Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s top safari destination and renowned for its impressive elephant population. The park is also a haven for wild (or painted) dogs which are the focus of conservation projects. With varied wildlife and over 400 bird species, Hwange is a premier safari destination which still enjoys relatively small visitor numbers.
Hwange – pronounced ‘Wang-ee’ – is Zimbabwe’s premier national park offering exciting big five safaris and some of the best guiding in Africa. Perhaps best known for its elephant population, which is thought to number 40,000 strong, Hwange offers plenty of impressive game viewing in unspoilt surroundings.
The park is divided between Kalahari sands in the south and rockier terrain in the north which is home to Mopane woodland. Such differing landscapes offer diverse game viewing, so it’s a good idea to combine camps in different areas for a full experience. Hwange is also part of the Zambezi basin and acts as an important corridor for game moving from the park to Chobe National Park in neighbouring Botswana.
Wildlife populations are diverse in Hwange with over 100 mammal species. Large herds of elephants and buffalo are common with both black and white rhino clinging on. Hwange is also considered to have one of the healthiest populations of the elusive African wild dog as well as being home to sable which are considered a Hwange speciality. It is also a bird watcher’s haven with over 400 species of bird being recorded in the park with many migratory species swelling numbers during the summer months.
One of the greatest attractions in Hwange is the waterholes, a large number of which are artificially pumped; in fact without them the park would be unable to support such large quantities of game. The best game viewing is on offering from July to October when wildlife congregates at the waterholes making for some truly exceptional encounters.