Hwange Elephants - Bomani Lodge

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe‘s largest national park; both in size and in the variety of animals that can be seen here.

How to get to Hwange National Park

Situated between Bulawayo and the world-famous Victoria Falls; the Park is about a 2-hour drive from Victoria Falls. A 482 km network of game-viewing roads; leads the visitor to some large concentrations of game and not too many other tourists.

Hwange National Park Safari

Hwange National Park is just over 14 600 square kilometers and has a large elephant population of approximately 46 000; which all need to drink water twice a day. The Park has little natural water, therefore; most of the water is pumped through boreholes into the pans and troughs. In fact, all the wildlife in the park has to rely on these series of waterholes, some of which dry up completely during drought years. This creates an excellent game viewing environment as wildlife congregates at these points. In addition, it has amongst the highest diversity of mammals of any National Park in the world with over 108 mammal species and over 400 types of birds including 50 raptors and 100 species of trees and shrubs.

Hwange wild dog
Hwange wild dog

 

Hwange offers diverse landscapes; from the dense teak forest in the north to Kalahari sand veld in the south. In between; open grassy plains lined with acacia lie alongside mopane woodland and islands of ilala palms.

The seasons, too, impose dramatic changes on the park. During the hot summer rains between December and March, the bush becomes lush and the wildlife disperses but it is excellent for birding safaris; when the migrants arrive.

In the winter months (June until October) the bush rapidly dries and thins out with all but a few waterholes remaining; therefore the wildlife is concentrated in these areas and easier to spot.

Ngamo plains

At the Southeast corner of Hwange, lies the Ngamo plains; a fossil lakebed almost 10 km across, which has become one of Hwange’s biggest wetlands. This seasonally flooded savannah grassland; dotted with Hyphaene palms and Combretum leadwood; is surrounded by Acacia and Baikiea woodlands, and creates a mosaic of habitats for wildlife.

There can be few experiences on this earth so gratifying as to sit at one of Hwange’s viewing platforms by a waterhole, watching an endless procession of “God’s gifts” engaged in the timeless dance of survival.

Cheetah in Hwange National Park
Cheetah in Hwange National Park

Why choose a safari at Hwange National Park?

We are often asked ‘What the difference is between a safari in Hwange and other well-known National Parks in Africa for example Kruger or the Serengeti?’. This is quite easy to answer – it is all about the numbers. Hwange has approximately 43 000 visitors a year; compared to Serengeti which has approximately 350 000 a year (and is a very similar size as Hwange – 14,760km²) and Kruger which has 1.4 million visitors a year (Kruger’s size is 19,480 km²)! Therefore; if you are looking for a very exclusive experience; Hwange National Park will not disappoint!

Activities offered in addition to game drives and birding include walking or horse-riding safaris.