Linkwasha Camp: Our full report
The private Linkwasha Concession within Zimbabwe’s renowned Hwange National Park is home to one of the park’s ...... most luxurious offerings: Linkwasha Camp. The camp looks out across a pan with a permanent waterhole that attracts wildlife year round, and being in a private concession guests benefit from exclusive and flexible game viewing.
The Linkwasha Concession is dominated by Kalahari savannah and acacia woodlands, but the varied environment of eastern Hwange also features tall teak forests and occasional palm islands. Linkwasha Camp shares its concession with vehicles from its sister properties located on the neighbouring Makalolo Concession, Davison’s Camp, Makalolo Plains Camp and Little Makalolo Camp, although this is a huge area so seeing other vehicle in the concession is relatively rare.
The overall design of Linkwasha is modern and stylish, with an open-air feel. The lines are very clear cut, but the colour scheme of pale greys and creams helps the camp to blend into the surrounding bush.
The camp’s eight en-suite tents – including one family tent – are set on either side of the main area, all overlooking the pan. Or add a touch of adventure to your safari and opt for a night sleeping out on a deck under the stars.
Inside, the tents are huge, their glass and mesh sliding doors affording panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and allowing plentiful natural light into the open-plan rooms. In the centre of each is a lounge area with a comfortable sofa, a long writing desk, a tea- and coffee-making station and a complimentary minibar, while the bed – a king-size or twins – is off to one side. Twin glass basins are also in the main part of the tent, but there are separate cubicles for the toilet and shower – with the glass front of the shower cubicle opening up to create a semi-outdoor experience.
Raised platforms connect each tent to the multi-level decks of Linkwasha’s main area. Here, various tables and chairs create a central hub for alfresco lunches and afternoon teas, with views over the surrounding plains and the waterhole. A firepit in the sandy soil, surrounded by canvas directors' chairs, provides an atmospheric location for pre- or post-dinner drinks, and a large plunge pool provides welcome relief during the hotter months.
There are three indoor areas here: an open-plan, open-sided library, lounge and bar; a smart dining area where evening meals are served at individual tables; and an enclosed “winter lounge”, with comfortable sofas and an open fireplace, providing a cosier spot to relax during the colder mornings and nights (late May to early August).
Guests at Linkwasha Camp go out on twice-daily activities, with both walking safaris and game drives possible with well-qualified Zimbabwean professional guides. Linkwasha's location, at the eastern end of Hwange National Park, permits easy access to the Ngamo Plains, which is well known for its large herds of elephant, buffalo and plains game, as well as numerous predators such as lion and cheetah. Guests also benefit from the camp's location within the Linkwasha Private Concession, which allows for more flexible activities than are possible within the park itself, such as spotlit night drives, and also offers more exclusive wildlife viewing. When we stayed in November 2017 we had first-hand experience of this flexible approach. It was during the heat of the day, siesta time, and we were enjoying the pool when our guide asked if we would like to see some cheetah that had been spotted by one of the guides. Of course we would! We jumped into a vehicle and spent a happy couple of hours watching two brothers unsuccessfully hunt, just minutes from the lodge. When we when back later in the day they had disappeared.
Modern and luxurious in design, Linkwasha provides a stunningly designed and exceptionally comfortable place to stay in a game-rich area of Hwange. Come to spoil yourself in a stylish and contemporary setting, and enjoy excellent wildlife sightings in an isolated part of the park. If you’re looking for a more traditional safari property, however, you would probably be better elsewhere – this certainly isn't a bushcamp.
Country manager: Zimbabwe
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- We’d recommend 3-4 nights here.
- Travellers can reach Linkwasha by road or air. The road transfer takes 3–4 hours from Victoria Falls town, and incorporates 1–2 hours on a game drive within Hwange National Park. Alternatively, light aircraft can land at Makalolo airstrip, followed by a 4WD transfer to camp.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- The food at Linkwasha when we last visited, in November 2017, was very good indeed.
An early-morning continental breakfast is set up around the campfire before your morning activity. We had a choice of cereals, toast cooked over the fire, and hot porridge, as well as tea and coffee.
A buffet brunch is served on your return from the morning activity. We chose a fish skewer with salads and falafel, but there was also a vegetarian option.
Following our evening activity, dinner started with an interesting and tasty coconut soup, followed by fillet steak cooked to order, with roast vegetables and roast potatoes. For dessert we had a very tasty chocolate pudding.
- Dining style
- Mixture of group dining and individual tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Private dining on the deck of your tent is available on request.
- Drinks included
- Rates include most drinks, with the exception of champagne and top-shelf spirits. The tap water in camp is filtered and safe to drink, although bottled water is also readily available.
- At Linkwasha Camp you can experience the wildlife-rich Ngamo Plains while enjoying impeccable service, and the chance to recline on a unique star bed whilst admiring the clear African sky. This camp is as stunning as its setting and perfect for an unforgettable luxury safari.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Linkwasha welcomes children aged six years and older. Note, however, that the camp usually insists that guests with children under 12 hire a private vehicle for game drives at an extra cost. In addition, children under the age of about 16 are unlikely to be allowed on walking safaris.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Minimum age six years. Children under the age of about 16 are unlikely to be allowed on walking safaris.
- Special activities & services
- The camp has a two-bedroom family tent, but no cots, high chairs or special equipment for children.
- Generally recommended for children
- Despite the family tent we felt that there was a vey adult feel to Linkwasha and it therefore wouldn’t suit younger children.
- This is an open safari camp and big game is likely to pass through. There is also an unfenced pool in the main area. Children must be supervised by a parent at all times.
- Power supply notes
- The lodge runs primarily on solar power, but there are back-up generators for when these aren’t producing enough energy for the camp.
- There's no cellphone signal or WiFi at Linkwasha, but the camp does have a satellite phone in case of emergency.
- TV & radio
- There’s no TV, radio or cellphone signal here.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Bathrooms have fully plumbed showers with hot and cold running water, and flushing toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The closest accessible doctor is in Hwange town or Victoria Falls – which would be either a short flight away, or many hours in a vehicle. In case of emergency the guides and camp managers are trained in first aid.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Guides and managers sleep at Linkwasha, and guests are provided with an emergency horn to raise the alarm in case of emergency.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in the tents and main areas.
Guided walking safari
Sleeping under the stars
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A complementary laundry service is available.
- There are safes in all the tents.
- Accepted payment on location
- Money isn't usually needed in camp, as most things are included in the cost. We recommend that you tip in US dollars if possible, and there is a communal tip box for this purpose. Check to see if your guide is tipped separately.
Other lodges in Hwange National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.