Many of Zimbabwe’s lodges were left to age gracefully during its previous period of unrest, however there are some small local operators that continued to promote for their country and offer a select few tourists the country’s true colours. Zimbabwe is also renowned for the quality of its guides and they go through a very extensive training process to become successful. We use only the best and can promise that whether you are staying in a luxury tented camp on the Zambezi River or a rustic lodge in Hwange, you are in safe hands.
In the northern reaches of Hwange National Park, Deteema Springs Camp enjoys an idyllic setting on the verge of Deteema Springs’ scenic waters and landscapes. Game is especially abundant during the dry season, when the natural springs are a vital water source. During this time a vast array of wildlife visit the springs directly in front of the camp. Deteema Springs Camp has eight safari tents, one of which is a family room, all with on-suite bathroom facilities. Each room also boasts a fan to keep guests comfortable during the hot summer months. Rooms are connected to the main areas by raised walkways, meandering between the natural rocks and indigenous trees. The hilly terrain, along with numerous seeps and springs, make the Deteema Springs environment a sought-after walking safari location. In close proximity to the camp is Deteema Dam, which attracts wildlife ranging from Hwange’s famed large elephant herds through to predators, antelope, smaller game and plentiful birdlife.
Ingwe Pan Camp nestles alongside a large secluded pan in the pristine Mana Pools National Park, which forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The camp is a 30-minute drive from the famed Mana flood plain and Zambezi River and is known for its excellent walking safaris.
Unlike the classic canvas tent, Matetsi’s interiors are sleek and modern with the use of stone, wood and copper materials alongside contemporary African furnishings and custom work by local artisans. Rooms, including dedicated family suites, are exceptionally spacious and luxuriously appointed with four-poster beds, stone double basins and private swimming pools framed by day beds and a river-facing deck. The food at the lodge is excellent, with a kitchen led by two of the country’s finest chefs. The property itself is set within a 55,000-hectare private concession on the fringes of Zambezi National Park, a wildlife haven made up of ancient acacia woodland, giant baobabs and sweeping grassland. Guests have the choice of an impressive range of activities right on their doorstep, from game drives and walking safaris to birdwatching, boat trips and fishing. Matetsi’s proximity to the mighty Victoria Falls also makes for convenient excursions to this natural wonder - including guided walking tours, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge and thrilling helicopter flights over the cascades.
Set in one of the wildest and most remote parts of Africa, on the banks of one of the oldest rivers in the world, Nyamatusi allows guests to experience an authentic view of the old untouched Africa. Inspired by the traditional custodians of the land who respected the river as the source of life, the design of the camp subtly incorporates the element of water and pays homage to the astounding beauty of the mighty Zambezi River. Six luxury tented suites offer uninterrupted views of the river and escarpment beyond, inspiring a feeling of remoteness. Here, visitors can watch the drama of the wild play out before their eyes on game drives, by foot and canoeing safaris and marvel at the incredible sights and sounds of one of Africa’s last remaining wild frontiers.
Located within a private concession in Zambezi National Park, Mpala Jena is an exquisite canvas tented camp overlooking the Zambezi River shoreline. The camp consists of four guest tents situated in the shade under variety of indigenous trees. The tents have a Moroccan influence throughout, with open (netted) views of the river. Each tent has en-suite bathroom facilities equipped with a bathtub, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins. There is decking at the front of the tent, leading to a private plunge pool with scenic views.
Completely refurbished and reopened under the African Bush Camps banner in December 2017, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge offers guests a serene getaway here in the northwest of Zimbabwe. Situated on a hill overlooking picturesque Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park, the lodge is ideal for those wishing to relax at the start or end of an African safari. Boasting a gym, spa, library, infinity pool and outdoor bar and dining deck, Bumi Hills caters for the discerning traveller looking to embed themselves in natural beauty without compromising on luxury. There are 10 rooms and two premium suites on offer here, all with spectacular views of Lake Kariba and its game-rich shoreline. There are plenty of activities to partake in here, both on the lake and on land; you can head out in a private boat and try your hand at catching the fearsome tigerfish, or take things easy with a sunset cruise or scenic lakeside walk. You can also choose to head deeper into the bush in search of fossilised dinosaur footprints, or take a game drive either to the Bumi Hills private concession or nearby Matusadona National Park, in search of lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and the rare black rhino. For something a little different, try a visit to a local village where you can learn about traditional Tonga culture.
Hidden under a canopy of camelthorn acacia trees, popular with the resident giraffes, on an ancient river system you will find Somalisa Camp. With a really authentic safari feel and an intimate atmosphere, alongside an understated elegance this camp is not to be missed. At night, paths are lit by paraffin lanterns guiding you back to your luxury tent where you will be able to take a shower under the stars, or sit and watch the nocturnal wildlife from your private veranda. Of the 6 tents, 2 are doubles and 4 are twins. They are in a horseshoe shape, all separated by not just distance but bush. Built with an "A" frame structure, the tents are solid with canvas roofs and walls, large mess windows help keep them airy – drawing the outside in. The rooms are scattered with dark teak furnishings - including a writing desk, a typical African feature. Join the elephants in the swimming pool, with a cup of tea or a cocktail.
The 12-bedded semi-permanent camp is set up each season in a new location on the banks of the Zambezi River, providing you with the opportunity to canoe and fish either from the banks or off an island in the middle of the river. All 6 twin-bedded tents and en-suite bathroom facilities have flush toilets and an alfresco hot bucket shower. It is a wonderful place to switch off and enjoy this beautiful park.
Perched on cliffs overlooking the Save River, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is a luxurious retreat providing access to one of Africa’s last remaining areas of pristine wilderness. Largely undiscovered by the outside world, Gonarezhou means “Place of Elephants”, and is home to not just a vibrant population of these majestic animals, but also an incredible diversity of landscapes and habitats, as well as an abundance of flora and fauna
Located high on the cliff-tops with stunning panoramas across Lake Malilangwe lies Singita Pamushana Lodge; within 135,000 acres of the Malilangwe private reserve. You will be surrounded by wildlife during your stay; including a wide range of big cats and the big five; as well as over 500 species of birds. There is a range of accommodation available at Singita Pamushana including four luxury suites and two chalets, each of these traditionally decorated with African style interiors and artefacts throughout; they also each have their own private plunge pool. There is also a 5 bedroom villa which is available exclusively; it comes complete with a private infinity pool and butler. From the lodge you will be able to participate in daily game drives through both Gonarezhou National Park and the 135,000 acre Malilangwe Private Reserve. There is also guided bush walks, sunset cruises and fishing available.