Elephants galore in Hwange National Park ©Will Burrard-Lucas
HWANGE NATIONAL PARK, ZIMBABWE
Hwange National Park is the largest reserve in Zimbabwe, occupying almost 15,000km² in the north-west of the country. The park is on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, and this dry area with sparse vegetation historically did not support the concentration of game seen today. It wasn’t until 1929 when the national park was founded, and the new warden of the park set upon the task of drilling boreholes to create permanent waterholes, that wildlife populations - in particular elephant - started to grow. In recent times, the large number of elephants has actually been having a negative impact on the park’s other flora and fauna.
Watching large herds of elephant congregating at a waterhole is a highlight of any trip to Hwange. Visitors may also encounter some truly impressive lions (Cecil was from Hwange), as well as more elusive carnivores such as cheetahs and wild dogs.