The great game reserves and national parks of Africa evoke a sense of wonder and awe at the wild open spaces, moody skies, and majestic creatures that wander the great grasslands and bushveld of the southern African continent, casting silhouettes against the horizon.
It is usually the largest most well-known parks of Africa that top most people’s bucket lists, including Kruger, Maasai Mara, Okavango and the Serengeti, all destinations renowned for offering thrilling wildlife experiences. But there is another undiscovered gem to be added to the list: Hwange National Park in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe.
“We know the park intimately and are passionate about sharing its special essence.”
Hwange National Park is the heartbeat of Hideaways. It’s where we established our first lodge Elephant’s Eye, Hwange and where we have opened our newest lodge, Nantwich. We know the park intimately and are passionate about sharing its special essence. Our Best of Hwange Safari invites guests to fully immerse themselves in this special place. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience two distinct areas of the park and see it through Hideaways’ eyes.
At Nantwich, guests connect with the history of the park when staying in the reclaimed and recreated chalets that were once a former Zimparks outpost. They’re practically guaranteed to see lions as the big cats have claimed this area as their home. At Elephant’s Eye, Hwange interested guests have the opportunity to engage with our Anti-poaching scouts, and learn more about vital conservation work on the ground and the impact these scouts have in their social environment. Before travelling to Hwange, guests are welcomed by the magnificent Victoria Falls and can listen to the stories of the Zambezi River on an intimate dhow voyage in the golden hours of sunset. Starting at USD 2965 this 7-day safari includes a flight from Victoria Falls to Hwange and shows guests the best of Hwange.
At Nantwich we will aim to cultivate a sense of openness and freedom of spirit in all aspects of the lodge. There will be a natural sense of easy-going comfort and openness with everyday routines organically carried out in full view by staff who are encouraged to let their personalities shine through. Guests will feel a sense of cultural inclusion through the direct involvement of staff engaging with them on a personal level and sharing their own unique flair that is as individual as their character.
“…the wildlife in this area is absolutely exceptional, especially where big cats are concerned.”
It’s a place where you get the real feel of Africa, inspiring you to fall deeply in love with its nature and its people, while connecting real people with real experiences. Found in an exclusively remote corner of Hwange National Park, the wildlife in this area is absolutely exceptional, especially where big cats are concerned. The lodge is perched on a hill overlooking a large dam and expansive plains, providing front row seats to a thrilling natural theatre.
Besides watching the spectacular wildlife show in the plains below, guests can embark on guided safari walks exploring the diverse terrain, from the rocky outcrops to the flat plains and the source of bubbling streams. On open vehicle game drives guests are invited to get involved in their journey, asking their expert guide about the area as well as sharing what kind of adventure they prefer.
Elephant’s Eye, Hwange
At Elephant’s Eye, Hwange guests find themselves in elephant country, the grey giants are frequent visitors to the lodge and provide an amazing backdrop to guest’s safari experiences at the lodge. In the evening, when everyone is enjoying their dinner by the campfire the elephants are shuffling about only a few metres away and will often come right up to the swimming pool to have some refreshing sips of water. The tree-house style tented chalets all have a view of the waterhole and guests can even enjoy game viewing from their luxurious bath with a view.
“…guests can truly feel at home in the bush.”
Elephant’s Eye, Hwange is located on a private concession that shares a fenceless border with Hwange National Park. This allows for more exclusive game viewing experiences as well as activities such as nighttime game drives and horseback safaris. For guests who are looking for an unforgettable experience of solitude and serenity, our open-air star bed, The Eye, is where guests can truly feel at home in the bush. Sleeping on an elevated platform with only a mosquito net between you and the elements it’s time to really take in the sights and sounds of the bush at night. The stars are absolutely breathtaking and the waterhole just below the sleep-out deck draws many animals at dusk and dawn. It’s an experience like no other.
Guests at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange can also learn more about life in rural Zimbabwe and how small communities and large game reserves exist side by side. Our Community Upliftment Experience takes guests on a journey through the nearby town of Dete and introduces them to inspirational projects that are all community driven. Guests can also learn more about conservation and its impact on the livelihood of the local community when engaging with the resident Anti-Poaching Unit at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange.
Conservation is incredibly important when it comes to these sanctuaries for the beautiful wild animals that used to roam the continent of Africa freely. Now, they are kept safe in the game reserves and parks, like Hwange National Park, that are their home. Visiting these parks plays an essential role in protecting them by providing much-needed funds for maintenance and making the land itself profitable.
Hideaways’ Best of Hwange Safari is a journey that will make you fall absolutely in love with Hwange National Park. After discovering the two very diverse regions and becoming well acquainted with its quirks and charms, travellers can confidently say they understand why the park is Africa’s best-kept-secret and that experiencing it the Hideaways way is the best way.