Reviews of Camp Hwange
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Camp Hwange review
Over recent years we have been to several lodges and camps to the south east of Main Camp and now we decided to explore the area north and west of the Park where the terrain is more varied than we had experienced previously. This led us to select Camp Hwange. It proved to be an excellent choice.
Their emphasis is very much on providing a full experience,
We do not go on guided walks which is one of their regular features, but concentrate on game driving on which we can comment. Game drives last more or less as long as you want from 3 or 4 hours up to 6 hours and if required a whole day with packed lunches ( you can even discuss your meal requirements with management). Note: there are formal toilet facilities at one or two sites you may pass by during the day.
Camp Hwange offers good flexibility and a full day of activity if you want.
They have a large area of "concession" where they can search for animals plus the formal waterholes and pans which are located in National Park area and which we found provided good scenic backgrounds for photography. Rooms and food are typical of this type of camp and we would rate as good.
This was our first visit and we would hope to return again in the near future.
Camp Hwange review
Excellent guides. I was never very enthusiastic about walking safaris, but the walking here was excellent. Food was great.
Only negative was that I was lumped into a large photography group on the last day and felt a little rushed out of the National Park because of their flight schedule.
Beautiful camp and superb welcome in Hwange
The camp has its own concession where the guides are not restricted to the roads enabling you to get closer to the wildlife. The central boma and all of the very comfortable rooms look towards a central pan so you can game spot from breakfast or your room! The views are simply stunning and in the evening the stars above the camp fire are magical.
Service at the camp was excellent, the staff were brilliant and create an ambience at the camp of a home from home. The guides' enthusiasm was infectious and they build time to sit and watch into the drives which is often a better way to see the wildlife - on our last night we enjoyed our sundowner drinks from within the hiding point next to the Camp's pan and watched the elephants and one lion drinking as the sun set!
The food was extremely good and plentiful (breakfast, morning tea and snacks for the morning game drive, lunch, afternoon tea, sundowner drinks for the evening game drive and pre-dinner drinks and canape and three course dinner).
Camp Hwange review
We fell in love with the camp and its staff the minute we arrived. Everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly and always made sure we had everything we needed.
Being able to walk for long distances was a great experience. Our guides Quinn and Steven and our tracker Felix were exceptional. Great night drives too. The tents are spacious and nicely furnished.
Really friendly atmosphere - lovely sitting by the fire with the guides and the lovely hostess Ruth at night.
The food was excellent and the staff went out of their way to provide delicious vegetarian options at all meals.
Will suit active guests particularly.
Extremely cold at night. Extra layers essential for early morning drives.
Camp Hwange review
The camp is lovely, not a luxury camp but extremely comfortable. You certainly get a 'Wilderness' experience here. The staff are great and go out of their way to make your trip enjoyable. We did walking safaris, a day safari etc in parts of the park in very remote areas. The rooms are lovely, spacious, comfortable. My only suggestion would be bath robes (it gets a little chilly at 530am in the morning and after dinner pm) and a hairdryer. This is only a suggestion not a fault.
Eating together with the whole team and guests was great fun and gave a really nice vibe to the whole stay. The food is absolutely great and all home cooked. The table always looked beautiful. You do not starve there so much food!
We learnt so much from the team and would love to return.
Great time at Camp Hwange
Great place to stay as you feel so close to the animals but far away from everything else. Beautiful rooms, views and setting. Friendly staff. Spike was exceptionally knowledgeable. Vegetarian food was the best I'd had on holiday in over 30 years of travelling as a vegetarian. We saw two male lions up closer than we could possibly have imagined on three different occasions; and tracked a bull elephant through the bush 'til we could sit on a rock and watch him eat his lunch by ripping the bark off a tree. Fantastic birdlife as well.
