Hwange is the largest and best known of Zimbabwe’s national parks. At 15 000 km² this immense wildlife reserve is packed with big game and is famous for massive numbers of buffalo and – in particular – its elephant herds. Indeed, Hwange’s 30 000-strong elephant population is the second largest in the world after the Chobe National Park in neighbouring Botswana.
But it’s not just elephants that draw visitors to Hwange National Park; this Big 5 reserve has a well-deserved reputation for predator sightings too. Lion, leopard and cheetah are regularly seen, and night drives reveal the smaller nocturnal predators – serval and civet cats, and bat-eared foxes. Then there are the rarer animals: Hwange is an important breeding ground for endangered African wild dog, black rhino and the beautiful roan and sable antelopes.
Located on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, Hwange has a semi-arid climate with marked seasonal changes. During the dry winter months (May to October) wildlife congregates around the shallow pans and man-made waterholes making for excellent and reliable game viewing. Once the rains arrive, however, the vegetation bursts into life, dry pans fill up and wildlife disperses to graze the more remote streches of the park thanks to the abundant surface water. Bird watching is particularly good at this time.
Easy to access and with decent infrastructure, Hwange is a popular choice for a Zimbabwe safari and combines well with a holiday in nearby Victoria Falls or with Zimbabwe’s other top reserve – the wild and rewarding Mana Pools National Park on the Zambezi River. Alternatively, spend a few days in Hwange and then hop across to the world-renowned reserves in neighbouring Botswana.
Chat to one of our Africa Safari Experts for more information about a Hwange safari: they know all the options and the right combinations and can put together an unforgettable safari holiday with top-class accommodation and smooth-running logistics.