Located in the Hwange District, Hwange is a town in Zimbabwe that attracts tourists as a result of the nearby Hwange National Park. It’s the largest National Park in the country. Home to a vast variety of wildlife, it’s a popular destination for lovers of African safaris. In order to give you a true idea of what to expect when you choose to visit Hwange, we’re going to look at some of the best things you can do there – and hopefully give you good reasons to start planning a trip to experience Hwange!
- Painted Dog Project Centre
Once having roamed through 39 countries, the Painted Dogs – also known as Wild Dogs – have seen their numbers drop from around 50 000 to just 3 000. With such a huge drop in numbers resulting from urbanisation and loss of natural habitat, a place like the Painted Dog Project Centre is an Eden for them. The conservation facility aims to address the issue through the combined efforts of taking direct action through the protection and rehabilitation of injured or orphaned Wild Dogs, while providing long-term education and development projects to the communities in the area. The centre also works to translocate entire packs of Wild Dogs from problem areas to regions where they can thrive.
- Village Experience
In an attempt to empower the local villages in the Hwange District, steps have been taken to turn local villages into tourist destinations. Visitors to the region can visit traditional homesteads to learn about the local people and their unique cultures. Village markets offer locals the chance to sell their arts and crafts, which not only ensures that local traditional crafts do not die out, but enables locals to turn their skill into an activity that empowers them to support their families.
- Hwange National Park
No visit to Hwange can be complete without a game drive through Hwange National Park! Visitors can drive through the park between 6am and 6pm and can encounter the Big 5, who roam freely through the park and surrounding concessions. Covering around 14 650 square km, there are over 100 mammal species to be seen, making Hwange National Park a popular destination for animal lovers. Also worth noting is the park’s status as home to one of the world’s largest herds of elephants, which is reason enough to include this experience on any Hwange itinerary.
- Bird Watching
As if the abundance of wildlife in Hwange wasn’t enough of a reason to visit, there are almost 400 different species of birds that can be found in the National Park – making it a twitchers’ paradise! Make sure to keep your eyes directed at the sky and towards the treetops while you’re on a game drive so that you don’t miss out on an incredible opportunity to tick some awe-inspiring bird species off your list.
- Victoria Falls Day Trip
Luckily, visitors can take a day trip to visit the World Wonder that is the Victoria Falls. Not only are the Falls and their surroundings incredibly beautiful, but they also offer a range of activities to enjoy that include helicopter trips over the Falls, daredevil bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge, elephant rides and other memorable encounters.
- Sleep Out Deck
Elephant’s Eye is a small eco-retreat located on a private concession bordering Zimbabwe’s most famous game reserve, Hwange National Park. Our Sleep Out Deck, The Eye, offers all the creature comforts of the main lodge, and it situated overlooking a busy waterhole. Guests are escorted from the main lodge at dusk to spend a magical night under the Milky Way. Do not worry about setting an alarm as the rising sun, or trumpeting elephants, are sure to wake you after a fantastic night of sleep under the stars.
- Walking Safari
Guides at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange, offer walking safaris that showcase the best of Hwange National Park and its surrounding fenceless concession. “Our guides give guests an intimate bush experience and teach them about the tracking animal footprints, the endemic plants of Hwange National Park – and they even get to learn to create fun things like a ‘bush toothbrush’,” says Jonathan Slot-Nielsen from Hideaways.
- Do a treatment at the spa
Breathe a sigh of relaxation when embarking on a visit to Elephant’s Eye on site spa, Jwapi Spa. Jwapi means ‘Ground Hornbill’. Enjoy a variety of luxurious treatments in the natural tranquillity of Mother Nature as the spa’s philosophy centres on rejuvenating the mind, body and soul through a unique combination of African and Western massage techniques. Guests can soothe the tension of city life and leave feeling renewed.
- Enjoy a sundowner at the watering hole
The sunsets in Zimbabwe are warm, golden and beautiful – no two are ever the same – and what better way to enjoy them than by having your own private sundowner at either the lodge’s main watering hole or in the heart of the open bush. As the light slowly fades, watch a wide variety of game come down to drink while sipping a refreshing cocktail until a blanket of stars lights up the sky above.
- Pack pencils and go to Dingani
Dingani Primary School is located in the small town of Dete near Hwange National Park by Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. With over 300 pupils from the ages of 4 to 12, the school is in dire need of equipment and maintenance for the education and development of their pupils. Hideaways has partnered with Dingani Primary School to assist with the sustainable development of the local community’s children. Guests of Elephant’s Eye Hwange can visit the lodge and drop off any items that the school children might need and play or chat with them. Visits like these are always a highlight for the kids!