Gonarezhou, meaning “The Place of Elephants“, is a big and wild park in the south-east of Zimbabwe, living up to its name. There are many very remote areas we couldn’t tackle with our car and the limited time, but what we saw really impressed us. The iconic Chilojo Cliffs and the river Runde provide a fantastic landscape full of animals. We had bad weather with drizzle and grey skies, but we still enjoyed our visit.
Our campsite was on the other side of Runde River. We had the information from the gate, that all the fords are passable, but crossing a river for the first time is always an adventure.
We could watch animals around the river from our campsite and at night we got a special visitor. While sitting around the fire, we heard some noise behind us. When we turned around with our headlights on, a spotted hyaena was standing only 5 metres away from us. After surprising it, it slowly turned and walked away – what a great experience!
At our campsite we could watch an elephant making his way through the boulders and enjoying the long grass between them.
We had heard, that there are not many giraffes in Gonarezhou NP, so we considered us very lucky, when we could watch a group of them crossing the river in the mist.
From our camp we had heard the funny sounds hippos make and one morning we could watch a mother with her young one coming back from grazing during the night and making their way over the boulders to get to their favourite spot in the river.
This guy had the biggest tusk we had ever seen and was using them to destroy that tree so he could enjoy the yummy parts.
After 2 nights in the park, we are now heading to Great Zimbabwe, the ruins of an earlier settlement of a king and his household.