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Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park

Hwange has a large elephant population

Hwange offers a myriad of safari experiences

... including day and night game drives

You may spot a number of lions as well.

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park

Zimbabwe's largest national park encompasses a variety of habitats from Kalahari sandveld to mopane woodlands.

Bordering Botswana, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe's largest game park with an area of 14,600km². Its sheer size means that its scenery, vegetation and game vary hugely, ranging from the semi desert scrub on the edge of the Kalahari in the south, to forests, granite hills and valleys of mopane woodlands in the north.

The national park is home to over 100 mammal species, including lion, leopard and rhino, and is known for its large population of elephant. This game park is very accessible and all the safari camps here offer day and night game drives and most also offer walking safaris. The highest numbers of animals are spotted in the dry season (August to October) when the wildlife congregates around the shrunken water holes.

Hwange National Park

Best safaris in Hwange National Park

Hwange itself is varied and exciting, like our safaris there.

Some safaris focus purely on Hwange, like our Side-Striped Jackal Safari. Others combine it with nearby Victoria Falls and perhaps Matobo Hills, like the great and great-value Klipspringer Safari. Then for the ultimate big game Zimbabwe safari, study our classic Lion and Buffalo safaris which pair it with Mana Pools.

Less obvious pairing, until you see a map, is to link Hwange with Botswana, but our Great Egret Safari shows how well this can work.

All our trips are tailor-made, contact us to find your perfect safari.


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Side-striped Jackal Safari

6 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Get an in-depth experience of Zimbabwe’s colossal Hwange National Park, staying at two experience-focused camps with excellent guiding in contrasting areas. An adventurous safari for the real enthusiast.

US$3,480 - US$5,460 per person

Itinerary image

Ground Hornbill Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

This Zimbabwean odyssey explores Hwange National Park from two small camps, renowned for their great guiding, before ending with insights into cultural history, a little luxury and first-class rhino tracking in the Matobo Hills.

US$5,270 - US$8,560 per person

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Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

This wonderfully varied adventure combines Botswana's Okavango Delta and a live-aboard houseboat safari on the Chobe River, with big game in Zimbabwe's dry Hwange National Park and the stupendous Victoria Falls.

US$9,250 - US$17,160 per person

Itinerary image

Lion Safari

7 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

The classic Expert Africa Zimbabwe safari. Combining two of our favourite independent camps, each run by celebrated guides, exciting game drives, world-class walks and canoeing in premier wildlife watching destinations.

US$6,950 - US$9,830 per person

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Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,890 - US$3,570 per person

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Grysbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Discover three of Zimbabwe’s iconic destinations in style, flying between Hwange, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba on this varied safari adventure staying at authentic yet luxurious camps.

US$8,990 - US$14,380 per person

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Buffalo Safari

9 days • 3 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combining Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Hwange national parks with stays at intimate six-tent safari camps offering excellent walking, canoeing and game drives. Superb wildlife viewing and a real wilderness-focused experience.

US$8,040 - US$11,910 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$7,000 - US$10,780 per person

View all safaris

Most recent reviews of our safaris to Hwange

Click below to browse all 211 reviews from Hwange National Park. All from our travellers; all are in full & unedited.


98%
211 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
198
Good
11
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
0
Travel Photoman from USA

Arrived 21 Jun 2024, 13 nights

"My Jun 2024 trip"

"Excellent trip from start to finish... Lucy was a great resource …" Read Travel Photoman’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Luca from Milano

Arrived 3 Jun 2024, 6 nights

"My Jun 2024 trip"

"The trip was fantastic... well organised... the information provided was very us …" Read Luca’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Dr S. from USA

Arrived 8 Jun 2024, 21 nights

"My Jun 2024 trip"

"Overall the trip was great and very organized....Maruska was great to deal with …" Read Dr S.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Ms B from Florida, US

Arrived 27 Apr 2024, 28 nights

"Our seventh trip to Africa"

"7th trip since 2016.. nothing but praise for all the advice & trip organization …" Read Mr & Ms B’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms H & Mr F from Chicago

Arrived 19 May 2024, 12 nights

"My May 2024 trip"

"Everyone in our group commented on how flawlessly and seamlessly this trip went …" Read Ms H & Mr F’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

P.C from Redlands, Calif

Arrived 10 Apr 2024, 9 nights

"My Apr 2024 trip"

"Expert Africa saw to everything and the coordination ...was seamless …" Read P.C’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms C. from Redlands

Arrived 10 Apr 2024, 9 nights

"Shy animals, still loved it."

