Hwange Bush Camp: Our full report
The successor to Hwange Mobile Camp, the semi-permanent Hwange Bush Camp, is tucked away in the remote northern ...... region of Hwange National Park. It’s a more rugged environment than the Kalahari sandveld that dominates the rest of the park, with some great wildlife, and the hilly terrain makes for interesting walking safaris led by top Zimbabwean professional guides.
Although Hwange Bush Camp represents a change in style from its predecessor (which ceased operation at the end of 2016), with a new main area, the lineage and feel remain. Its twin-bedded Meru tents were previously used as the “luxury tents” at Hwange Mobile Camp, the camp is still run by the same great team, and although now more static it’s only semi-permanent: at the end of each season (November) it is broken down, to be reassembled the following May.
Each of the six walk-in tents has twin beds and, through a zip at the back, an en-suite bathroom with a basin, bucket shower and flush toilet. The camp's lounge and dining area match the simple style of the tents, and are decorated with old-world, colonial furnishings to give a rustic but comfortable style.
This said, the focus at Hwange Bush Camp is not the physical camp but the safari experience: the sense of being truly isolated in the African bush, matched by excellent guiding on game drives and walking safaris. Headed up by top Zimbabwean professional guides David Carson and Spike Williamson, the guiding team has an incredible depth of knowledge and the team’s passion facilitates a strong emphasis on the overall safari experience rather than on ticking off specific species.
The timing of activities is flexible, depending on the group, though the afternoon usually finishes after a sundowner, as park rules don't allow for night drives in this area. The walking here can be as energetic as you wish, too – ideal if you want to get some real exercise.
For those looking for the mobile style camping experience it is also possible to arrange a few nights fly camping in this area of the park although travellers will need to spend their first and last night at Hwange Bush Camp.
We’ve had some spectacular wildlife encounters with guiding team here over the years, our stays here, at its predecessor, Hwange Mobile Camp, and its sister property Camp Hwange have consistently delivered great wildlife viewing. On our last visit, in November 2017, we spent a morning tracking elephant on foot before trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to find a pack of wild dog whose tracks we had seen earlier from the vehicle. Approaching elephant, lion and wild dog on foot (on separate occasions) remain highlights for our team.
Hwange Bush Camp is a relatively simple, rustic camp focused on delivering a fantastic 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 after top guiding in a truly isolated location of Hwange National Park, and don’t mind forgoing a few luxuries, then Hwange Bush Camp would be a great choice.
Country manager: Zimbabwe
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- We'd recommend a minimum of three nights at Hwange Bush Camp. Ideally, if time allows, we'd suggest combining this with 2–4 nights in one of the more permanent camps in the Kalahari areas of southern/eastern Hwange.
- Hwange Bush Camp is about a three-hour drive from Victoria Falls airport, or about 3½ hours from Main Camp in Hwange.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- During our visit in November 2017, we didn’t have the chance to eat here, though historically we’ve found the food both here and at its predecessor to be of a very high standard. We generally think of if it as equivalent to that served at a good-quality safari camp – an impressive feat when you learn that everything is cooked over an open fire!
For breakfast, a selection of cereals, hot porridge and toast are generally laid out around the campfire, prior to your morning activity, along with tea and coffee.
Lunch is served once you return to camp at the end of the morning activity. We’ve previously enjoyed spaghetti bolognese served with both green and beetroot salads, followed by fresh fruit salad and a selection of cheeses and biscuits.
For dinner, we started with tomato and basil soup with garlic bread. This was followed by rolled pork stuffed with spinach, with roast potatoes and a selection of mixed vegetables. Dessert was apple crumble cooked in individual ramekins and topped with hot custard. The whole lot was cooked over a campfire and was delicious!
- Dining style
- Group Meals
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Drinks included
- Soft drinks and wines, spirits and beers are included in the price. High-end liqueurs, champagne, imported wines (except most South African wines) and spirits are not. The water from the taps in the tents is filtered and safe to drink. Bottled water is also readily available.
- Photography holidays
- Hwange Bush Camp focuses on excellent guiding and walking, both of which make a wonderful camp for photographers. Exploring on foot allows without the noise of an engine allows guests to see the little things they might miss from a vehicle.
- See ideas for Photography holidays
- Walking safaris
- Walking safaris in Zimbabwe are exemplified by Hwange Bush Camp. Tracking big animals such as elephant, lion and occasionally black rhino on foot would be typical of a morning's activity – and you’ll also be introduced to the smaller creatures of Hwange National Park.
- See ideas for Walking safaris
- Wildlife safaris
- With a scattering of loop roads, plenty of wildlife, top guiding and few visitors, Hwange Bush Camp has much to offer on a wildlife safari in Zimbabwe, both from a 4WD vehicle and on foot.
- See ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Attitude towards children
- Children are accepted on a case-by-case basis with no strict age limit.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to walk from Hwange Bush Camp.
- Special activities & services
- Generally recommended for children
- We'd only recommend a simple camp like this, in an area of dangerous wildlife, for older children (12+) who are mature for their age, part of a larger family group, and have had experience of previous African safaris.
- Dangerous wildlife can wander through the camp at any time, so children will need to be supervised by their parents at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Hwange Bush Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Hwange Bush 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.
- There's a radio in the vehicle for emergencies, but otherwise you can expect to be out of communication at Hwange Bush Camp.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Each room has a bucket shower and flush toilet.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The guides are 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 your guide are in the camp with you.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers placed around the camp.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- A limited laundry service is available, though for cultural reasons this does not include underwear, which you would need to wash yourself.
- There are no safes in the tents.
- Accepted payment on location
- Everything is paid for in advance so no money is required on site.
Other lodges in Hwange National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.