Hwange National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in Zimbabwe and one of the best between Botswana and Tanzania. Located on the eastern edge of the Kalahari Desert, the area’s many water holes attract fauna from all over. Despite the huge size of the park, wildlife tends to be concentrated, making for excellent viewing, especially during the dry season. Hwange is well-known for its large elephant herds.
The area around Hwange lies on a desert frontier close to the center of southern Africa, making it one of the last places in that region to be explored by westerners. Relatively undeveloped, the area was protected as a game reserve in 1928. In 1961 it became a full national park. The problem of poaching is big here, though the government does make serious efforts to eradicating it. One of the most recent major poaching incidents in Africa took place here in 2013, when over a hundred elephants were massacred by poisoning. This has not seemed to deter Hwange’s popularity.
Hwange has a large animal population, though not quite as diverse as some others due to the proximity of the desert. There are plenty of big cat species, including Lion and Cheetah, and despite the recent problems there are plenty of elephants. Some rarities can also be found here, including the African Wild Dog, Brown Hyena and Gemsbok.
Hwange National Park covers an area of just under fifteen thousand square km and is located close to the western edge of Zimbabwe, approximately 300 miles west of Harare. It is fairly accessible via the Victoria Falls area. It is open year round. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.zimparks.org (official website).