‘The police are here because they are warning us that there are lions on the highway’. How many times do you hear that in your life? Cruising in our minibus from Bulawayo to Hwange National Park our final roadblock revealed the exciting news of lions on the highway and our eagerness to reach the park went from 100% to 150%. Lions on the highway, we sure were in Africa now!
Hwange National Park is where it’s all happening. The Park has over 50 000 elephants and as if that isn’t enough you have the most beautiful accommodation in the world to choose from.
Where we stayed:
We spent the night in the popular Hwange National Park Safari lodge. If chirping birds in the morning are something you want then this is your place. I promise you’ll be less grumpy waking up at 05:00 from birds singing than your iPhone beeping.
My room looked out on a large pool and grass area where dozens of impalas roamed late at night. Dear wildlife, I have arrived and have missed you so!
In the evenings you are spoiled with an outdoor buffet and I was over the moon to get proper ‘Boerewors’. As a South African living in London, this is like getting a Christmas present in July! The chef cooks the meat on the spot while you admire the African sky, another bonus.
Double rooms start from £130 (for two people) including breakfast.
Other accommodation options in Hwange National Park:
You really do have an endless option of budget-friendly up to ‘We’re on our honeymoon’ type of luxury accommodation to choose from in Hwange National Park. Other than Hwange Safari Lodge I recommend the following options:
This 3-star accommodation with pool has a few surprises waiting for you:
- It has a swing overlooking a waterhole that attracts all the animals you can dream to see. In Safari world having a waterhole near your accommodation is like having a pristine beach on your hotel doorstep in Europe.
- When the baboons aren’t around they have typical Dutch style sun loungers to enjoy with a view of the water-hole (thanks to Dutch owner who missed the ocean).
- Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip have stayed there! True story and if you ask nicely you can request to stay in their rooms.
- The owner is a keen photographer so she’ll be able to give you all the tips for the perfect wildlife photo.
- The owners work with and train local women to design jewellery that they sell at the lodge. Who says you can’t go on a safari and not get any shopping done?!
Rooms on a full board basis, including one safari, are around £180 per night pp.
If you are looking for something that reminds you of the beach then you need to head to this relatively new resort in Hwange.
This is where you can opt for a beautifully designed room OR try out that luxury tent experience you’ve seen in pictures.
The furniture is all handmade using local materials and the rooms are top notch. Cool bedding and thatched rooms mean you’ll get a relaxing night sleep while wild creatures roam around the campfire.
Double rooms with full board are around £98 for two people, a great deal!
In the morning we left on a sunrise safari and experienced a mom and baby elephant moment like I’ve never seen before:
We were also lucky enough to spot giraffes, zebras, warthogs, hippos and more impalas.
Hwange National Park is $15 to enter per person, and if you have more time take a picnic basket, binoculars and a pillow to make yourself comfortable in one of the lookout points. You can spend all day there just checking out the animals as they enjoy the waterhole. Remember to dress in warm layers as a morning safari can get very chilly.
Hwange is perfectly located between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls serving as the ideal halfway stop on your Zimbabwean adventure.
From Hwange we headed to Victoria Falls. One of my actual bucket list items was about to get ticked off!