Not-for-profit organisation African Parks has partnered with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to restore Matusadona National Park to its former glory.
Once a haven for the African elephant and black rhino, Zimbabwe’s challenges in recent years have caused havoc with wildlife populations. Poaching has brutally reduced the numbers of elephant and almost eradicated black rhino.
This new partnership is a huge step forward for conservation in Zimbabwe and Matusadona National Park; as the country’s first protected area to be managed by African Parks, the opportunity for positive change is enormous – for the wildlife, for the local communities and the tourism industry.
The 1,470 km2 National Park’s varied and fertile landscape – including rolling hills, flat grasslands and Lake Kariba – offers the perfect environment for many species to thrive. African Parks’ main aim is to restore Matusadona to its previous position as Zimbabwe’s leading elephant and black rhino sanctuary, through robust governance, law enforcement strategies and community engagement initiatives.
Chris McIntyre, Managing Director at Expert Africa, says: “Expert Africa has long supported Matusadona National Park by sending travellers to the area’s lodges and I have a personal passion for Zimbabwe, having worked there for three years on VSO projects. African Parks has an excellent history of turning struggling wilderness area around across the continent – with strong community involvement – and their partnership with Zimparks in Matusadona is fantastically exciting. We hope that it marks a turning point and that Matusadona can thrive again.”
Visit the beautiful Matusadona National Park for yourself to see these changes in action. Choose from these top itineraries from Expert Africa:
Banded Mongoose Safari
Experience the contrasts between two renowned lake and river-facing safari areas, staying at Musango Safari camp – run by Steve Edwards, former head warden of Matusadona National Park, whose expert knowledge is invaluable for exploring the park. Then, head out in the wild, with four nights at the semi-permanent tented John’s Camp, Mana Pools, to immerse yourself in nature and wildlife.
This trip costs from £5,646 pp (two sharing), including eight nights’ full-board accommodation, return flights (London), transfers, all game activities and a copy of the Bradt Zimbabwe guide.
This short safari – just three nights, but can be extended elsewhere if wished – includes a stay at the most luxurious accommodation on the eastern side of Matusadona where, from your lodge, you can watch elephants graze along the lakeside and hear hippos chatting nearby. Three nights is plenty of time to explore the area – from game drives to boat trips –, and there’s also the chance to try fishing from the camp’s pontoon.
This trip costs from £3,295 pp (two sharing), including three nights’ full-board accommodation, return flights (London), transfers, all game activities and a copy of the Bradt Zimbabwe guide.
This varied safari offers a range of activities across three of Zimbabwe’s unique National Parks: try a guided walking safari and get closer to the animals by spending time in a hide in Hwange, enjoy game drives and game spotting at the waterfront in Mana Pools and then go on a boat cruise and soak up lake vistas in Matusadona.
This trip costs from £5,611 pp (two sharing), including eight nights’ full-board accommodation, return flights (London), transfers, National Park fees, all game activities and a copy of the Bradt Zimbabwe guide.
For further information, or to talk to a safari specialist, call Expert Africa on 020 3405 6666 or visit www.expertafrica.com for a taste of its carefully-curated programme across 12 African countries.