Elephant at Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park Zimbabwe’s Treasure

Hwange National Park is a treasure in Zimbabwe. It not only offers something to see, but also the peace of mind that you are entering an untouched destination where nature reigns supreme and animals run free. It’s like visiting another world!

Hwange National Park Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park in northwest Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s best national parks. We believe it should be on the bucket list of every photo safari enthusiast.

The Big Five plus 100’s other wildlife can be seen roaming the savanna grasslands and forests of Hwange National Park. Boasting the greatest diversity of animals among any national parks in Africa. Being the size of a small country, the park is home to 50,000 elephants. Also well-known for frequent sightings of cheetah, leopard, and lion, and Africa’s largest populations of the endangered wild dog.

It’s a birdwatchers paradise with over 400 species listed. The park is the biggest in Zimbabwe, spanning an area of over 14,000 square kilometres! It’s also home to a non-profit dedicated to protecting the Painted Dog Conservation.

Hwange National Park is an enormous park which spans across the Zambezi River. A great deal of time and effort goes into protecting the park, making sure it remains a valuable resource for everyone. And it’s affordable a visit here won’t break the bank!

History of Hwange National Park?

The Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe spans an area of approximately 14,650 square kilometres. It was originally a cattle ranch that was founded in the early 1920s. The park was declared a game reserve in 1928 and became a national park under the National Park Act of 1949.

The region was formerly inhabited by the San bushmen, the Nhanzwa, and later served as the Matabele King, Mzilikazi,’s and his successor Lobengula private hunting preserve. In 1928, the territory was officially designated for animal protection and given the name Wankie Game Reserve. The property was judged unsuitable for cultivation owing to its poor soils and limited water resources.

Ecosystems Within the Park?

Hwange Park is known for its vast landscapes and diverse wildlife. The park is home to 88 unique ecosystems, which can be divided into three main types: montane, dry forest, and floodplain grasslands.

Each of these ecosystems is unique and supports a variety of plants and wildlife. For example, the montane ecosystem is characterized by tall mountains with dense forests, while the dry forest features scattered woodlands of teak and umtshibi trees.

The park also has two distinct geographic zones that cannot support viable agriculture: the Zambezi River basin and the Kalahari scrublands. The Zambezi River comprises lush vegetation and water pans that support both animals and the environment, while the Kalahari scrublands are characterized by stunted, scattered woodlands.

Wildlife Sightings of Hwange National Park?

There are many species of animals that can be seen at Hwange National Park during the dry season. Some of these include the big five of Africa: elephants, lions, leopards, zebras, and wildebeests. The wet season is also great for birdwatching, but it’s harder to spot wildlife since the vegetation is so thick.

It’s important to remember that the park is huge, be prepared for long drives. Don’t forget about those pesky mosquitoes! Bring plenty of insect repellent and malaria medication if you’re visiting during the wet season.

Hwange National Park brimming with wildlife. Current wildlife is recovering from almost being exterminated in 1928-29. So make sure you visit this magnificent park soon and enjoy viewing and photographing these amazing creatures!

Best Time to Travel

There is no definitive answer. Different times of year offer unique experiences and opportunities for viewing and photographing the wildlife.

January, February, March and April are the best months for wildlife viewing. You can expect to see wildlife in the watering holes. Newborns should appear as this is the end of the gestation period.

In the rainy season (November through to April), a completely different park emerges. Wildlife congregates less at the watering holes and disperses throughout the park. Making it hard to photograph the wildlife, you can enjoy the views of the parks’ vast landscapes.

The best time to visit Hwange National Park is during the green season because you get to experience both aspects: wet and dry. However, please note that visitor numbers are higher during this time, so it might be more crowded at certain points.

Hwange Safari Lodges and Camps – Hwange Safari

When planning your adventure in Hwange National Park, it’s important to know about the different accommodations available. The park has three major categories: camping, lodges, and hotels.

Hwange Camping

Camping is probably the cheapest, as visitors can bring their own camping gear. There are several campsites in the park that offer basic amenities like toilets and showers.

Hwange Lodges

Lodges are a bit more expensive, but they come with many perks like swimming pools and game drives. Some of the best lodges in the park

Hotels are the most expensive option, they also provide some of the best services around. The Elephant Hills Resort is one such hotel that sits right on top of a hill overlooking Hwange National Park.

Activities at the Park?

