I like to take guests on nature walks and show them what I learnt from my grandfather – how to identify tracks, or calling insects…
Hwange National Park is the largest in Zimbabwe. It is named after a local Nhanzwa chief and was once the royal hunting ground for the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi. The wildlife is astounding. Over 100 species of mammals live here and there are more than 400 species of birds. One of the biggest draws for guests is the park’s wonderful elephant herds – the tusker elephant population numbers more than 40,000.
Activities at Somalisa Camp include walking safaris, game drives and birding trips. Walking is my favourite – you get to bond with nature without the sound of an engine. I like to take guests on nature walks around the waterfalls and show them what I learnt from my grandfather – how to identify tracks, or calling insects, and how to make a simple rope snare. This morning I heard the call of a lion – we have a big pride at the moment, of around 28.
The dry season (July to October) is the best time to visit as large concentrations of wildlife descend to drink from the waterholes. But I like both seasons. When I’m asked which season I prefer, I struggle to answer. The rains turn everything green and migrating birds arrive from the Northern Hemisphere. I miss their calls in the dry season. But in the dry you can get between seven and 10 species – sable, elephant, buffalo, lion and others – around a waterhole at one time, giving each other time to drink, which is really special. And our national flower, the flame lily, is in bloom. Hwange National Park truly is a year-round spectacle.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Andy, who's travelled extensively in Zimbabwe. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember – the ranger who can show you the best game viewing and fishing spots on the Zambezi, the guide who’ll introduce you to ‘moonbows’ at Victoria Falls and the locals who’ll invite you in for dinner.
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