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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Andy from Queens, NY, USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Zimbabwe 2021

Zimbabwe between 5 Aug 2021 and 23 Aug 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"Despite the challenges of postponing from August of 2020, traveling during a pandemic, and having to deal with last minute camp closures, I can't imagine having a better experience."

Arranged By Tom Morris


Old Drift Lodge

Old Drift Lodge

"Shiny and comfortable, but missing something"

2 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2021
"Old Drift definitely passes the "eye test." The chalets are in fact larger that my apartment (by a wide margin), and the main areas are spacious and elegant. Like most camps you'll find in the more proper wildlife areas of Zimbabwe, the staff are exceptional and willing to talk about a range of things. And despite this park being less wild than others, there are cool opportunities to be had. Visiting the Falls is always a phenomenal experience, and spending the afternoon eating lunch at The Lookout Cafe is unique in itself.

But a few small details keep this place from feeling like what it aspires to be. The food was very much average, and definitely not to the level of the camps and lodges you find in the more remote areas of the country. Also, breakfast was always late being set up in the morning. Their information packets state that a cold breakfast bar should be set up by 7am (it could even have said 630am), but very often they would still be scrambling to get things going at 730."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Bomani Tented Lodge

Bomani Tented Lodge

"Bomani Tented Lodge review"

4 nights Arrived 7 Aug 2021
"Getting down into the southeastern part of Hwange was a cool experience after spending time near main camp in a previous trip.

I loved taking the Elephant Express train; it was a wonderfully kitschy and unique way to access Bomani, and there's legitimately good wildlife along the rail line.

The property provides everything a traveler needs: comfort, nice food, and experiences with people and wildlife. Their private concession is surprisingly large, and attracts quite a bit of game across the tracks. It would be nice if there was an easier way to access the park from the concession, but I understand security and other formalities have to be maintained. There's also good progress being made on the sanctuary that will house rhinos in the (hopefully) near future.

While I absolutely loved the 3 days I spent with Ndaba, it was a bit disappointing not having a walking guide available during that time. But I was fortunate that moving on to Jozibanini, a sister property, would afford that opportunity. I'd recommend that one specify walking as a key part of your trip (during the booking process) to ensure a pro guide is available."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Jozibanini Camp

Jozibanini Camp

"Jozibanini Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 11 Aug 2021
"Aside from just setting out on your own and camping, Jozi provides the ideal way to experience Hwange. The remoteness of the camp is hard to describe, but they're still able to provide all the things one needs to stay viable (even newly installed charging ports in the tents!).

The atmosphere is relaxed yet serious at the same time. The guys really strive to give folks an experience they can't get anywhere else in the park. While the elephant hide is really interesting, getting out onto the trails on foot or on a mountain bike are essential ways to enjoy this spot.

Spend a good 3 or 4 nights here and mix and match different walks and bike rides, with a few afternoons spent at the hide. Even if you've been around the bush, Jozi's wildness is hard to replicate (especially for my American sensibilities)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kavinga Safari Camp

Kavinga Safari Camp

"Kavinga Safari Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2021
"Kavinga was the surprise hit of my time in Zimbabwe. While I had spent time near the river and floodplain on a previous trip, this was my first time inland. The combination of foothills, dry riverbeds, rocky cliffs, and old research roads was surreal.

The setup at Kavinga provides everything a traveler needs. And I want to specifically highlight the food as top notch by any measure.

Getting out and walking through the hills along with driving through the riverbeds was a wonderful combination. You never expect to see multiple leopards in any given day (or even one), but here that's a real possibility; and it's not uncommon from what they say. But nothing beats the surprise of watching about a dozen hyena chase an impala into the waterhole in front of the camp and proceeding to finish it off in about 15 minutes.

And getting the opportunity to spend time with only Zimbabweans (both staff and other travelers) offered a really interesting perspective on the country.

Kavinga is quite a gem in Mana; and if you have time to spend in this part, you'll be fascinated with what Kavinga offers."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

"Vundu Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 18 Aug 2021
"I can't imagine a better spot to put at the back end of a trip. Des and Nick have a place that is relaxed with wonderfully good food and even better people.

Mitch (my guide) and I really got around: walking, driving, and doing a bit of fishing.

And I truly enjoyed being able to talk candidly to Mitch, Des, and Dave (the other guide) about things going on in Zimbabwe and around the world (especially during the current pandemic).

Mana will be back in the rotation some time in the near future, and there's no doubt I'll be getting back together with Mitch and hopefully make my way over to Vundu."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Armadale Lodge

Armadale Lodge

"Armadale Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 22 Aug 2021
"It's almost comical coming to a place like Armadale after spending several weeks in the bush.

But there's no doubt it's a quite comfortable and relaxing place to be before you start the long journey home.

For a one night stopover, you'll get exactly what you need: nice food (and wine, if that's what you like) and a good sleep."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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