After a quick flight or drive from Victoria Falls on your safari in Africa you'll find one of the most famous and largest National Parks of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park. What struck me about this area is how dry and flat it is. The soil is comprised of coarse grayish white Kalahari sand which gives off hardly any dust when you drive, a rarity on safari. It holds in very little heat so the daily temperature swings are extreme and can easily be over 35 degrees Fahrenheit. In the morning you’re bundled up and by mid morning you’re stripping off layers. The unique feature of this area and why it’s become a renowned national park is its high water table which in turn leads to standing ponds of water called pans. When water is plentiful the wildlife disperses into the teak and mopane woodlands to forage for food, but in the dry season (June-Oct) they return to the known water sources and it’s absolutely excellent for game viewing. Numerous species can all be seen together at the same watering hole, slaking their thirst and watching for predators. Some of the lodges have installed pumps to tap into the water table and keep certain water holes open in the peak of the dry season thus increasing the already excellent game viewing. The diversity of plant species also makes the park quite beautiful and in conjunction with the water holes makes it an excellent location for birding especially in wet (Nov-April) season.
Visit Hwange National Park on Safari in Zimbabwe
Check out more from my recent safari in Southern Africa:
Keeping it wild,
Wildland Adventures' Africa Program Director