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Hwange National Park

Why visit Hwange National Park?

At 14,600 sq kms Hwange National Park is the largest park in Zimbabwe and is considered to be one of Africa’s great parks. Hwange has an abundance of game and is home to the Big 5, but it is perhaps best known for the huge number of elephants that wander between Hwange and Chobe, at the last game count there were 44,000 but this number can swell at certain times of the year. Hwange is also where you can find good numbers of the endangered wild dog, or painted dog as it is sometimes known in Zimbabwe. Add to this 1000 floral species including 230 different trees and shrubs it’s easy to understand why Hwange is one of the most diverse parks in the world.
Reasons to visit Hwange include:

  • Hwange NP is accessible by road from Victoria Falls in 2.5 hours or you can fly via light aircraft.
  • You can explore Hwange NP in a 4x4, on foot or on horseback.
  • Hwange offers an authentic safari experience and can cater for all budgets.
  • Northern Hwange is dominated by mopane forests, hills and kopjes. During dry season you will see elephants digging the earth for water as the natural seeps flow underground.
  • Southern Hwange consists of Kalahari sands and hardwood forests interspersed with savanna grasslands which are dotted with acacias, the quintessential safari scene.
  • From December to March the ancient lake systems fill with water once again and attract both local and migratory birds.
  • Both the Hwange Lion Project and Painted Dog Conservation are very active in Hwange NP.
  • Choose accommodation in a private concession for an added dimension to the park. Most lodges and camps in Hwange are small in size catering for 16-20 guests at a time.
  • Hwange has about 43,000 visitors per year, far fewer than Kruger or the Masai Mara.

When to visit Hwange National Park

Game viewing is best in the dry season, July to October. There are approximately 60 waterholes (which are pumped) and these attract an abundance of game, just park up and enjoy. The thinned vegetation at this time of year also makes animals much easier to spot, and with 105 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds you should be in luck. When the rains come, the game has a tendency to disperse, you just have to work that little bit harder at spotting.

How to do it

Hwange combines well with Victoria Falls as you can fly or drive there depending on your time and budget. There is also a light aircraft circuit connecting Hwange with Matusadona NP and Mana Pools. You can self-drive to Hwange or enjoy organised transfers, the choice is yours.

Accommodation in Hwange

Hwange National Park is thriving but it’s not overcroweded. There are new properties cropping up all the time. Some firm favourites are Somalisa, with the elephant pool out front and the Camp Hwange experience is excellent. The level of accommodation varies from the simple government run rest camps and camp sites, right up to luxury camps in private concessions of the park.

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Hwange National Park accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT + 2 hours

Flight time:

Flights from UK to Harare or Victoria Falls are usually via Johannesburg and can take 12+ hours, although once the new Victoria Falls airport is fully operational there may be an option of direct flights – watch this space.

Language: English is the official language of Zimbabwe. Shona or Ndebele are also widely spoken by the majority of the population.


Visas are required for UK passport holders and can be obtained on entry into Zimbabwe.  


Malaria is a risk in many areas of Zimbabwe.



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