Hwange National Park is the largest and most popular park in Zimbabwe. It offers excellent wildlife viewing, and most big safari animals can be seen, including the Big Five. Hwange is most known for the impressive concentration of elephant that are attracted to the park’s waterholes during the Dry season.With over 100 species present, Hwange has the widest variety of mammals of any national park in the world.
Known for its thriving population of elephant, at 14,651sq km, Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest protected area and most-visited park, just two-to-three hours from Victoria Falls. With 108 species of mammal and over 400 species of bird recorded, Hwange actually has one of the highest animal diversities of any park on the planet. No wonder it has attracted researchers, which has ensured, among others, a healthy wild dog population. Several lodges and camps make all areas of the park visitable.
Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls and near to Dete. Its claim to fame is one of the largest elephant populations in the world. There are 20,000 to 70,000 individuals that congregate around the waterholes toward the end of the Dry season. Predators, including all three of the big cats, are regularly spotted. The park has an impressive variety of antelope, including some of the unusual species such as sable antelope and greater kudu. The park is an important breeding ground for wild dog
It was founded in 1928, with the first warden being by the 22-year-old Ted Davison. He befriended the Manchester-born James Jones who was the stationmaster for the then Rhodesian Railways at Dete which is very near the park's Main Camp. Jones managed incoming supplies for the park.
Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the Mighty Victoria Falls.
It became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19 th Century and was set aside as a National Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The Park has three distinctive Camps and administrative offices at Robins, Sinamatella and the largest one at Main Camp.
Most of the park is underlain by Kalahari Sands. In the north-west there are basalt lava flows of the Batoka Formation, stretching from south of Bumbusi to the Botswana border. In the north-central area, from Sinamatella going eastwards, there are granites and gneisses of the Kamativi-Dete Inlier and smaller inliers of these rocks are found within the basalts in the north-west
Access to the Park may be made by:
Air; An unlicensed airstrip exists at Main Camp for private/ charter aircraft. Prior permission to land must be obtained at Main Camp. Please note there are no hangars. Hwange National Park Airport is situated nearby.
Road; It is usually possible from May to October to enter the Park by any designated access road and to drive to any of the camps. During the wet season though, advice should be sought as to the best routes. The visitor reception at each camp will provide advice on the many game-viewing drives of the 480 kilometres of the Park’s road system. Please note that the camps are interconnected by a road network, however, the roads are not always in the best of conditions.
To Main Camp; The turn-off to Main Camp is at the 264,5 kilometre peg on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. From here a tar road (15 kilometres) leads to the Park boundary at the railway crossing, a short distance from the Camp.
To Sinamatella Camp; A tar then gravel road branches off the main Bulawyo Victoria Falls Road near the town of Hwange. The Camp is reached 45 kilometres further on via Mbala lodge in the Deka Safari Area.
To Robins Camp; A gravel road turns off the main Bulawayo Victoria Falls Road 48 kilometres south of Victoria Falls. From the junction it is approximately 70 kilometres to Robins Camp and en route there is a turn off to Matetsi Safari Area headquarters and to Pandamatenga. Robins Camp can also be reached by road through the Park from Main Camp and Sinamatella during the dry season.
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