Hwange National Park Safaris
If you're looking for an unforgettable safari experience in Africa, then look no further than Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Founded in 1928, Hwange is one of the largest national parks in Africa, and it's known for its evergreen mopane bush, saltpans, acacia scrub, and open grasslands. These features make Hwange a true wildlife haven, and it's no surprise that the park has one of the densest animal populations in Africa.
More About Hwange
A tailor-made safari in Hwange will undoubtedly be the highlight of any holiday to Zimbabwe. With roughly 60 waterholes dotted across the park, wildlife tends to congregate around these areas, particularly during the dry season. This makes spotting animals on safari in Hwange easier than in other parks.
Hwange National Park is located on the eastern edge of the Kalahari Desert and forms a large part of the greater Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Area. While the park is within a short drive of Victoria Falls, it also has its own airport and railway line, making access to the park easy from much of Africa.
If you're planning a safari in Hwange, you can expect to see a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, and much more. The park also offers a variety of activities, such as guided walks, game drives, and bird watching, giving visitors the chance to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Hwange in a unique and unforgettable way.
Wildlife in Hwange
Hwange National Park is one of the best places in Africa for a truly memorable wildlife safari experience. The park is home to over 100 mammal species, including the Big Five, except for rhinos which are found only in a private reserve on the border of Hwange. The park’s elephant population is particularly notable, with approximately 44,000 of these majestic animals living here. Visitors on bespoke Hwange safaris can also spot buffalo, lions, and giraffes which are frequently sighted, whilst leopards are more elusive.
The variety of habitat in Hwange makes it a perfect place for predators such as lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs to hunt. While smaller predators such as African wildcats, civets, and spotted hyenas can also be spotted on a luxury Hwange safari. The park is also home to some rare species of antelope like sable and roan.
One of the unique features of Hwange is the large population of African wild dogs which is believed to be one of the largest in Africa. The Painted Dog Research Centre located on the edge of the park supports and protects this threatened species, and a visit to the center is a rewarding addition to any safari.
Best Time to Visit
The best time of year to visit Hwange National Park largely depends on personal preferences and interests. However, there are a few factors to consider when planning your trip.
The dry season, from June to October, is generally considered the best time for game viewing as wildlife congregates around the park’s waterholes. This makes it easier to spot animals on game drives and walking safaris. The vegetation is also less dense during this time, providing better visibility.
The rainy season, from November to May, brings lush green vegetation and many migratory bird species to the park. This can be a great time for bird watching and enjoying the scenery, but the increased vegetation can make it more challenging to spot some animals.
During the rainy season, some parts of the park may become inaccessible due to flooding, so it’s important to check with your tour operator before planning your trip.
The shoulder seasons of April to May and November to December can be a good compromise between the two seasons, with fewer crowds and more affordable prices.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Hwange National Park will depend on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience during your safari.
Month-by-Month Guide to Weather
This is the height of the wet season in Hwange, with temperatures averaging around 27°C (80°F) during the day and 17°C (62°F) at night. Expect heavy rainfall, with an average of 175mm (7 inches) throughout the month, and up to 14 rainy days.
The wet season continues in February, with similar temperatures and rainfall to January. Mornings and evenings are often misty, creating stunning photographic opportunities.
As the wet season comes to an end, temperatures begin to drop slightly, with daytime averages of around 26°C (79°F) and nighttime averages of 16°C (61°F). Expect about 120mm (4.7 inches) of rainfall throughout the month, and around 9 rainy days.
This is the start of the dry season in Hwange, with cooler temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F) during the day and 13°C (55°F) at night. Rainfall is minimal, with an average of 30mm (1.2 inches) and around 3 rainy days.
With the dry season in full swing, temperatures continue to drop slightly with daytime averages of around 23°C (73°F) and nighttime averages of 9°C (48°F). Rainfall is extremely low, with an average of just 5mm (0.2 inches) and around 1 rainy day.
June marks the start of winter in Hwange, with chilly temperatures averaging around 21°C (70°F) during the day and 6°C (43°F) at night. Rainfall is almost non-existent, with an average of 1mm (0.04 inches) and less than 1 rainy day.
The middle of winter in Hwange brings cold temperatures with daytime averages of around 21°C (70°F) and nighttime averages of 6°C (43°F). Rainfall remains low, with less than 1mm (0.04 inches) and no rainy days.
This is one of the best months to visit Hwange, with clear skies, mild temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F) during the day and 8°C (46°F) at night. There is no rainfall and no rainy days.
As spring arrives in Hwange, temperatures begin to rise slightly with daytime averages of around 30°C (86°F) and nighttime averages of 14°C (57°F). There is no rainfall and no rainy days.
This is the hottest month in Hwange, with daytime averages of around 33°C (91°F) and nighttime averages of 19°C (66°F). There is no rainfall and no rainy days.
The start of the wet season in Hwange sees temperatures dropping slightly with daytime averages of around 31°C (88°F) and nighttime averages of 18°C (64°F). Expect rainfall of around 80mm (3.1 inches) throughout the month, with around 6 rainy days.
The wet season is in full swing in December, with temperatures averaging around 28°C (82°F) during the day and 17°C (62°F) at night. Expect heavy rainfall, with an average of 175mm (7 inches) throughout the month, and up to 14 rainy days.