Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest, best-known, and most accessible national park. It boasts more than 100 different species of animal and 400 species of birds, putting it in the front ranks of the world’s wildlife centers. It is also one of the few great elephant sanctuaries left in Africa; herds of up to a hundred can be seen finding their way to the watering holes at dusk. Of the 300-mile network of game-viewing roads, the most popular is the 10-Mile Drive, a loop through and around the most wildlife-packed areas of the park and past the major watering holes, such as Nyamandhlovu Pan with its raised viewing platform.
One of the country’s best permanent safari camps, the Hide, is ideally located on the eastern boundary of Hwange Park. Its name derives from the many hidden viewing spots, some underground and others unobtrusively constructed above, from which you can watch the wealth of wildlife without ever leaving camp. The Camp Pan, a fossilized riverbed that has long been a popular and busy watering hole, is located just paces from the guests’ dining area. But the Hide’s excellent guides lure guests away from the backyard action with promises of even better viewing in the bush on organized walks and drives.
BEST TIMES: dry season, Jun-Oct, is best for game viewing; in the wet season, Nov-Apr, wildlife drop their young and the bush is full of wildflowers.