"Claire came up with exactly what I had hoped for. …" Read Ms C.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Good

Mark from Switzerland

Arrived 2 Jan 2024, 11 nights

"My Jan 2024 trip"

"Beautiful birds and knowledgeable guides …" Read Mark’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr A. from Ongar

Arrived 7 Nov 2023, 12 nights

"My Nov 2023 trip"

"the most memorable time.. organisation from Expert Africa was super.. seamless.. …" Read Mr A.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Pete & Nancy from Stockton

Arrived 5 Oct 2023, 28 nights

"Our Oct 2023 trip"

"the best safari experience we’ve had. Expert Africa took care of all the details …" Read Pete & Nancy’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Hwange National Park reviews

The best camps & lodges in Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is a large national park with a diverse range of safari camps and lodges. From the small and very personal experience at Hwange Bush Camp to the smart, luxurious Somalisa and Linkwasha Camp, all are immersed in the wild. Expect close encounters with elephants at waterholes, expertly-guided bush walks and thrilling game drives.

See the lodges and camps below, then talk to our Zimbabwe experts who know them all well – and will guide you to a safari to suit you.


Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

Overlooking a waterhole in a remote part of Hwange National Park, Camp Hwange offers great guiding in a pristine wilderness at reasonable prices.


97% (87 reviews)
The Hide

The Hide

Located in a small, private concession, The Hide is a relaxed and comfortable camp offering submerged hides and great family accommodation.


95% (37 reviews)
Somalisa Camp

Somalisa Camp

Somalisa is a luxurious, yet remote, safari camp in Hwange National Park, offering walking safaris and game drives.


92% (37 reviews)
Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp is a small seasonal camp offering comfortable tents, great food, and superb guiding, and is often used by exclusive groups.


97% (32 reviews)
Little Makalolo Camp

Little Makalolo Camp

Tucked away in Hwange National Park overlooking a waterhole, Little Makalolo Camp combines top guiding with excellent wildlife watching.


98% (24 reviews)
Somalisa Expeditions

Somalisa Expeditions

A simple but stylish camp, Somalisa Expeditions sits in the heart of Hwange National Park, offering walking safaris and game drives.


99% (16 reviews)
Davison's Camp

Davison's Camp

Within the Linkwasha Concession, Davison's Camp offers superb value for money, morning walking safaris and spot-lit drives after dark.


89% (9 reviews)
Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba is a comfortable, good-value camp in a remote area of Hwange National Park, teeming with wildlife.


98% (8 reviews)
Bomani Tented Lodge

Bomani Tented Lodge

Bomani is a down-to-earth lodge with a range of activities in a remote region of western Zimbabwe, adjacent to Hwange National Park.


95% (8 reviews)
Verney's Camp

Verney's Camp

Verney's Camp is one of the newest offerings in Hwange, located in the wildlife rich, open landscape in the south-eastern section of the park.


88% (5 reviews)
Khulu Bush Camp

Khulu Bush Camp

Just outside Hwange National Park, Khulu Bush Camp features a waterhole popular with wildlife, especially elephants and offers excellent value for money.


88% (5 reviews)
Jozibanini Camp

Jozibanini Camp

Remote and rugged, Jozibanini is one of the most remote camps in Zimabwe's largest National Park. Stay here for a real wilderness experience.


95% (4 reviews)
Linkwasha Camp

Linkwasha Camp

In its own private concession within Hwange National Park, Linkwasha offers excellent wildlife sightings and luxurious surroundings.


100% (4 reviews)
Somalisa Acacia

Somalisa Acacia

Somalisa Acacia is a family-friendly, yet remote and luxurious safari camp in Hwange National Park.


100% (4 reviews)
Camelthorn

Camelthorn

Camelthorn is a stylish lodge with a range of activities in a remote region of western Zimbabwe, adjacent to Hwange National Park.


