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Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange is a comfortable tented lodge built in a wide arc along a treeline overlooking an open plain and waterhole in the north-west region of Hwange National Park.

Camp Hwange is a superb property, situated in a private concession in the Sinamatella area of Hwange National Park. The accommodation is very comfortable, food excellent and the camp has a pleasant communal atmosphere with hosted meals and well-trained staff. However, what makes this camp so enjoyable is the focus on in depth professional guiding. You do not need to walk to enjoy Camp Hwange as there is plenty of ground to cover on game drives, but the experienced guides are often keen to get out on foot with guests, even if it is only for a short walk to break up a game drive or investigate something away from the roads.

ALTERNATIVE CAMPS IN The Great Rift Valley

Rooms

Camp Hwange accommodates around 16 guests in eight canvas and thatch chalets which stretch out either side of the open plan lounge and dining area. The chalets are spaced far apart to afford maximum privacy and all face out across the plains to a nearby waterhole. One of the chalets is suitable for families and comprises two adjoining en suite rooms connected by an internal passage way. Each chalet is set onto a solid base with canvas walls and a thatch roof. They are comfortably furnished with twin or double beds and have en suite bathrooms consisting of a plumbed shower, vanity and separate flush toilet. Double doors lead on to a private verandah with safari chairs.

Central Areas

The large open fronted, thatched main area includes a dining room, lounge and drinks station where coffee and tea are available throughout the day. This leads down to the campfire area where breakfast and predinner drinks are served under the stars.

Facilities

Wi-Fi – No
Power for Charging – Yes
Swimming Pool – No

Habitat & Wildlife

Hwange is the largest of Zimbabwe’s wildlife areas. Situated in the south-western corner of the country at an average altitude of around 3,000ft, it covers an area of about 1.5 million hectares, along the border with Botswana.

The Park covers the transition zone between the Kalahari sands and the moist savannah woodland. The poor soil and harsh climate have not stunted or limited the variety of habitat: over 230 trees and shrubs and 138 grass species make up some of the more than 1,000 flora species found here. This diversity allows for more than 50 mammal species to co-exist.

Lacking permanent rivers, Hwange is managed with numerous man-made waterholes which are pumped to provide water for most of the animal species and which form the magnate around which most game viewing takes place (many of the waterholes have hides). The park has a very sizeable and healthy elephant population (it is not uncommon to see over 150 at a time around the waterholes during the dry season), and other larger mammals to be seen include giraffe, impala, zebra, wildebeest, tsessebe, kudu, duiker, roan antelope, waterbuck, eland, gemsbok (along the drier western border), reedbuck, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hippo. Unfortunately, rhino are now seldom seen.

The area is also excellent for bird life, most represented by bush country species: babblers, starlings, bustards, ostrich, cranes, hornbills, francolins, guineafowl, shrikes, etc., although raptors are plentiful and storks, geese and ibis can be seen at the waterholes.

Game viewing is excellent with good general game, big herds of buffalo and several different lion prides present year round. Leopard, cheetah and wild dog can also be seen. Night drives offer the chance to see nocturnal species such as genet, serval, honey badger, aardwolf and aardvark. However Hwange is perhaps best known for its huge elephant populations, and from June through to early November huge numbers can be seen visiting the various waterholes throughout the park, including the pan in front of Camp Hwange.

Activities

Activities at Camp Hwange are based around a combination of excellent walks, game drives (day and early night drives) and use of their hides (one of which is a log pile hide overlooking the waterhole in front of camp). Most game-viewing takes place within their private concession area, though longer drives will also explore public areas of the park. It is not essential to walk, as big game is plentiful and there many miles of game drive roads to explore. However, exploring on foot is often a key activity here, either directly from camp or on walks incorporated within a game drive. An integral part of all activities is the super guiding provided.

Seasons

Camp Hwange is open throughout the year, though game viewing is best from July through to October.

Children over the age of 8 are welcome, but are not allowed to walk until they are at least 12 (at the discretion of the guides). There is an excellent dedicated two bedroom family tent and triples can be arranged by setting up a sofa bed in each tent for children under 14 years. We feel the camp makes a good choice for more adventurous families.

Camp Hwange has a strong conservation ethos and has been in collaboration with research and conservation organisations within the National Park, including Bhejane Trust, Hwange Lion Research and Painted Dog Conservation who they are able to support as a result of guests staying at the camp. In addition, in recognition of the threat that human-wildlife-conflict plays to successful conservation, Camp Hwange works with NGO Children in the Wilderness, hosting children for what is often their first experience of wildlife inside a national park. Aside from the educational aspect of such experiences the children are also able to understand employment and career opportunities in ecotourism and conservation. They also support the Lesedi Project near Victoria Falls which includes a primary school, secondary school and clinic serving struggling rural communities in the area.