Located in the west of the country, Hwange is the largest of Zimbabwe’s wildlife areas.
Covering an area of about 1.5 million hectares along the border with Botswana, the park covers the transition zone between the Kalahari sands to the west and the moist savannah woodland to the east. The poor soil and harsh climate have not stunted or limited the variety of habitat, which is made up predominantly of a mix of mopane woodland, open grassland, Kalahari scrub bush and thick teak forest. This diversity allows for more than 50 mammal species to co-exist.
Lacking any permanent rivers, the park is well managed with numerous man-made waterholes which support the large numbers of wildlife during the long dry season. Hwange is a particular stronghold for elephant, with over 40,000 found in the park, and the elephant viewing around water holes in the dry season is quite spectacular. Hwange is also arguably the best destination in Africa to see the majestic sable antelope, and herds can number up to 30 or 40 strong.
Other mammals found in good numbers include buffalo, giraffe, impala, zebra, wildebeest, tsessebe, kudu, duiker, waterbuck, eland, roan, gemsbok (along the drier western border), reedbuck, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hippo. Sadly rhino are no longer seen in the park. The area is also excellent for bird life, most represented by bush country species although raptors are also plentiful.
There are a number of private concessions within the park where the more exclusive camps and lodges are located (we tend to recommend these properties), and activities in these concessions include game drives by day and by night, as well as walking safaris. Camps and lodges located outside the park are limited to day time game drives inside the park, but may offer further activities on their own concession areas outside the park.