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Hwange National Park

6 reviews

About Hwange National Park

Country found in: Zimbabwe
Parks total area: 14,651 km² (5657 mi²)
Year established:
Park wildlife: 14 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Recommended

Hwange National Park map

Hwange National Park highlights

  • One of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa
  • Close proximity to Victoria Falls
  • July through November are the best months to visit

Hwange National Park is located in the northwestern corner of Zimbabwe, on the border of Botswana. It was originally established as a game reserve in 1928 and was named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange Rosumbani. The date it became a national park, however, appears to vary from one source to another, with some sources stating 1930, some stating 1949 and some stating 1961.The park is 14,651 km² (5657 mi²) in size, making it the 10th largest national park in Africa and the largest national park in Zimbabwe.

Wildlife of Hwange

Because of the park’s close proximity to the Kalahari Desert, the general landscape of Hwange is of desert scrub and grasslands. The foliage is not dense, particularly compared to other safari destinations, and the majority of forest is that of Mopane. Hwange is an excellent destination for wildlife viewing and boasts over 400 species of birds. It is also home to many large mammals and has one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa, with an estimated number currently around 30,000 to 40,000. It is estimated that four of the five ‘big five’ animals can be seen here: buffalo, elephant, leopard and lion. The rhino population has essentially been wiped out, although a few sources cite state that a handful may remain. For those putting a black or white rhino sighting as a top priority, Hwange should not be their first choice.

The safari lodging in Hwange tends to be concentrated around the waterholes and is generally of very high standard, with the majority being tented camps. It is an excellent safari destination due to its high concentration of wildlife and its well-established tourist infrastructure. It is also located two hours from Victoria Falls, making it an attractive choice for those wishing to combine a safari with a trip to the Falls. Hwange is recommended for all levels of traveler.

When is the best time of year to visit Hwange?

Hwange has two distinct seasons: a wet and a dry season. The wet or rainy season runs from approximately December to March. It is as this time that the local flora becomes green and lush, and bird viewing is at its peak. The animal viewing is less optimal as the animals tend to disperse a bit due to the increased availability of water sources. The rainy season also coincides with Zimbabwe’s summer, and days are hot and nights are warm.

Like the Serengeti, there are little to no off-road driving options in Hwange, which helps keep the animals less accustomed to seeing safari vehicles. The dry season runs from around July/August to October, with September and October being the driest months. The dry season is considered the best safari time at Hwange National Park as large concentrations of game, in particular elephant herds, must drink from the man-made and pumped waterholes. The dry season also coincides with Zimbabwe’s winter months, and while days are still warm and sunny, nights can get very cold and down to freezing temperatures.

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Hwange National Park tour packages

Showing 10 of 42 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.

Tour by: Afri-can International

Self-Drive Southern Africa For the more adventurous traveller or for those that don’t want to travel in a group...

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$528

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Tour by: Jenman Safaris

This intimate Zimbabwe Lodge Safari is a 15 day journey through the best areas and attractions that Zimbabwe has...

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From

$4140

per person

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Tour by: Africa Zim Travel & Tours

Zimbabwe Tour featuring the main highlights: Victoria Falls, Hwange National park, Matopos National Park, great ...

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From

$2200

per person

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Tour by: Sunway Safaris

What an amazing trip taking in the highlights of 3 countries, Zimbabwe, Zambia & Malawi. The mighty Victoria Fal...

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From

$3491

per person

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Tour by: Encompass Africa

- Zimbabwe and Zambia are less busy with tourist traffic, thus better safari experiences - Outstanding national...

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From

$9765

per person

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Tour by: South African Dream

Visit the best of Zimbabwe, from Victoria Falls to three National Parks. Find wisdom in ancient traditions, enjo...

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From

$4357

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Tour by: Jenman Safaris

Our Elephant Eco-Lodge safari is a fully accommodated venture taking you through Zimbabwe and Botswana, starting...

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From

$2345

per person

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Tour by: Africa Zim Travel & Tours

Victoria Falls , Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta

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From

$1750

per person

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Showing 10 of 42 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.