Wildlife & Sightings
Biogeographically Zimbabwe sits at the crossroads of the northern tropics of Central Africa and the southern temperate zone of South Africa. Its more than 5 000 species of flowering plants and ferns are testament to the diversity that is possible in a relatively small country at such a meeting place. The Zambezi River traces the northern border of the country flowing into Lake Kariba and then through the hot low-lying Zambezi Valley and the World Heritage Site of Mana Pools National Park, providing water year-round for all manner of wildlife and waterfowl in the dry season. Large concentrations of buffalo and elephant are found along the river’s edges, while predators such as lion, wild dog and leopard are often sighted. Kudu, zebra, impala and waterbuck feed on the surrounding plains and hippo and crocodile are also numerous.
Along the Botswana border the easternmost tongues of the Kalahari sands creep into the country and mix with the teak forests of the interior. Here Zimbabwe’s largest national park, Hwange, is home to some of southern Africa’s last great elephant, buffalo and sable herds and plays an integral role in a network of southern African conservation areas. The large numbers of animals all year round – elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, giraffe, wildebeest, impala and even gemsbok – are followed by their predators: lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah, along with African wildcat, serval, honey badger, civet and spotted hyaena.