Lake Chivero Recreational Park is located just outside of Harare, the nation’s capital. This 16km long lake is a paradise for wildlife and also has a great variety of birdlife. There are plenty of activities here including Fishing, Water sports, Game Walks, Horse Riding & Crocodile Viewing.
The game park which opened in 1962 occupies around 1 867 hectares and holds a variety of game; most of which has been introduced from the Hwange game reserve. Additional game was brought in from Lake Kariba during the game rescue operation better known as “Operation Noah”.
The park, also known as Lake Mcllwaine Recreational Park, was first named in memory of the late Sir Robert Mcllwaine, a former judge of the High Court and founder of Zimbabwe’s Soil and Water Conservation movement. This water body is Harare’s (the capital city of Zimbabwe) main water supply.
The animals that are easily sighted in the park are white rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, kudu, waterbuck, tsessebe, ostrich, eland, sable, baboon, monkey, duiker, warthog, bush pig, rock hyrax, scrub hare, spring hare, bush squirrel.
The park also has a variety of nocturnal species that include civet, genet, black backed jackal, porcupine, slender/ white tailed mongoose, caracal, pangolin, ant bear, serval, Bushbaby, night ape and several other species.
There is a great variety of birdlife and for the birdwatcher, the Park is a paradise. Included amongst the several bird species are: African Open Bill Stork, Barbets, Bee-eaters, Buzzards Coots, Cormorants, Doves, Hamerkops, Jacanas, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Darter, Goliath Heron, Fish Eagle, Glossy Starling and Lilac-breasted Roller
Lake Chivero is a habitat for several common fish species including: Tiger fish, Yellow fish, Hunyani salmon, Black bream, Robustus, Green headed bream, Aquilla Nebulosa, Clarius Garicpnus, Oreochomus Niloticus, Common Grass Carp, Barbel, etc. Popular fishing tournaments are based on species like Common Grass Carp, Barbel and Robustus.
Typical of high veld vegetation, the park is dominated by brachystegia woodland and miombo woodland. Brachystegia and Julbernada glob flora with associated trees such as terminalia saricea, parinari curatellifolia and monotes glaber create a variety of food for the browsers
Horse riding is conducted every day except Mondays. There are two rides which take place per day, one at 0800hrs to 0930hrs and the other at 1530hrs to 1700hrs. Each ride is 1 1/2 hours long.
All rides are conducted under the guidance of the parks personnel. Horse rides cannot be done when it is raining or promising to rain. Charges for the rides and any details on extra rides can be obtained from the tourist office.
Conducted between 0700hrs and 1700hrs. The crocodile ponds are a walking distance from the tourist offices and main rest camp. Charges for the activity can be obtained at the tourist office.
This activity is open to the public all year round. Gates are open for game viewing daily from 0600hrs until 1800hrs. All clients are only allowed to enter the park when driving.
Walking and cycling are strictly prohibited unless with express authority and only in the company of a designated park officer.
Clients are allowed to drive around the park on their own using designated roads only. If required, a guide can be hired from the tourist office.
Game walks are conducted at the tourist’s chosen time but they must be booked a day before. A guide takes tourists for a walk for at least an hour but no more than five hours a day per group, unless it is an educational tour. It is important to note that prior arrangement is required before this activity can be carried out.
The tennis is open all year round for a fee. The court has a clay surface. Rackets are supplied at the tourist office but clients must supply their own tennis balls. The charges per hour of usage of the court can be obtained from the tourist office.
Adjacent to the tennis court. Visitors also have to supply their own balls. There are two swimming pools situated next to the lodges and chalets. The pools are functional during the dry season.
The main and most sought out activity at the park; fishing is conducted all year round. There are 5 fishing and picnic sites in the park.
Skull, Bone and Snake Identification
This is done mainly at the tourist office where the skulls and bones are housed at a small trophy shed.
Water based activities
Recreational activities include yachting, boating, rowing, angling and canoeing. Launching fees apply and visitors will have to consult the tourist office or central reservations office on the prevailing charges.
Where to stay
Cresta Oasis Hotel
Cresta Oasis is the perfect place to mix business and pleasure, as you can do serious business in the day and sit back and enjoy a heavenly cocktail at night.
Find your escape for a few days in Cresta Oasis, while you’re there on business. The hotel hosts conferences at its two fully equipped, modern and tastefully furnished conference venues.
The Cresta Oasis Hotel in Zimbabwe’s sunny Harare, guests are treated like royalty with a warm welcome and exceptional service. The hotel hosts conferences and has two comprehensively equipped conference venues and a business centre.
The High-gate rooms are modern and tastefully furnished, whilst the Café Afrique restaurant provides the best of African cuisine, together with continental fare, perfect after a successful day of business.
Rainbow Towers Hotel
Pride of the Rainbow Group, this immaculate 5 star unit is situated in park like gardens on the edge of Harare’s CBD. Rainbow Towers offers excellent facilities including private check-in and express checkout.
Harare and its environs are alive with possibilities from entertainment to “must see, must do” activities and The Rainbow Towers Hotel is a special place from which to do it all!
Rainbow Towers Hotel is complimented by the versatile International Conference Centre. Seating over 4000 delegates, it is the biggest conference centre in the country.
It has 22 smaller conference rooms, a full range of Audio visual services and equipment complimented by simultaneous interpretation facilities.
The Bronte Hotel
The Bronte Hotel is an oasis of tranquillity, renowned for its beautiful gardens and collection of fine Shona Sculptures. Centrally located in the Avenues, within walking distance of downtown Harare, The Bronte offers well-appointed rooms and executive suites in an idyllic garden setting.
Designed for both the business and leisure traveller alike; our amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a complimentary breakfast buffet, secure on-site parking, and fine dining at Emmanuel’s Restaurant. We are also the ideal Harare conference venue, with three function rooms and two boardrooms available.
Meikles Hotel is situated in the heart of Harare and overlooks the historic landmark and colorful flower gardens of Africa Unity Square.
The gracious charm, vibrant culture and silver service showcased at this legendary establishment have earned its reputation as Zimbabwe’s premier hotel.