Camp Hwange is a luxury tented bush camp on a private concession deep in Sinamatella area of Hwange National Park. The camp accommodates 12 guests in six comfortable tents which overlook a large water hole. The large meru tents feature en suite flush toilets and bucket showers and solar power lighting to lower the environmental foot print.
Somalisa was our favorite camp with its combination of great game viewing, authentic bush camp atmosphere and excellent food and staff. We loved the front porch waterhole and one day watched an elephant family dote on an hour -old ele baby. A partial list of our game sightings would include giraffe, kudu, waterbuck, sable, roan, elephant and buffalo. Some of the action highlights were when watching a nervous cheetah family on a waterbuck kill a big male lion appeared, ran off the cheetahs, and stole the kill. Another was the remarkable 'Out of Africa' scene at a waterhole one evening when a huge herd of buffalo, maybe one thousand, enveloped the waterhole and mingled with elephants and other game. Just like the movies! One evening after dinner a roaring male lion came right into camp to be illuminated by lights, and on several other nights elephants walked between tents. And finally at Somalisa Nic got us onto a rhino track and we were able to walk up to a family group of three white rhinos, and that was a thrill. One in our party saw wild dog which we missed. We just needed more time to appreciate everything Somalisa had to offer.
Our mobile camp in northern Hwange near Shumba was delightful --- more excellent meals and service. Very comfortable beds and tents and en suite facilities. Although the lions eluded us we enjoyed seeing literally hundreds of elephants, plus a big herd of buffalo coming to water, along with roan, kudu, hippo, honey badger, and some nice birds like golden breasted bunting and blue waxbill.
At Vundu Camp in Mana Pools our dreams came true one morning when we got in the midst of seventeen wild dogs on the hunt. It was so exciting seeing them run and split up into pairs and singles and then regroup and go again. Nic kept us in the hunt until they killed and ate an impala. Wild dogs are our favorite so this was a special sighting. Nic was able to locate Handstand (the elephant and several times we were able to video the big tusker stand on his hind legs while reaching high into a tree with his trunk for a green branch). Amazing! The lions did not elude Nic here and we observed several groups including youngsters. Two solitary female lions had a dispute with hyenas one morning and both lion and hyena looked the worse for wear, with multiple wounds and mangled ears. One elephant bull we walked close to gave us the trumpet and mock charge treatment, kicking dirt on us as he skidded to a stop, which is what my heart did momentarily. There was lots of other game at Vundu including impala, waterbuck, warthog, hippo, crocodile, banded and dwarf mongoose, kudu and numerous eland and birds. Camp beneath the shade trees on the bank of the Zambezi was very comfortable with hot water for showers constantly available. The food and service was excellent.
Nic delivered us to Camp Amalinda and turned us over to the care of guide Paul Hubbard. For our few days in Amalinda we elected to just relax and enjoy the scenery, company, and food. This proved to be a good choice as Paul was a virtual encyclopedia of all things Matabo and especially cave paintings. Paul made our stay there so fulfilling and enjoyable - - - - not to forget our visit to the Children 's Home which we would not miss and hope to return.Read More
- Fred and Karen Peters
We left Jo'burg the next morning for our first camp which was Camp Amalinda in the Matopos Hills. Billy and Priscilla truly have a little piece of heaven. Our only regret was not having more time to just enjoy the camp itself. It is so beautifully designed the way it is built into the rocky outcrop. Our guide at camp was Paul, and he was like a walking encyclopedia. He was a wealth of information and so enthusiastic about everything we saw. We hiked to a cave to see old bushmen paintings, we took a drive through the Matopos Hills where we were lucky enough to get to walk up to 4 white rhinos, and visited a local village and a local children's home. The food was fantastic! The camp staff was so friendly and such a joy to have around. We never wanted for anything and every little detail was taken care of for us. They truly made you feel at home.
Our next camp was Little Makalolo at Hwange. Kim was our host and she was so much fun. Everyone at camp had such a wonderful personality and we truly enjoyed the entire group. We got to know all of the guides while we were there and really enjoyed visiting with all of them at meals and around the campfire at night (Bully, Charles, Sibs and Luis). Our guide was Charles and he was wonderful! He was quite knowledgeable about photography and always did his best to get us on the right side of the animals, in the right light, to help us get the best shots. This was a true benefit that I did not expect.
Our next camp was Ruckomechi at Mana Pools. All of our camps were decorated so beautifully and each was so comfortable. This last camp was situated on the Zambezi River with an amazing view and had elephants constantly just walking through camp! What an experience. We had to wait on elephants to get to or from our room a few times while we were there. Chris an d I cooled off in the pool a few different days surrounded by elephants eating acacia pods and drinking from the Zambezi. Again the staff was wonderful. We had different guides throughout our stay at this camp because of the different activities that we did. We did a walking safari one morning, a canoe ride on the Zambezi, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi, and of course several game drives. They surprised us with a truly wonderful sundowner the afternoon of the sunset cruise. They had a fire lit on a little beach area in the middle of the Zambezi with snacks and champagne as a surprise for our anniversary. The food again was amazing. They did a BBQ one night and some of the camp staff performed songs and dances for us which was a real treat.