It was 6 o’clock in the morning; and I reached for my clothing and put them on. In the truest sense of the word I smacked some make-up onto my face and of I went to check the accommodation and do some game viewing (believe me, if it hadn’t been necessary for me to make an effort and look good for the accommodation inspections, I would have jumped into the safari vehicle in my pajamas).
We did the first site inspection and within the first 30 km I had taken off half of my clothes – it wasn’t that cold as I expected. The thing is, here in the Hwange area it is really freezing at night where temperatures are known to drop to zero or even minus ten degrees. But this morning it was indeed a bit cloudy and therefore the temperature was quite mild. On the way to our lodge we saw wild dogs, which was the first time for me as I had never seen some before and had only heard some scary stories about them.
Wild dogs can be very malicious with their prey when they want to be. The two I spotted however were really calm and relaxed and were lying down on the street to take a rest. We drove on in search of elephants and giraffes. Regarding my safari 2 years ago, I could still remember how I had been unlucky with spotting animals. Back then, I had only seen 5 elephants in the whole Chobe and Etosha National Park although we did see big herds of Lion. Well, it seemed like elephants don’t like me that much as again I had seen very little today as well.
It was not too bad as we did see some elephants, although it was maybe 10 scattered elephants. Most of the time though, their bodies were hidden in the background behind the trees and landscape and one even followed us.
The fact though is that there are over 45,000 elephants in Hwange National Park and all the lodges advertise them as an attraction and tell people they drink from their waterholes and steal their guest’s breakfast… and I only saw 15! You know what I mean? Well, at least 15, that’s better than nothing. One of those however was dead as they told us he was old. We then went to the actual place to meet the cats but what we met was a huge flock of vultures. They were very impressive! I immediately thought about the Disney Jungle Book, they looked exactly the same.
I definitely think I have to go back. Another reason for that is namely also the season. I was there within the low season – shortly after the wet season.
The good thing though with traveling in the low season is that you are the only one in the National Park. The bad thing though is you are the only one in the national park. What I am trying to say is, there are no tourists at that time but moreover, there are no animals either.
They just don’t feel comfortable with the weather and this is why they don’t feel like showing up. So in case you think about a trip to Hwange, please come between August and November. This is the best time and chance for you to have elephants stealing your breakfast from your plate and you will also see lots of wildlife you look forward to within an hour and not in 3 days like it happened to me.
Tomorrow we head off to Chundu Island. Nobody knows exactly where it is – somewhere in Zambezi National Park and close to Victoria Falls… It will be a pleasant surprise!