The accommodation on the mobile safaris is in either large walk-in luxury tents ....
Hwange Bush Camp: Our full report
Hwange Bush Camp is situated in the remote northern region of Hwange National Park, where the environment becomes more rugged than the Kalahari sandveld that dominates the rest of the park. As a semi-permanent property, Hwange Bush Camp is broken down at the end of each season in November and reassembled the following May.
Situated in the hilly countryside of Deteema Dam and nestled under a canopy of trees, Hwange Bush Camp is the latest iteration of a property called Hwange Mobile Camp, which we have sold for many years. The camp has changed in style slightly, with the addition of a main area to the camp, and it will settle in one spot for the duration of the season. However, Hwange Bush Camp uses the same six twin bedded Meru tents previously used as the ‘luxury tents’ at Hwange Mobile Camp, and is still run by the same great team, so the overall feeling of the property is very similar.
Each of the walk-in tents at the camp have twin beds and, through a zip at the back, an en-suite bathroom with a bucket shower and flush toilet. The camp’s lounge and dining area match the simple style of the rooms, and are decorated with old world, colonial furnishings to give the camp a rustic but comfortable style.
To focus on the physical camp though would be erroneous. The appeal of staying at Hwange Bush Camp is much more about the safari experience, and the feeling of being truly isolated in the African bush without the focus on modern luxuries and comforts. Activities at the camp are centred around game drives and walking safaris, or a combination of the two. It is our understanding that top ‘Zim-Pro’ guides Dave Carson and Spike Williamson will be regular guides in camp, and guests can expect incredible knowledge and passion from the guides on their activities, and an emphasis on the overall safari experience rather than on ticking off specific species.
We’ve always found this northern section of Hwange to have some great game, and the hilly terrain makes for some interesting walking. On our last visit here, when the property was still called Hwange Mobile Camp, we spent a whole morning tracking black rhino. Although a sighting eluded us on this occasion, we were able to instead approach a herd of elephant bulls drinking and splashing beside one of the dams as we approached within about 20m of them, having checked first that both the elephants and ourselves were comfortable being so close to each other.
The timings of activities are flexible, depending on the group. That said, the afternoon usually finishes after a sundowner, as park rules don’t allow for night drives in this section of the park. The walking here can be as energetic as you wish – ideal if you really want to stretch your legs properly and get some exercise.
Our viewHwange Bush Camp aims to offer a simple, rustic camp truly focussed on the safari experience. This style won’t suit everyone, and if luxury is more of a priority for you then it may be worth looking at some alternative camps. However, if you are looking for a simple camp with some top guiding, in a truly isolated location of Hwange National Park, then Hwange Bush Camp is a great choice.
Ideal length of stay: We'd recommend a minimum of 3 nights. Ideally, if time allows, we'd suggest spending 2-4 nights in one of the permanent camps in the Kalahari areas of southern/eastern Hwange, and then another 3-4 nights on this mobile safari in the rugged north.
Directions: Its about a 3 hour drive from Victoria Falls and about 3.5 hours drive from Main Camp in Hwange
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: During our visit in August 2010, the food was of a very high standard - equivalent to that served at a good quality safari camp.
Breakfast is generally served around the campfire, prior to going out on your morning activity. A selection of cereals, hot porridge and toast are laid out for guests to help themselves, as well as tea and coffee.
When we returned at the end of the morning lunch was served. We had spaghetti bolognese served with a green salad as well as a beetroot salad. This was followed by fresh fruit salad and a selection of cheeses and biscuits.
Later that evening, for dinner, we had a starter of tomato and basil soup served with garlic bread. This was followed by rolled pork stuffed with spinach and served with roast potatoes and a selection of mixed vegetables. Desert was apple crumble cooked in individual ramekins served with hot custard. All of this was cooked over a camp fire and was very delicious!
Dining style: Group Meals
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Local beer, wine and soft drinks are included on all of these safaris. • On the semi-luxury safari house wine is served with dinner and bottled water, beer and soft drinks are also available. Spirits are not included so bring your own bottle of gin should you want a g & t. Otherwise spirits can be provided at an extra charge. • On the luxury safari all local drinks, including spirits, are included with meals and activities. It is advisable to list your drinks preference when booking so they can stock up in advance.
Further dining info: No
Walking safaris: Black rhino and elephant are frequently seen in the area and tracking them would be typical of a morning's activity. However, these walking safaris also aim to introduce travellers to the flora and fauna as well as the big game.See more ideas for Walking safaris in Zimbabwe
Wildlife safaris: This area of Hwange has a scattering of loop roads, in interesting country with plenty of game and few visitors - so it is also possible to explore the area on 4WD safaris whilst you're on a mobile safari.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Zimbabwe
Attitude towards children: Children over the age of 12 are welcome.
Property’s age restrictions: Children under the age of 12 are not allowed as it is not possible for children under this age to walk in the park.
Special activities & services: None
Generally recommended for children: We'd only recommend a mobile camp like this, in big game country, for older children (12+) who are mature for their age, and have probably had some experience of previous African safaris – and come as part of a larger family group.
Notes: Children will need to be supervised by their parents at all times.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: There's a radio in the vehicle for emergencies.
TV & radio: None
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The guide is trained in first aid; the nearest doctor would be in Hwange town, Bulawayo or Victoria Falls – many hours' drive away.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: The camp hands and guide are in the camp with you.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A limited laundry service is available, except for days when the camp is moving. For cultural reasons this does not include underwear which you will need to wash yourself.
Money: There are no safes in the tents.
Accepted payment on location: Everything is paid for in advance.