Reviews of Camp Hwange
Wildlife sightings and reviews
73 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Camp Hwange and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Fantastic safari at Camp Hwange"
Camp Hwange is the best camp if you want a really African safari. The guiding in exceptional and the best in Africa. Nothing is to much trouble and the food is fantastic. One of the best things about is camp is it is small and has it own concession, so you are able to do night drives which is a treat to see nocturnal animals, we saw porcupines for the first time!!!! It is situated in the quieter park of the park so you don't see many other vehicles.
This is the first time we have been in November and there had been some rain and it was a lot greener than when we have been in September. It was lovely to see some flower coming out and learning about the flora and not just the animals." See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
We were guided at both our camps by Alan, a ZimPro freelancer. It should be noted that the camp only has 2 resident guides, Adam and Moses, so when the camp is full as it was when we were there, freelance guides are brought in who are very good but you can't rely on being with a particular resident guide who you may have read about working there. The camp has a policy of keeping guests with the same guide throughout there stay and as we were travelling to the sister camp - Hwange Bush Camp - Alan was brought in to guide us for the full 8 days. They also have a policy that a guest must be guided by a ZimPro guide, even on vehicle activities although they have a group of learner guides working towards the highest qualification. This meant it was just the two of us with Alan and his tracker Ernest for 7 of our 8 days. On the day we were joined by other guests it was an elderly American couple who were quite frail. I was braced for a frustrating day at having to cater to their pace and style of safari which could not have been more different from our own but was impressed that the camp had immediately realised this and sent a learner guide with us, assuring us that we would drive for a short distance, then we would go for a walk with Alan while the learner guide continued in the vehicle with the American couple before meeting us later. When one of the Americans then suggested he would like to walk with us it was gently suggested to him that we would be covering several miles on difficult ground in the heat and perhaps he would find the vehicle more enjoyable. It was well handled by the camp staff as he was totally unsuited to the kind of walks offered by the camp!
I don't want to give the impression that the walks were very demanding - they weren't - but they were several hours long and after about 10am the temperature rockets upwards. When you pick up the tracks of something you want to follow it takes as long as it takes (we tracked Rhino for about 4 hours, after picking up the tracks 2 hours into our walk). This was fantastic for us and what we were there for but isn't for everybody. When you consider that tracking and approaching big 5 on foot is what the camp specialises in it was surprising that some guests arrived at the camp not knowing this and not being suited to or wanting that type of safari. We thought the balance between vehicle and walking activities was just right. We started the day in the vehicle, then got out to walk for a few hours, then returned to the vehicle to slowly drive back to camp. In the afternoon we did vehicle activities, apart from hopping out to quickly try and approach elephant and buffalo as we came across them on a couple of occasions.
With Alan we had excellent vehicle activities but also spent a lot of time walking. We walked up on several elephant and a buffalo, both intentionally and also when tracking something else and 'coming across' elephant as we walking. We tracked rhino, leopard and lion but unfortunately didn't catch up with them (we saw numerous lion from the vehicle). Just being out and trying to track the animal, and watching the guide and tracker as they interpret the tracks and sign, was a great experience although would of course have been better if it ended with a great sighting on foot. It gives us something to go back for.
At both camps I was very impressed by the 'learner' guides. They rotate between the camps. Despite the title of 'learner' I found them all to be very knowledgeable and experienced and had a lot to contribute. They are all qualified vehicle guides - they just can't lead walks by themselves. One of them joined our activities when they could to add another set of eyes. At the end of the day they were happy to sit around the camp fire and swap stories and were always leaping up to refill an empty glass.
There is a good sense of fun and adventure at the camp. One evening, less than five minutes before dinner as we sat around the camp fire with a glass of wine in hand, one of the guides came running over to say there were male lions just behind the camp. Everyone put there drinks down to pile into 2 of the vehicles and dash out to go and see them. After finding them and having a quick 10 minute sighting of males moving into a new territory we then returned to camp to pick up our drinks and have some late dinner. That kind of spontaneity was fun and contributed to the positive atmosphere at the camp.
If you want the pure safari and as much time out and about either in vehicle or on foot as possible with highly qualified guides then this is the place for you. We loved it." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
"Wow, wonderful Camp Hwange!"
Thanks to our excellent guide Washington we had the best few days of safari drives we have had on the continent. We saw so much and saw it so beautifully. We have never had a guide so gifted at placing us in the right spot at the right time to see events unfold. From lion kills, leopard and cheetah sightings, fantastic views of roan and sable, a thousand or more buffalo approaching water with dust filling the air, elephants drinking and bathing at sunset, secretary birds hunting for snakes, aardwolves, servals, African wildcats and so much more...this was the best few days on safari we have had anywhere.
Thank you Washington." See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
"Great camp for wildlife"
Super guides Moses, Changa and Shaun who knew just where to go for the best wildlife viewing, a highlight was a herd of 25 elephants of all ages ranging from tiny babies to big bulls all wallowing in a mudpool and squirting mud and water over themselves." See all these reviews: 17n in Kenya; 9n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Tanzania; 5n in Botswana; 5n in Zambia
"Terrific safari at Camp Hwange"
Very friendly and knowledgeable staff" See all these reviews: 13n in Zimbabwe
"Camp Hwange review"
Great guides very knowledgeable made the most of game drives, and an opportunity for walking safari." See all these reviews: 13n in Zimbabwe
"Camp Hwange review"
"Magnificent Camp Hwange"
However, for our final run to the camp we were driven by Washington who was to be our guide for the full 4 nights. As with Ruckomechi we again had the vehicle and Washington to ourselves throughout. A wonderful guide and a real pleasure to be with he rapidly sensed that we are interested in any aspect of the bush and went out of his way to make sure we had a fully immersive experience. Well done Washington.
We chose not to do any of the much advertised walking as with only 3 full days we find walks rather restricted in terms of what might be seen. Our tactics paid off and we had some of the most exciting and fascinating sightings in 18 years of safari holidays. Tree climbing cheetah, 6 bull elephants playing like toddlers in a pond with hippo, wild dog etc etc etc. Truly wonderful photo opportunities in a fabulous landscape.
The accommodation is advertised as perhaps more rustic than is available elsewhere but we found it excellent with the bonus of a ceiling fan inside the mosquito net. Food was terrific and we enjoyed our time at Camp Hwange more than any we have stayed at in many years. We felt that the morning drive from 0630 to almost 1300 was stretching the schedule because from 1100 on it is becoming too hot for most animals and birds while the light is unhelpful for photography.
Overall Camp Hwange is a hard act to follow and we enjoyed the experience 110%." See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
There had been some rain not long before our visit so wildlife was dispersed and a little harder to find. For most of the time we had ZimPro guide Moses, almost qualified Jean and tracker Changa so not much escaped their notice and there was a constant flow of knowledge and bush facts.
We enjoyed three walks and the biggest surprise was an aardwolf jumping out of long grass right beside us one early morning! We had memorable encounters on foot and in the jeep with lots of elephants.
Night drives were among the best we have ever had in Africa including sightings of African wildcats, genets and a wolf spider seen and located from an amazing distance, also the six lions known as the "SuperModels", which resulted in one of the best photos of the trip.
For vegetarians the food was hit and miss with lunch always better than dinner. Overall the staff were enthusiastic and knowledgeable but there was a hard to define lack of atmosphere at some meal times." See all these reviews: 17n in Zimbabwe
"Camp Hwange review"
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