blend of rugged terrain, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking scenery.

Nestled in the heart of Zimbabwe, this remote and rarely visited park spans an impressive 1,920 square kilometers (741 square miles) and ranges in altitude from 704 to 1,240 meters (2,310 to 4,068 feet). Its name, derived from a local Tonga word meaning “Great Barrier,” is a testament to the formidable Zambezi Escarpment that dominates the landscape.

Chizarira National Park Key Highlights

  • Size: 1,920km² / 741mi²
  • Altitude: 704-1,240m / 2,310-4,068ft
  • Best Time to Visit: July to October
  • High Season: June to August (Chizarira never gets busy)

Chizarira National Park Wildlife and Scenery

Chizarira National Park is home to four of the Big Five—elephant, buffalo, leopard, and lion—though these predators are rarely seen. The park boasts good populations of antelope, including the elusive roan and tsessebe. The terrain, ideal for leopards, also supports spotted hyena and a variety of other wildlife.

The park’s dramatic scenery is dominated by the Zambezi Escarpment and encompasses seven ecological zones, from Lowveld valley savannah to Highveld broadleaf woodland. Lush pockets of vegetation, fed by natural springs, are nestled between mountain ridges, adding to the park’s visual splendor.

Chizarira National Park Wildlife

  • Common Sightings: Elephant, buffalo, klipspringer, impala, greater kudu
  • Rare Sightings: Leopard, lion, spotted hyena, roan, tsessebe

Chizarira National Park Scenery

  • Landscape Features: Zambezi Escarpment, seven ecological zones, natural springs, rugged terrain

Activities in Chizarira National Park

Chizarira National Park offers a unique wilderness experience, best suited to the adventurous traveler. The park is renowned for its guided walking safaris, which provide an intimate way to explore the rugged landscape and observe wildlife. The limited road infrastructure and challenging terrain mean that traditional game drives are less common, and visitors often opt for wilderness camping to fully immerse themselves in the park’s remote beauty.

Chizarira National Park

Main Activities in Chizarira National Park

  • Walking Safaris: Best arranged in advance with an experienced professional guide
  • Wilderness Camping: Provides a true off-the-grid experience

Weather and Climate in Chizarira National Park

Chizarira National Park enjoys a mild, temperate climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The best time to visit is from July to October during the dry season, when wildlife congregates around water sources, and the skies are clear. The wet season, from November to March, brings lush greenery but also makes roads unreliable.

Chizarira National Park Climate Overview

  • Dry Season (April to October): Warm days, cold nights
  • Wet Season (November to March): Very warm with afternoon showers

Monthly Averages

  • Temperature:
    • January: Min 16°C / 61°F, Max 32°C / 90°F
    • July: Min 11°C / 52°F, Max 24°C / 75°F
    • October: Min 20°C / 68°F, Max 33°C / 91°F
  • Rainfall:
    • January: 177 mm / 7 in
    • June to August: 0 mm / 0 in
    • December: 164 mm / 6.5 in

Detailed Climate Chart

MonthMin Temp (°C/°F)Max Temp (°C/°F)Rainfall (mm/in)
January16 / 6132 / 90177 / 7
February15 / 5931 / 88172 / 6.8
March15 / 5931 / 8888 / 3.5
April14 / 5730 / 8627 / 1.1
May11 / 5227 / 815 / 0.2
June9 / 4825 / 770 / 0
July11 / 5224 / 750 / 0
August13 / 5526 / 790 / 0
September17 / 6330 / 862 / 0.1
October20 / 6833 / 9122 / 0.9
November19 / 6632 / 9061 / 2.4
December18 / 6431 / 88164 / 6.5

Getting to Chizarira National Park

Chizarira National Park’s remote location adds to its wilderness appeal but also makes access challenging. The park is best reached by 4×4 vehicles, with access roads and game-drive tracks being difficult year-round. The nearest major town is Karoi, from where visitors can travel via rough roads to the park’s entrance.

Malaria and Safety

Visitors should take precautions against malaria, especially during the wet season when mosquitoes are more prevalent. Anti-malarial medication and insect repellent are recommended. Despite the ongoing problem of poaching, guided tours and safaris arranged through reputable operators like Remarkable Wild Resources Zambia Limited ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

Chizarira National Park is a gem for those seeking adventure and solitude in a pristine wilderness setting. With its diverse wildlife, dramatic scenery, and excellent walking safaris, it offers a truly unique African safari experience. Plan your trip with Nextgen Safaris to explore this hidden treasure and discover the untamed beauty of Zimbabwe.

For more information and to book your safari, visit Nextgen Safaris.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: All visitors to Zimbabwe must have a valid passport with at least 4 consecutive blanks pages.  Any applicable visa and/or relevant documentation are the responsibility of the traveler.  For further information on Visa requirements visitors are advised to contact their nearest Zimbabwe Embassy or Consulate.
 
LANGUAGE: English
 
TIME: GMT +3
 
VOLTAGE: 220 Volts/AC50Hz. Sockets are UK style, 3 pin square plugs. Power is from the government in the city/major towns and generator with inverter back up in the Safari Lodges and Camps.
 
CURRENCY: Foreign currency must be changed at the Bank, Bureau de Change, and Hotel/Safari lodge/Camp/Resort.   Major Credit Cards, Master card, Visa, American Express, are usually accepted throughout the country.  Where credit cards are accepted, the payment will normally be recorded in US$ regardless of the card’s default currency.
 
CLOTHING: Dress is mainly informal and should be comfortable as well as practical. Something warm should be brought along for early morning and evenings. Safari clothes are available from hotels/lodges/camps.
 
BAGGAGE: Where possible, travel light. Baggage space on safari is limited to medium suitcase or soft bag per person plus reasonable amount of hand luggage. There is 15 Kilogram per person limit on all flights to the wildlife sanctuaries. Excess luggage must be stored in your arrival hotel.
 
WATER: You will find many different of opinion of what is safe and what is not. We recommend for peace of mind, to drink local Bottled Mineral water. It is important to drink plenty of water especially during the hotter months. We would recommend that guests drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration.
 
HEALTH: Africa is a safe and secure destination; however, it is a good idea to take a few precautions.  Kindly consult your GP or local doctor at least 6 weeks before you travel, with regards: Malaria prophylactics. East Africa is a known malaria area and preventive measures are essential. You are advised to take one of the recommended anti-malarial drugs.  Be sure to wear long sleeved shorts and trousers after sunset and spray the exposed parts of your body with a mosquito repellent spray Remember to protect yourself from direct sun rays with sunscreen cream or safari hat.
 
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: For those guests with specific dietary requirement, please ensure we are notified prior to travel
 
GRATUITIES: As a guideline and dependent on how happy you are, we would suggest the following: The General Hotel/Lodge/Camp Staff – Approximately U$ 10.00 per person per day Driver Guides – Approximately US$ 15.00 to US$ 20.00 per person per day.
 
PHOTOGRAPHY: Please be careful when photographing public buildings, airports, bridges, the national flag and people in uniform.  Ensure that you have sought permission before photographing local people and their villages.  If in doubt, please check with your guide.

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