Hwange National Park

Zimbabwe’s largest national park houses an impressive density of wildlife, with lions and cheetah seen regularly, a growing population of wild dogs and the rest of the big five all in residence.

It is also one of Africa’s last remaining elephant strongholds and come the dry summer months (August to October), the number of animals flocking to the shrinking waterholes can be staggering – herds of hundreds of elephant and over a thousand buffalo are not uncommon. Watching them kick up clouds of golden dust from an elevated hide at sunset is a uniquely Hwange experience that will stay with you forever. Unlike the national parks in neighbouring Botswana, Hwange also offers the opportunity for walking safaris, either as a primary activity or as an opportunistic way to approach an animal off-road.

With a relatively easy (in the dry season) and well signposted road network, the park is well set up for those wishing to visit under their own steam. There are a number of hides situated at various ‘dams’ inside the park, which make for excellent game viewing and the numerous campsites spread throughout allow you to spend several nights inside the park with the option of multiple changes of scenery.

Accommodation ranges from a wide range of solo and shared campsites (mostly with ablutions) to comfortable self-catering rooms at the government run camps and full-on-luxury at one of the upmarket lodges secreted away in a clutch of small private concessions dotted throughout the park. With no fences separating the concessions from the rest of the reserve, the latter offer the ideal combination of exclusivity together with easy accessibility to the whole park, although even in the universally accessible prime game-viewing areas, you would be unlucky to encounter more than a handful of vehicles.

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