Writer, Photographer
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Writing

Chris Davies' published writing and photography.

The Elephants of Hwange National Park

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Getaway Magazine

March 2015

Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park is famous for its elephants. But elephants are thirsty creatures and Hwange has barely enough water for them all to drink.

"With virtually no surface water and less than 10mm of rain for at least half the year, Hwange is no Serengeti. At 14651 km2, it’s only a hundred square kilometres smaller than East Africa’s iconic park, but there the similarity ends. Surrounded by parks and reserves, bordered by lakes and crisscrossed by rivers, the immense Serengeti herds can roam freely across a huge, well-watered area. They’ve never needed artificial water sources to survive.

Hwange is a very different animal. Without man’s constant intervention it really wouldn’t be much of a wildlife park at all. 60-odd pumps, most running 24/7 during the eight-month dry season, provide virtually all of the drinking water. Since 1928 when the area was first declared a reserve, diesel pumps have been its life-blood, thumping away across the plains and making a sanctuary of an otherwise arid land."

Extract from The beating heart of Hwange, Getaway magazine, March 2015. —

Chris Davies