On the Imvelo Pump Run, Hwange, Zimbabwe

Keeping the water flowing in Hwange

We all know water is vital for life so keeping the water pumps operational in the dry season is paramount for survival of many of Hwange National Park's wildlife.

On the Imvelo Pump Run, Hwange, Zimbabwe

© ImveloSafariLodges

The Imvelo Pump Run

Water is vital to life, and in the dry season it becomes much more so, as many of the animal’s usual watering holes dry up and they have to travel further and further to find water.

Hwange National Park is at a disadvantage in that it has no major rivers to rely on, so the only option is to pump water for its beautiful wildlife. This has been happening for over 70 years, originally done by windmills, these have been now been replaced by diesel engines.

Down in the southern sector of Hwange National Park, Imvelo Safari Lodges is responsible for no fewer than 15 waterholes. It’s no mean feat keeping the pumps running and the waterholes supplied with water. These 15 waterholes make up around 25% of the waterholes in the whole of Hwange, so this is a big responsibility and a huge undertaking.

Each diesel engine needs oil and diesel to function along with a monthly service to keep everything running smoothly. Vital to the operation is the pump attendant who ensures everything keeps pumping, according to plan. Out here in the wilderness these guys need rations, salaries and they welcome the company and chit chat as supplies are dropped off.

  • Insight into life as a pump attendant
  • Learn what makes Hwange tick in the dry season
  • Get involved with the water supply programme
  • Full day trip with picnic lunch en-route
  • End the day with a sundowner
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What the pump run entails

During the dry season, which is roughly June to October, a popular activity at Imvelo’s Lodges is the ‘pump run’, a great full day excursion in the park. Together with your guide you’ll drop off the much needed supplies at various waterholes – this includes oil and fuel for the pumps along with rations and supplies for the attendants. It’s a great way to combine wildlife viewing, seeing more of Hwange, meeting the guys that keep the waterholes full for the wildlife, learn about how it all works and then, finish off the day with a sundowner at one of the waterholes, before returning to camp.

A very worthwhile day on safari!

Safari from Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange, Zimbabwe © ImveloSafariLodges

Where to go

The pump run is operated from Imvelo safaris lodges in Hwange National Park, namely Bomani Tented Camp, Camelthorn Lodge,

When to go

The pump runs only operate during the dry season which is usually June to October. Outside of this, the pumps are not manned but full day game drives can be enjoyed across a large expanse of Hwange.

How to do it

The pump run is offered as one of your daily activities when staying at Bomani Tented Camp, Camelthorn Lodge or Nehimba. The pump run can also be incorporated into a transfer from one of the aforementioned camps to Jozibanini Camp, another Imvelo property.