HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

Hwange National Park

In the northwest corner of Zimbabwe lies the largest game reserve in the country, covering over 14,000 square kilometres. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife - almost 400 species of birds have been recorded, along with over 100 species of mammals.

A former royal hunting ground to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi, the National Park was defined in 1929. Being close to the Kalahari desert, the region sees little water. From late November to April, seasonal rains transform the park from parched savannahs to lush grasslands peppered with grazing herbivores. It is during these times that the animal life spreads across the park and the birdlife is astounding.

Hwange has become widely renowned for it's large herds of elephants with a population estimated to be between 30,000 - 40,000 animals. Also in large numbers are African wild dogs, a population is thought to be one the largest in Africa. The big cats are well represented in Hwange, with lion, leopard, spotted hyena and cheetah all resident to the park. Both African wild dogs and leopard and subject to major conservation and research projects within the park.

From August through till early November presents the best opportunity for game viewing. The long dry season makes water scarce and animals congregate at the few pumped waterholes. It is here that a little patience pays great dividends.