Limpopo River Safaris Travel and Adventure Guide
Magnificent, untouched wilderness areas flank the Limpopo River making it an excellent destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Flowing through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the Limpopo River originates in central Southern Africa and flows eastward to the Indian Ocean. The great river serves as a border separating South Africa on the southeast from Botswana in the northwest and Zimbabwe to the north.
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park created in 2002, combines established wildlife conservation areas in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. Covering as much area as the Netherlands, the massive park is dedicated to re-establishing historical animal migration routes and fragile regional ecosystems. Border restrictions at crossings still apply, and open hours for the border posts do vary.
The Limpopo River is the northern border of the famed Kruger National Park, the flagship of South African National Parks. Visitors can see the best of African wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes (the Big Five) during their visit to the park. Three new ‘Transfrontier Trails do Limpopo’ are open for exploration of the river valley. Luxury accommodations and guided tours are available, but for the truly adventurous, the park has an extensive network of roads that allows visitors to independently explore the massive reserve for days.
Travelers can venture into Botswana, the ‘Land of Giants,’ an area renowned for its large elephant population. Lion, giraffe, ostrich, and eland also dwell within the borders of eastern Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve. The varied terrain of the reserve ranges from belts of thick thorn scrub, tall mashatu trees, and fever trees lining the Limpopo to semi-arid plains with striking rocky outcrops jutting into the horizon. Horse riding safaris through the Limpopo valley are an excellent opportunity to explore the region.
Gonarezhou National Park, the second largest national park in Zimbabwe, is renowned for its rugged and picturesque landscapes. One of the most prominent features of the park is the beautiful Chilojo Cliffs, magnificent red sandstone cliffs formed through eons of erosion. Visitors can experience an exhilarating view of the sunset from the red hills. "Gonarezhou" means "Place of many Elephants," and many of the largest tusked elephants in the world make their home here. Visitor amenities are limited within the park, although luxury accommodations are available nearby.
Just across the border from South Africa’s Kruger Reserve, Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park offers visitors an opportunity for a real safari experience in an untamed wilderness. Walking safaris with an experienced trail guide provide close-up encounters with lions, elephants, gazelles, and a myriad of other wildlife species.
The Limpopo River winds its way from the interior of Africa to just south of the town of Xai-Xai where its muddied waters meet the Indian Ocean. The Zongoene Lodge is located on the southern bank at the mouth, offering accommodation and a variety of activities. Here you can discover deserted beaches, cruise the Limpopo, or go deep sea fishing.