Nehimba Lodge: Our full report
Set within mopane woodland overlooking a large waterhole, Nehimba Lodge occupies a private concession to ...... the north-west of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. From here, you can explore this isolated area with a guide, either by vehicle or on foot.
Originally privately owned under the same name, Nehimba is now owned and run by one of Zimbabwe's fastest-growing safari companies, Imvelo Safari Lodges. In addition to a couple of properties in Victoria Falls, Nehimba has three sister camps in or around Hwange National Park: Bomani Tented Lodge, Camelthorn and Jozibanini.
Central to Nehimba is a thatched main area, an L-shaped open-fronted building that looks out over the waterhole. Here you'll find an open plan bar and a couple of comfortable lounge areas, as well as a large dining table where meals are normally taken as a group.
A few steps lead you down to a sundeck, and below that to a sparkling swimming pool that brings welcome relief during the hot summer months. It’s not just guests who benefit: the local elephant population much prefers drinking the clean water in the pool to that found in the waterhole just a few metres away. In fact, during the dry season the elephants make such frequent use of the pool that it is all but off limits to guests – but that’s a small price to pay for such close and reliable encounters. When we dropped in for lunch in November 2017 we were joined by at least seven elephants drinking from the pool, and a constant procession of them coming and going from the waterhole beyond.
Nehimba Lodge has nine thatched chalets raised on stilts, four on one side of the main area, and three on the other, but all with views over the waterhole. All – including two two-bedroom family suites and a honeymoon suite – have half canvas, half wooden walls and glass windows, giving a more solid feel than at a traditional tented camp. Inside you’ll find twin or double beds, along with a fan, tea-making facilities and a Nespresso machine.
The en-suite bathrooms boast a high-backed bath and an outdoor (but no indoor) shower, as well as a washbasin and toilet, storage unit, and a couple of cosy robes.
The game viewing in this region of Hwange National Park is superb during the dry season (June–October), when you can see some fantastic wildlife, as well as the elephants lion, cheetah and sable are known to frequent the area around the lodge. As one of the only reliable water sources for miles around, it attracts plenty of animals, such that the area around the lodge was fairly bleak when we visited, due to elephant damage.
Game drives and walking safaris offer more active ways to see the wildlife and explore the area, and a chance to visit Nehimba's own hide, as well as local attractions such as the Nehimba Seep, Mandavu Dam and the Mtoa Ruins. Walking safaris are conducted with one of Zimbabwe’s professional guides, who is resident here, offering the exciting opportunity to approach wildlife on foot, and learn basic tracking skills. Game drives are conducted either by the the same guide, or by one of the camp's learner guides. Don't let the tag “learner” fool you, though; Zimbabwe's learners are as good as, and often better than, many fully qualified guides elsewhere in southern and eastern Africa.
A high-quality operation in Hwange National Park, Nehimba offers fantastic value for money in a wildlife-rich, remote area of the park, especially when combined with its sister camps. The accommodation is comfortable, and the lodge offers a perfect base from which to explore the park, or to relax and let the wildlife come to you in the dry season.
Country manager: Zimbabwe
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- We'd recommend a stay of three nights at Nehimba.
- Nehimba can be accessed by road in a 3–4-hour transfer from Victoria Falls. Alternatively, a transfer by light aircraft will take around 45 minutes from Victoria Falls, followed by a 1–1½-hour game drive from Hwange Main Camp to the lodge.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- We’ve always found the food here to be of a high standard as we have come to expect from all Imvelo properties. Although we didn’t stay at the lodge on our most recent visit, in November 2017, we did have time to enjoy lunch.
For breakfast guests can choose from a selection of cereal, fruit, cold meat and cheese, as well as freshly baked bread and muffins. Hot breakfasts can also be cooked to order.
At lunch, in the company of several of Hwange’s elephants, we enjoyed a very tasty chicken curry served in a poppadum, with rice and an Asian slaw.
Dinner is usually a delicious three-course meal. On a previous visit we had butternut ravioli to start, followed by roast pork with sweet potato gratin and vegetables, and peach pudding for dessert.
- Dining style
- Mixture of group dining and individual tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Private dinners can sometimes be arranged on request.
