Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie Game Reserve) is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls and near to Dete.
The park is close to the edge of the Kalahari desert, a region with little water and very sparse, xerophile vegetation. The Kalahari woodland is dominated by Zambezi Teak, Sand Camwood (Baphia) and Kalahari bauhinia. Seasonal wetlands form grasslands in this area. The north and north-west of the park are dominated by mopane woodland.
Although it has been argued that elephant populations cause change in vegetation structure, some recent studies suggest that this is not the case, even with the large increases in elephant population recorded in the late 1980s.
The Park hosts over 100 mammal and 400 bird species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. All Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers.
Hwange National Park is Further subdivided into the following areas:
- Main Camp
- Robins Camp
- Linkwasha Concession
- Dzivanini Wilderness
- Shakwanki Wilderness
- Tsamhole Wilderness