Zimbabwe is a top tourist attraction in Southern Africa boasting two iconic rivers, endless bushland, the world’s most famous waterfall, and some of the best game viewing on the continent. Many people who visit Zimbabwe describe the country as one of the most beautiful places they have been to.
The Hwange National Park situated in West Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe’s biggest and most diverse national park. The elephant stronghold of Hwange is a game-rich area roughly the size of the Bahamas. Guests can explore a variety of landscapes, from desert sands and sparse woodland to grasslands and rocky outcrops. The grasslands and mopane woods are home to large herds of elephants, lions and African wild dogs. Vast herds of elephant and buffalo, gemsbok and clans of brown hyena can be found in this pristine slice of wilderness, which also boasts one of the largest surviving populations of African wild dog.
This vast game park was established in 1930 and covers and area of 14 651 km², it is 18 times the size of New York City, and has an estimated 50,000 elephants, many of which are in breeding herds as large as 300 that pad from waterhole to waterhole. There are also more than 100 different kinds of mammals living in the National Park and an estimated 500 bird species living in the scrubland. This level of biodiversity is matched only by the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The camps themselves are world-class, with glamorous bush camps dotted around the park.
Here are some top picks of where to stay:
Imvelo Safari Lodges or experiences, choose from:
Bomani Tented Lodge – Situated on a 5000 acre private reserve within the Ngamo Forest Area, this lodge is an exciting safari destination – in a remote and exclusive area. Enjoy great game viewing all year round. The main lodge overlooks Bomani Pan and is comprised of an open dining room, bar area and lounge, built on a spectacular viewing platform.
Camelthorn Lodge – This flagship lodge ticks all the boxes for your authentic African safari experience. Situated in one of Hwange’s last remaining well-protected and un-spoilt acacia woodlands, on the edge of the South Eastern corner of Hwange National Park. Be treated to a truly memorable safari experience, in pure comfort and style. Enjoy al fresco dining under the ancient Camelthorn tree, savour your morning coffee in front of a roaring fire, track herds of elephant by foot, and enjoy close up photography from inside Camelthorn’s look-up blind.
Jozibanini – Situated in the remote south west of Hwange National Park in a wilderness unused for nearly 20 years, this is a small, truly exclusive camp in a wild place, providing a unique, untamed wilderness experience. Imvelo is breaking new ground in Hwange in terms of the remoteness of the location and the uniqueness of the environment.
Nehimba Lodge – Is situated deep inside a private concession, nestled inside the remote northern region of Hwange National Park. This lodge combines luxury living with ultimate elegance and lashings of African charm and is designed to create the most exceptional safari experiences. No two days are the same at Nehimba and game viewing experiences are tailor-made to guest’s preferences, including game drives, walking safaris and night game drives on private concession in search of nocturnal species of wildlife. This wild and unspoilt bush paradise will guarantee you leave with memories to last a lifetime!
Imvelo’s Victoria Falls to Hwange overnight sleeper train service – The Stimela Star. This private overnight sleeper train is hooked up to the regular Victoria Falls to Bulawayo passenger train. Enjoy comfort and plenty of old fashioned style overnight from Vic Falls and awake rested and relaxed ready for your adventure in Hwange National Park. On the Star you’ll enjoy refreshments and dinner, and then entertainment provided by the guides in the lounge car where you can enjoy coffee or an after dinner drink, before retiring to your private sleeping cabin, where you’ll be rocked to sleep in away that is unique only to train travel.
Join a unique way to transfer to Imvelo’s southern properties in Hwange – The Elepahnt Express railcar. This unque railcar is ingeniously designed and built to re-invent safari transfers to and between Imvelo’s camps in Hwange National Park. The Elephant Express makes daily return trips as necessary between Ngamo Siding, near Bomani
and Camelthorn, and Dete Railway Station near Hwange Main Camp.
The best Zimbabwe has to offer – Elephant’s Eye, Hwange offers an unforgettable experience with the African wilderness. The camp comprises of 8 tented chalets. Every chalet has a double or twin beds surrounded by mosquito netting, an en-suite bathroom with a bath and basin, a glam outside shower and wrap-around veranda. The Elephant’s Eye, Hwange lodge can host a maximum of 16 people at any given time and all meals and most drinks are included.
Activities at Elephant’s Eye include game viewing, a fully operational spa, guided educational walks, bird watching, night game drives with trained field guides; swimming or enjoying sundowners while relaxing near the pool. Elephant’s Eye has a waterhole which offers unlimited opportunities to view at photograph game at close range.
Located in a prime position – The Hide, Hwange offers a life-enriching safari experience for its guests, from its fantastic game viewing right on your doorstep, to a variety of daily activities to suit everyone and the warm and welcoming staff, who make you feel like family from the minute you arrive. Guests are accommodated in beautifully-furnished deluxe tents, all boasting en-suite bathrooms and private verandas overlooking the busy waterhole.
Adventures include day and night game drives, guided bush walks and exceptional game viewing in the seclusion of the camp’s unique underground hides. For those who are a little more adventurous, The Dove’s Nest Treehouse is available at no extra charge. Located a few minutes away from camp, this rustic gem sleep out has the perfect vantage point from which to view wildlife safely and quietly.
After an exhilarating day of game viewing, guests can retreat to the cool refuge of the camp’s swimming pool and can enjoy delectable meals savoured al fresco or in the elegant dining room.
A small intimate lodge – Ivory Lodge, Hwange features luxurious tree houses and Presidential Elephant Suites set on elevated platforms amongst the indigenous flora of Hwange Game Park. Deep in the mystical teak forests of Hwange is this unobtrusive camp, bathed in the tales of pioneering hunters and explorers such as Fredrick Courtney Selous. Lumbering giants drift around your stilted platforms, their tusks glinting in salute to the sanctuary of shade offered up by these massive trees.This is Ivory Lodge – place of elephants. It is here that great herds of elephants are found – sometimes over 100 strong, often finding refuge from the scorching heat at Ivory’s water hole.
Silently, elegantly, the lodge stands over the waterhole…. watch by flood light under a star spangled African night sky – the elephants in their play-fighting….their display of instinctive rituals, their caressing and murmurings…all which speak of years gone by.
With so much to see and do in Hwange National Park and luxurious accommodation on offer, it is easy to see why this is a must-experience destination!