Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park is a national park in northern Zimbabwe situated on the southern shore of Lake Kariba. The park takes its name from the local Matuzviadonha Hills.

Where does Matusadona fit in your Zimbabwe adventure?

Matusadona National Park covers 1,400 km2 of flat plains and rugged mountains protecting a diverse flora and fauna. Its area encompasses a combination of pristine and rugged wilderness, which before the Kariba Dam was built and Lake Kariba created, was very inaccessible. The creation of the lake caused profound ecological changes. In particular, the availability of grazing on the lakeshore has contributed to an increase in the populations of large mammals in the park, especially those of elephant and Cape buffalo. The species of grass growing on the shoreline is Panicum repens which grows as long as the lake levels fluctuate bringing nutrients to the shore. This source of grazing has allowed populations of large grazers such as Cape buffalo, waterbuck, common zebra, and impala to thrive, attracting the associated predators.

 Safari activities in Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park is an ideal destination in Zimbabwe. From game drives to fishing and boat safaris, this park has something to offer for every nature enthusiast. Don’t miss the chance to discover the top attractions in Matusadona National Park and create unforgettable memories in this picturesque wilderness.

Long Island

Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and lush vegetation, the island offers breathtaking views from every angle. Visitors can enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the island as they explore its untouched beauty.

Nature lovers will be delighted by the diverse wildlife found on Long Island. The island is home to a wide range of animal species, including elephants, buffalo, hippos, and numerous bird species. Birdwatchers can spot various migratory birds as well as endemic species in this pristine natural habitat.

Visitors can partake in various activities on Long Island. Boat safaris are a popular choice, allowing tourists to explore the island and its surrounding waters. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching the renowned tiger fish, while nature walks and hiking trails allow for up-close encounters with the island’s wildlife.

Sanyati Gorge

As one of the top attractions in Matusadona National Park, Sanyati Gorge offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers.

The gorge is a natural wonder, carved by the meandering Sanyati River over thousands of years. Its towering cliffs and rocky outcrops provide a striking backdrop for the abundant flora and fauna that call this place home. Visitors can explore the gorge’s diverse ecosystems, including dense woodlands, open grasslands, and scenic waterways.

One of the highlights of Sanyati Gorge is its thriving wildlife population. It is home to a rich variety of animals, including elephants, lions, buffalo, and hippos. The area is also a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts, with over 350 bird species documented in the park. The picturesque setting of the gorge offers ample opportunities for stunning wildlife sightings and photography.

Nature lovers and adventure seekers will find plenty to do in Sanyati Gorge. Guided hikes and nature walks are popular activities, allowing visitors to discover the park’s hidden gems and enjoy uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape. Boat safaris and fishing trips on the Sanyati River offer a unique perspective and a chance to witness wildlife up close.
For those seeking a more relaxing experience, Sanyati Gorge provides tranquil picnic spots and beautiful camping sites overlooking the river. The peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking scenery make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Elephant Point

Situated on the shores of Lake Kariba, Elephant Point provides a unique vantage point to witness these incredible creatures up close. As the elephants make their way down to the lake for a drink or to cool off, visitors have the chance to witness their graceful movements and observe their social interactions.

In addition to wildlife spotting, the area surrounding Elephant Point offers various activities for adventure seekers. Visitors can enjoy boat cruises on Lake Kariba, game drives, fishing trips, and bird-watching excursions. The stunning landscapes and breathtaking sunsets make for perfect photo opportunities that will leave you with lasting memories. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast, a keen photographer, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature, Elephant Point in Matusadona National Park is a top attraction that should not be missed. Plan your visit and get ready for an unforgettable experience in the heart of Zimbabwe’s wilderness.

Spurwing Island

This idyllic island retreat offers an array of exciting activities and stunning natural wonders that make it one of the top attractions in the area. One of the main highlights of Spurwing Island is its diverse wildlife. Visitors can embark on thrilling game drives and boat safaris to witness the incredible biodiversity of the park. Keep an eye out for the “Big Five” – elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros – as well as other magnificent creatures like hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species.

For those seeking adventure, Spurwing Island offers fantastic opportunities for fishing. The abundance of fish species in Lake Kariba, where the island is nestled, provides a perfect setting for anglers of all levels. Catch thrilling game fish such as tiger fish and bream, and enjoy the thrill of reeling in your own dinner.

Nature lovers can also explore the island on foot, taking in the breathtaking landscapes and serene atmosphere. Marvel at the lush vegetation and spot native flora and fauna up close. The island’s stunning sunsets are not to be missed, offering a picture-perfect backdrop for those memorable holiday photos.

Gulati Bay

Known for its breathtaking views, Gulati Bay provides visitors with a perfect blend of natural beauty and wildlife encounters. The bay’s calm and serene waters serve as a haven for a diverse range of animal species, making it a remarkable wildlife viewing spot.