- Drinks included
- Bottled water, soft drinks, local beers and spirits, and a selection of South African red and white wines are included. Champagne and imported wines and spirits will cost extra and may need to be requested in advance.
- Attitude towards children
- The lodge does not accept children under the age of seven.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Nehimba accepts children of seven years and older.
- Special activities & services
- Nehimba has two two-bedroom family chalets, and a swimming pool.
- Generally recommended for children
- Nehimba caters well to family groups, but it has a fairly mature atmosphere, with a strong emphasis on safari, so we would recommend it for older, relatively mature children.
- The camp is unfenced and is frequently visited by large, wild animals, so children need to be closely supervised by a parent or guardian.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Nehimba Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Nehimba Lodge 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
- The generator runs from an hour before guests wake up until 10.00am, and later in the day from 4.00pm until everyone has gone to bed.
- There is free WiFi throughout the lodge.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV or radio in camp.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Each chalet at Nehimba has an ample supply of water. The showers are plumbed and there are flushing toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There is a first aid kit on site and the guides are first aid trained. There is a doctor at Hwange Main Camp or Hwange Town.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- After sunset, guests are accompanied to and from their tents by a guide.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers and buckets of sand around camp.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Included (even delicates which often have to be hand washed by travellers in Zimbabwe).
- There are electronic safes in the chalets.
- Accepted payment on location
- Everything is included during your stay at Nehimba so there is no need to pay for anything at the lodge – and thus no card or cash payment facilities.
Other lodges in Hwange National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Overlooking a waterhole in a remote part of Hwange National Park, Camp Hwange offers great guiding in a pristine wilderness at reasonable prices.
Somalisa is a luxurious, yet remote, safari camp in Hwange National Park, offering walking safaris and game drives.
Located in a small, private concession, The Hide is a relaxed and comfortable camp offering submerged hides and great family accommodation.
Hwange Bush Camp
Hwange Bush Camp is a small seasonal camp offering comfortable tents, great food, and superb guiding, and is often used by exclusive groups.
Little Makalolo Camp
Tucked away in Hwange National Park overlooking a waterhole, Little Makalolo Camp combines top guiding with excellent wildlife watching.
A simple but stylish camp, Somalisa Expeditions sits in the heart of Hwange National Park, offering walking safaris and game drives.
Within the Linkwasha Concession, Davison's Camp offers superb value for money, morning walking safaris and spot-lit drives after dark.
Bomani Tented Lodge
Bomani is a down-to-earth lodge with a range of activities in a remote region of western Zimbabwe, adjacent to Hwange National Park.
Somalisa Acacia is a family-friendly, yet remote and luxurious safari camp in Hwange National Park.
Verney's Camp is one of the newest offerings in Hwange, located in the wildlife rich, open landscape in the south-eastern section of the park.
Remote and rugged, Jozibanini is one of the most remote camps in Zimabwe's largest National Park. Stay here for a real wilderness experience.
Camelthorn is a stylish lodge with a range of activities in a remote region of western Zimbabwe, adjacent to Hwange National Park.
Khulu Bush Camp
Just outside Hwange National Park, Khulu Bush Camp offers excellent value for money and a waterhole popular with wildlife, especially elephants.
Just outside Hwange National Park, the small Ivory Lodge is a great place to see large herds of elephant as well as smaller plains game.
In its own private concession within Hwange National Park, Linkwasha offers excellent wildlife sightings and luxurious surroundings.
The Stimela Star is a luxury overnight train that starts in Victoria Falls before making it's way down to Hwange National Park where you can start your safari.
One of the more remote camps in Hwange National Park, Deka Camp sits almost on the border with Botswana.
Deteema Springs Camp
Nestled deep in Hwange National Parks rugged northern sector, Deteema Springs Camp promises visitors an authentic bush amp experience.
Just outside Hwange National Park, Khulu's Retreat is an exclusive private villa and is a great place to spoil yourself on a safari in Zimbabwe.
In a private concession just outside Hwange National Park, the comfortable Elephant's Eye overlooks a pan and waterholes.
Sable Valley Lodge
Set on the 11km Dete Vlei, the recently refurbished Sable Valley is in a private reserve with its own entrance into Hwange National Park.