Hwange National Park is the largest safari park and game reserve located in the amazing country that is Zimbabwe. We are passionate about Zimbabwe as a must-see for anybody considering a holiday to Southern Africa — for its wonderful, hard working and friendly people; safety; wildlife; diversity; the ease of getting around — and so much more. Furthermore, because Zimbabwe is still trying to shed the shackles of a despotic and tumultuous regime, it also provides fantastic value for money. Zimbabwe lies between two significant rivers: the Limpopo down below and the mighty Zambezi up top. To the east you’ll find misty, cooler highlands and to the west, the well-known and loved Hwange National Park. Hwange has always been known for excellent Big Five game viewing and now that tourism to Zimbabwe is on the rise, we are finding that the established safari camps as well as newly opened camps in Hwange now offer, more than ever, some of the best guides in the region, genuine hospitality and great value. The Sheer Size and Spectacle The Hwange National Park covers an impressive 14,650 sq km, with the main entrance located a safe, 2.5 hour drive (or 30-minute flight) south of the ever popular Victoria Falls. The Hwange National Park is named after a local Nhanzwa chief and has been classified as a protected National Park since 1929. As you’d expect from a park of this size, the breadth of wildlife species is astounding. Hwange simply teems with wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals calling it home and almost 400 species of birds decorating its skies. Hwange houses a large population of elephant, along with buffalo, the rare sable antelope, roan antelope, giraffe, wildebeest, impala, gemsbok, hyena and wild dog. Among the over 400 bird species, there is the racket-tailed roller, carmine bee-eater and southern ground hornbill to name a few. Timing Your Hwange Visit Like so many places in Africa, there really isn’t a bad time to go to Hwange. For most of the year, Zimbabwe’s weather is hot and dry. We have already covered what we believe are some of the best times to visit various destinations throughout the African continent and why, but the dry season (from July to October) is our favourite time to visit Hwange National Park. During these dryer months, large congregations of wildlife make their way to the waterholes to drink. Naturally, because it’s so dry the grass is shorter and vegetation generally sparser making the animals far easier to see while on safari. If you’re elephant lovers like us (and what’s not to love about elephants) you’re in for a real treat as they are here in abundance! However, it’s important to note that Hwange is truly a year-round viewing spectacle. For bird lovers, the lush wet green season provides exceptional bird watching opportunities, stunning vegetation of all hues, and of course unsurpassed photographic opportunities. In fact, as far as we’re concerned there are a great many advantages in travelling to Africa during the Green Season. Camping Out — Luxury Style — in Hwange You will find quite a few exemplary lodges in the Hwange National Park that cater to various budgets and are much cheaper than equivalent Botswana safari lodges. And camping, or tented accommodation African luxury style, certainly does not mean foregoing any of life’s creature comforts! The Hide, Hwange National Park and Game Reserve, Zimbabwe We’ve talked about our favourite African lodges before, and the Hide is certainly among them. The Hide Lodge is located a comfortable three-hour drive south of the ever popular Victoria Falls. It is a member of the prestigious “Classic Safari Camps of Africa” and accommodates about 20 guests. Accommodation is in comfortable African style canvas tents, comfortably furnished, each with en suite shower and toilet facilities. The tents are protected from the sun by bamboo roofs and have a large, private, front porch area where guests may relax and view game as they wish. Meals are served at a large communal dining table. The Hide affords some of the very best game viewing opportunities within Hwange National Park. It has been designed for those who want to see and experience Africa, a “romantic” adventure. It’s located on a concession in the actual park and boasts a very cool “hide” — a special hidden viewing area, accessible via a tunnel — where guests can sit and spy on the wildlife through peep holes! Game activities include safari drives by day into the park; night drives and walks in the concession. Of course, game viewing from the specially constructed hides near the water holes offer excellent photographic opportunities. The Hide is a chance to really immerse yourself in the environment. As you dine at the sumptuous and elegant teak table, watching the now lit-up waterhole, imagine: An elephant strides slowly but deliberately to the source of the water and, suitably refreshed, stroll softly, silently into the night amid a frog chorus. If it seems magical now, it’s something else again to actually experience! *** We’re passionate about Africa; it’s in our blood and we’d love the chance to show you the real Africa — the Africa with a difference!