93% (3 reviews)
Ivory Lodge

Ivory Lodge

Just outside Hwange National Park, the small Ivory Lodge is a great place to see large herds of elephant as well as smaller plains game.


80% (2 reviews)
Deteema Springs Camp

Deteema Springs Camp

Nestled deep in Hwange National Parks rugged northern sector, Deteema Springs Camp promises visitors an authentic bush amp experience.


100% (2 reviews)
Stimela Star

Stimela Star

The Stimela Star is a luxury overnight train that starts in Victoria Falls before making it's way down to Hwange National Park where you can start your safari.


60% (1 review)
Daka Plains Camp

Daka Camp

One of the more remote camps in Hwange National Park, Deka Camp sits almost on the border with Botswana.


100% (1 review)
Sable Valley Lodge

Sable Valley Lodge

Set on the 12km Dete Vlei, the recently upgraded and family-friendly Sable Valley sits in a private reserve within easy reach of Hwange National Park.


100% (1 review)
Khulu's Retreat

Khulu's Retreat

Just outside Hwange National Park, Khulu's Retreat is an exclusive private villa and is a great place to spoil yourself on a safari in Zimbabwe.


No reviews yet
Elephant's Eye

Elephant's Eye

In a private concession just outside Hwange National Park, the comfortable Elephant's Eye overlooks a pan and waterholes.


No reviews yet

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Our traveller’s wildlife sightings in Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park appeals to keen wildlife enthusiasts as it's home to a vast array of species. It's particularly famous for its large elephant population, which so often congregate at the waterholes here, and the packs of African wild dogs, whose complex social behaviours and hunting skills have been studied here.

Its southern side is pure Kalahari, and so supports a few gemsbok and brown hyena; rarities elsewhere in Zimbabwe. The beautiful sable and roan antelope are often seen, as are the spectacular greater kudu.

Other key predators include lion, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas are, like their prey, scattered around the park – with lion and spotted hyena the most common, but a fairly good level of leopard and cheetah sightings.

Click on a species below for more information on the top locations in Hwange for wildlife sightings, or see our interactive map showing the best locations for individual wildlife species in Zimbabwe. Read how this wildlife survey works.


Elephant

99% success

Zebra

97% success

Giraffe

93% success

Lion

93% success

Buffalo

82% success

Hippo

79% success

Roan antelope

70% success

Sable antelope

65% success

Wildebeest

57% success

Spotted Hyena

50% success

Eland

45% success

Cheetah

41% success

Leopard

28% success

Wild dog

28% success

Oryx

10% success

Brown Hyena

10% success

Pangolin

1% success

Aardvark

1% success

White Rhino

0% success

Black Rhino

0% success

When to go to Hwange National Park

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Hwange in Zimbabwe


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Zimbabwe in January

January falls in the middle of Zimbabwe’s rainy season and is the wettest month of the year. Heavy rainfall occurs most days, flooding seasonal rivers and waterholes, with the occasional sunny spell.
With the high levels of precipitation the wildlife in the national parks becomes widely dispersed, taking advantage of the abundance of food and water, and is easily hidden by the thick, green bush.

While sightings of larger animals are possible, and many species drop their young at this time, game viewing is often sparse. However, many migratory species of bird arrive in Zimbabwe making it a peak month for birding.

The rains create incredibly sticky mud in Mana Pools National Park, preventing access and causing camps to close for the season. The majority of the camps in other parks remain open, with low rates attracting a smattering of visitors.

  • Peak of the rainy season: hot & humid with heavy rain most days
  • Bush exceptionally thick and green, with poor game viewing
  • Species such as impala drop their young
  • All camps in Mana Pools closed
  • Very few visitors, and low rates at open camps

Our view

A time to avoid if possible

Weather in January

Zimbabwe in February

February remains well within Zimbabwe’s rainy season. Although total rainfall drops, relatively short thunderstorms can still be expected most afternoons. On the plus side, there is a greater chance of some sunshine in-between.

