Reviews of The Hide
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
High marks for The Hide
This was our 17th trip with Expert Africa (dating back to 2006); but it was somewhat different to most of our previous ones in that we had two family members with us making their first trip to Africa. We picked Hwange because of its proximity to our home in Livingstone and our wish for our guests to see the Victoria Falls on both sides. With EA's help we opted for The Hide, where we hadn't stayed previously, and we were delighted with the choice.
The Hide is an extremely well managed camp, one of the best in our experience. Meals are high quality with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables: we especially liked the fact that one evening the main course was traditional Zambian fare. The bar is well-stocked. The rooms are comfortable and the communal areas a delight, looking out onto a waterhole which attracts a wide range of animals. The highlight is the hide itself which puts one (underground) just feet away from elephants coming to drink.
There is a three activities per day rhythm to the camp (unusual in our experience), with a morning post-breakfast drive, an afternoon drive or walk and a post-dinner night drive on The Hide's concession. We found this balance to be very appealing.
Our guide, Ngozi, was excellent, personable and with a nice (again unusual) touch of stopping the vehicle and getting out of his seat to turn to his passengers when he had something important/lengthy to say about what we were seeing. He also was able to balance nicely the different interests among his passengers.
We were lucky enough to have good lion sightings on our first two days (including Jericho, former comrade-in-arms of the more well-known Cecil); super elephant and buffalo; serval, black-backed jackal, lesser genet and a whole host of herbivores. Best of all, perhaps, an aardvark. We also logged 84 bird species even though we diluted our usual birding focus for this trip: these included Secretary Bird, Kori Bustard, Ground-Hornbill, Ostrich with chicks, Pearl-spotted Owlet and a range of smaller raptors.
We can thoroughly recommend the Hide to first-time and experienced safari-goers alike.
The Hide review
Our third visit in the last seven years.
A very well run operation with good flexibility in offering choice to guests. They have two hides for close encounters with the wildlife. A big feature is a large pan in front of the main facilities which brings the wildlife almost into your room.
Having experienced many lodges and camps over many trips to Africa this pan with its size and location is probably the best front door waterhole/pan view we have come across. We visited at a good time of year when the wildlife was having to use the watering facilities as there had not been rain for several months and so there were only a few locations available for drinking. There will be times of the year when the availability of more natural water holes appear after rainfall and the game will stretch out over a wider area.
Rooms are typical of many camps.
Food is varied and of a good standard. (See also our previous comments on Kaingo Camp) .
Whilst The Hide has some "concessionary territory" where it can go off road much of the daily trips on the game drives is in the National Park area and there are restrictions on how much it is possible to stray away from the main tracks.
Nevertheless game viewing opportunities were good at this time of year.
The Hide review
Very nice camp. The coffee delivered with the morning wake-up call was a great touch. Rooms excellent. A lot of elephant activity at waterhole each night. Definite advantages of a family-run camp.
The camp is adjacent to the Vic. Falls - Bulawayo railway line. Heard trains early each morning.
Disappointing lack of predators at time of visit.
The Hide review
Nicely located within easy reach of various heavily frequented waterholes.
There is a train track along the boundary of the Hide's concession so you don't feel quite as isolated and away from civilisation as you might do in other camps.
Our guide Nicholas was great - very knowledgeable and fun to spend time with. The night drives were a lot of fun too and gave us a chance to see some of the nocturnal creatures.
Staff were friendly, food was very good.
Tents are comfortable, with both indoor and outdoor showers.
It's lovely to watch animals come to drink at the waterhole right outside your accommodation. Being able to watch the elephants from the underground hide was an amazing experience - drinking water only a few metres away from you.
The Hide review
We arrived at The Hide in time for tea. It is a splendid safari lodge. The facilities are excellent and likewise the food. A particularly nice touch was the fact that the managers, Ian and his wife Leanne, as well as the guides, took their meals with the guests.
As with Changa, we had a first class guide, Daffie. Although it was the wet season (in fact not very wet this year) there were plenty of animals, and again beautiful birds, in evidence. Many elephants came to The Hide's water hole on two of our three evenings (the third one being a full moon night, and not many animals were seen altogether). Other memorable encounters which we had were one and a half hours spent with two male lions one afternoon, observing a cape buffalo from close up, and successfully tracking down a cheetah and her juvenile offspring.
Wonderful! Also, The Hide's underground observation room, about 50 yards away from the main building made for a unique, albeit very safe, close encounter with a male elephant bull - an experience we shall never forget.
Painted Dogs at the hidd
An excellent lodge in a superb location, this is one of the best places we have stayed, i only have 1 criticism; sometimes it can seem a tad too formal, but do not lat that put you off.
In 1 memorable morning we saw a pack of 17 wild dogs, 250 buffallo, and 100 Elephants; all from the Hide it'self.
The Hide review
Location next to waterhole gives wonderful and very close access to game. Staff friendly and very helpful, AMAZING food, brilliant guide.
Family of 5 and stayed at Tom’s Little Hide....loved it !!
The Hide review
The best part of our holiday.
The service and attention we had could not be faulted.
The game viewing was well planned and varied the guide knowledgeable and helpful.
Food is good and plentiful and surprisingly varied you don't go hungry.
One of the few places we would go back to our stay was too short!
I saw all the game I expected even a glimpse of the wild/coloured dogs.
Amazing Safari at the Hide
Our Safari at the Hide was by far the highlight of our entire time in Africa. The property is absolutely beautiful. We stayed at Tom's Little Hide, and it is just wonderful. There are three large bedroom areas with beautiful indoor and outdoor showers, bath tubs, beds…there is even a plunge pool outside on the deck.
The service was 5 star. Ian and Leanne took excellent care of all our needs, large and small. They really went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable. They also have daily laundry included and an area for wifi.
The food was amazing, the best we had in Africa by far. We had private dinning in Tom's Little Hide, the dining room was great, they served breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, whatever we wanted. We also really enjoyed having dinner at main camp with everyone else. It was so nice to chat with the others and have a social evening.
Our guide, Mark Friend, was just incredible. He is so knowledgable about everything in the bush, from the smallest plant life to the largest animals (and how to handle a herd of buffalo standing a few feet from the jeep!). He is also very kind, funny and accommodating to all of our questions and needs (and there were many from the 6 of us!). We went on early morning hikes, late night drives, and everything in between. We saw so many amazing animals and enjoyed drinks and snacks at the watering hole at sunset with herds of zebra, giraffe and elephants. It was just beautiful.
They really take safety seriously and we appreciate that.
We want to come back to Zimbabwe just to go to the Hide - but for a longer stay next time.
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel more than welcome.
The guides were fantastic and their knowledge made such a difference to our understanding of wildlife. Nothing was too much trouble for them.
We chose to have very full days to get the maximum from our visit and it all worked out extremely well, but others could spend the time enjoying wildlife at the waterhole.