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HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

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Wildlife and Ecology

 

Hwange National Park at 14,651 sq km is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe and one of Africa’s great parks.  It was granted Game reserve status in 1928 and proclaimed a National Park in 1961.

Hwange has always been renowned for its incredible diversity of wildlife, and to this day it boasts more varieties of mammal and bird species than any other Zimbabwean National Park. There are over 100 species of mammals, including 19 large herbivores such as buffalo, eland, sable and wildebeest, and over 400 bird species. However, the area is particularly famous for its population of elephant, some 44,000 strong - based on the latest aerial survey - and combined with the elephants of northern Botswana this is the world’s largest contiguous elephant population and a flagship for the  Kavango Zambezi Trans Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

The southern two thirds of the Park are ecologically defined by deep Kalahari sands, which support impressive forests of Zambezi teak and other hardwoods. Scattered within these woodlands are ancient fossil lakebeds and drainage lines, which are now large savannah grasslands fringed with Acacia and Leadwood trees.

Bomani, Camelthorn and Jozi territory:

On opposite sides of the largest of these at Ngamo are our two lodges Bomani and Camelthorn. Here this mix of open grasslands and woodlands provides the perfect mosaic of habitats for the full spectrum of both grazing and browsing herbivores  resident in Hwange and then of course the carnivores that prey on them - Lion, Leopard, Painted dog and both species of Hyaena - Spotted and the seldom seen Brown. This abundance of wildlife set in both woodlands and open grasslands provides some of the best year-round game viewing to be found anywhere in Zimbabwe.

During our wet season months from December through March, the ancient lake systems still fill with water; and the open grasslands are flooded, attracting migratory birds from all over Eurasia and Africa. Over 300 species have been recorded in the Bomani and Camelthorn area, both migrants and residents.

In the far south of the Park is the Dzivanini wilderness area with only one concession, where our Jozibanini Camp is located. Remote and very wild, Jozi is for the more adventurous who wish to see the wildlife there and explore the fossil sand dunes and ancient elephant trails between them.

Nehimba Territory:

Northern Hwange is distinctly different from the south, drained by the Lukosi and Deka Sand Rivers, dominated by Mopane woodlands, and even hills and kopjes. Set firmly astride the southern and western Kalahari Sand and northern Mopane woodlands ecotone is Nehimba Lodge. A fascinating feature of the north west are the natural seeps such as Nehimba and Shakwanki where Elephant and other animals still dig for water as did the San people that inhabited the Park historically.

The grasslands of the Shumba area add further diversity and the dams such as Masumo and Mandavu make for wonderful day trips and picnic lunches. Another fascinating all day game drive trip in northern Hwange is to visit some of the interesting ancient archaeological sites at places such as Bumbuzi and the Mtoa Ruins, important to the history of Chief Hwange and the Nambya people resident north of the Park.

To Summarise:

Northern and southern Hwange can be linked by a game drive across the Park that can easily turn into an all day adventure or via rail car - The Elephant Express. Along the north eastern boundary of Hwange is the railway line built just after the turn of the last century that crosses the bridge at Victoria Falls. Hwange's first warden arrived by train, and today it is still a feature.

Hwange's waterholes are famous and during the dry season months from June to November all of our wildlife including our magnificent elephant flock to them in a daily cycle that runs from morning until well into the night. Whether you enjoy the spectacle sitting under a tree, or on one of our all day Pump Runs or from our signature underground Look Up blinds, the photography options are endless.

Adjacent to the south eastern boundary of Hwange the Ndebele villagers within the Tsholotsho communal land that live on the frontline with Hwange's wildlife are part of a comprehensive social support program supported by Imvelo that includes employment, schools, teachers, domestic water supplies and health.  Visitors to this part of Hwange are welcomed amongst these friendly communities and encouraged to interact and learn about their lives and culture and so round off their Hwange experience.

But whichever part you decide to visit and whichever one of our lodges you choose to stay in at Hwange National Park, its wildlife and its people will provide you with an authentic and exciting adventure off the beaten track.

Zimbabwe

Bomani Tented Lodge

Camelthorn Lodge

Jozibanini Camp

Nehimba

Wildlife Seasons

Weather in Zimbabwe

Safari Snapshots

2017 RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE HotelsCombined
9.5 Rated by guests

Imvelo Safari Lodges

68 Townsend Road

Suburbs

Bulawayo

Zimbabwe.

 

Tel: +263 29 2252232  | Mobile: +263 783 568 632 or +263 772 155 872  | Fax: +263 29 2232331

 

Email: res1@imvelosafarilodges.com