Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is the largest in Zimbabwe, covering an impressive 14,650 sq km, with the main entrance located a two-hour drive or 30-minute flight south of Victoria Falls. The park is named after a local Nhanzwa chief, and was once the royal hunting ground for the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi, before being classified as a protected National Park in 1929.
As you’d expect from a park of this size, the breadth of wildlife species is astounding. Over 100 species of mammals reside here, whilst almost 400 species of birds decorate the skies. Perhaps most exciting is the 40,000-strong population of tusker elephants, whose presence is world-renowned and a joy to watch day after day.
The dry season (from July to October) is the best time to visit Hwange, as large concentrations of wildlife– particularly the wonderful elephant herds – descend upon the area to drink from the waterholes in order to survive in this hot and unforgiving environment. Yet, whilst the rains from December to March will see the wildlife dispersing across the park, thus making them harder to spot, the summer showers also bring forth stunning vegetation. This ensures mesmeric bird-watching opportunities as the local population finds itself bolstered by the migrants coming down from the Northern Hemisphere. Hwange National Park truly is a year-round wonderland.