In 1994, the not-for-profit Malilangwe Trust was established as a result of the largest ever single donor investment in Zimbabwe, in order to purchase, protect, and manage the extraordinary wilderness area next to the Gonarezhou National Park in southeastern Zimbabwe.
Gonerezhou NP & Save River Conservancy
There are few truly wild places in Africa that remain unspoiled by mass tourism and for the time being, Gonarezhou is one of them. Located far from the beaten path, Gonarezhou is an absolute jewel of a wilderness area.
Situated in the south eastern corner of Zimbabwe, this is Zimbabwe’s second largest park after Hwange. Gonarezhou is an extremely scenic park comprising some of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes to be found anywhere. Owing to its vast size, rugged terrain and its location away from main tourist routes, large tracts of Gonarezhou remain as pristine wilderness.
It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Gonarezhou with the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. Animals can move freely between the three sanctuaries. “Gonarezhou” meaning “The place of many elephants” is estimated to have a population in excess of eleven thousand elephant.
Gonarezhou is a great park to see some of the more unusual antelope species, including the shy nyala antelope and the tiny suni. The magnificent roan and sable antelopes can also be encountered.
The game-viewing is good, but it is the ambience of unspoilt wilderness that really attracts – and most visitors will journey to see the impressive red sandstone Chilojo Cliffs.
Singita Pamushana Lodge is the ecotourism arm of this 130,000 acre reserve, and its role is to help foster the sustainability of the wildlife and broader ecology, while enabling guests to share the magic of the lodge and the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. Singita manages the lodge on behalf of the Trust and all proceeds from the lodge benefit the numerous conservation and community outreach and development programmes underway.
Save River Conservancy
The Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe’s southern lowveld area forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which straddles the borders of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. The Save River forms the conservancy’s eastern boundary and varying altitudes in the valley and terrain have created distinct habitats for flora and fauna.
The Save Valley landscape was once dominated by a large livestock operation that pushed out native wildlife and degraded much of the land. For the past several decades, however, cattle fences and livestock have been removed, wildlife and wild habitat have returned, and the area is slowly recovering its natural value. The conservancy is home to lions, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and other game, including black rhinos and white rhinos. Zimbabwe’s current population of rhinos is an estimated 430 black rhinos and 290 white rhino.