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Hwange in January

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Dec 9th, 2005, 01:41 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Hwange in January

Does anyone have a comment on the possibility of seeing major wildlife in Hwange (Zimbabwe) in January. I have been informed that it is the wet season, but it is the only time I can go. If I go it will be for three or four weeks, 2/3 of which would be in Hwange, working with rangers. If it is not worth it, I will pick another itinerary.
llbwolf is offline  
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Dec 9th, 2005, 06:34 PM
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Here are 2 links to a report by bigcountry who went in Jan.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34553228

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34554677
atravelynn is offline  
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Dec 10th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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hi,
thanks lynn for posting my links. hwange is very good in january. you will see plenty of animals. we saw lion hunting buffs, tons of elephants, a cheetah, wild dogs, a white rhino and plenty of plains game and birds that usually are rare to spot (sable, roan, martial eagles). we stayed in a private concession down in the south east area of the park. game congregates more down there as the waterholes are kept pumping and tehre are large open grass plains (Ngamo pan etc) that attract large herds of grazers. the public parts of Hwange will also have good game but i would request patrolling down southeast if possible. from what ive read, they have had a little rain but not a ton so far this season so game concentrations will probably be good around the waterholes. usually the large herds of eles arent seen in jan but when we went they had not had a big rainy season so they were out in force. it wasnt uncommon to see hundreds on 1 game drive. let me know if u have other questions.
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Dec 10th, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Although my safari travels have taken me to South Africa and Botswana, not Zimbabwe; I wanted to alert you to a potential tragedy occurring in Hwange. Newsweek magazine recently ran a story depicting widespread drought, rampant poaching and dying animals in Hwange. Since the waterholes were manmade bore holes, the lack of fuel to power the pumps have left vast areas completely devoid of water. Much of Hwange was never intended to support large animal populations...it was man who intervened to create a tourist attraction. Now those large populations of animals have been decimated. I prefaced my comments by stating that I've never been to Zim. You may want to google the Newsweek article and judge for yourself. I found it heartbreaking. However, you mentioned that you would be working with rangers. I can only imagine they would welcome any help possible to assist in getting any available fuel to the waterholes and to limit poaching.
girlpolo33 is offline  
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Dec 12th, 2005, 02:15 PM
  #5
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Yeah, helping out is the idea, although I have been told that it is probably not a good idea for my first trip to Africa. After reading up as suggested by fodorites, I realize that, if I go along as planned, this experience may be profoundly trying. But honestly, am I really helping anyone if I just go where there are the best game concentrations? I don't know how much I have to offer.... but I have two hands and whatever portion of my fee goes toward the camp (I know, I know, I'd probably do better just to donate, but I do want to see Africa).

Right now the biggest question is other volunteers. I simply cannot commit unless I know that there will be another female. I am seeking safety in numbers. Does anyone know anything about a group called African Impact? Should I be confident even if I am the only female?
llbwolf is offline  
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Dec 12th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Whether African Impact does any real good in Zimbabwe, or is there primarily to make profits from gap year students, I do not know. Unless you have special skills, it would be easy to hire an African, at about $1/day, to do the same job and provide income for his family. You might perhaps ask this same question on http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/.

I was in Zimbabwe in 1997, and enjoyed visiting Hwange NP very much. The political and economic situation has changed since then, and personally I wouldn't care to go there now.

January is wet season in Zimbabwe, but a dry period between short and long rains in Kenya and Tanzania. That's where I would head in January or February.
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