Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest corner of the country, south of the Victoria Falls.
Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The Park has three distinctive Camps and administrative offices at Robins, Sinamatella and the largest one at Main Camp.
Main Camp is situated at the main entrance to the Park, 264 km from Victoria Falls. There are numerous pans and pumped waterholes around Main Camp and the area is rich in game.
Main Camp has facilities including self-catering lodges, cottages and chalets, a camping and caravan site, bar and restaurant, basic grocery store, curio shop and petrol station. Fuel deliveries are erratic, please be prepared.
Lodges in Hwange National Park are units with one or two bedrooms, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator and stove, lounge and verandah. Cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery are provided.
Cottages are units with 1 or 2 bedrooms, bathroom and verandah. Cooking facilities are communal, with electric hot plates provided. The cottages have a centrally located thatched, open dining area with refrigerators available for communal use. Normally no cutlery or crockery is provided.
These are units with 1 or 2 bedrooms, and a verandah. Cooking facilities are available on wood or charcoal braais. Electric refrigerator and sink are provided in each unit. Ablution and toilet facilites are provided in a communal block.
Camping and Caravan sites:
Camping and caravan sites have piped water to each stand. Cooking facilities are available on wood or charcoal braais. Ablution and toilet facilities are provided in communal blocks. Visitors should note that tent and camping equipment are not available for hire.
Attractions & Activities
- Ngweshla Pan – the loop road is a pleasant day-drive
- Nyamandhlovu Platform – prime game viewing area at a pumped water hole
- Dom waterhole – an exceptional view of the African Sunset
Established in 1966, this part of the Park was a former cattle ranch. The camp is located near the northern boundary of the Park on an outcrop, 55 metres high, overlooking a distant riverbed and grassy plain. The name Sinamatella is a distortion of the name of a local shrub called “chinamatira” which characteristically will stick to clothing when brushed against.
The Camp is approximately 120 kilometres from Main Camp. Vehicles are not allowed to travel between the two camps after 1400 hours. Sinamatella is an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ)
The Camp has lodges, chalets and camping sites as described in Main Camp. In addition, a restaurant, bar, basic shop and fuel are available. Fuel deliveries are erratic, please be prepared. Apart from these facilities at the Rest Camp there are also several exclusive camps in the area:
Bumbusi is situated 24 kilometres northwest of Sinamatella and consists of 4 “A” frame accommodation units, a cottage and a central lounge area. The kitchen is fully equipped with freezer and stove. A central ablution block comprises 2 toilets and 2 bathrooms. The maximum number of persons that may be accommodated at Bumbusi is 12. There are no electricity facilities available. The access road is rough, but can be negotiated by low clearance vehicles in the dry season.
Located 11 kilometres from Sinamatella. With facilities similar to Bumbusi, the maximum number of occupants is 10. Lukosi Camp is only available for bookings from November through April.
These are undeveloped sites found at Lukosi, Vhikani, Rhino Bar, Salt Springs and Tshakabika. Four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles are necessary for visitors to Tshakabika.
Attractions & Activities
- Mandavu Dam – provides a beautiful viewing hide to watch animals coming to drink, 27 kilometres from Sinamatella
- Masuma Dam – excellent hide for game viewing about 15 kilometres from Sinamatella
- Detema Dam – exceptional game viewing hide
- Wilderness trails
Robins Camp is close to the western boundary of Hwange approximately 60 kilometress from Sinamatella and 140 from the Main Camp. Through traffic from Main Camp is required to leave by 1200 hours. This camp was bequeathed to the government in 1939 by a local farmer, Harold Robins.
The Camp has lodges, chalets and camping sites. In addition, a restaurant, bar, basic shop and fuel are available. Fuel deliveries are erratic, please be prepared. There are also several exclusive camps in the Robins area:
The Camp consists of 3 lodges and is located 11 kilometres northwest of Robins Camp. Each lodge is fully equipped and self-contained. This remote camp is built on a small bluff which overlooks a natural pan and grassy plain.
Overlooking an artificial waterhole. The lodge is only a few metres away from Nantwich Camp.
Deka Camp consists of 2 family units, each with 2 bedrooms, bathroom and toilet. An additional facility contains a dining room, lounge, scenic verandah and kitchen with refrigerator and stove. The camp is serviced and fully equipped and takes a maximum of 12 persons. Deka Camp is situated 25 kilometres west of Robins Camp. Access is by four-wheel drive vehicles only. The camp is normally closed during the rainy season.
Attractions & Activities
- Big Toms & Little Toms – these are viewing hides which provide excellent game viewing opportunities and are named for the farms of Harold Robins who bequeathed his land to the Park in 1939.
Camping is permissible in Hwange National Park at Shumba, Kapula, Mandavu Dam, Masuma, Ngweshla, Jambile, Kennedy 1, Guvalala,and Detema Picnic Sites. Each site consists of an enclosed picnic area (usually with shady trees or thatch cover) and a small ablution block with running water. Groups of up to 10 people may camp overnight at these areas but the sites are also open to all visitors during daytime.
How to get to Hwange National Park
Access to the Park may be made by:
Air – An unlicensed airstrip exists at Main Camp for private/ charter aircraft. Prior permission to land must be obtained at Main Camp. Please note there are no hangars. Hwange National Park Airport is situated nearby, although there are no scheduled flights.
Road – It is usually possible from May to October to enter the Park by any designated access road and to drive to any of the camps. During the wet season though, advice should be sought as to the best routes. The visitor reception at each camp will provide advice on the many game-viewing drives of the 480 kilometres of the Park’s road system. Please note that the camps are interconnected by a road network, however, the roads are not always in the best of conditions.
To Main Camp
The turn-off to Main Camp is at the 264,5 kilometre peg on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. From here a tar road (15 kilometres) leads to the Park boundary at the railway crossing, a short distance from the Camp.
To Sinamatella Camp
A tar then gravel road branches off the main Bulawyo – Victoria Falls Road near the town of Hwange. The Camp is reached 45 kilometres further on via Mbala lodge in the Deka Safari Area.
To Robins Camp
A gravel road turns off the main Bulawayo – Victoria Falls Road 48 kilometres south of Victoria Falls. From the junction it is approximately 70 kilometres to Robins Camp and en route there is a turn off to Matetsi Safari Area headquarters and to Pandamatenga. Robins Camp can also be reached by road through the Park from Main Camp and Sinamatella during the dry season. If proceeding through one of these camps obtain information about the route from the relevant camp.