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Info about National Parks
we did visit in
Zimbabwe



Matopos NP

Located in a region packed full of history, the Motopos National Park lies is the south western part of the country, just 40kms from Bulawayo.

The park offers a fine combination of history, scenery and wildlife, is famed for being the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, which lies on the top of Malindidzimu Mountain, which Rhodes named "View of the World". Throughout the park are numerous caves, with paintings by ancient bushmen, depicting the life that existed in the area many thousands of years before Zimbabwe was every discovered.

Most of the animals can be found in the small Whovi Game Park; which holds dense population of wildlife which includes the white rhino, giraffe, ostrich, wildebeest, leopards and number of different antelope and if lucky, the elusive and rare black rhino may been spotted.

Be aware that all the park waters contain bilharzia.

Accommodation

There a several campsites within the park including Sandy Spruit Dam close to the northern entrance, Toghwana Dam, Mjele Dam and a small tent site a Mezilume Dam. The most popular camping is at Maleme Dam, but this gets very crowded at weekends and during school holidays. At Maleme Dam there are also chalets and lodges, including two luxury lodges, the Fish Eagle and the Black Eagle, but booking in advance is essential.

There are other lodges scattered throughout the park.

Hwange NP

To travel through Hwange National Park today is to see what much of the interior of Africa might have been like more then 150 years ago. This is the famed country that drew men from the diamond fields of Kimberley and the gold mines of Johannesburg.
This is the game-filled land that encouraged them to exchange their picks and shovels for the hunter's rifle and skinning knife and to swop the squalor of crowded city life for the openness of the veld and the warmth and comfort of the campfire at night.This is the land associated with names like Robert Moffat, George Westbeech, Mzilikazi, Frederick Selous, Lohengula, Blockley, George Phillips, Hartley, Thomas Baines and many others. This is the land of the spear and the gun, of the elephant and lion, and of those less obtrusive killers, tsetse fly and malaria. This is a hard land where people did not survive without courage, stamina, strength and fortitude. People then needed the ability to sustain and be part of a life-supporting network of hospitality and friendship that bridged cultures and ameliorated the disasters and tragedies that Africa could inflict on the unwary and the ill-prepared.

Hwange National Park covers just over 14 600 square kilometres. It has not, of course, always been a game reserve. In an area of relatively low rainfall between 570mm and 650mm the land was set aside in this century for hunting and farming, with quite large units being laid out. In most cases, cattle were raised but an attempt to grow wheat was made on one of the large areas of basaltic 'black-cotton' soil.

In addition, the forest was exploited for hardwoods, especially along the line of rail with teak, African mahogany and mukwa being the principle timbers extracted.

The Park's personnel report that the area can boast 105 mammal species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. Elephant make up the largest proportion of the biomass. With the. exception of one species, all Zimbabwe's specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. The population of wild dog to be found in Hwange is thought to he the largest surviving in Africa today.

More than 410 species of hires are said to have been recorded here. From its very inception, the Park was managed with a specific aim in view to increase populations of large herbivores for  tourism. By any standards, Hwange National Park has been a success. It is known internationally, it is certainly a strong draw card in the hand that Zimbabwe plays to draw visitors from overseas and a visit to the well run, well managed Park gives value for money.

Victoria Falls NP

Victoria Falls, like Mount Kilimanjaro, is an emblem of the entire African continent. Spanning 5600 feet (1700 m) and dropping 420 feet (128 m) into the Zambezi Gorge, the falls create a roar--and a cloud of mist--so great that they are perceptible from a distance of 25 miles (40 km). David Livingstone was the first European to visit the falls, in 1855, and he named them in honor of his queen.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls is between September and November. During March and April, when the water volume is at its peak, the falls create so much mist that they are difficult to see, and from May to September the mist adds to the season's high humidity.
There are all sorts of activities offered at Victoria Falls, including bungee jumping, small plane flights over the falls, and raft trips to the Boiling Pot at their base. In addition to such thrill ride activities, Victoria Falls is also the center for some of the best safari and adventure opportunities in Africa. Above the falls, outstanding canoe and kayaking safaris are available, offering one of the most exciting and memorable ways to experience both the Zambezi and the abundant game of Zambezi National Park.
Below the falls, the Zambezi becomes a whitewater rafting paradise. The rafting trips that run through the river's gorges are internationally known as the most exciting, and least dangerous, to be found anywhere.
                                                       copyright: Paul Janssen