Home to some of Africa’s largest elephant herds and renowned for its wild dog population, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest safari wilderness. Predators are common; buffalo and other big game is exceptional; rhino are present but elusive. This massive national park is easily accessed from Victoria Falls and is a year-round option, although perhaps at its very best in the dry season (from August to early November).
Adjoining Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and Chobe ecosystems, this is Zimbabwe’s biggest and oldest game reserve – 14,650km of wilderness, which is roughly the size of Belgium or Wales. With varied topography and vegetation ranging from arid semi-desert in the west to lush teak forests in the east, Hwange is hugely diverse. Home to 108 mammal and more than 400 bird species, the sheer size of wildlife populations gives it an edge over other places. Some of Africa’s largest elephant herds congregate here. Black and white rhino find reasonable sanctuary and it’s one of the best places to see wild dogs. Seasonal pans and a network of pumped waterholes attract a profusion of game and predators, especially by the end of the dry season.
Accommodation ranges from luxurious safari lodges, mobile and tented camps to basic chalets. One of Hwange’s better-kept secrets, however, is the fine hospitality, deep knowledge and skills of resident guides. It is a heavy hitting, Big Five safari destination and it’s only two hours by road or a short flight from Victoria Falls. Plus, there are simple connections to Botswana, Namibia and the rest of Zimbabwe.
John and Trish Berry loved travelling around their native Zambezi Valley so much they started Zambezi Safari and Travel. Nearly 21 years later the company prides itself on its specialist knowledge of the region’s national parks. To read their personal advice and to find out more about Hwange, click here www.zambezi.co.uk/destinations/zimbabwe/hwange-national-park
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