Hwange National Park, one of Africa’s prime safari locations, is a lesser known gem that offers all of this and more. Experience true ‘big game country’ where elephants roam free and lions rule without the crowds.
Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometres. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the Mighty Victoria Falls.
An area long favoured by the big game hunters including Selous and van Rooyen and protected by Matabele royal decree, Hwange hosts vast panoply of wildlife.
Over 100 species of mammals and more than 400 birds (with a supporting cast of innumerable insects, spiders’ amphibians and reptiles) can be seen here including the world famous Presidential elephants.
The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The park is a curious mixture of semi-desert, forest and open savannah, each area undergoing fantastic changes as the seasons march on.
The game viewing is superb and the teeming herds of sable, elephant, giraffe, impala, zebra and wildebeest give a hint of the richness of southern Africa’s wildlife in bygone days.
- Ngweshla Pan – the loop road is a pleasant day-drive
- Nyamandhlovu Platform – prime game viewing area at a pumped water hole
- Dom waterhole – an exceptional view of the African Sunset
- Mandavu Dam – provides a beautiful viewing hide to watch animals coming to drink, 27 kilometres from Sinamatellaz
- Masuma Dam – excellent hide for game viewing about 15 kilometres from Sinamatella
- Detema Dam – exceptional game viewing hide
- Wilderness trails
- Big Toms & Little Toms – these are viewing hides which provide excellent game viewing opportunities and are named for the farms of Harold Robins who bequeathed his land to the Park in 1939.
- Escorted daytime walks – available from all camps for a charge to groups of up to 6 persons
- Moonlight game viewing – available from Main Camp around the full-moon period subject to weather conditions
- Wilderness trails – available in the Sinamatella and Robins Camp areas
Where to stay
Bumbusi is situated 24 kilometres northwest of Sinamatella and consists of 4 “A” frame accommodation units, a cottage and a central lounge area. The kitchen is fully equipped with freezer and stove.
A central ablution block comprises 2 toilets and 2 bathrooms. The maximum number of persons that may be accommodated at Bumbusi is 12.
There are no electricity facilities available. The access road is rough, but can be negotiated by low clearance vehicles in the dry season.
Located 11 kilometres from Sinamatella. With facilities similar to Bumbusi, the maximum number of occupants is 10. Lukosi Camp is only available for bookings from November through April.
These are undeveloped sites found at Lukosi, Vhikani, Rhino Bar, Salt Springs and Tshakabika. Four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles are necessary for visitors to Tshakabika.
The Camp consists of 3 lodges and is located 11 kilometres northwest of Robins Camp. Each lodge is fully equipped and self-contained. This remote camp is built on a small bluff which overlooks a natural pan and grassy plain.
This luxurious lodge is a top of the range accommodation facility overlooking an artificial waterhole. The lodge is only a few metres away from Nantwich Camp.
Deka Camp consists of 2 family units, each with 2 bedrooms, bathroom and toilet. An additional facility contains a dining room, lounge, scenic veranda and kitchen with refrigerator and stove.
The camp is serviced and fully equipped and takes a maximum of 12 persons. Deka Camp is situated 25 kilometres west of Robins Camp. Access is by four-wheel drive vehicles only. The camp is normally closed during the rainy season.
Robins Camp is close to the western boundary of Hwange approximately 60 kilometres from Sinamatella and 140 from the Main Camp.
Through traffic from Main Camp is required to leave by 1200 hours. This camp was bequeathed to the government in 1939 by a local farmer, Harold Robins.
Main Camp is situated at the main entrance to the Park. There are numerous pans and pumped waterholes around Main Camp and the area is rich in game.
Main Camp has facilities including self-catering lodges, cottages and chalets, a camping and caravan site, bar and restaurant, grocery store, curio shop and petrol station.
Conference facilities can be made available at Main Camp. Visitors who intend to hold a conference or an organized gathering requiring such facilities will need to contact the Central Reservation Office for details.
Camping is permissible in Hwange National Park at Shumba, Kapula, Mandavu Dam, Masuma, Ngweshla, Jambile, Kennedy 1, Guvalala, and Detema Picnic Sites.
Each site consists of an enclosed picnic area (usually with shady trees or thatch cover) and a small ablution block with running water. Groups of up to 10 people may camp overnight at these areas but the sites are also open to all visitors during daytime.
Established in 1966, this part of the Park was a former cattle ranch. The camp is located near the northern boundary of the Park on an outcrop, 55 metres high, overlooking a distant riverbed and grassy plain.
The name Sinamatella is a distortion of the name of a local shrub called “chinamatira” which characteristically will stick to clothing when brushed against.
The Camp is approximately 120 kilometres from Main Camp. Vehicles are not allowed to travel between the two camps after 1400 hours. Sinamatella is an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ)
The Camp has lodges, chalets and camping sites as described in Main Camp. In addition, a restaurant, bar, shop and fuel are available. Apart from these facilities at the Rest Camp there are also several exclusive camps in the area.