Tourists can embark on boat cruises or guided canoe safaris to explore the bay and witness the incredible abundance of wildlife. Visitors can expect to encounter a variety of animals, including elephants, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, and a wide array of bird species. The thrill of being in such close proximity to these magnificent creatures is an experience not to be missed.
Gulati Bay also offers several walking trails for adventure enthusiasts. These trails allow visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the park, providing an up-close and personal experience with the park’s flora and fauna. The stunning landscapes and dramatic sunsets are sure to captivate every nature lover.

For those seeking tranquility and relaxation, Gulati Bay boasts several pristine beaches where visitors can unwind and soak in the beauty of their surroundings. Whether it’s lounging on the sand or swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Kariba, visitors can enjoy a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Rhino Point

It is named after the numerous rhinoceros sightings that occur in this area, making it a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts. To reach Rhino Point, visitors can embark on a thrilling game drive or a guided walking safari through the park. Along the way, keep an eye out for the Big Five (elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos) as well as other fascinating animals like zebras, giraffes, and antelopes.

Upon arriving at Rhino Point, prepare to be mesmerized by the picturesque vistas it offers. The viewpoint overlooks Lake Kariba, one of Africa’s largest man-made lakes, shining amidst the park’s rolling hills and dense vegetation. The sight is particularly breathtaking at sunrise or sunset, when the sky lights up in stunning hues, creating a truly magical experience.
Besides the incredible scenery, Rhino Point provides an ideal location for birdwatching enthusiasts. The park is home to a wide array of avian species, including fish eagles, herons, egrets, and countless others. With binoculars in hand, visitors can spend hours observing and identifying the numerous feathered inhabitants.

The combination of wildlife, landscapes, and vibrant colors creates endless opportunities to capture stunning images that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Fothergill Island

Visitors can spot a variety of animals, including elephants, buffalo, hippos, and numerous bird species. Guided walking safaris and boat trips around the island provide excellent opportunities for wildlife photography and observation.

Another highlight of Fothergill Island is its stunning landscapes and breathtaking views. The island is surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Kariba, offering visitors a chance to relax on secluded beaches or go swimming and fishing. The picturesque sunsets on the lake are a sight not to be missed.

For those interested in history and culture, Fothergill Island has an interesting past. The island was once home to local fishing communities and remnants of their traditional settlements can still be found. Visitors can learn about their way of life and interact with the friendly locals.

Changa Point

This stunning area offers an unforgettable experience surrounded by the beauty of Lake Kariba and the park’s diverse ecosystem. Changa Point is renowned for its abundant wildlife, making it a prime spot for game viewing and birdwatching. Visitors have the opportunity to see a wide range of animals, including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, and various antelope species. The park also boasts a variety of bird species, with over 240 recorded to date, making it a bird lover’s paradise.

For those seeking adventure, Changa Point offers exciting activities such as boat cruises, fishing trips, and guided walking safaris. The boat cruises provide a unique opportunity to explore the vastness of Lake Kariba and witness beautiful sunsets while enjoying a refreshing drink. Fishing enthusiasts can test their skills by trying to catch Nile tilapia, tiger fish, and bream, among other species.
Nature enthusiasts can embark on thrilling walking safaris led by experienced guides who offer insights into the native flora and fauna. Exploring the park on foot allows visitors to immerse themselves in the serene surroundings and experience the wilderness up close.

Tashinga Island

Situated in Lake Kariba, Tashinga Island provides visitors with pristine natural beauty and a chance to explore the diverse wildlife that thrives in the area. The island is known for its abundance of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. From majestic fish eagles to vibrant kingfishers, visitors can witness a symphony of colors and sounds. The island is also home to various land animals, including elephants, buffalos, lions, and hyenas. Game drives and walking safaris are popular activities on the island, allowing visitors to observe these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat.

For nature lovers, Tashinga Island offers breathtaking landscapes with scenic views of Lake Kariba and its surrounding mountains. The calm waters of the lake provide a perfect spot for fishing, boating, and canoeing. Visitors can enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the island while engaging in these water activities.

Ndanga Point

The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and a variety of bird species. Ndanga Point provides an excellent vantage point for spotting these animals in their natural habitat.

Visitors can access Ndanga Point via boat or land, with organized tours and game drives available for a more immersive experience. The area is also suitable for fishing, making it a popular spot for anglers looking to catch tiger fish and bream. For those seeking a unique adventure, Ndanga Point is an ideal location for camping and bushwalking.

Where to stay at Matusadona National Park?

Matusadona National Park provides plenty of accommodations options ranging from budget (Camping), mid-range and luxury options. These facilities include, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Changa Safari Camp, Musango Safari Camp, Rhino Safari Camp and others.

When to go? Best time to Visit

From June to October when the humidity has dropped and the floodplains have dried, wildlife emerges once again, making game viewing in Matusadona exceptionally rewarding, whether on foot, by boat or in a safari vehicle. Because the level of the water in Lake Kariba influences the presence and visibility of game and there’s no way of predicting when the rains will arrive, the best time to book a safari in Matusadona might change slightly year-on-year.

How to access Matusadona National Park

By air – Tashinga Camp in the northwest of Matusadona has a small aircraft Category II landing strip.

By boat – Matusadona can be accessed via Lake Kariba by boat from the town of Kariba on a 50-kilometre trip.