Hwange Game Reserve

Passengers aboard the luxury train journey will savour a delicious breakfast and lunch as the train meanders down one of the longest straight stretches of railway line in the world. At 114km, this epic stretch passes directly through the famous Hwange Game Reserve.

At roughly 14, 650 square kilometres, the sweeping Hwange Game Reserve is the largest nature park in Zimbabwe and is located approximately one hour South of the mighty Victoria Falls – another world-class attraction awaiting distinguished passengers aboard the African rail tour.

While pottering through the incredible game reserve, passengers may catch sight of the abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five, which roam free under the hot African sun.

A little history

The sweeping sub-tropical thorn and sand flats of the Hwange Game Reserve were once called home by the nomadic San (Bushmen) tribes who lived off the land and feasted happily on the great herds of migrating game. The San were eventually displaced by stronger African tribes like the Ndebele, whose warrior-king Mzilikazi declared the area his royal hunting grounds. When 19th century white men claimed the land, they began shooting the remaining game and the animals were pushed further and further into the inhospitable western borders of Botswana until, by chance, the area became a National Park.
   
Animals to spot

Hwange Game Reserve is home to an abundance of exquisite wildlife. With just over 100 species of mammals and approximately 400 bird species recorded, the park is also home to one of the largest elephant populations in the world. Passengers aboard Rovos Rail can look out for lions which are commonly seen, but it’s the typically elusive leopard and the grand rhino which are the hardest to spot.  Dry game season sees elephants strolling to natural salt-licks where mud holes and sixty man-made waterholes welcome a day of wallowing and provide much-needed water during the parched winter months when everything dries up.  

Seasons

From July to September, the Hwange Game Reserve bakes in the hot sun during the day, yet is subject to cold nights where the temperature can drop below freezing point. It’s during these dry months that the reserve’s animals flock to the man-made waterholes where they get their main water source. Rainy season sees the Hwange Game Reserve bursting with life and lush vegetation as fluffy clouds release nourishing summer rains. It is during this season that the park’s birdlife is at its most beautiful.