Spotlight on Zimbabwe…..Hwange National Park

There is an air of positivity in Zimbabwe and amongst its supporters since the coup that wasn’t a coup and we are all keeping our fingers crossed for the future of Zimbabwe and its people. With stability returning and investment in tourism growing we are optimistic that holidaymakers will be returning to the beautiful wilderness areas they have always been, such as the Hwange National Park.

Hwange is the largest of Zimbabwe’s National Parks with over 100 different animal species and 400 varieties of birds. Famous for its massive elephant and buffalo populations, family groups of giraffe and lion are seen as are sable antelope and leopard. It lies south of Victoria Falls in the north west of Zimbabwe on the border of Botswana.  Click here to read more about Hwange National Park.

The Elephant Express

Imvelo Safari Lodges, in the Hwange National Park, certainly know how to travel around in style! The unique Elephant Express railcar was introduced in 2015 and is ingeniously designed to re-invent long and arduous safari transfers between Imvelo camps in Hwange National Park along the iconic Rhodes railway line. The refurbished railcar can accommodate 22 passengers on individual coach seats, with teak tables in between. An engine and gearbox on the front and back of the railcar mean that it is able to move in both directions of the track providing a relaxed and scenic experience through the wilderness. It has plenty of room for luggage and a wide aisle allowing guests to view game freely. Drinks and snacks are served as well as lunch before your return journey and there is even a chemical loo for convenience. Imvelo will ensure that all their guests have the opportunity to ride The Elephant Express, whether it’s on a game transfer or as a short game viewing activity or sundowner trip. A cold beer or gin and tonic in the afternoon as you journey through the African bush on this unique safari transfer is quite a memorable experience!

Hwange Pump Run

Hwange National Park has no major rivers and for the past 70 years, during Hwange’s dry seasons, the wildlife has survived in this area on water originally pumped by windmills, later to be replaced by diesel engines. In the southern sector of the National Park, Imvelo Safari Lodges shoulders the responsibility for 15 pumped waterholes. Each waterhole has its own pump attendant, the unsung heroes of Hwange, who live in tin huts scattered through the park a short walk from their engines. The engines require diesel, oil and monthly services and the pump attendants require rations and pay. During your stay at Bomani or Jozibanini Camps, a popular activity, known as the ‘Pump Run’, is to take an all day trip into the Park visiting the waterholes to drop off fuel and oil for the engines as well as rations and supplies for the pump attendants. A picnic lunch is then enjoyed near one of the waterholes followed by a leisurely game drive back to the lodge in the afternoon. The ‘Pump Run’ usually ends with sundowners at one of the waterholes close to camp. A feel good safari experience!

Click here to read more about Bomani Tented Camp and Jozibanini Camp.

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