Davison's Camp: Our full report
Spread out in the intermittent shade of African rosewood (Guibourtia coleosperma) trees, Davison's Camp lies ...... in the private Linkwasha Concession, south-east of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. It overlooks an open plain, whose permanent waterhole is popular with elephants and a variety of other wildlife, which is often seen from the camp.
During our last visit in November 2017, the camp – which was named after the park’s first head warden, Ted Davison – was being used as a base for Wilderness Safaris’ Children in the Wilderness project. This aims to promote conservation and sustainable tourism through education, attracting children from rural communities in Africa. It was fantastic to see the children enjoying their time in the bush and learning about the value of the wildlife that often makes their home lives difficult. However, it did make it a little tricky to get a true sense of the camp from a guest perspective! Here is what we know of Davison’s from this visit and previous ones.
The simplest camp in the private Linkwasha Concession, Davison's shares the reserve with its sister properties, Makalolo Plains Camp, Little Makalolo Camp and Linkwasha Camp.
Each of Davison’s nine tented chalets has a concrete veranda decked out with a couple of metal chairs and a table, and overlooking the waterhole. The tents themselves were in the process of being upgraded on our visit and although the new tents are of a very similar style and design it is clear they are an improvement. Inside, the chalets are fairly basic but clean and comfortable, with twin beds or a double, ceiling fans and concrete block floors topped with rugs. A canvas roof provides protection from the elements while broad mesh windows give high and wide vistas of the waterhole in front of camp.
At the time of our visit, an impressive varnished-wood partition separated the bedroom from the tastefully decorated bathroom and provided storage space too, but this is being replaced by a low brick wall. As part of the refurbishment, the shower and toilet have been partitioned from the deep soapstone sink, affording additional privacy. Good-quality complimentary toiletries are provided.
One of the chalets at Davison's is suitable for a family, combining a normal double chalet with a second en-suite twin bedroom. From a family perspective, it's also worth noting that the camp is often willing to provide an extra mattress on the floor of a twin or double room to allow three people per tent.
A well-worn path links the chalets to Davison's main area, a V-shaped structure with a fan-cooled lounge and small bar in one wing and a long communal dining table in the other. It's very open and airy with solid concrete floors largely covered by substantial rugs. The wood-and-canvas walls on one side conceal the entrance road to camp, while the opposite side is completely open to the waterhole in front.
For an elevated view of the waterhole, there’s a new tree-shaded viewing deck, which is also a perfect spot to relax with a book or sundowner. And on hotter days the pool is a welcome way to cool off.
Activities at Davison’s focus on 4WD game drives in open-sided vehicles into both the park and the concession, while evening drives, when spotlights are permitted as dusk falls on the return to camp, offer the chance to see the nocturnal side of Hwange's wildlife. In the morning walking safaris, escorted by an armed guide with a professional Zimbabwean guides' licence. Typically you’ll be offered two activities per day: one in the early morning and another in the afternoon/early evening.
Davison's is a small, well-maintained camp which is functional but not as luxurious as other camps in the region. Nevertheless it is in a good location for wildlife and offers great value for money.
Country manager: Zimbabwe
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- Davison’s Camp works well as a two- or three-night stay in the southern part of Hwange National Park.
- The best way to access Davison's is to transfer by road from either Makalolo or Hwange Main Camp airstrips.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- On our last visit in November 2017 we only dropped into Davison’s for a short visit and didn’t have a chance to eat here. That said, we would expect a similar standard and style of food to that at its sister camp, Little Makalolo Camp.
Expect a breakfast of cereals, yoghurt, fresh fruit, cold meats, cheeses, muffins and breads. Lunch is likely to be a set menu, perhaps with a couple of options. Similarly we would anticipate a three-course dinner with a choice of mains. Occasionally the lodge may put on a traditional evening with a braai (barbecue).
Tea and coffee are available throughout the day in the dining area.
- Attitude towards children
- Davison's Camp accepts children aged six and above although there are no specific provisions for them.
- Property’s age restrictions
- No children under six
- Special activities & services
- The camp usually insists that guests with children under 12 hire their own private vehicle for game drives.
- Generally recommended for children
- We don't recommend Davison's Camp for children under about 16; it is an open and unfenced safari camp through which dangerous wildlife is likely to pass.
- Children must be under parental supervision at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Davison's Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Davison's Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back-up generator incase the national grid supply fails.
- There is no mobile phone signal here, but the camp can communicate by Satellite phone in case of emergency.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- All chalets have hot and cold running water and flushing toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The camp has a basic first-aid kit and there are first-aid trained staff on site. The nearest doctors are in Victoria Falls town and Bulawayo.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- The camp is patrolled at night by unarmed security guards
- Fire safety
- Davison's has a fire extinguisher in each tented chalet and others are dotted around the camp.
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- A complimentary laundry service is included, although for cultural reasons, women's underwear isn't accepted. Washing powder is provided for guests who wish to do this themselves.
- There are safe bags for valuables in the chalets. Visitors may take these to the lodge office to be locked in a large communal safe.
- Accepted payment on location
- Cash payments may be made in US dollars, GB pounds, South African rand and euros.
Other lodges in Hwange National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.