Hwange National Park
Founded in 1928, Hwange (pronounced ‘Wang-ee’) is one of the ten largest national parks in Africa. The evergreen mopane bush, saltpans, acacia scrub and open grassland make Hwange a true wildlife haven, and as a result, the park has one of the densest animal populations in Africa. A tailor-made safari in Hwange will undoubtedly be the highlight of any holiday to Zimbabwe.
About Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park forms a large part of the greater Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Area on the eastern edge of the Kalahari Desert. Dotted across the park are roughly 60 water holes where wildlife tends to congregate, particularly during the dry season, making spotting animals on safari in Hwange easier than in other parks.
The park is within a short drive of Victoria Falls but does also have its own airport and railway line. As a result, access to the park is easy from much of Africa.
Hwange Wildlife Safaris
Over 100 mammal species can be found in Hwange National Park including the Big Five, although rhino sightings are rare. Buffalo and elephant are frequently spotted, with approximately 44,000 of the latter living here. The park’s lion population is healthy at around 500 cats and sightings on bespoke Hwange safaris are common. Leopards can be seen but are typically elusive. Giraffe are often spotted in Hwange, and rare species of antelope such as sable and roan can also be found here.
The variety of habitat means most predators can find an advantage with which to hunt. Predators such as lions, cheetah and wild dogs enjoy the flat open grasslands of Hwange, whilst leopards prefer the mopane woodland for cover, often hunting prey on its fringes. Smaller predators sometimes spotted on a luxury Hwange safari include African wildcats servals, honey badgers, civets and spotted hyenas.
Hwange’s population of African wild dog is believed to be one of the largest in Africa. On the edge of the park is the Painted Dog Research Centre which supports and protects this threatened species. A visit to the centre is an easy and rewarding addition to one of your days in the park.
Bespoke safaris in Hwange National Park can be enjoyed through game drives and bush walks, and it’s possible to meet members of the local community to learn more about the culture and way of life in this part of Zimbabwe. Visitors can also watch for game from hides or join a specialist birding safari, as well as sleeping under a carpet of a million stars for the ultimate African night out.
Birding in Hwange National Park
The number of recorded bird species in Hwange exceed 400. Between the months of November and April migratory species can be found in Hwange and birding is at its best.
Birds of prey in Hwange National Park include crowned eagle, martial eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, Bateleur eagle and banded snake eagle among others. African golden oriole, collared pratincole, Egyptian vulture, southern ground hornbill and a variety of kestrels and chats are some of Hwange’s birding specials.
Best Places to Stay in Hwange National Park
There is a wide range of Hwange National Park accommodation options to choose from located across the park or on neighbouring concessions. Due to the size of Hwange, combing stays at two different properties is often an excellent way to maximise your experience in the park.
Hand-picked Camps and Lodges
Best Time to Visit Hwange National Park
Zimbabwe’s dry season from June to October is the best time to visit Hwange National Park. During these months, animal concentrations near water increase making them easier to find. Vegetation also tends to be thinner which also helps with sightings.
Game viewing in Hwange National Park is good year-round, and travel in April, May and November are good months for those looking to escape the crowds. Sightings may not be as good as during the peak dry months but the park is far less crowded and nightly rates are lower.
Weather During the Year
How to Book a Hwange National Park Safari Holiday
To discuss your Zimbabwe safari holiday, Hwange safari packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Zimbabwe experts today by contacting us here.