Gonarezhou National Park Accommodation
Zimbabwe's second largest national park - 5000km2 of rugged and beautiful landscape that is generally untouched and untamed
The Chilojo Cliffs of Gonarezhou
The remote Gonarezhou National Park, in the southeast corner of Zimbabwe, is unlike other parks in Zimbabwe such as Hwange and Mana Pools, which have a great variety of fancy safari lodges. Gonarezhou is more about the self-drive wilderness experience and it only has a couple of lodge options. Please read the overview below which will give you a broad idea of what is available...
If you want to find out more information on the park itself, please see our Gonarezhou information page
Lodge and tented accommodation in and around Gonarezhou National Park
Singita's Pamushana Lodge is located in the private Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve about 30kms from the Gonarezhou North gate entrance. It is in a beautiful location on top of a hill overlooking a lake down below.
Pamushana is a luxury safari lodge with probably the highest price tag of any safari lodge in Zimbabwe, the reason being it delivers possibly one of the best safari adventures available in the county. It offers fully inclusive accommodation and activities on its private reserve and in the park. The Malilangwe reserve is well known for its incredible game viewing and all big five animals can be seen here.
It is privately managed, so not only is it exclusive to guest staying at Pamushana but the game management control is excellent and poaching is almost non-existent. Activities include game drives, walking safaris, boat cruises, fishing and trips to the nearby ancient rock painting site, as well as days trips into Gonarezhou to see the magnificent Chilojo cliffs. They have their own airstrip or guests can fly into Buffalo Range Airport which is 45 kms from the lodge.
Just outside the eastern border of Gonarezhou, and close the Mozambique border is Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. Set on the edge of the cliff, Chilo Lodge offers views over the Save River which cuts through the gorge.
Chalet stays are fully inclusive of activities including birding, fishing, cultural tours, game drives and walking safaris. Depending on the season, boat cruises on the Save River and canoeing are also offered. Chilo Gorge Lodge is very child-friendly and offers numerous activities for children.
Chilos Mahove Tented Camp, is a much wilder semi-luxury bush experience. Set inside the park on the banks of the Runde River, this camp is ideally suited to adventure lovers seeking a truly wild experience. Guest stays are fully inclusive with activities that include walking safaris, game drives, birding around the pans and exploring the Chilojo cliffs.
Gonarezhou Bush Camps are exclusive semi-luxury mobile tented camps at sought after locations within the park. They are managed by the conservation trust but are run by carefully selected Zimbabwe professional guides. These camps offer a unique and truly wonderful one on one safari experience.
Any of these camps can be booked through us and we will assist you in arranging your itinerary and logistics.
Self-catering in Gonarezhou National Park
Chilo Lodge, just outside the park and mentioned above also offers very comfortable self-catering accommodation at its Nhambo site, close to the lodge. The double units enjoy en-suite bathrooms and superb views. There is a shared kitchen, a dining area, a braai area and a plunge pool. The family lodge sleeps up to six people and has its own kitchen, garden and two bathrooms.
Within the park and run by the Gonarezhou conservation trust are a few other self-catering options for self-drive enthusiasts who prefer not to camp. These include Mananga Camp, Chipinda Pools tented camp, Swimuwini Lodges and Bosman's community camp.
The camps are dotted around the park in iconic locations and offer fairly basic but comfortable accommodation and facilities. More details on these camps and for bookings please look at the Gonarezhou conservation partnership website.
Camping in Gonarezhou National Park
Gonarezhou National Park is a bush campers paradise. I really commend the Gonarezhou conservation trust for developing such fantastic camping options throughout the park in some beautiful locations. There are three different types of camps.
1) Exclusive Bush campsites: These are wilderness sites and campers have to be completely self-sufficient. They have no facilities except a long-drop toilet and fire-pit. There is no electricity, water, camp attendant or structure. These sites are booked on an exclusive basis, in that you have to take the whole campsite. 4x4 vehicles are required to access most of them.
Exclusive campsites for the self-sufficient campers
Within this category there are a further 3 types - Exclusive, Wilderness and Transit, which have the same basic facilities, but allow for smaller or larger groups and maximum lengths of stay, to ensure everyone has a chance to stay at the right price that suits them.
2) Developed Campsites: There are three of these sites around the park at Chipinda Pools and Chinguli in the north and Mabalauta in the south. Within each of these sites there are several campsites, that can be booked individually at a slightly cheaper rate than the Bush Sites. Facilities at these sites include a braai area and open thatched rondavel, shared ablution blocks, with running but unfiltered water and a camp attendant, but there is still no electricity.
These sites are not as remote as the bush sites, but suit those campers who are not completely self-sufficient and possibly a bit more nervous of being so far out in the wilderness.
3) Starbed Platforms: There are three of these platforms located around the park at Bhenji Weir, Malugwe and Gorwe. Like the bush campsites there are no facilities apart from the platform, a long-drop toilet and firepit. Campers have to be self-sufficient.
Map of Gonarezhou National Park (click to enlarge)