Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is the oldest and largest National Park in Zimbabwe. You’ll find a mix of open grassland savannas and woodlands creating a varied landscape, with the well known Ngomo Plains offering excellent big cat sightings. With no natural watercourses in the park, wildlife congregates around the many waterholes and pans which are supplied with pumped borehole water throughout the year.
It’s great to visit Hwange is between the months of April and October, the dry season, and nearly guarantees large concentrations of game. It is also a cooler time of year and important to remember that nights in Southern Africa can get quite chilly in June and July. The rains tend to come in November and last through February or March (summer thunderstorms rather than lengthy periods of rain). As the rain fills up natural pans and vleis, game disperses throughout the park, making sightings a bit more challenging. During this time, the north is scenically beautiful with green hills, water lily-filled pans and plentiful bird life, but the south has better game viewing in the more open plains.
Hwange boasts really exceptional elephant herd and lion pride sightings. Cheetah, sable, and roan antelope are also common, as well as plentiful plains game. Wild dog occur here and their numbers have been good in recent years. Elephant sightings can be at close quarters in Hwange, and the prevalence of photographic hides near waterholes creates a unique perspective for photographers.
The guiding in Hwange is terrific and will surely enhance your overall safari experience with both well-informed game drives and walking safaris. One of the really special aspects of a visit to Hwange is the down to earth nature of the school and village visits. Most guides are local and spending a few hours with your guide learning about their community is a very rewarding outing.
We love the mix of accommodation choices in Hwange, none are over the top luxury, but you’ll find comfort and genuine warmth in hosting – plus great locations for armchair safaris looking right out over the camp waterhole!
Hwange offers a strong value for your safari dollar and is a convenient 2.5 hour drive from Victoria Falls, or 30 minute flight, making it an excellent option for travelers wanting to include a bit of Zimbabwe as an add-on to their itinerary, or as the safari anchor for an all Zimbabwe trip.