Matusadona National Park Zimbabwe
Situated in northern Zimbabwe on the shores of Lake Kariba, Matusadona National Park comprises a large expanse of pristine wilderness characterized by flat grassy plains and dramatic rugged mountains. From the vast woody escarpment to the dense bush of the Zambezi valley floor, the park features a diverse range of landscapes inhabited by abundant wildlife species. These include, among others: elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, crocodiles, and an impressive variety of birdlife. The entire northern boundary of the park is created by the lake’s grassy shoreline, providing excellent opportunities for boat cruise safaris. Other popular activities include walking safaris, tiger fishing, and camping at some of the park’s many small rustic bush camps.
Size of Matusadona National Park
Matusadona National Park covers 1,400 km2 (540 sq mi) of flat plains and rugged mountains protecting a diverse flora and fauna. Its area encompasses a combination of pristine and rugged wilderness.
Location of 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.
How to get to Matusadona National Park
Matusadona National Park is located in the northwest of the country on the shore of Lake Kariba and is 470km northwest of Harare. The drive into the park from Victoria Falls is very rough and needs a 4WD. In the Wet season from November to May, the road tends to be unnavigable.
The best way to get to Matusadona is by chartered plane or by boat across the lake from Kariba, which is 18km.
Things to do in Matusadona National Park
Hiking and escarpment climbing
Visitors can also go on guided hiking excursions through the woodlands and up the escarpment.
Game viewing along the lake shoreline from the safety of houseboats
Enjoy the ultimate in barefoot luxury on a family holiday aboard your private safari cruiser on Zimbabwe’s iconic Lake Kariba. Cruising the shores of one of Africa’s last remaining true wilderness areas, MV Matusadona is perfectly combined with a visit to the Victoria Falls and offers the ideal extension to a land-based African safari.
Fishing in the rivers and inlets
There are more than 150 fish species in Kariba, from tiny kapenta to tasty bream and tilapia to the massive vundu.
Bird watching in the breathtaking Sanyati Gorge
The lake is also a wonderful vantage point for birding; the fish eagles nesting in the ‘drowned forest’ compete for attention with herons and storks, darters, ducks and cormorants, plovers and pratincles, kingfishers, and weaver birds.
The endemic and critically endangered black rhino may be spotted along the foot of the plateau. Big Cat enthusiasts should look out for lions, leopards, and cheetah. African wild dogs and hyenas also roam the park.
Sunsets over Lake Kariba are achingly beautiful, especially with the mountain backdrop of the eponymous Matuzviadonha Hills on the park’s northern plateau. To the park’s south, the escarpment drops to the scrub and woodland plains of the Zambezi Valley. Matusadona is buffalo and elephant country.
Canoeing is one of the best activities in Matusadona national park; the little wooden canoes will give you that perfect drifting along the Lakeshores as you view wildlife and birds.
When to visit Matusadona National Park
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 the 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.
Where to stay in Matusadona National Park
There are three private lodges in the Matusadona National Park. The more budget accommodation is at Spur wing Island Lodge where they offer full board rates and optional lodge activities at an additional cost. Rhino Safari Camp in the northwest part of the park is a fully inclusive camp, with a range of activities including safaris, fishing, and hiking. To the far east of the park is a luxury tented camp – Changa safari camp. This camp is also fully inclusive.
Activities to do in park
|Climbing mount Meru from Arusha national park
|Game drives in Arusha national park
|Primate walks in Arusha national park
|Walking safaris in Arusha national park
|water fall hikes in Arusha national park
|Canoeing on Lake Momella
How to get there
|How to get to Arusha national park
Popular tours and safaris
|3 Days Arusha national park safari
|4 days Arusha national park safari
|5 days hike Mount Meru
Best time to visit the park
|Best time to visit Arusha national park
Where to stay in the park
|Lake Duluti Lodge
|Mount Meru game Lodge
|Rivertrees country inn
|Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge