highlights and main attractions of hwange national park

Once the royal hunting ground of King Mzilikazi, Hwange National Park is now considered one of the greatest conservation areas in Africa. Proclaimed in 1929, here you will find a tremendous selection of wildlife. In fact, almost all of Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals can be found here. 

The 14,650 kilometre square area is mainly comprised of scrublands and stunted scattered woodlands with the well drained north dominated by mopane and mixed terminalia.

where is hwange national park?

history

The main issue throughout the history of Hwange has been water, or more accurately, the lack of water. In the dry season, as the salt pans crack and crust, acacias wild and the grass covered plains crunch under foot, it seems inhospitable to any living thing. However the wildlife manages to survive on the remaining vegetation, as well as the help of 60 man-made ‘pans’ or water holes, which help sustain them until the rains come. Some of these water holes have secretive wooden hides, where you can spend time observing the wildlife interacting completely naturally with each other and the surroundings.

wildlife

Hwange has absolutely no shortage of wildlife, with over 100 mammal species, 400 birds and 100 trees and shrubs. It is world renowned for its huge elephant herds which roam the park, wallowing in the muddy watering holes.  There is a fantastic population of wild dog (African Painted Hunting Dogs) and the population of Gemsbok and hyena are reasonable. Lion sightings are common, leopard and rhino are seen only by the lucky. Other wildlife includes cheetah, giraffe, sable, eland, waterbuck, zebra, baboon and warthog, as well as over 400 bird species. Here you can find the impressive ground dwelling kori bustard and during mating season, crowned cranes perform comical dances for each other.

Walking safaris can be conducted in the park, and these are considered to be the ultimate safari experience - you can get up close and personal with some of the flora and fauna that you may miss from a vehicle, as well as learning some tracking techniques. The guides in Zimbabwe are renowned for being some of the best in Africa, and will do their utmost to give you the experience of a lifetime on the African plains. 

Game drives are one of the main activities, and if you choose to stay on a private concession, you may also have the option of night drives. Completely exhilarating, this is the best time to spot leopards and other nocturnal wildlife.

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