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Hippos, Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe


Matusadona National park takes its name from the local Matuzviadonha Hills and is a stunning combination of flat plains and rugged mountain landscapes, situated on the shores of Lake Kariba.

With over 1,800 kilometres of shoreline and 40 kilometres in breadth at its widest point, Lake Kariba is known for its excellent tiger fishing and sensational sunsets, as well as the large herds of animals that drink from its waters.

On the east, Matusadona National Park is home to populations of both predators and prey, although poaching and human-wildlife conflict have depleted numbers. The park was once home to the second-largest concentration of wild lions in Africa, after Ngorongoro Crater, but it has seen its prides shrink dramatically in recent years. However, in 2019, there was positive news, with the announcement that the NGO African Parks had taken over management of the park.

Lake Kariba, dead trees and sky reflection
Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

A little more about Matusadona

This rugged landscape is best explored on foot and, whilst wildlife sightings are not as reliable as other parks, the walking safaris here are a standout experience.

One of Matusadona’s greatest features is its rich birdlife. Over 240 species have been recorded in the park. The African fish eagle is common along the lakeshore, where it makes use of the dead trees as nesting sites.

Elephants at waterhole, Hwange, Zimbabwe
Hwange, Zimbabwe

Highlights of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is making a comeback – hardly surprising seeing as it is one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa. However, it also prides itself on its rich history and varied landscapes. Explore the highlights on this safari through three contrasting national parks, culminating with some time beside the Victoria Falls.

11 days

from £4,900 pp

See holiday idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.

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Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.

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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.

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Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

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