Much of the country remains waterlogged, closing access to Mana Pools and severely restricting walking safaris in other parks. While game drives and canoeing remain an option, the abundance of water disperses animals, and thick grass can make it difficult to spot larger species, but birding remains excellent. Conversely, this is a great time of year to view the landscape, and is excellent for photographers. Sporadic cloud cover and clear air can make for some spectacular sunsets too, particularly over Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River where the reflections off the water add to the beauty.

  • Generally wet with frequent thunderstorms & hot humid days
  • Poor wildlife viewing due to dispersed animals & thick bush
  • Clear air, green landscapes & exceptional sunsets
  • All camps in Mana Pools closed
  • Very few visitors & low rates at camps that are open

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in February

Zimbabwe in March

March is the final month of Zimbabwe’s rainy season, when the rains start to trail off and sunny days become the norm. However, some days the clouds can still build, breaking into thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Mana Pools remains closed throughout the month but the majority of camps in Hwange, Matusadona and Gonarezhou remain open. Here, the landscape is green and alive, with migrant species of birds taking advantage of the abundant insect life. Larger animals remain elusive though, and walking safaris remain restricted.

By this time of year, the rains have normally trickled down to the Zambezi River and the flow of water over the Victoria Falls starts to increase, but without kicking up too much spray to obscure the views.

  • Last month of the rainy season: hot, humid days with occasional storms
  • Lush vegetation means good birding, but poor game viewing
  • Views of the Victoria Falls improve
  • All camps in Mana Pools closed
  • Open camps have few visitors & low rates

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in March

Zimbabwe in April

April marks the end of Zimbabwe’s rainy season and the end of summer. Clear skies are the norm, with just the occasional shower. Temperatures start to drop, failing to reach 30ºC most days and dropping down to around 10ºC at night.

As the rain fades the landscape starts to dry out. While the vegetation remains thick and green, the soil in Mana Pools dries enough for camps to open, and the only camps to remain closed are the most remote bushcamps in Hwange. Although viewing of larger animals remains tricky, the improved weather starts to draw back visitors, as do prices significantly below those in the peak season.

The Zambezi River and flow of water over the Victoria Falls is at its highest, although large amounts of spray diminish views of the waterfall itself.

  • Transitional period, with much lower rainfall & falling temperatures
  • Wildlife is still dispersed & hard to see, but sightings improving
  • Views of the Victoria Falls often obscured by spray
  • Camps in Mana Pools open
  • Visitors start to return & camps increase their rates

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in April

Zimbabwe in May

The first month in the dry season, May is also Zimbabwe’s first month of winter. If the rains are particularly late in a given year, you may catch the odd shower, but you can expect clear and sunny days the majority of the time. While it’s warm in the daytime, temperatures drop to single digits at night, so bring a warm jumper and gloves for early morning drives.

With the rain having cleared the air, the sky is bright blue, and it’s the best time of year for photography.

Even the most remote camps in Zimbabwe are now open. With the lack of rainfall, vegetation dies back significantly, and seasonal rivers return to sand. Not only does this open up the possibility of walking safaris, but wildlife viewing becomes much more reliable.

  • Start of the dry season, with milder days and cold nights
  • Game viewing significantly improves as vegetation dies back
  • Vegetation starts to turn from green to brown
  • Best time for photography with crystal clear air
  • Visitors start to return; all camps open & rates increasing

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in May

Zimbabwe in June

During June you can virtually be guaranteed of dry and sunny days, although temperatures continue to drop, and can get close to freezing at night in Hwange National Park. Jumpers, jackets and gloves are strongly recommended for early mornings and evenings.

The opportunities for wildlife viewing improve throughout the month as the landscape rapidly dries, and the animals start to gather on the banks of the Zambezi River and around Hwange’s waterholes.

Water levels in the Zambezi River start to drop, reducing the amount of spray kicked up at the Victoria Falls and greatly improving visibility, but still allowing a full curtain of water to cascade over the edge.

  • Middle of winter, with night-time temperatures close to freezing
  • Game viewing significantly improves throughout the month
  • Views of the Victoria Falls are at their best
  • Noticeable increase in visitor numbers
  • Camps considerably more expensive

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in June

Zimbabwe in July

July sits in the middle of Zimbabwe’s dry season. Although it’s warm at midday, temperatures are generally cold and in Hwange it’s been known to drop below freezing at night, with the lower-altitude Mana Pools feeling a bit warmer.

