If you want to be simply blown away by a seemingly endless procession of elephants, Linkwasha in the dry season is for you.
Literally thousands of the world’s largest land mammal are in constant movement to and from the waterholes of Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park as the last rains become a distant memory and water resources become limited. Evenings see them move into the real forests to feed in comfort, but as the sun rises and temperatures rise, it’s back to the water they go
Drinking, wallowing, mud-bathing… you name it; it’s all on display here. And just when you think there couldn’t possible be more elephants around, yet more herds emerge from the bush to join their counterparts.
Hwange is a land of waterholes. With no permanent water sources available apart from the odd natural spring (although these one or two are widely separated), something had to be done to keep animals in the National Park, so a system of pumped waterholes was established by the national parks authority, which are maintained to this day.
The permanent water that they provide help anchor the large herds within the park’s boundaries and help mitigate against the inevitable human-wildlife conflict that would occur should elephants in particular start moving further afield to find a drink.
This interconnected system of waterholes ensures that the game-viewing in Hwange National Park is exceptional, particularly in the dry season.
In the park’s south east is the exclusive Wilderness Concession, upon which four camps sit; Linkwasha, Davison’s Makololo Plains and Little Makololo.
All are amazing, all come with an attending waterhole out front and all are almost certain to provide an incredible experience.
Linkwasha, the most south-eastern of the camps, is the high-end offering. Offering slightly larger rooms and some amenities that aren’t found elsewhere, Linkwasha also lies closer to Ngamo Plains, the easternmost section of the park that offers unbeatable photographic opportunities, particularly for the big cats. The resident Ngamo pride is a mainstay of predator viewing down here, and cheetahs put in a regular appearance. And of course the waterholes attract the elephants!
The camp itself features nine deluxe tents, all widely spaced and facing outwards onto an open plain to maximise the wildlife viewing. Aiconditioning units keep the interiors nice and cool during the heat of the day, but during cooler times of the year one can lounge on your couch or deck with the screen doors open, enjoying the traipsing of the local fauna to and from the camp’s waterhole.
Just as one returns from morning game drive is when the first elephants are starting to move towards the water. The underground viewing hide at the water’s edge provides an amazing spot for close-up, low-angle photographs of everything from elephants to baboons to martial eagles that come to quench their thirst. Equipped with beanbags, comfy stools and it’s own refrigerator, it’s a wonderful option to consider instead of a game drive for an afternoon – you are almost sure to get visitors, and unique shots you wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.
Hwange is not just about the dry season however. Well-drained Kalahari sands mean the area is navigable during the wetter summer. Migrant birds are everywhere, the bush is teeming with new life, and the verdant greens brought on by the rains indicate a world in full bloom!
All areas of the exclusive Wilderness concession are accessible from all the Wilderness camps, as well as parts of the park beyond the concession itself, so you won’t lack for options of places to explore.
Hwange is one of Zimbabwe’s flagship national parks, and it is a reputation richly deserved.
Be sure to get in touch through email@example.com to find out more about the camp options in this unique and flourishing ecosystem…