The largest and oldest game reserve in Zimbabwe, the Hwange National Park is home to an incredible array of wildlife.
Established in 1929 and covering an area of approximately 14 650km² the Hwange National Park is the oldest and largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. Known for it’s untouched nature and large populations elephant, it is situated in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe, just one hour from the mighty Victoria Falls.
The first known occupants of this impressive area were the nomadic San bushmen, who were displaced by the Nhanzwa tribe. Interestingly, the park was named after the Nhanzwa chief – Hwange Rosumbani. Long before it was named a national park, Hwange also served as royal hunting grounds for Mzilikazi, warrior-king of the Matabele people.
The Hwange National Park is home to an impressive array of wildlife and birdlife. A list of over 100 species of mammals includes predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, and some of the largest populations of African wild dog.
Large herds of buffalo are a regular feature of any game drive, as are antelope such as sable, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, and eland. Most significant, however, is the incredible elephant population, which varies between 20,000 and 111,000 as they move to and from the adjoining Chobe National Park.
There are two distinct seasons in the Hwange National Park, and both offers completely different experiences. The wet season in Hwange ranges from November to May, and is characteristed by an average temperature range of 18-28°C and average rainfall of 570-650mm per annum. During these months, the bush is lush and the wilflife widely dispersed.
The extreme dry season, on the other hand, runs from late June to early October. During June and July, night-time temperatures can drop to below freezing, while, right before the annual rains hit, in mid-September and October, daytime temperatures often reach over 38°C. Over this period, the bush thins out and the wildlife is more concentrated around waterholes, making for excellent game viewing.
Accommodation in Hwange National Park ranges from self-catering rest camps and caravan sites, to luxury tented camps and comfortable safari lodges. Understandably, activities on offer revolve around the magnificent wildlife, and as such include guided walking safaris, night and day game drives, and horseback safaris.
For more information regarding a trip to the Hwange National Park, get in touch with our Zimbabwe travel experts at Kiboko Adventures.