With wildlife clustering around the few remaining waterholes, sparse vegetation, and some of the best views of the Victoria Falls, this is one of the most popular times to travel, with camps charging peak season rates to reflect this. That said, visitor numbers to the country in general remain low, and outside of the Victoria Falls it’s rare for any areas to feel crowded.

  • Middle of the dry season with almost no chance of rain
  • Clear sunny days, but very cold nights
  • Wildlife viewing good; game drives and walking safaris unrestricted
  • Views of the Victoria Falls at their best
  • Camps charging peak season rates

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in July

Zimbabwe in August

While August is the end of winter and temperatures are starting to creep up, mornings and nights are still cold, and game drives in open vehicles can feel particularly chilly. Well into the dry season, the landscapes will have mostly transformed from green to brown and wildlife viewing in Zimbabwe’s national parks is approaching its best. Due to dust kicked up into the atmosphere and smoke from bush fires you may start to notice a haze on the horizon, but this doesn’t significantly impact photography.

August is one of the most expensive months, and the pleasant weather and decent game viewing attracts lots of visitors. While the national parks rarely feel crowded, Victoria Falls accommodation can sell out a year in advance.

  • Warm, sunny days but cold mornings & nights; almost no chance of rain
  • Wildlife viewing nearly at its best
  • Landscape turns brown, & an atmospheric haze develops
  • All camps charging peak season rates

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Zimbabwe in September

Temperatures in September rarely drop below 15ºC, but are yet to reach the oppressive highs of summer. It will normally have been five months since the last drop of rain, so antelope and elephants cluster around whatever water remains, with predators never too far away.

The landscape is very brown, and the haze building on the horizon takes some of the colour out of the sky, so while animal subjects are plentiful, the background is not ideal for photography.

The combination of incredible wildlife viewing, hot and sunny weather, and cheaper flights outside of the school holidays make this the most popular time of year to travel, and availability at the camps can become limited up to a year in advance.

  • The best month for weather, with a pleasantly warm temperature range
  • One of the best months for game viewing
  • Victoria Falls starting to dry but still impressive on Zimbabwean side
  • All camps are charging peak season rates
  • Most popular time to travel, & space can be limited

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Zimbabwe in October

October is the last month of the dry season with little chance of rain but building humidity. While the higher elevation of Hwange National Park limits temperatures to the 30s Celsius, they can easily top 40ºC in Mana Pools.

With little vegetation or water, wildlife is drawn to the few remaining water sources and viewing is at its best; visitors who brave the heat can be rewarded with some exceptional sightings, although haze in the air diminishes photos. Maximum visibility and dense wildlife concentrations can also make for very rewarding walking safaris, although the heat can make them uncomfortable.

Water levels in the Zambezi at the Victoria Falls drop significantly, and large stretches of the waterfall are a dry cliff-face – although it never dries completely. Camp rates remain at their peak, but visitor numbers drop as people avoid the heat.

  • Last month of the dry season; very hot with building humidity
  • Wildlife viewing at its very best
  • Dust & smoke in the air diminish photographic opportunities
  • Victoria Falls starting to look very dry
  • Camp rates remain at their peak

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in October

Zimbabwe in November

November is a transitionary period, with high temperatures and humidity. While they can’t be predicted with any precision, the first rains normally arrive halfway through the month, in the form of thunderstorms lasting a few hours each day.

Early November is a popular time to travel as the camps drop their rates, so if you’re lucky you can get peak-season game viewing at low-season rates. This is a gamble though as if the rains do arrive, animals are no longer limited to a few dangerous waterholes and will disperse into the bush. While all the camps in Mana Pools intend to remain open, the rains can make the airstrips unusable so you may find yourself moved to a different park, a risk that increases through the month.

  • Typically the start of the rains in Zimbabwe
  • Temperatures & humidity levels remain high
  • Wildlife viewing rapidly diminishes as the rains arrive
  • Camps remain open, but risk early closure in Mana Pools
  • Much cheaper time to travel as camps drop their rates

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Zimbabwe in December

By December the rainy season has begun in earnest; this is one of the wettest months in Zimbabwe, with heavy thunderstorms most afternoons and occasionally continuous rain for a couple of days. While temperatures start to cool down the high levels of humidity can make the heat feel more oppressive.

