Understanding this complex ecosystem through science

Ecological Research

The ecological research in Gonarezhou is coordinated and led by the Scientific Services department in the park. Research forms an essential part of understanding how our ecosystems function in Gonarezhou, as well as allowing us to detect and monitor threats to the sustainability of our natural systems.

The responsibility of the scientific services department in the Park is to broaden our understanding of the Park’s flora, fauna and ecosystem processes as well as carefully monitor key aspects of our environment to be able to continually adapt our management of this important landscape.

Research in Gonarezhou is seen as an opportunity to extend the success of our partnerships in Gonarezhou, creating opportunities for collaboration, capacity building and growth and all towards a better understanding of this key Conservation Area.

Wildlife conservation is the preservation and protection of animals, plants, and their habitats. By conserving wildlife, we’re ensuring that future generations can enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it.

Our research partnerships aim to improve the quality of long-term conservation solutions and enhance the responsiveness to the changing biodiversity needs inside Gonarezhou National Park.  Greater research relevance and credibility may increase the likelihood that research will be applied in practice and have a stronger impact.

Understanding conservation – to restore biodiversity – to  protect the vital habitat
Elephants & Ecosystems Research
Large Predator Research
Human & Wildlife Interface
Ecological Monitoring
Black Rhino Project
Pangolin Project


Gonarezhou’s research focuses on environmental projects that have the potential to guide best practices in ecological park management.  Interested researchers are encouraged to support Gonarezhou’s Ecological Research, feel free to contact, and we will assist you from there.  Through accumulating a growing body of quality data on the fauna, flora and unique habitats of the Gonarezhou, we continue to make informed conservation management decisions in support of our shared vision.


Conservation research is essential for advancing knowledge, and for it to impact, scientific evidence must influence conservation strategies, decision making and management practices.  The GNP research program emphasises applied research and its practical conservation implications.  The program will be informed by the current conservation and ecological research priorities, as stated in the Gonarezhou Management Plan (GMP), and continuously updated by the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust (GCT) research and monitoring team.

Potential projects undergo a rigorous selection process, which includes detailed research proposals that include scientific and management results, precise budgets, estimated timelines and key deliverables for each stage of the work.


How to get involved


The conducting of appropriate research by external researchers in and around GNP is encouraged by GCT.  Through the assistance of GCT, external researchers will acquire a Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) Research Permit before conducting research in GNP.  All foreign (i.e. non-Zimbabwean residents) researchers should acquire a Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) certification before applying for a ZimParks Research Permit.  A foreign researcher is a non-Zimbabwean national and any person wishing to conduct research in Zimbabwe on behalf of a foreign institution, foreign organisation, or another foreign person.  All foreign researchers should follow the RCZ registration guidelines: Click here.

In addition, external researchers are expected to be fully self-sufficient for the duration of their projects in GNP.  Fees will be charged for using GCT’s facilities and/or resources, such as accommodation, equipment, internet access and manpower.