Imire Game Park – Rhino and Wildlife Conservation
- An extraordinary game park for interactions between the animals and people.
- Imire has over 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) of conservancy and farm land in a very diverse landscape where you will find rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, giraffe, zebra, hyena and more than ten different types of antelope and more than 150 different species of birdlife here.
- The conservation of wildlife at Imire began decades ago, when the Travers saw a need to re-introduce wildlife back into the area. Their incredible story continues today with the world-renowned Imire Black Rhino breeding programme which successfully breeds and re-introduces this increasingly endangered animal back into the wild to protect Zimbabwe’s heritage which has been decimated by poaching over the past decades.
- For many visitors with limited time Imire offers an opportunity to see Zimbabwe wildlife close up; but also to understand how conservation efforts are increasingly essential to preserve the dwindling stocks of wildlife for future generations.
Take the (A3) Mutare Road, passing through Ruwa, Melfort and Bromley before crossing the railway line just before reaching Marondera. Detailed directions are from the railway crossing: 1.4 KM at the Imire signpost turn right onto the Wedza Road, 4.1 KM turn left onto the Bridge Road to Wedza, 40.3 KM pass the Imire store and butchery, 41.2 KM turn left into Imire Game Park entrance.
GPS reference: 18⁰27′52.12″S 31⁰31′02.52″E
Imire makes an easy day trip being just 105 kilometres from Harare and your visit might start with an early morning elephant ride; this amazing interaction with these astoundingly intelligent and sensitive animals will thrill and excite even the most taciturn character. Followed up by breakfast and then a bewildering range of choices including a game drive, or bird walk within the game park’s over 4,000 hectares of diverse landscape, or climb Castle Kopje, or visit Markwe Caves to see San rock art and the burial site of Chief Soswe, once the ruler of this part of Mashonaland. Lunch is served out in the game park with a visit to the elephants, or rhino and if you decide to stay overnight at Sable Lodge, which offers seven comfortable lodges of varying sizes, you can relax over sundowners from the lookout point before dinner and a then enjoy a chat around the fire with some star-gazing before getting a good night’s rest, lulled to sleep by the sounds of nocturnal Africa.
Imire means “the meeting place” in Shona and offers visitors and volunteers a great choice of activities including:
Game drives, or walking and photographic safaris are the most popular full-day activities leaving mid-morning with a break at lunchtime. The local guides are passionate about Imire and can’t wait to share their knowledge and enthusiasm and will get up close up to four of Africa’s Big 5 and a huge variety of plains game and birds.
Elephant rides make an unforgettable experience as they walk slowly across grassy plains getting up close to antelope, or rhino. The handlers are very experienced and make you feel comfortable and safe with these magnificent animals.
Horse-riding provides a similar experience allows you to get up close to other animals and even in amongst plains game herds, especially our wildebeest and zebra.
Birding enthusiasts have plenty to see with more than 150 species including raptors, water birds and more unusual species, such as saddle-billed storks and secretary birds often seen.
Fishing is from canoe, paddle boat, or a bass motor mostly for bream on Imire’s dam.
Mountain-biking on Imire’s tracks and trails is a perfect way to explore.
Bush camp provides a back to basics, but comfortable and clean place venue for groups and societies, clubs, schools and families to get back to nature and enjoy the wildlife and many activities.
Join the volunteer programme and experience wildlife conservation first hand with Imire’s much acclaimed black rhino and elephant conservation and community programme. Both bush camp and volunteering are targeted at school groups and the increased emphasis on conservation in school curriculums. With over 70% of Zimbabwe’s wildlife decimated in past decades, the wildlife conservation volunteer programmes based at Imire use volunteers to get hands on experience of the rhino breeding programme and elephant interaction initiatives, game park management, anti-poaching and community outreach. Volunteers help in local schools by providing teaching assistance, conservation support and environmental education to the children. This is often the most popular part of the programme! For more information visit www.imirevolunteers.org