​Expert Reviews – Hwange NP

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Ariadne van Zandbergen   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: Multiple times

Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.

10 people found this review helpful.

Elephants Galore & Reintroduced Rhinos
Overall rating

Due to its proximity to Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s most popular reserve. Its great variety of animals and good wildlife densities make it a good choice for first-time safari-goers. Just like Kruger, Hwange is well suited to a self-drive safari. The main roads are well maintained and there are several reasonably priced camps to choose from. If you get tired of driving around, it is always worth stopping at one of the waterholes with photographic hides. In the dry season these artificial pans attract thirsty animals from far and wide, and I’ve often spent hours enjoying the drama unfolding here.

Hwange is mostly known for its huge concentrations of elephants. From about July to October or November, you’ll see massive herds of them kicking up dust as they walk across the plains. Expect incredible photo opportunities when they congregate at the waterholes to drink and bath. Of the big cats, lions are most easily seen but I was lucky to see cheetah as well.

Although there are still a few free-roaming black rhinos in the remote hills beyond the Sinimatella area of the park, these are very rarely seen. A highlight on my recent stay was a visit to the Ngamo Wildlife Sanctuary, home to two reintroduced white rhinos. The exciting Community Rhino Conservation Initiative is run by Imvelo Safari Lodges in partnership with the local community. Presently the activity is only offered to people staying at the Imvelo lodges, but hopefully the sanctuary will open up to all visitors to the park. After an informative talk we drove around the large fenced-off area in search of Thuza and Kasana, the resident rhinos. Once we spotted them we disembarked the vehicle and watched them peacefully feeding and eventually settling for the night as the sun set.

Average Expert Rating

  • 4.2/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star 9
  • 3 star 1
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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