Hwange National Park

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Hwange Elephants

If you don’t want to skip out on a chance to visit a different Africa, then be sure to select Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe as your next safari destination. It not only boasts of amazing flora and fauna but also cultural monuments, ruins and rock carvings.

Acquaint yourself with Hwange:

Wikipedia says

Hwange National Park  (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the widely noted Victoria Falls and near to Dete…..

It was founded in 1928, with the first warden being the 22-year-old Ted Davison.…

This park is considered for inclusion in the 5 Nation Kavango – Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.”

Getting There:

You can reach Hwange by air, or take a train ride.

Hwange National Park  is 342 miles or 551 kilometers away from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. You can take a flight to Hwange from Harare airport.

However, if you are more of an adventurous tourist, then you can take the train to Victoria Falls from Bulawayo. The train passes through Hwange National Park.

You can also visit Victoria Falls before reaching Hwange. From there, it takes 2 hours to reach Hwange.

Best Time to Visit

The dry season, which continues from July to October, is the ideal safari time. During this time, you can see game, especially elephants congregating around the artificial waterholes to survive the hot and dry environment.

On the contrary, in the wet season, which falls in between the months of December and March, wildlife begins to disperse along the park, which makes it tough to spot them.

Accommodation:

The park has 4 small ‘permanent camps’ and 3 larger ‘rest camps’. It also has some ‘bush camps’, which are remote camping sites with next to no facilities. The main camp has a variety of self-catering accommodation, camping and caravan sites, a bar-cum-restaurant as well as a supermarket.

You can book your rooms at any of the private accommodations in the park itself, or on the border of the park.

Some of the best private safari lodges include:

  • Tree Lodge at Sikumi
  • Somaliso Safari Lodge
  • Ivory Tree lodge
  • Sable Valley Lodge
  • Classic Safari Camp
  • Bomani Safari Camp
  • Miombo Lodge

There are more…but moving on to…

What can you get to see?
Hwange National Park has earned repute for its huge diversity of more than 100 different mammal species, including elephants, buffalos and brown hyenas. All of Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are found in Hwange.

These include:

Black-backed jackals
Gemsboks
Southern giraffes
Bat-eared foxes
Porcupines
Caracals
African wildcats
Leopards
Aardwolves
Baboons
Zebras
Lions
Hippopotamuses
White rhinos
Warthogs

The park also boasts of having excellent bird life. Thanks to its proximity to the Kalahari Desert, many Kalahari birds are found here.

Some of them include:

  • Kalahari scrub-robin
  • Red-eyed bulbul
  • Cut-throat finch
  • Crimson-breasted shrike
  • Southern pied babbler

You can also see birds like

  • Pipits
  • Larks
  • Broad-billed rollers
  • Black Kites

There are many more that an ardent birdwatcher can spot.

Activities to indulge in:
Apart from game viewing and bird watching, camping is an extremely popular activity in Hwange. The place also has some picnic spots around it. Also, the Bumbusi National Monument, which comprises of many archeological ruins and rock edges, is situated at the northern border of the park.

If you want to experience African Safari in the truest sense of the term, Hwange is waiting right there for you.

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