Located in Zimbabwe’s northwest, Hwange National Park is the country’s largest – at roughly 14,650 square kilometres – and it’s most famous. Plenty of waterholes attract huge herds of elephant, a key feature of the park. A great diversity of habitats lie within its boundaries, ranging from dense woodland in the north down to semi-desert scrub bordering the Kalahari in the south. This variation in turn supports a dazzling array of species including significant populations of gemsbok, brown hyena and highly endangered wild dog.
Easily reached by air or road from Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park is an excellent safari destination especially if you’re after an authentic big game experience or an avid birder. The safari camps and lodges we’ve featured are located on private concessions so visitors can supplement daytime game drives with gameviewing by vehicle after dark – an activity not generally permitted in public reserves. Night drives can uncover elusive and mostly nocturnal creatures such as leopard, aardvark and porcupine.
Guided bush walks can also be enjoyed with guests able to choose from tracking animals on foot over a few hours to embarking on an exciting multi-day journey walking between remote bush camps. Other life-changing activities available at some of the properties we’ve handpicked include; sleepouts on raised platforms next to busy waterholes, and wildlife hides, which afford close-up views of animals and outstanding photographic opportunities.
Whilst Hwange boasts the level of diversity found in parks such as the Serengeti in Tanzania and Kruger in South Africa, it attracts a fraction of the total number of visitors. Hence, any safari in Hwange National Park will feel like you have the wilderness mostly to yourself.