Zimbabwe defines three categories of land where hunting is permitted; National Parks Safari Areas, Communal (tribal) Land and Alienated (private) Land. Each have their own regulations as to when hunting is allowed.
National Parks Safari Areas
National Parks Safari Areas are land in more remote marginal areas, unsuitable for agriculture but ideal for game and hunting operations on a sustainable off-take basis.
• Trophy hunting may take place from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset during the hunting season.
• Hunting is not allowed at night and no hunting is allowed with artificial light.
• No Planes, electronic calls, night vision scopes, spotlights, etc are allowed to be used to assist in hunting.
• Hunting from a vehicle is not permitted, though the vehicle can be used to reach the area from where hunting on foot can begin.
• Shooting an animal from a vehicle is not permitted, a person actually needs to be 55 yards (50 meters) away from a vehicle to shoot an animal.
• No animal may be chased or driven by a vehicle.
• Hunting is not permitted within 440 yards (400 meters) of any designated water place.
• Hunting with dog(s) is not permitted.
• Handguns are allowed as a back up but not for the actual hunt.
• Bowhunting is not permitted.
Communal (tribal) Land
Communal (tribal) Lands are traditionally held by indigenous people. Government grants authority to local District Councils to assume responsibility for the management and utilization of the wildlife. With assistance from National Parks the council decides on a sustainable annual quota of animals to be hunted and offers them to safari (hunting) operators on a tender basis. The funds thus generated go to benefit local development, such as building bridges and schools and installing grinding mills, and also to compensate local families whose crop production has been reduced by marauding wildlife. This scheme is known as CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas management Plan For Indigenous Resources).
• Within the parameters of various wildlife protection laws, the safari operator set the standard of what he considers ethical.
• On hunting designated Communal (tribal) Land, trophy hunting may take place within the hours of daylight during the hunting season.
• Hunting is allowed at night for nocturnal species such as Lion, Leopard, Bushpig, etc. and the use of artificial light and night vision scopes is permitted.
• Hunting with a handgun is permitted.
• Bowhunting is permitted.
Alienated (private) Land
Alienated (private) Lands are held by individuals. Game hunting quotas are based upon what the landowner deems appropriate and subject to the approval of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA).
• Within the parameters of various wildlife protection laws, the landowner set the standard of what he considers ethical. The safari operator may also apply his own standard in addition to the landowner, if not the same person.
• Methods of hunting, such as bowhunting, handgun hunting, hunting with dogs for cats, hunting at night with artificial light are all permitted and at the discretion of the landowner.
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Detailed Map of Zimbabwe (click on thumbnail to enlarge map)
Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe
Location of the Gonarezhou National Park and surrounding communal lands in the southeast lowveld of Zimbabwe.
Gonarezhou National Park is situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers an area in excess of 5,000 square kilometres. "Gonarezhou" meaning "Place of many Elephants" is an extremely scenic Park full of rugged and beautiful landscapes.
Alternative folklore suggests the are was named for the herbalists who would stock their medicines in tusks (known as gona in the Shona language).
Three major rivers - The Save, Runde and Mwenezi - cut their courses through the Park, forming pools and natural oases from which hundreds of species of birds, wildlife and fish gather to feed and drink. As its name implies, Gonarezhou is famous for its elephants, and many of the largest-tusked elephants in the region maybe found within the Park.
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP)
Gonarezhou National Park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), a massive Pan-African Park that includes South Africa's famed Kruger National Park and Mozambique's Gaza. This huge area is set to become one of the finest "peace parks" in the world and is dedicated to conservation, biodiversity and the economic development of the surrounding local communities. The vast and diverse nature of the mega-park will provide world-class eco-tourism to the visitor and strive to re-establish historical animal migration routes and fragile regional ecosystems.
The combined Park will include more than 500 species of birds, 147 species of mammals, at least 116 species of reptiles, 34 species of frogs and 49 species of fish.
Flora and Fauna
Lion, leopard, cheetah (including the rare king cheetah), buffalo, giraffe, zebra and many species of large antelope are also present within the Park. The rare nyala and smaller suni are two of the highlights of the Park's smaller antelopes. In addition, hundreds of species of birds may be spotted in the Park. Unique species of aquatic wildlife such as the Zambezi Shark, Freshwater Goby, Black Bream and the unique turquoise killifish can be seen within the Park's rivers and pools.
One of the most prominent and enduring natural features of Gonarezhou National Park is the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs. These magnificent red sandstone cliffs have been formed through eons of erosion and overlook the scenic Runde River valley.
Gonarezhou experiences mild, dry winters and warm, wet summers (temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celcius can occasionally be expected). Mabalauta and Chipinda areas are open throughout the year. During the rainy season (November - April), access to certain parts of the Park is restricted and the visitor should consult with the Park's offices before undertaking game drives.
Bilharzia is endermic to all lowveld rivers and visitors should take appropriate precaution. In addition, malaria can be present within the region so visitors are advised to take prophylactics before, during and after their stay in the Park.
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