Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park, accounting for an area of 14,651km sq, it was formerly occupied by the San bushmen, the Nhanzwa, and latterly the royal hunting ground for Mzilikazi, the Matabele king. It wasn’t until 1928 that the park became recognized as a wildlife conservation area and a popular destination for those seeking out incredible safari and wildlife experiences.
Home to over 100 mammals and 400 different bird species, the park protects a wide range of different endangered species, elephants in excess of 20,000, and what is thought to be one of the largest populations of African wild dog left in the world. It is also common to see large prides of lion and buffalo and you have a good chance of seeing leopard, rhino, cheetah and mischievous spotted hyena.
There is a lack of permanent surface water in the park, therefore animals heavily rely on a number of waterholes, some of which have been known to dry up in drought years. The landscape is characterized by dense forest teak in the north and the Kalahari sandveld in the south. Wildlife roams the open grassy plains lined with acacia trees alongside mopane woodland and islands of ilala palms.
In the hot summer rains from December to March the bush lands become lush and the wildlife disperses. Between June and October, the winter months see the bush rapidly dry and thinner on the ground, all but a few waterholes remain, and the wildlife is concentrated and far easier to spot.
When to go
July to October for the dry season., however all year round is fine.
What to do
- Game drives