Wildlife in Hwange National Park

Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is a massive wilderness area, covering approximately 14,650 square kilometers (about the size of Belgium). This ecological paradise is home to a broad range of wildlife, making it a popular destination for environment lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Join us in this exploration of the wildlife in Hwange National Park, where the nature unfolds in a fascinating exhibition of ecological balance. Hwange National Park is home to the Big Five, which include the lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. Surrounded by the flourishing wildlife in Hwange National Park, visitors can choose from a range of accommodation types, from luxurious lodges with panoramic views to cozy tented camps, providing a comfortable retreat after a day of safari experiences.

What Wildlife is in Hwange National Park?

Hwange National Park is filled with wildlife, including several lion prides, the world’s largest elephant population, large buffalo herds, giraffe, sable, wildebeest, impala, gemsbok, and hyena. In 2022 two white rhino bulls were relocated to the Imvelo Ngamo Wildlife Sanctuary in Hwange National Park, to eventually accommodate a viable population of free roaming rhino.

Rare Animals in Hwange National Park

  • The African wild dog, commonly known as the painted dog, is a critically endangered species that can also be found in park.
  • The aardvark, often known as the “Cape Anteater,” is also present in the park and is one of the strangest-looking animals seen in the wild.
  • The porcupine, Africa’s largest rodent, is one of the most difficult animals to spot, but despite its rarity, its quills are frequently found laying around the bush.
  • The beautiful long-limbed serval or “bush cat” can be mistaken for a small leopard or cheetah, but these cats can jump up to three meters high to catch birds.
  • The Pangolin is the rarest of the rare animals to see in Africa and is famous for its armored shell and long sticky tongue.
Pangolin - Hwange

Are there Lions in Hwange National Park?

Hwange National Park boasts an impressive population of about 600 lions, and sightings are common. Lions roam across the entirety of the park, establishing distinct territories in various regions. With its prime location in the heart of lion territory, Nantwich Lodge provides an exclusive vantage point for observing them in their natural habitat.

Cecil the Lion: Hwange gained notoriety in 2015 when Cecil, a well-known lion in the region, was lured out of the protected area and killed by an American big-game trophy hunter.

Scar the Lion: Another famous sighting among frequent park visitors, Scar has established his territory primarily in the northern parts of the park, with occasional sightings in central Hwange. Based on the areas he frequents, it appears unlikely that he has any connection to the legendary lion Cecil, who operated in the southern parts of the park.

Scar - Hwange Lion
Scar the Lion

Are there Giraffes in Hwange National Park?

The Southern Giraffe can be found in Hwange National Park. They feature reddish-brown patches that are spherical and uneven in shape. According to a 2022 survey, giraffe numbers have decreased by over 30% due to poaching for their meat, pelts, bones, hair, and tails.

Southern-Giraffe-Hwange

Are there Buffaloes in Hwange National Park?

Hwange National Park is home to the Cape Buffalo, with a significant population of about 10,000. Zimbabwe is among five African countries reported to have the highest buffalo numbers. Cape Buffalo can be found grazing in open savannas and grasslands near permanent water sources. With their massive size, moody behavior, and their ability to charge with no warning, they are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the bush.

Large Male Buffalo Zimbabwe

Did you know? Female buffalos appear to engage in “voting behavior.” When resting, the females stand up and lay down in the direction they believe the herd should travel. After about an hour of rearranging, the females travel in the direction they choose. This seems to be a collective choice that is not based on hierarchy or domination.

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