Our Trip Leader, Mark Butcher, just sent in a report from the field during our first Zimbabwe! safari of 2017, where our group encountered some of Hwange National Park’s incredible wildlife in action! Our adventure had them canoeing the Zambezi, walking among elephants, and even enjoying dinner with these giants just a few feet away! Here is a taste of what the group experienced on our Zimbabwe! adventure.
This marks the first Wilderness Travel safari of the season—and another incredible safari! On the morning of Day 5, we spent 30 minutes following wild dogs hunting across the plains, where they surrounded a group of pelicans in an effort to snatch one. A pack of wild dogs has begun denning near Camelthorn Lodge, giving us tremendous sightings of these elusive predators. Afterwards, as we made our way across the Bomani Concession in picturesque golden light, we spent nearly an hour watching three lionesses and eight cubs working on a wildebeest kill—they even pulled the carcass across the railway track right in front of us. It was a thrill, to say the least. We talked about these sightings during our Elephant Express ride to Nehimba, and were delightfully welcomed back to camp for dinner with the sight of nearly 20 elephants at the waterhole right below our dinner table. Cheers, and good night!
A pack of “painted” wild dogs giving a pelican a flight for its life.
A lioness and her cub making their way across the Elephant Express train tracks.
Pulling the wildebeest across the tracks right in front of one of our vehicles.
Taking one final look back before she joins the rest of the pride.
Pride of lion crossing the golden plains of Bomani Concession.
An afternoon game walk brought us straight to this heard of elephant. There are more than 40,000 elephants in Hwange National Park.
Canoeing the mighty Zambezi
Dinner at one of our lodges, with a “special guest”
Beyond the wildlife, my favorite aspect of safari in Zimbabwe is the connection to the communities surrounding the park. Our safari dollars here have brought supplies to nearby schools, and we often bring our safari guests to visit the young students. Safari travel in this area has also helped build more than 80 new wells for villages and one for the local hospital! At the lodges, our staff and local guides are from neighboring villages, and they are committed to protecting the wildlife throughout the country. It’s a fun and enriching experience, and WT is a vital part of it all.
—Text and photos by Trip Leader Mark Butcher, Zimbabwe!