Zimbabwean wildlife is some of the most iconic on Earth, and as dense and varied as anywhere in Africa. The country is home to a wide array of sanctuaries, national parks, reserves, and botanical gardens, collectively known as the ‘Wildlife Estate’. The Wildlife Estate covers an impressive 12.5% of the country’s overall landmass and provides sanctuary for the big five along with numerous predators (including the endangered African hunting dog), antelopes and gazelles, and birdlife.
Here are some of the best places in Zimbabwe for wildlife spotting:
Mana Pools National Park
This is the only park in Zimbabwe you’re guaranteed to see plenty of hippos and crocodiles, zebras, and elephants. You’ll also be virtually guaranteed sightings of lions, and have a decent chance of seeing African hunting dogs. Unusually for a national park, the whole area is unfenced, meaning you can spot wildlife wandering through your camp whilst having breakfast!
Hwange National Park
Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest game area and one of Africa’s largest national parks, protecting 107 animal species and 400 bird species. Along with Africa’s biggest elephant population, all the big safari beasts are found here – cheetah, hyena, wild dog, and much more.
Matobo National Park
Although the big draw here is generally considered to be the majestic granite landscape, Matobo is also the best place in the world to see both black and white rhinos. As a bonus the park has the highest density of leopards in Zimbabwe, and a whopping one-third of the world’s eagle species, so well worth a visit.
So there you have our take on the 14 most iconic species of Botswana wildlife you could expect to see when on safari in Botswana. What do you think – any controversial picks… or Botswana wildlife that are missing from the list? Let us know in the comments section below!