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Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe and is located in the west of the country on the road between the famous Victoria Falls and Bulawayo near the town of Dete. Previously the Big Five Park was known as Wankie Game Reserve and covers an area of ​​14 600 square kilometres. There is a network of 480 kilometres of trails that are accessible through almost the entire year, except for a few pieces during heavy rainfall. It is an excellent place for safaris and bush walks and horseback safaris are possible. Most of the wildlife and the accommodation and picnic areas you will find in the northern part of the park as most of the water is here.

Hwange is known for the large groups of elephants, buffalos, zebras and giraffes. All endangered species of Zimbabwe get into the park, gemsbok and brown hyena in reasonable numbers and the number of wild dogs in the park is one of the largest in Africa. The landscape ranges from desert sands on the western edge bordering the Kalahari Bushveld and grassland and in some places granite rocks and boulders.

The park has a dry and a wet season and the difference in these seasons is great. During the dry season (winter in Africa), the area is very dry, the grass is yellow, the upper layer of soil is flawed and has little vegetation. By means of the many man-made water holes, the animals make use of the necessary water, but they survive with little food and water. Without these water holes many animals would die. Wildlife is concentrated in this time around the places where water is so easy to find. In the depths of the dry season, July to September, the day is still always hot but at night it can freeze occasionally. Once the summer rains are changing the field, trees and plant life, the grass turns green and there is standing water in dry riverbeds and (salt) pans. Yet the area has relatively little rainfall, temperatures can rise in summer to 38 degrees, the average temperature of the area is between 18 and 28 degrees. The rainy season (summer in Africa) is most suitable for bird watching.

Nyamandhlovu Pan is one of the most popular spots around the Main Camp to see wildlife like Ngweshla Pan and Pan Dom lions are regularly seen. Sinamatella is another somewhat larger camp with the same accommodation options as the Main Camp and a kiosk. This camp has become frequently visited with a nice view and the nearby Shuma Pans for game and there is a hiding spot where you can see the wild unnoticed. The Shuma Pans, Madavu Dam and Masuma Dam are places where you can picnic. Roberts's Camp is the last of the larger camps in the park. There are a number of private camps, some with luxury tents where you stay. Some of these camps have a small piece of the park and there you can also take evening game drives. It is not allowed in the rest of the park. You can also stay at some of the picnic areas in the park (basic camping), provided you book in advance.

As mentioned it is a Big Five reserve where elephants and buffalo are easy to spot and lions are seen quite frequently. For seeing rhinos and leopards you have to have some luck. Fortunately, there is also a large amount of other wildlife such as many types of antelopes and goats. Safari in Hwange is absolutely worth it when traveling to or from the Victoria Falls.

The park lies in a malaria area, read more about malaria and precautions here: malaria.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist.