Arriving at Zimbabwe’s second largest national park, Expedition Zimbabwe explored new accommodation offerings in the south of Gonarezhou.
Gonarezhou was a type of homecoming for the Expedition Zimbabwe team. Graeme Sharp’s parents were stationed in the park when he was born, so he was probably rocked to sleep on its roads. Filmmaking duo Jo Craig and Buck O’Donoghue spent two years living and working there for their documentary film, Gonarezhou, Return of the Rhino.
New places to stay
The team’s first stop was Bosman’s Community Camp, which opened in late 2021 and lies just outside the park. The camp has six en-suite safari tents spread across Bosman’s Main Camp (four tents) and Little Bosman’s (two). The camp provides for self-catering travellers with two communal areas including kitchen, dining space and fire pit. Thanks to a fence, it is child friendly too.
Nearby Manjinji Pan has gained five campsites and now offers campers flush loos and hot showers. The campsites are situated along the edge of the pan, which is a birding hotspot in season. Both Bosman’s Camp and Manjinji Pan belong to the Malipati community and are managed in partnership with the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust (GCT).
Another community camp jointly managed by GCT is Mathuli Mananga. This remote camp combines the comfort of a chalet with the ease of camping. Mathuli, like the other manangas, is rented out in its entirety. Each camp has four double bedroom units, with a central kitchen, dining area and boma.
Camping on the Runde River
Further north, the team overnighted at Chinguli Campsite. Situated on the edge of several large pools on the Runde River, it is a good location for game viewing. The welcoming committee for Expedition Zimbabwe included three kudu bulls, a herd of waterbuck and a lone elephant bull. Even more scenic is Hlaro, situated near Director’s Campsite and just before the river bends to lead past Chilojo Cliffs. The sight of these cliffs rising up from the floodplain is one of Gonarezhou’s highlights.
- Set aside two weeks to fully explore the park and immerse yourself in Gonarezhou’s wild rhythms.
- At Manjinji Pan, campsite number 5 at comes highly recommended.
- All accommodation bookings, including Bosman’s and Manjinji Pan via email@example.com or on WhatsApp +263 779 788 811
The roads leading through the park are rough but passable at the right speed. “Almost the entire road network is rebuilt every year at the end of the rainy season by the park management, a huge financial and logistical undertaking,” reports Graeme.
Gonarezhou proved to be the last park Expedition Zimbabwe could visit in spring 2022. Unfortunately, Graeme contracted malaria that needed hospital treatment. The remaining stretch along the west of the country and up to Mana Pools has been postponed for the time being.