Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park may be the biggest and most famous park in Zimbabwe, but it’s blissfully uncrowded. And if it’s elephants you want, this is the place – Hwange’s famous pachyderms count for half of the country’s 80 000-strong herd.

Easily accessible from Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Hwange is close to the fringes of the Kalahari Desert, and its 14 650km² encompasses semi-desert scrub in the southwest as well as granite hills, woodland, grass plains and wetlands. These diverse habitats are home to more than 100 mammal species, including the Big Five — elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo. Resident predators include cheetah, spotted hyena and Zimbabwe’s biggest populations of African wild dog and brown hyena. The park is also home to giraffe, wildebeest, sable, roan and impala, and Zimbabwe’s biggest population of gemsbok, with its beautiful sweep of horns.

Hwange is dry but the abundant wildlife is sustained by water pumped to waterholes and pans. Game viewers and birdwatchers will be enthralled by the various hides that are a feature of the park. Ngweshla, Guvalala and Nyamandlovu platforms are built on stilts over waterholes and offer close-up views of Hwange’s game.

Highlights In Hwange National Park

  • Look for black rhino in the Sinamatella Intensive Protection Zone, a protected breeding area for the critically endangered beasts
  • Don’t miss Hwange’s archaeological and cultural treasures — ruins at Mtoa, rock carvings at Deteema and Bumbusi National Monument, which has ruins reminiscent of those at Great Zimbabwe
  • Explore Hwange on a guided game drive or nature walk
  • Enjoy a unique safari experience on the Elephant Express – a 70km scenic railcar transfer between Dete and Ngamo sidings