Matusadona National Park

We invite you to sit back and relax whilst soaking in the spectacular views, sounds and remote beauty of Matusadona National Park, during your stay at Changa Safari Camp.

Matusadona National Park is in Northern Zimbabwe and was formed in the late 1950’s. Matusadona was proclaimed a non-hunting area on the 7th November 1958 before being declared a Game Reserve in 1963 and only in 1975 did Matusadona become a National Park. Its vast area encompasses a combination of pristine and rugged wilderness, magical mountains and is home to an abundance of wildlife.

Back in the late 1950’s when Kariba Dam hydroelectric power station was being built and the dam wall constructed, the Kariba gorge was flooded and as it was home to thousands of animals along with the local Tonga people, relocation was required for the animals. Rupert Fothergill lead a wildlife rescue operation that lasted five years, calling it ‘Operation Noah’ Operation Noah saved over 6000 animals which were largely relocated to Matusadona National Park.

The Matusadona National Park, locally known as the ‘Matuzviadonha Hills’ stretch along the lakeshore between the Sanyati and Ume rivers. The word ‘Matuzviadonha’ means ‘falling dung’ and came from the common sightings of elephant dung seen rolling down the steep slopes on the escarpment.

Matusadona has three distinct ecological areas. First is the lake and shoreline grassland, second is the Zambezi Valley floor and the third is the Escarpment. The park spans out over 338,000 acres where the vegetation varies from beautiful mopane woodlands, acacia scrub, lakeshore waterfront and grassland and the famous ‘drowned’ forests Kariba is so well-known for.

Matusadona National Park is a wildlife-rich park. There are numerous species of predators living in the park which include lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah. There is an abundance of great tusker elephant, large herds of buffalo and a large variety of antelope that mostly frequent the lakes shoreline.  Another common sighting seen whilst exploring this magical park are the hippos and crocodiles that reside in the cool waters of Lake Kariba or seen basking on the lakes sandy banks in the sunshine.

Elephants and hippos Changa Safari Camp
Lions at Changa Safari Camp

The birdlife in the National Park is prolific and no trip is complete unless you have checked off ducks, herons, plovers, storks, darters, cormorants and the iconic African Fish Eagle from your bird checklist. With over 350 species of birds having been identified in the National Park, this is a true birders paradise. Bird watching in the breath-taking Sanyati Gorge is one of the activities on offer Changa Safari Camp, where the haunting call of the Fish Eagle can be heard all day, a sound we often reminisce from being on the lake watching a magical sunset with a sundowner in hand.

Changa Safari Camp is one of the three lodges located in the Matusadona National Park, boasting nearly 4km of lakeshore frontage in a truly remote and secluded location, overlooking the mountains.