​Wildlife & Animals – Hwange NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip has traveled through Zimbabwe several times and is the author of more than 20 guidebooks to various African destinations.

Philip is the Zimbabwe expert for SafariBookings and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Philip is our Zimbabwe expert and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Hwange National Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. A highlight of visiting at the end of the Dry season, which runs from April to October, is watching the big herds gather around the waterholes. Carnivore-lovers won’t be disappointed. Lion, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal are all quite common, and with some luck you might also see African wild dog, cheetah or leopard.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloCommon
ZebraCommon
White RhinoVery Rare
Black RhinoVery Rare
LionCommon
CheetahOccasional
HyenaCommon
Wild DogOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Hwange is a great all-round wildlife destination. ln addition to large herds of buffalo and elephant, plentiful lions and mixed groups of zebra and wildebeest, it is one of the best places in Zimbabwe to see cheetah and giraffe. Unusual antelope include greater kudu, gemsbok, sable and roan antelope. Spotted hyenas are often seen at dawn and dusk, and the population of wild dogs is one of the largest in Africa. Hwange specials sometimes seen on night drives are brown hyena, bat-eared fox and springhare.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

From July to October, during the middle and end of the Dry season, is the best time for wildlife viewing in the park. During these months, vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources. At this time it’s quite common to see a large variety of wildlife drinking at the artificially pumped waterholes, and there is always a chance you’ll witness a kill.

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