Hwange National Park
Hwange is Zimbabwe's largest game reserve, covering a area greater than Northern Ireland this is one of the few great elephant sanctuaries left in Africa and herds of over a hundred strong can still be seen. Other wildlife includes lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and various antelope plus over four hundred species of bird making this one of the finest parks in the world.
At just over 14 600 square kilometres, Hwange is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe, and one of the most important natural sanctuaries for wildlife in Southern Africa. Situated on the main road between Bulawayo and the world famous Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife including 105 mammal species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. The big five can all be found in Hwange, as well as many other predators. The populations of wild dog and elephant are thought to be among the largest surviving groups in the world. Large concentrations of zebra and giraffe can also be found. All of Zimbabwe's specially protected animals have their home in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. Walking, driving and horseback safaris are all available.
The landscapes of Hwange include desert sand to sparse woodland, as well as grasslands and granite outcrops. Hwange has an interesting variety of landscapes, with one part running alongside the North-eastern end of the Kalahari Desert. The south is sandy with extensive forests and open grassland. A feature of the area is ancient fossil dunes - ancient sand dunes held together by vegetation. Due to the lack of water, man-made waterholes have been introduced to sustain the animals through the dry season.
The best time to visit Zimbabwe, in terms of game-viewing, is between June and October, when the temperature is hot during the day but can drop to below freezing at night. During these dry winter months the animals are concentrated around the man-made waterholes. The summer season generally starts with fresh rains in November, bringing the arrival of migrant birds and the movement of mammals in search of fresh growth. The bush gets thick, insects flourish, birding improves, and game viewing deteriorates.