King Mzilikazi of the Ndebele revered Hwange as royal hunting ground in the early 19th century when he drove out the Nhanzwa tribes inhabiting the area. Declared a national park in 1929, it boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including over 100 mammal and 400 bird species respectively. The salt pans, acacia scrub and grassy plains support an abundance of game.
These natural salt-licks, brought to the surface by the excavation of ants, provide the elephants with their favourite mud holes. The Hwange National park has some of the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa with great herds of buffalo and elephants particularly, but also lions, rhinos (the greatest poaching victim) and leopards, which make up the “big five”. The elephant population of 40 000 is one of the largest in the world.
In 2005, a serious drought caused most of the waterholes in Hwange National Park to dry up leaving more than 1 000 elephants and several species dead. The Friends of Hwange Trust was formed in a bid to mitigate the distressing situation in future years, by keeping as many waterholes supplied with water all year round. Poaching remains a serious issue for Hwange National Park.
Hunting is allowed in Zimbabwe, but it is strictly regulated.
Wilderness Safaris – the ultimate safari experience in Africa
Davison’s Camp and Little Makalolo lie in prime wildlife viewing areas within the park, offering privacy for guests who enjoy small camps and a sense of remoteness. The camp boasts six to nine spacious and luxurious en-suite tents. During siesta hours, guests can enjoy outstanding wildlife viewing at the log pile hide overlooking the waterhole in front of camp.
Prime activities include game drives in open 4×4 Land Rovers and guided walks. There are beautiful sights and sounds to behold at Davison Camp where lions roar all night and animals make their way to the waterhole during the morning and at sunset.
Wilderness Safaris is specialized in luxury ecotourism, operating over 70 camps and safaris throughout Southern Africa, including Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe alone, there are 4 camps in Hwange National Park and 1 camp in Mana pools.
A Hide in the Nature
The Hide Safari Camp, established 20 years ago, has distilled the es- sence of the safari experience and embellished their distinctive style. Life in the bush is not just about searching for big game, but is just as much about waking to the cho- rus of robins and hornbills, sitting quietly on the verandah, watching animals at the waterhole. And at the end of the day, there is a chance to enjoy sounds of the African night and gaze at the stars. Member of the prestigious “Classic Safari Camps of Africa” The Hide offers ten beautiful tented suits with views over a waterhole. The service and reception is exceptional.
Early morning walks are recommended for the thrill of encountering wildlife on its own terms and exploring the little surprises of the bush.