Hwange National Park offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Envision yourself on a photo safari, walks, and night drives. The Safari is great for viewing wildlife, while the walk and cultural experience are also available. The night drive allows visitors to see the stars above. In the park, expect to find many tourist attractions such as audio guides and outdoor activities like hiking or rock climbing. You can also try some interesting cultural events in the parks like art classes and workshops.

Explore Hwange in retro fashion while mounted. The mysterious teak and acacia woodlands are reached after passing through vast tracts of untouched bush and wide savanna grasslands. Riding a horse while exploring one of Africa’s premier wildlife hotspots.

The Weather at Hwange National Park?

The climate in Hwange National Park changes based on the season. There is a rainy season between November and April, although there are some rare showers outside of these dates. The temperature varies throughout the year, so come prepared!

Getting to Hwange National Park?

There are a few ways to get to Hwange National Park, but the best way is by plane.

International travelers will fly into Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls Airport (VFA). A tour operator will pick you up from the airport and arrange transport across Zimbabwe to the park. For chartered flights, several of the hotels have airstrips.

Once you’re in the park, you can drive around and see all the animals!

Safety Concerns When Visiting Hwange National Park?

Along with typical safety issues, you should know about the potential risks. Africa’s Big 5, lions, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, and leopards can be dangerous if approached. It is important to obey all park rules and regulations when encountering wildlife.

Hwange National Park is also home to other potentially dangerous animals like cheetahs, hyenas, and African wild dogs. These predators can be unpredictable, so it is always best to keep your distance when observing them.

The Hwange National Park is known for its resident African wild dog packs, which can often be seen near the visitor’s center. If you’re lucky enough to spot them, make sure not to get too close, as they are still wild animals.

Be sure to heed all warnings and advice from park staff when visiting Hwange National Park to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Be sure to heed all warnings and advice from park staff when visiting Hwange National Park to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Need more information on how to be safe on Safari? Read our post on Are African Safari Safe.

Tours at Hwange National Park?

Hwange National Park offers some of the best tours in Africa. Most popular are game drives, walking safaris, and night drives.

Game drives allow visitors to explore the park in a 4×4 and photograph a variety of wildlife. Walking safaris gives tourist the opportunity to get up close to the wildlife, and night drives offer a unique perspective on nocturnal animals.

Special tours are offered at certain times of year. For example, Christmas Day is celebrated annually at Hwange National Park with a special tour that includes lunch. There are also seasonal tours available, those that focus on bird watching or wild dogs.

No matter what time of year you visit, there’s sure to be something interesting happening in Hwange National Park!

Highlights Africa Park

There are a variety of activities at Hwange National Park. It’s the perfect destination for visitors of all ages. As mentioned, highlights include game drives, self-driving and guided, horseback and walking safaris. Guests can enjoy a variety of other activities, from bird watching to fishing trips, and visiting the parks dedicated hides. They offer excellent views of wildlife drinking or bathing in the waterholes.

The park is also home to a wide variety of animals, including African elephants, buffaloes, zebras, lions, leopards, and hyenas. With over 400 species of birds recorded in the park, bird enthusiasts will be sure to find plenty to keep them occupied during their stay.

Can You See Rhino in Hwange?

Black and white rhino are rare but can be seen at Hwange if you’re lucky.

In 1985, there were 100 white rhinos in Hwange National Park; by the 1990s, poaching had become widespread. In the southern region of the Park, close to Ngamo, foreign poachers killed the last white rhinoceros in 2007. The Community Rhino Conservation Initiative seeks to restore rhinos to this region of Zimbabwe in a highly sustainable and safe manner so that it can someday support a healthy population of wild black and white rhinos.

How Many Animals Live in Hwange National Park?

Hwange National Park is home to over 100 species of mammals and 400 bird species. This makes it a popular destination for tourists who want to see a variety of animals in one place. The park is also known for its large elephant population, which makes it a great spot for safaris.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a memorable wildlife photo experience, then Hwange National Park should be on your list! The spectacular natural beauty of this park, coupled with the presence of rare and endangered animals, makes it a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

Hwange National Park is home to over 40,000 elephants, as well as buffalo, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and lions.

While you’re at the park, visit the Painted Dog Conservation Project. The project protects the Hwange Painted dogs, one of the most endangered species in Africa. The Painted dogs are highly territorial, and the park is home to these beautiful creatures.

Bob Wild is a professional photographer and the former owner of African Photo Safari, having led guided photo safaris to numerous destinations including Namibia in western Africa. He owns Who Said Photography and continues to help introduce newcomers to the joys of photography.