Legendary safaris to Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park

Catch legendary safaris and tours to Hwange National Park, a breath-taking conservation area that takes centre stage for some of Africa’s most compelling wildlife dramas and predator-prey interactions. Choose bush-wise accommodation with Voyage2Africa on one of our Zimbabwe safaris to Hwange and watch lion prides in carefully orchestrated hunts and hippo turf wars in the shallow pans. Make sure to keep an eye out for the myriad of tiny critters and colourful bird species in floodplains, trees and grassland habitats. 

Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe, stretching a vast 14,600 square km in area – and it’s easily accessible, lying in the northwest of the country, just off the main road between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. 

Find this amazing park close to the edge of the Kalahari desert, a region with little water and very sparse vegetation, dominated by gorgeous Zambezi Teak trees, mopane woodland and other endemic varieties that grow near the seasonal wetlands and grasslands in this area. The Park hosts over 100 mammal and 400 bird species including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores.

Hwange contains all of Zimbabwe’s specially protected species and it is the only protected area where small numbers of gemsbok and brown hyena occur. The Cape wild dog population in Hwange is thought to be of one of the larger surviving groups in Africa today, and elephants have been enormously successful too.

Hwange authorities and scientists support the National Leopard Project and the Painted Dog Project while numerous archaeological sites are also evident, ranging from the early Stone Age to the historic era. It seems that stone age foragers hunted and gathered in the region, leaving numerous sites with stone tools throughout today’s park. 

So, make Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe the focal point of your tour to Victoria Falls, the southern regions, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba. It’s accessible yet remote and features a range of luxury, mid-range and budget accommodations for all off-the-beaten-track safaris, for families, honeymoon couples and groups enjoying Africa together. 

Did you know?

Matabele Kings, Mzilikazi and Lobengula, owned the land before the white hunters arrived in the 1900s and slaughtered thousands of wild animals, denuding the landscape into a wasteland.

Highlights

  • Hwange is extremely well managed and offers an experience like no other in all of Africa, in 4×4 game viewing vehicles, and on foot on walking safaris in a private and secluded destination packed with elephants and predators.
  • There were never any permanent water sources in Hwange which impacted on animal movements and survival – so 60 man-made pans were created across the park since the 1920s, enriching wildlife and birds. 
  • Elephants inhabit this ideal habitat in their thousands and gather around waterholes in the dry season in enormous herds, while sable antelope are also a sight for sore eyes in this glorious ecosystem.
  • When the rains come, the larger, more charismatic animals move into the thick vegetation while the smaller animals come out to feed and drink so look out for tiny steenbok, bat-eared fox, antbear, rodents and reptiles. Fishing is also permitted in the natural pans, rivers or dams in the park.

From Wankie to Hwange in a few Years

After the negative impacts of the white hunting days, the region was declared a wildlife conservation area in 1930 to preserve what was left of the fauna and flora and three nature reserves were merged to form the then Wankie National Park. Later, when Zimbabwe gained independence and there was more funding for conservation, the park was renamed Hwange after a local Nhanzwa chief and tourists were allowed into more parts of the park to enjoy its treasures.

In 1928, when the reserve was first established, there was so little wildlife in the region and not even 1000 elephants left after all the rampant hunting. Water had always been scarce but a decision was made to drill boreholes and provide artificial pans for wildlife in strategic areas. Slowly, wildlife numbers increased, birdlife proliferated and tourism took off. Today elephant numbers stand at about 30 to 40 000!

Elephants are Happy and Accommodation has Improved

It was sad to have to cull some elephants along the way over the years to enable the vegetation to remain intact for all species as elephants in huge numbers can decimate large areas of trees and bushes in no time. Today there are 480 km of roads in the Hwange area for tourism and wildlife management and some roads close during the rains while night driving is not permitted.

Accommodation choices today in Hwange National Park are many and world-class establishments cater for all needs of budgets and tastes. Safari lodges and camps have greatly improved recently, thanks to wildlife management and their aims to revitalize these venues in the wilderness region. Several upmarket safari lodges and camps in the private concessions in Hwange are run by private businesses and these are on a scale that matches the best safari destinations in Botswana and Kenya, Kruger and Zambia.

Family Safaris to Hwange National Park are Hot

Pack up the entire family for a safari holiday to Zimbabwe that they will never forget. Intrepid journeys into Africa introduce your kids to the biggest classroom in the world, nature! Game viewing, nature walks, river cruises and camping under the stars are all part of a safari adventure your family will talk about for years down the line!  

Bring your children into the true wilderness of Zimbabwe, our top African safari destination of all time – so check out the luxury lodge and bush camp accommodation where children are made to feel at home and book your special family package today.

The Best of the Best Safaris in Hwange National Park

Plan a Zimbabwe tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to the premier wildlife destination south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the southern regions, Mana Pools, Lake Kariba, Hwange National Park and the famous adventure capital of Africa, Victoria Falls. We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in Zimbabwe, in lavish lodges, family resorts, modern hotels, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature. Bring your camera and your hat, your binoculars and your sense of spirit to an African land that is home to humankind.

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