Return to Hwange

I was very much looking forward to revisiting Hwange National Park after an absence of ten years. I recalled a huge park with just a few safari camps and lodges and well developed facilities for the visitor. I very much hoped that the park had not been heavily poached and the safari camps run down in my absence.

In fact, Hwange National Park proved to be an absolute joy to visit, very few tourists and abundant wildlife with elephant particularly plentiful. The road system was in a good state of repair and the safari camps I visited were all very well managed by a dedicated group of people.

The camps I visited included “The Hide” which is in the southern section of the park within the home range of the famous “Cecil” the lion who had been illegally hunted and killed for sport just a couple of weeks prior to my arrival. The lodge is located next to a very busy, floodlit waterhole and an underground hide with access via a tunnel from the lodge makes close up game viewing superb. I also visited Bomani Tented Camp and Camelthorn Lodge in the same area, which also have nearby waterholes with viewing hides.

Two unusual activities are the “Elephant Express” which is a game viewing vehicle that runs along the railway track through the park and is used as a transfer vehicle into camp, a great way to arrive at the lodge. The weekly pump run is an all day journey through the park with the team that maintains the pumped waterholes that sustain life deep inside the reserve. This is an opportunity to visit some very remote parts of Hwange and to see the excellent work being done to ensure the survival of wildlife in this very dry national park.

The game viewing in this area of the park was very buy aciclovir tablets 800mg good and apart from hundreds of elephant we saw cheetah, lion and some of the less common sable and roan antelope and many species of plains game.

I am not usually very keen on school and village visits, however, the experience at Bomani visiting the local chief and his village was really educational and I would highly recommend it. An inspiring example of how a small African village can thrive in the modern world and live in harmony with the nature surrounding it.

The northern part of Hwange was also teaming with wildlife, this area is hillier and arguably more scenic, certainly different to the more open grasslands in the south. The two camps I stayed in were really excellent, both offering the full range of safari experiences and very professionally managed. Camp Hwange was a comfortable camp in its own private concession area, where, in addition to guided walks and daytime drives, night drives were also on offer. Nehimba Safari Camp was also on its own private concession and offered similar activities but a real highlight for me was the waterhole around which the camp is built, every night here in the dry season herd after herd of elephants come right into camp and drink the entire contents of the swimming pool which fills up again during the day. It is amazing to see these huge animals just feet away whilst enjoying a pleasant dinner in the camp restaurant.

Also in this area I saw wild dog and the largest herd of buffalo I have ever seen.

Hwange is an easy park to get to from nearby Victoria Falls about two and a half hours away and can be combined easily with the falls in a short or long circuit.

My visit to Hwange was the inspiration for Safari Club’s new “Elephant Trails” and “Land of the Giants” safaris.

POSTED BY: on 23/02/2016

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