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.

Calls to fully exploit wildlife based land reform

Insert from ZBC.

Communities in Matabeleland have been called upon to fully exploit the wildlife based land reform programme and empower themselves through the lucrative safari hunting and game viewing projects facilitated by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks).

Matabeleland is endowed with wildlife resources with Matabeleland North Province being the bastion of the big five and also the prime safari hunting area in the country.

However, communities in the region are grappling with the challenge of human wildlife conflict which can be addressed if resources are availed.

The issue of human wildlife conflict is a result of failure by authorities to share the proceeds of game farming through safari hunting with people who live within these areas, said the director general of Zimparks Mr Fulton Mangwanya.

Addressing people in the Mtshabezi area of Matobo, Mr Mangwanya said beneficiation on wildlife resources by communities is a top government priority.

Mr Mangwanya whose institution donated 50 000 Nile tilapia fingerlings to the Mtshabezi fishing community said they will continue to work with rural communities to ensure that they fully benefit from the exploitation of the available natural resources.

His comments come at a time that the Matabeleland Economic Forum through the Livestock Farmers Union has proposed the establishment of new wildlife conservation areas that will be managed by communities through the chiefs where 15 percent of revenue generated will be used to establish a compensation fund for those whose animals and crops are destroyed by animals.

This proposal which has been well received by chiefs could be the panacea to human wildlife conflict.

Two elephants killed in suspected cyanide poisoning

Jul 19, 2017 |

Two elephants have been killed in a suspected case of cyanide poisoning around Hwange National Park.

The carcasses of the two jumbos were discovered on Monday by anti-poaching officers.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) confirmed the suspected cyanide poisoning case after officers who were on patron around Hwange National Park noticed the carcasses of two adult elephants.

The case has since been reported to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) which is now conducting further investigations, while a task which was removed from one of the elephants has since been recovered.

Zimparks Public Relations Manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo said the suspected cyanide poison was administered on the saltlick, adding that the recovered task has been sent for safekeeping while 150 anti-poaching unit officers have been deployed to deal with the emerging poaching cases.

Mr Farawo added that the authority in collaboration with other government agencies is working tirelessly to reduce cases of poaching with cumulative figures for 2017 indicating a downward trend compared to last year.

Recent reports from Zimparks show that between January and June 2017, a total of 14 elephants were lost due to poaching activities.

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.


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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.