User Reviews – Hwange NP
Almost perfect but....
I saw a decent number of animals, however I was informed that I had not chosen the best time to visit the park (in june). At that time trophy hunters were operating in private concessions close to the national park. Apparently that made some animals more elusive and thus harder to spot from the safari roads inside the national parks. I was assured that this was only a temporary issue and that animals would come out into the open more when the hunting season ended.
I was also informed that i visited the park during a dry spell, so some animals had migrated into Botswana. But that they would return with the rains. I saw plenty of evidence of lions in the park but they stayed out of sight. No sign of any leopards. But did see cheetahs which was nice. There were plenty of birds, elephants, antelope, hippos, crocodiles and even a honey badger. We stayed at a campsite inside the park which was one of the best i have ever camped at anywhere in Africa. The camp faced a watering hole, where we enjoyed the sunset and watched various animals enjoy a drink and bath. Then at night we had clear starry skies, the sound of night insects and various animals, including hyenas, to enjoy as we ate dinner.
Overall i can say from experience, having visited all the top wildlife parks across southern and east africa, that Hwange can be among the best of them when the conditions are right.
Email deasibeau | 65+ years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Hwange is definitely a good place to visit. Thouroughly enjoyed our stay.
We stayed at Little Makalolo camp. Our guide, Mike was excellent and the staff at Little Mak were terrific. We had a great time there. The camp is near a waterhole where there is a hide and we had some wonderful experiences viewing elephant and buffalo very close. What great photo opportunities that was. The food was good, accommodation excellent. One of the highlights was viewing lions being chased by elephant. We also saw a herd of Sable - not always easy to find. Definitely recommend Little Makalolo and Hwange National Park.
Most of the game was at the watring holes.
We did not see as much game driving around as we saw in other parks. possibly because Zimbabwe allows hunting. However, at the watering holes there was a large concentration of animals and birds. There were some rock outcroppings that added variety to the scenery, which for the most part was dry and flat. The accommodations were especially nice at Kashawe Camp, probably the best out of the four camps we visited. The food was very good, and we had nice sunny weather with cool nights. Our guides were excellent, very friendly and very knowledgeable. The people at the camp and the guides certainly make a visit to this camp a valuable experience..
65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Hwange provided wide open spaces with no other people in sight and only animals as far as we could see.
The accommodations, service and food at Davidson's Camp were superlative. It was more like staying in a fine hotel than in a camp. I have never been so comfortable while being so close to nature. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. When we asked to spend a little longer time at certain places, rather than constantly moving, it was not a problem. The enthusiasm of the staff seemed to reflect a genuine appreciation of the wildlife around them and their dedication to preserving it. At the end of the rainy season the grass was tall and it may have made it a bit more difficult to spot some of the animals, but everything was green and lush providing a beautiful background for what we saw. We saw plenty. We kept returning to one watering hole for sundowners that was surrounded by open savannah with grazing animals all around us as far as we could see. The elephants parading by us in large groups never got boring.
Email bastian birk | 50-65 years of age
If you're into bush vibe, this park is a great destination; not so much so if you're into wildlife.
Hwange National Park is quite a large national park, which gives off a really nice bush vibe since it is definitely not overrun with tourists at all, neither in minibuses or private vehicles. Due to the vegetation of rather dense miombo woodland, you can see wildlife practically only at the many waterholes; safaris consist therefore of driving from waterhole to waterhole. Due to the overpopulation of elephants you'll see a lot of these! It seems the mismanagement of Zimbabwe by the current regime has had a surprisingly limited influence on the park in terms of wildlife. Conclusion: if you're into bush vibe, Hwange National Park is a great destination; not so much so if you're into scenic beauty or wildlife.
I truly enjoyed the park in Hwange, and it was very apparent why it is such a desired safari destination. I saw a lot of wildlife, which was not only varied, but seemed thriving. It is an interesting mix of flora and fauna, and I hope to be able to return soon.
Email Swenglishnick & Zimgirl | 35-50 years of age
Enjoying a great park on a budget
We visited Hwange in December which is a little far into the rainy season to see the most animals. The best time to visit is in September when the water holes are great places to spot the wide range of animals in the park.
We stayed in the rustic National Parks cottages which, even in the middle of shortages that were affecting Zimbabwe, were great places to stay and very cost-effective.
We did not have a 4x4 but found there to be ample routes around the park for a normal 2 wheel drive car. We saw a wide selection of antelope, giraffe, cheetah and zebra. We were sad to miss out on the elephants but they had disappeared off into the bush because of the rains. We also got great views of the Black Rhino at the nearby Hwange Safari Lodge.
When we were not self-driving, we went on some excellent guided drives with extremely knowledgeable local guides.
At that time of year, the birding was excellent and could fill in the periods when the larger game was not visible.
35-50 years of age
the area around Hwange is beautiful
20-35 years of age
Lots of elephants!
35-50 years of age
One of the biggest in Africa, good bush experience.
Plenty of elephants, buffaloes, antelopes. Water pumps were working thanks to private initiative!