Downsides: we were picked up by Stephen (who was a great guide) at the camp gate and taken on a fairly long and roundabout drive to get to the Camp; we saw loads of amazing wildlife immediately which was a great treat and a real surprise but by this stage we'd been travelling for over 24 hours and were exhausted; we'd had a bite to eat at Jo'burg airport but hardly anything on our connecting flight; it would've been good to be warned about this, or offered some food/options as we were very tired and quite hungry, and had assumed we'd be taken more or less straight to the camp! We were so keen to see stuff though that we weren't too bothered, but others might be.
We were also picked up with a large group of other people (possibly staff from the national park as they were mostly dropped off en route), but one of them got quite drunk and was being persistently over-friendly which wasn't ideal. The route through the coalfields from Vic Falls airport wasn't the best way to be introduced to the National Park. I wonder if there is an alternative if slightly longer route via Main Camp to Camp Hwange that would avoid this?
Also a couple of the game drives were quite long without seeing much; early starts also meant we really needed our siestas so possibly it would be good to make these shorter when there's not much to see.
Camp Hwange review
The camp was in a fantastic position within Hwange. By being so far away from the other accommodation we hardly saw any other vehicles so all of our wildlife viewing was exclusive. The main lodge was good and comfortable, as were the tents but they were not as good as at Changa. For instance the lighting over the sink was poor making it difficult for Richard to shave when dark outside.
Our guide Dahmesh was excellent – good fun to be with and extremely knowledgable. We learnt a lot from him. He also had an interest in wildlife photography which was a bonus as he was always trying to get the best angle for us.
Hwange was a lovely park with diverse wildlife. We were lucky because one of the lion conservationists had come to the area to collar a dominant male, so we got to hear of the prides whereabouts. We witnessed the pride (including young lions) having recently killed a young elephant and feeding on it, which apparently that pride is quite notorious for but it is something we have never seen before.
We saw many, large elephants at close proximity, which was wonderful. I was delighted to have sightings of two males cheetahs and we also saw rarer things such as a honey badger during the day. Each evening whilst driving back in the dark, we saw interesting small animals such as serval, gennets, spring hares.
All in all we were very happy with our experience in Hwange.
Very comfortable safari at Camp Hwange
A very comfortable safari camp with friendly welcoming staff and very knowledgeable guides. The water pan in front of the camp did attract some game and provided a great focal point.
The guide was very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and was very keen to share some of this knowledge with us. The guide was also keen to take us on walks into the bush which were a real treat, especially when we managed to get up close to a herd of zebra. The food and drink were both plentiful and of great further adding to the experience of staying in a new and very comfortable safari camp.
I love this camp
Camp Hwange is one my favorite camps in southern Africa; it's super well run and has excellent guides, management and staff. They are also very flexible on arrangements which we appreciated enormously.
If you're looking for somewhere where it's all about the game, this camp could well be for you. Don't get me wrong though; it's also very comfortable and well run with all the basics (good food, comfortable beds, hot water, cold drinks) done well. But it's first and foremost a game viewing operation and they take this very seriously so if you just want a quick drive round the bush before breakfast or dinner you might want to choose somewhere different.
But if you want some serious guiding and full-on engagement with Hwange National Park, then this is an awesome camp. But expect to be out for loooong drives or walks; we would leave by 06h and not come back until 13h and then be out again for another 4 or 5 hours so it's intense. But the game was fantastic. Lots of lions if that's your thing (it's not mine especially!) and (when we were there just ahead of the rains) enormous herds of eles and buffalo. We also saw a lot of leopard (to my slight surprise as these aren't always easy to see in Hwange). We even had the dilemma of having to choose between leopard and serval sightings one evening (we chose serval which was wonderful)
So overall I really don't think you can go wrong but I'd say it's for the genuine safari enthusiast, not someone looking for a little safari between meals and down-time.
Lastly we were lucky enough to be guided by Dave Carson again (this was our second visit) and he is great; super-enthusiastic about everything, especially lions (but willing to go and look at other game too with a little coaxing lol). I cannot recommend him highly enough