Reviews of Rhino Safari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Disappointing Camp but great birding
Compared with the standards set by the other camps we stayed in, Rhino Camp was something of a disappointment. Despite the friendliness of the manager and our guide, we felt that this camp is being run on a shoestring budget with some maintenance and safety issues.
In general the accommodation and food were ok, however, some basics such as shower gel and fresh juices were not available and we felt that this may have been because we were the only guests in camp.
In our opinion rustic should not necessarily mean run-down and a bit ramshackle. We experienced boat engine breakdown and a safari vehicle with serious suspension problem that led to most uncomfortable game drives (this was rectified but should not have occurred in the first place).
The most alarming item was the total lack of radios with communication being by mobile phones that were dependent upon the, not always available, signal. This was something of a worry when on game drives but more so when on the 1.1/2 hour boat transfer across Lake Kariba for our onward air transfer. We suggest that this is a serious safety issue.
It should be noted that, due to the low water levels of Lake Kariba, the buffalo herds, together with many other varieties of animals have not been present for several years and that Rhino have all but disappeared from Matusadona.
We feel that, despite the excellent guiding of Steve and the friendly nature of camp manager Levi, the place we experienced was lacking the hands on "hosting and gracious hospitality" of owner Jenny who appears to spend very little time at the camp.
A Great Safari Camp
The Camp is in a great location, right on the edge of Lake Kariba, and we loved the accommodation. It is raised on high platforms & open sided. The staff and the food were very good and the guide, Stephen was excellent.
We saw Elephant, Impala, Hippos & Crocs but the rest of the wildlife is quite scarce and very hard to see.
Basic but charming.
Very different to our other camps, Rhino was all about the outdoors. Although the fabled owners where not there during our stay we where hosted admirably by Stephen and Levi.
Food was simple but tasty and the rooms where simple but comfortable. Highlight was the water safaris; lake Kariba is beautiful and seeing Lions from the water will be a memory that will stay a long time. Another highlight was watching Hippos grazing below our cabin.
This is a fantastic place to spend 2 or 3 nights.
Rhino Safari Camp review
Well run camp with excellent guides, unfortunately no rhinos have been seen for weeks, if not months so the description of "It usually takes a substantial amount of time to track black rhino on foot..." is true, but somewhat under-stated now. I'd suggest that this is revised in the Expert Africa brochure. It may be time to re-name the camp so that there is no false expectation.
Beautiful location on the edge of the lake with game highlights being cheetah, lion and elephant and water birds
Tracking the black rhino on foot
Overall experience was great. The camp is comfortable and intimate and located in a fabulous spot. Sceneries are magnificent, with the dead trees emerging from the lake and we got the most beautiful sundown pictures of our whole trip. Getting waken up in the middle of the night by elephants splashing in the lake 10 meters from our hut is unforgettable. The guides are very knowledgeable and fun, entertaining guests around the fire camp with fantastic stories. Jenny and her people took very good care of us and the food was good and plentiful. The most wonderful experience was the tracking of the black rhino on foot. We found a mother and her calf after 2.5 hours of following their tracks and it gave a great sense of accomplishment! Overall we enjoyed the variety offered by the walking, boating and vehicle safari possibilities.
Despite this I only rate the activity part as good instead of excellent for 2 reasons:
- The main one is that the variety of game viewing is limited. Especially the 'large herds of buffalos grazing on the shores of the lake and supporting a large lion population', which are described in all Matusadona brochures, are a thing of the past and they disappeared several years ago, when the level of the lake increased. We did in fact not see a single buffalo or lion. It would be more honest not to advertise this anymore.
- The second (minor) issue we had is that Rhino camp had to share its boat / vehicle resources with a nearby tented camp, which resulted on day 2 in the morning in the unavailability of the jeep our guide had planned to use for a driving safari. The driving safari was replaced at the last minute by “let’s walk around the camp and see what we found”, which was pretty disappointing.