With the rains comes an explosion of green growth, and the dust and smoke are washed out of the air. The resulting scenery – with the occasional bright blue skies – can be fantastic for photographers. Thick vegetation and plentiful water makes viewing of larger animals tricky, but with migratory species arriving the birding is at its best.

All camps in Mana Pools and the remote Hwange camps close, with those remaining open charging their lowest rates.

  • One of the wettest months in Zimbabwe
  • High temperatures & levels of humidity
  • Wildlife viewing poor, but birding good
  • Lush green landscapes & clear air; great for landscape photography
  • All camps in Mana Pools closed

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in December

Map of Hwange National Park

Bordering Botswana, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe's largest game park with an area of 14,600km2. Its sheer size means that its scenery, vegetation and game vary hugely.
The south of Hwange is a pure Kalahari environment: a flat and relatively arid sand-sheet of fossil dunes and inter-dune valleys. Zoom in on the satellite map and you’ll see the east-west lines of the fossil dunes particular clearly south-west of Jozibanini Camp.

Northern Hwange is completely different: a rugged landscape dominated by hard, stony hills and flat plateaux. This is dotted with kopjies and veined with ephemeral streams and rivers running through the extensive mopane woodlands. A few have been dammed, creating a series of permanent small lakes that the animals love – like Mandavu and Masuma.


Reference map

Safaris to Hwange National Park

In Hwange, Zimbabwe’s largest park, its rugged north contrasts starkly with the undulating Kalahari Plains in the south. So it’s a great destination for a full week or so for safari aficionados – see the Side-Striped Jackal for an example.

However, look further and Hwange is a natural destination to combine with the thundering Victoria Falls – just a few hours away by road or minutes in the air. And if flying, then consider linking Hwange with the iconic Mana Pools, in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley, on the Nyala or Pied Kingfisher safaris.

To experience more of the country on the ground, rather than simply hopping over it, look at the Klipspringer or Ground Hornbill safaris – which bring in the magical and very different Matobo Hills, with its rhino-trekking, history and culture.

If you want to also take in Botswana’s Okavango and Chobe as well as Hwange, see the Great Egret Safari is a great example of how well it can work.

As always, these are just ideas; we'll always tailor-make a trip for you. Call us now to find your perfect safari.


Showing 1-9 of 9
Name
Duration
Cost
Most popular
Itinerary image

Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

This wonderfully varied adventure combines Botswana's Okavango Delta and a live-aboard houseboat safari on the Chobe River, with big game in Zimbabwe's dry Hwange National Park and the stupendous Victoria Falls.

US$9,250 - US$17,160 per person

Itinerary image

Lion Safari

7 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

The classic Expert Africa Zimbabwe safari. Combining two of our favourite independent camps, each run by celebrated guides, exciting game drives, world-class walks and canoeing in premier wildlife watching destinations.

US$6,950 - US$9,830 per person

Itinerary image

Side-striped Jackal Safari

6 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Get an in-depth experience of Zimbabwe’s colossal Hwange National Park, staying at two experience-focused camps with excellent guiding in contrasting areas. An adventurous safari for the real enthusiast.

US$3,480 - US$5,460 per person

Itinerary image

Ground Hornbill Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

This Zimbabwean odyssey explores Hwange National Park from two small camps, renowned for their great guiding, before ending with insights into cultural history, a little luxury and first-class rhino tracking in the Matobo Hills.

US$5,270 - US$8,560 per person

Itinerary image

Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,890 - US$3,570 per person

Itinerary image

Buffalo Safari

9 days • 3 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combining Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Hwange national parks with stays at intimate six-tent safari camps offering excellent walking, canoeing and game drives. Superb wildlife viewing and a real wilderness-focused experience.

US$8,040 - US$11,910 per person

Itinerary image

Grysbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Discover three of Zimbabwe’s iconic destinations in style, flying between Hwange, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba on this varied safari adventure staying at authentic yet luxurious camps.

