Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie) is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the widely noted Victoria Falls. It was founded around 1928 by a 22-year-old game ranger, Ted Davidson. He befriended the Manchester-born James Jones who was the stationmaster for the then Rhodesian Railways at Dete which is very near Hwange Main Camp. Jones managed incoming supplies for the park. Hwange National Park covers over 14,600 square kilometres. The park is close to the edge of the Kalahari desert, a region with little water and very sparse, xerophile vegetation.
The Park hosts 105 mammal species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores. All Zimbabwe's specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. The population of African wild dogs to be found in Hwange is thought to be of one of the largest surviving groups in Africa today.