Hwange National Park
Situated in North Western Zimbabwe bordering Botswana
Founded in 1928 and set aside as a National Park in 1929, Hwange National Park (formerly called Wankie National Park) was named after a local Nhanzwa chief. It became the royal hunting grounds for the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th Century. Hwange is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying approximately14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest of the country about one hour south of the town of Victoria Falls.
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The first warden at Hwange was Ted Davison who was appointed to the role at the youthful age of 22. He became good friends with the English born James Jones who hailed from Manchester. James was the station master for the then Rhodesia Railways in Dete which is situated close to Hwange Main Camp. Jones managed incoming supplies for the park.
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. Hwange has two main seasons, one hot and wet season starting in mid November and ending in mid April. This is the season for migratory birds in Hwange ranging from the inter-African migrants like the Southern Carmine Bee-eater to the Palearctic Migrants like the Amur Falcons and the Ruff. The number of bird species found in Hwange exceeds 400 and this is largely due to migrants that take advantage of the huge numbers of insects and favourable conditions during the wet season.
The second season in the cold and dry season starting off in about mid April and ending when the rains break in mid November. The low temperatures occur for a brief period in May/June and July and then it remains dry but gets progressively warmer as the season progresses. Summer temperatures can reach into the 40s whilst winter overnight lows can be in the minuses but normally for only short periods. Hwange is on the edge of the Kalahari desert and as such guests are able see a number of desert specialist birds in this dry period such as Sand grouse, Coursers and Nightjars.
“Hwange is just just such an amazing place to visit and totally different from Chobe and Kruger which I have visited on a number of occasions. There are some really lovely rustic places to stay as well as lots of upmarket stuff if that is what you want but we prefer the former…beautiful weather and the game viewing is special”
“We drove extensively through the park and it really is worth visiting…the harshness of the environment, the game viewing, the great conservation work being done, the people, the accommodation…all very special. Will definitely be back”
“Hwange is very much the real world and you really get an appreciation of life and survival…a place everyone should visit…”
“I attended one of Sean’s presentations on Zimbabwe…the photos and his passion were amazing and I just had to go…Hwange was part of my trip and I just loved it…the animals were fantastic and I saw plenty of my favourites, Sable, Elephants and Giraffe…Looking forward to my next visit…”