US$8,990 - US$14,380 per person

Itinerary image

Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$7,000 - US$10,780 per person

Itinerary image

Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools national parks, staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls

US$10,150 - US$15,050 per person

Showing 1-9 of 9

Our best 22 lodges and safari camps in and around Hwange National Park

Hwange is massive and Zimbabwe's flagship national park, so it has an array of safari camps and lodges. These are relatively widely spread and visitor numbers in the park are seldom very high, so travellers usually have a high degree of privacy for their game-viewing.

Note distances between camps can be large – sometimes many hours' drive – and so sometimes you'll need to fly between them.

Popular choices currently include Camp Hwange and Hwange Bush Camp, which stands out for their exceptional guiding and immersive bush walks, and Somalisa Camp for its eco-friendly but opulent design, and close encounters with elephants beside its pool.

Our Zimbabwe experts know these camps and areas well, so contact us now to plan your perfect safari adventure to Hwange.


Showing 1-12 of 22
Name
Traveller's rating
No. of reviews
Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

Overlooking a waterhole in a remote part of Hwange National Park, Camp Hwange offers great guiding in a pristine wilderness at reasonable prices.


97% (87 reviews)
The Hide

The Hide

Located in a small, private concession, The Hide is a relaxed and comfortable camp offering submerged hides and great family accommodation.


95% (37 reviews)
Somalisa Camp

Somalisa Camp

Somalisa is a luxurious, yet remote, safari camp in Hwange National Park, offering walking safaris and game drives.


92% (37 reviews)
Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp is a small seasonal camp offering comfortable tents, great food, and superb guiding, and is often used by exclusive groups.


97% (32 reviews)
Little Makalolo Camp

Little Makalolo Camp

Tucked away in Hwange National Park overlooking a waterhole, Little Makalolo Camp combines top guiding with excellent wildlife watching.


98% (24 reviews)
Somalisa Expeditions

Somalisa Expeditions

A simple but stylish camp, Somalisa Expeditions sits in the heart of Hwange National Park, offering walking safaris and game drives.


99% (16 reviews)
Davison's Camp

Davison's Camp

Within the Linkwasha Concession, Davison's Camp offers superb value for money, morning walking safaris and spot-lit drives after dark.


89% (9 reviews)
Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba is a comfortable, good-value camp in a remote area of Hwange National Park, teeming with wildlife.


98% (8 reviews)
Bomani Tented Lodge

Bomani Tented Lodge

Bomani is a down-to-earth lodge with a range of activities in a remote region of western Zimbabwe, adjacent to Hwange National Park.


95% (8 reviews)
Verney's Camp

Verney's Camp

Verney's Camp is one of the newest offerings in Hwange, located in the wildlife rich, open landscape in the south-eastern section of the park.


88% (5 reviews)
Khulu Bush Camp

Khulu Bush Camp

Just outside Hwange National Park, Khulu Bush Camp features a waterhole popular with wildlife, especially elephants and offers excellent value for money.


88% (5 reviews)
Jozibanini Camp

Jozibanini Camp

Remote and rugged, Jozibanini is one of the most remote camps in Zimabwe's largest National Park. Stay here for a real wilderness experience.


95% (4 reviews)
Showing 1-9 of 22
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Frequently Asked Questions

Hwange National Park FAQs

When planning a trip to Hwange National Park, travellers often have a myriad of questions. For instance, many wonder about the best times to visit, which range from the wildlife-rich dry season (July to October) to the lush and quieter wet season (November to April). Questions also arise about must-see attractions from particular species to the Painted Dog Conservation Centre.

To make the most of your adventure, and to tailor your experience, explore these frequently asked questions as you plan.


What is the best time of year to visit Hwange National Park?

The weather patterns in Hwange National Park match those in the rest of Zimbabwe; see the ‘When to go’ section for guidance on the climate.

However, note that Hwange is built on rocky and sandy ground – much of which is still passable in the rainy season. So it’s perfectly possible to visit here in the ‘green season’, from November to April, when you’ll find lush landscapes, fewer tourists and lower costs. At this time of year the wildlife is more disperse, so you’ll see fewer animals, however birdwatchers will be compensated by an influx of summer migrants, some in breeding plumage.

