A Guide to Tracking Rhinos in Zimbabwe – March 04, 2018

I felt like a downright trailblazer as I trekked through the grassy plains of Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, hopscotching over fallen branches and crunchy, dried leaves.

Up ahead, a group of fellow explorers had formed a tight semicircle, with their eyes fixed to the ground and grins stretching from ear to ear. I picked up my pace and caught up, only to be met with a steaming pile of … poop.

The fanfare had nothing to do with the dung itself, but rather what it represented. These droppings were fresh; they had been left by an adult southern white rhino that was likely just minutes ahead of us on the trail. At that moment, we made a silent pact: move swiftly, remain quiet and, hopefully, see one of these majestic creatures up close.

Don’t let the name fool you — white rhinos aren’t “white,” but rather light gray in color. They are also much larger than their darker counterparts and have a longer head and wider mouth, according to Jay Parmar, owner of U.S.-based tour operator Wander Africa. Another helpful identifier? You guessed it: the animal’s poop. While the waste of black rhinos is made of splint-like materials — usually chopped off at a 45-degree angle — white rhinos will produce a much grassier manure.

The park, which is located in central Zimbabwe, has populations of both black and southern white rhinos. We were tracking the latter — a species of grazers introduced to the area in 1964 from neighboring South Africa, according to Emmerson Magodhi, tourism manager for Matobo. White rhinos are found in multiple parts of the park, while black rhinos are confined to a special game area. An Intensive Protection Zone distinction protects these creatures from poachers, and armed security rangers patrol 24 hours per day (we were accompanied by one such ranger throughout our visit).

Matobo also attracts tourists for its many hiking trails, unique landscape and rich history; the land features rock art left by ancient dwellers and is home to the grave of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes. It’s also only about a 40-minute drive from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city and an international hub serviced by South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates and more.

Tracking rhinos here is much like a game of hide-and-seek, and it’s a task made easier by using the animal’s “natural” clues, and the fact that these so-called “hiders” tend to move very slowly, only changing sleeping positions once every 30 to 40 minutes.

“Rhino tracking is one of those rare opportunities in life for tourists to come close to an animal that is a ‘world over’ while in its natural environment,” Magodhi said. “It is one of the most adventurous experiences one can do in their lifetime.”

We walked for just five minutes more, and then we saw them: two white rhinos, their slate-gray hue serving as a form of camouflage against a background of towering granite rocks. The pair patiently allowed us to play paparazzi — not a bad ending to our grown-up game of hide-and-seek.

Booking Tips
A rhino-tracking experience needs to be booked with the park at least one or two days in advance. Those interested in reserving this should contact park officials at or

Emmerson Magodi – extract from travelagewest –

World Wildlife day

This year’s World Wildlife Day in Zimbabwe will be commemorated jointly with the 28th  Africa Environment Day and Wangari Maathai Day. The event will be hosted by the  Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife authority, Environmental Management Agency,and Forestry Commission on the 3rd of March 2018, at the Africa Unity Square in Harare.


Parks and Wildlife Management Authority invites tenders from suitable and reputable suppliers of patrol boots.


The Request for Proposals (RFP) may be collected from Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Head Quarters upon payment of US$10.00 non-refundable fee. Bids in sealed envelopes should be addressed to The Procurement Committee, Parks and Wildlife management Authority, P.O Box CY140 Cause-way Harare or can be delivered to The Procurement Committee, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Corner Borrowdale Road and Sandringham Drive Harare, not later than 10.00hrs on the closing date shown below




PWMA/01/2018  SUPPLY AND DELIVERY 13.03.2018


The closing Date for submission of Bids is 13 March 2018 at 10.00am. Bidders are free to witness the opening of the tender on the closing date and time at The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Head Office Lecture Theatre, Corner Borrowdale Road and


Please be informed that with effect from the 1st of January 2018, the 30% SADC discount has been phased out.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority would like to take this opportunity to thank all its clients in the SADC region for their continued support towards the promotion of tourism in Zimbabwe.

For more information, please feel free to contact the Customer Services Office on the following contact details:

Calls: +263 772 111 846

WhatsApp: +263 776 134 164


Zimparks Partners with Marist Camp Brothers

It was all smiles and cheers at St Giles recreation at Lake Chivero as 150 children flocked the area managed by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority enjoying the vicinity. Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife management Authority in collaboration with Marist Camp Brothers made 150 children have a good start of the year 2018 as they facilitated free access and food supplements for the kids.

Br.Leonard Brito who is one of the organisers of the Marist Camp Brothers said the following

‘Marist Camp is a is a registered Welfare Organisation that is run by the Marist Camo Brothers .We select children from remote disadvantaged communities and through our partners like Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and volunteers  treat them to  picnics which will include fun games and team building exercises. Children who come are trained in swimming, spot, sewing and appreciation of nature. The Marist Camp brother are also assisted by volunteering youth who render their services free.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority prides itself with partnering with organisations that help and assist the vulnerable disadvantaged members of society like children. The Authority intends to maintain and continue to assist Marist Camp Brothers within its capacity as the children are the future.

Christmas day with a difference…

Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority ranger Alfonce Mupuwa from Chirisa National Park was admitted at a local hospital following an attack by a Buffalo. Mr Mashingaidze (Zimparks HR)  presented a Christmas hamper on behalf of  The Director General Mr. F.U Mangwanya. Zimparks family wishes him a speedy recovery.

Zimparks bids farewell to Hon Minister (Dr) W. Mzembi at Zimbali Gardens


Zimparks team bids farewell to Hon Minister (Dr) W. Mzembi at Zimbali Gardens and  Welcoming our New Minister Hon E. Mbwembwe to the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Hospitality Industry.

Thank you Dr Mzembi for the great input in tourism and Welcome Hon E. Mbwembwe.

Zimparks was fully represented by The Director General Mr. F U. Mangwanya  and Deputy Director Generals Mr. George Manyumwa and Mr G. Matipano as well as colleagues in support of the function. ( Mr Aaron Chingombe, Mr. F Chimeramombe, Mr Chikande, Patience Gandiwa, Tinashe Farawo and Evans Katiyo.

13 jumbos die in ‘cyanide poisoning’ October 14, 2017 Local News

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

THIRTEEN elephants were found dead in a bush between Fuller Forest and Chikandakubi area outside Victoria Falls town on Wednesday in yet another suspected case of cyanide poisoning.

A villager from Chikandakubi reportedly bumped onto the 13 carcasses near Ngwengwe Springs as he was herding cattle on Wednesday.

The Chronicle was told that four of the elephants had been dehorned while rangers recovered ivory from the other nine.

All carcasses were bulging and almost bursting, raising fears of cyanide poisoning which is suspected to have been administered by poachers at a nearby salt lick, a source said.

“The elephants comprised nine males and four females, nine of which were adults and the other four were sub adults.

The carcasses were discovered by a villager who was rounding up his cattle and he alerted police and rangers,” said a source.

The source said rangers from Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and police officers attended the scene on Thursday.

Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo could not be reached for comment.

Between January and June 2017, a total of 14 elephants were lost due to poaching activities with two more incidents being recorded in the Hwange National Park two months ago.

However, Zimparks authorities have said collaborative efforts with other Government agencies have led to a downward trend in poaching incidents compared to last year.

Anti-poaching teams have lately been deployed to deal with the emerging poaching cases as the wildlife authority works tirelessly to fight the vice.

During the recently held third Defence and Security Chief Meeting hosted by Zimbabwe, member countries were challenged to domesticate the Sadc law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy.

An elephant costs about $50 000. — @ncubeleon


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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.