Walking the Wild Matusadona

Spurwing Island • 2 August 2018

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Keen on a shedding a few calories on a mountain hike while on safari in the Zambezi area?  The guides from Spurwing Island have been exploring some of the wilder, mountainous parts of the Matusadona National Park, south of Lake Kariba, with some of their fitter, and more intrepid guests.  Here's how they describe the experience!

"Having the Matusadona escarpment right on our doorstep allows us to be able to adventure and explore this untamed wilderness. In just a few hours, we can reach some of the most remote places, experienced by very few.

In June 2018, an intrepid team of ladies and our Spurwing Island professional guide, Mitchell Riley, took on these giant 700m high mountains and walked for 6 hours, meandering through streams and rocky boulder rivers to summit the peak of one of the tallest hills. They walked from Sanyati Gorge National Parks camp, all the way through the back of the rivers and came out at the mouth of the gorge .

The group covered 13kms which took just over 6 hours, (they calculated this burnt off over 1,300 calories!) They encountered elephant, various bird species and countless tree types.

We then took on the Matusadona Mountain range again in July 2018, with the enthusiastic bush-loving Ollifer family.  This time we walked for 3 days and camped out 2 nights. 

Our trek took us up the scenic Kaingwe River to the base of the hills where we found beautiful pools of water with which to quench our thirst. We walked into numerous herds of elephants and came across impala, kudu, bushbuck, baboons, zebra, lion tracks, hyena tracks, leopard tracks, and a plethora of birds that kept our eyes and ears working overtime.

On our first day's hike, we managed a 600m increase in altitude from the valley floor and slept in a small rocky river which wasn't ideal.  But good food, red wine and whisky went down a treat!

Over the 3 days we took 42 000 steps in total and covered roughly 20 kms, through undisturbed wilderness, where even the baboons and impala didn’t run when they saw us. 

At the collection point we were met by the very organised Kennedy, from Spurwing, who furnished us with cold drinks and snacks, which were a welcome treat before our return to the island.

If you are a fitness fanatic or love a hike through the bush, pre-book your walk before your next stay on Spurwing Island, and get those walking boots ready and roaring!  


Editor's Note: Wild Zambezi recommends the cooler, winter months of May-June-July for this type of activity, as for most of the rest of the year, the day-time temperatures tend to be very hot and the sun very strong.

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