by Sally Stevens | Apr 21, 2023 | 3 nights/4 days: Jozi only
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 northwest are the natural seeps such as Nehimba and Shakwanki where Elephant and other animals still dig for water as did the San people who inhabited the park historically.
The grasslands of the Shumba area add further diversity and the dams such as Masuma 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.
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. On opposite sides of the largest of these at Ngamo are our two lodges Bomani and Camelthorn. Here a 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, cheetah, 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.
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.
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).
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.
Safaris with Purpose and Passion
At the core of Imvelo Safari Lodges is a commitment to protect our treasured environment and natural resources and empower local people, our neighbors, in the surrounding areas. Driven by the generous heart and creative minds of dedicated staff, community, and safari guests, what we have been able to accomplish in our decade’s long effort is astounding. We invite you to learn about our myriad projects completed and join us with those we continue to pursue.
Imvelo Safari Lodges’ forest villas and safari camps are built in nature’s most pristine and splendid settings—boasting prolific wildlife, quintessential vistas, and each one has a powerful and positive impact on the local communities. We have struck the perfect balance of the safari days of old with just the right touch of lavishness.
Our four properties are designed to be combined for a varied and vibrant safari in Zimbabwe’s celebrated Hwange National Park.