Most visitors come here in the dry season, from about May to October. As this progresses, and the landscape dries out, sources of water dwindle and the wildlife congregates around those that remain, making sightings more frequent and predictable.

Within this, note that late July to early September can be quite cold, down to freezing on some nights. So expect to don coats and warm ponchos (usually provided by the camps) on early morning and late evening game drives – whilst the temperatures in the middle of the day are usually gloriously warm.

What are the highlights of Hwange National Park?

To ‘see the highlights’ of Hwange – best think more in terms of experiences, rather than specific geographical locations.

Top of our list is certainly a walking safari. Zimbabwe has some of Africa’s best safari guides – and heading out into the bush with one them is a real privilege; don’t miss it!

No visit to Hwange would be quite complete without time spent with elephants – be that a large herd on the plains or, more usually, relaxing as you watch family groups come down to a waterhole.

Night drives, if you can do them, can be a highlight , especially when it’s warmer. In reality, on some days you’re lucky to see a spring hare as you peer into the darkness; on others it seems as if there’s mating lions or a hunting leopard around every corner – and you never know what’s going to be caught in the torch-light.

In the south of the park, do take a look at Ngweshla Pans and Kennedy Vlei areas if you are near; they’re prime game viewing territory during the dry season – large open areas with water that attract great game concentrations.

Similarly, in the rocky north the Mandavu and Masuma dams (man-made lakes) have been favourite spots for some of our team for decades.

Finally, near the park’s main entrance, the informative Painted Dog Conservation Centre offers insights into African wild dog. If you’d like to see this then ask us early in your planning as the logistics can be tricky and always need advanced notice.

How do you get to Hwange National Park?

Hwange National Park is accessible by road and air. The closest major city is Victoria Falls, about a three- to six-hour drive away from the camps – depending on their location.

Most travellers fly in and out, and there are a number of airstrips dotted around the park. So there’s convenient air access to a airstrip near most camps – and this is how most camps prefer their guests to arrive.

The drive here from Victoria Falls is on the long side and road conditions are variable, hence most travellers fly. However, road transfers are possible if requested far enough in advance. Costs for couples are usually comparable to flying; for groups travelling together vehicles transfers can be more economic.

In recent years the access roads into Hwange from the north, from Hwange Town, have become much less easy and pleasant – leading many to route via the Main Entrance, or fly into the park.

What are the different parts of Hwange like?

Take a close look at our reference map for Hwange National Park, and you’ll see that there is very much a north-south divide.

Hwange extends across for over 14,000km2, encompassing a variety of vegetation zones, where the game and birdlife differ substantially. Outside the north of the park is a contiguous area devoted to wildlife, which stretches to the Zambezi National Park and the Zambian border.

Hwange’s south is covered with Kalahari sandveld: an arid and largely flat sandsheet overlaid with acacia and terminalia woodlands, and interspersed with patches of open grasslands (or ‘vleis’) – the remains of fossil river valleys.

Dotted around, you’ll also find some marvellously still and shady teak forests – now sadly rare elsewhere. The Kalahari has few natural sources of water, but after the rains many shallow calcrete pans do hold water, and some are now topped-up year-round by artificial pumps. These create a focus for the game, especially the large herds of elephant for which Hwange is famous.

On the northern side of Hwange, the Kalahari sands give way to hard, stony hills and plateaux, where ephemeral streams and rivers run through extensive mopane woodlands. A few have been dammed, creating a series of permanent small lakes that the animals love.

What is the wildlife like in Hwange?

Hwange's game densities are high. Elephants are particularly numerous, and large buffalo herds remain, as do giraffe and a range of antelope: from kudu and roan to sable, impala and waterbuck: gemsbok are sighted but rarely.

Lion, leopard and spotted hyena are the main predators; cheetah are also present, although can be shy. Hwange is a stronghold for wild dogs and there is still a tiny population of black rhino in the north of the park.

Birdwatching can be great in Hwange thanks to a network of permanent water sources. There are high concentrations of dry country raptors including tawny, Wahlberg’s, martial and bateleur eagles.

All of Hwange’s camps offer 4WD game drives and walking safaris – many led by the crème de la crème of Africa’s professional safari guides.

Videos from Hwange National Park

Watch these videos to learn more about Hwange National Park


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