One of Africa’s top national parks, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe’s northwest should be on any safari lover’s bucket list. Roaming Hwange’s savanna grasslands and woodlands are the Big Five and 100 other species of mammals – the park has the biggest diversity of mammals out of the world’s national parks.
Hwange National Park is also home to some big herds of elephants and is known for regular sightings of cheetah, leopard and lion, as well as one of Africa’s largest populations of the endangered wild dog and rare species such as roan and sable. Birdwatchers will be impressed with the 500 species recorded in Hwange National Park.
The very accessible Hwange National Park has great diversity and is excellent for good overall wildlife viewing. The best time for wildlife viewing is the dry winter months (May-October).
The park has no permanent natural water sources, so once the rains have stopped and the landscape starts to dry out from June onwards, animals have to rely on the manmade pumped waterholes for water. Animal sightings – wild dog, lion, leopard and cheetah are highlights – are easy to come by, but by far the mammals that Hwange is most famous for are its elephants. Around 50 000 of the giant creatures roam Hwange each year, and during the dry season from June to October, huge herds congregate around waterholes, making the park one of the best places in the world for elephant viewing.
What makes Hwange so special is its lack of crowds of tourists. For all of its biodiversity, huge herds of elephants and ease of sightings in the winter months, the park never gets crowded, which means you have the space and the quiet to soak up the magic of the bush.
Afternoon showers can be expected in the Wet season (November-March).