Zimbabwe’s largest and most popular conservation destination, Hwange National Park protects one of Africa’s biggest elephant populations. Watching the big herds coming and going at one of the many waterholes in the park is an incredible experience. There is plenty of other wildlife too, including a good variety of antelope, lions and even African wild dogs.

There is no shortage of places to stay in the park, especially when looking for an exclusive luxury bush experience. Read on for some of the top safari lodges and camps in Hwange National Park.

The accommodations below are not ranked in a specific quality order. 

57 Hwange Safaris

 

1. Somalisa Camp

Somalisa Camp This authentic bush camp is on the edge of a seasonal floodplain overlooking a pan where animals gather

Somalisa is an intimate bush camp where you’ll find raw nature and decadent luxury seamlessly combined. Seven beautifully decorated tents overlook the savannah plains on a private concession in the heart of Hwange National Park. With its full solar-power farm and water purification system, Somalisa leads the way in ecofriendly safaris in Zimbabwe. If you would like to add some adventure to your stay, there is the option to sleep out on a private platform overlooking a waterhole away from camp.
Somalisa Camp Tours

 

2. The Hide Safari Camp

The Hide Safari Camp This family-owned camp is one of the oldest in Hwange and offers reasonable value for money

Overlooking a busy waterhole in a private concession, The Hide Safari Camp is a great choice for a safari in Hwange. Accommodations are in 10 individually decorated luxury tents with private balconies and different arrangements of indoor and outdoor bathtubs and showers. One of the best features of the lodge is the underground hide (a shelter for observing animals), directly accessible via a 10m/32ft tunnel from the main deck. You’re guaranteed to get some impressive low-angle and closeup photographs from here. Another highlight that shouldn’t be missed is a night under the stars in your own private treehouse, the Dove’s Nest.
The Hide Tours

 

3. Bomani Tented Camp

Bomani Tented Camp Bomani Tented Camp has a rustic feel and offers great value for money

Bomani Tented Camp is located on a private concession on the Ngamo Plains, bordering the east of Hwange National Park. The open-air main lodge has a homey feel and offers panoramic views of a busy waterhole. Delicious meals are served at a communal dining table and you can finish the evening with a drink at the outdoor fire pit. Depending on animal movements, game drives can be on the concession or in the national park. For a unique travel experience, a trip on the Elephant Express tram is a must.
Bomani Tours

 

4. Verney’s Camp

Verney’s Camp This luxurious tented camp is great for watching animals coming and going from your private balcony

You’re in for a true wilderness experience when staying at Verney’s Camp, which is situated in a private concession in a remote corner of Hwange. It offers an old-school safari vibe with a luxurious touch. Ten spacious tents face a large waterhole that’s visited by a variety of wildlife throughout the year. In the Dry season, however, the elephant traffic becomes incredible. This is one of the best places to sit and watch herds of these giants meeting and greeting, splashing water, playing and fighting. Why go on a game drive with all this happening right at camp?

Verney's Tours

 

5. Khulu Bush Camp

Khulu Bush Camp This small bush camp offers an exclusive wilderness experience in a large private concession bordering Hwange

This intimate camp, run by Robin Pope Safaris, is set in a private concession bordering Hwange. The camp has nine tented chalets built on raised platforms. Their private balconies overlook an ancient river bend that attracts a good variety of wildlife. Each unit has an indoor and outdoor shower. The main lounge and dining area extends over a wooden deck overlooking the camp’s plunge pool, where elephants regularly stop for a drink. Predinner drinks are served around a fire pit, the perfect place to share your day’s adventures.
Khulu Tours

 

6. Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba Lodge Nehimba is a well-priced lodge on a large private concession with several water sources

Set in a large private concession in the remote northern part of Hwange, Nehimba Lodge consists of nine spacious canvas-under-thatch tents. The lodge overlooks a busy waterhole that acts as a magnet for thirsty elephants in the Dry season. So does the swimming pool. Meals are enjoyed communally around a large table, and activities, which include game drives, night drives and walking safaris, are tailored around your personal interests.
Nehimba Tours

 

7. Somalisa Expeditions

Somalisa Expeditions Somalisa Expeditions offers an authentic safari experience in just six elegantly furnished tents

Another great pick of the Hwange National Park lodges is Somalisa Expeditions. The camp is nestled in a grove of acacia trees in a private concession featuring the seasonal Somalisa Pans. Somalisa Expeditions offers the ambience of a mobile camp without compromising on comfort. It is a great choice for adventurous travelers looking for an authentic bush experience. Time permitting, a visit to the neighboring community is highly recommended.
Somalisa Expeditions Tours

 

8. Camelthorn Lodge

Camelthorn Lodge The luxury Camelthorn Lodge has an elegant modern design that steers away from the classic bush camp

Camelthorn Lodge lies in the heart of the private 162-hectare (400-acre) Ngamo Wildlife Sanctuary on the southern border of Hwange National Park. The elegant lodge comprises eight large villas decorated in a modern African style with mosaics and ethnic artworks. All villas have massive en suite bathrooms with bathtub and shower, while the elevated balconies, reached via a spiral staircase, offer great views into the canopy of an ancient camelthorn tree, the property’s namesake.

Two white rhinos, translocated to the sanctuary in 2022, often walk straight past the lodge, but can also be tracked on foot. Rhino trekking is currently only available to visitors staying at Camelthorn or its sister property, Bomani Tented Camp.
Camelthorn Tours

 

9. Little Makalolo

Little Makalolo This small luxury camp is a home away from home offering great walking safaris with quality guiding

Little Makalolo is an intimate bush camp overlooking a waterhole. It’s surrounded by a beautiful teak forest in a private concession in the eastern region of Hwange. The camp consists of only six tented suites, each with a private balcony and outdoor shower. If you’re looking for a classic bush camp safari experience, you can’t go wrong here. As is usual at all Wilderness Camps, the service at Little Makalolo is impeccable and the guiding is of the highest standard. An early morning walking safari and an afternoon spent in a hide photographing wildlife are highlights not to be missed.

 

10. Deteema Springs

Deteema Springs This unpretentious camp consists of just eight standing tents connected by a raised wooden walkway

This exclusive tented camp, set on a small private concession in the northeast of Hwange National Park, sprawls across a low rocky outcrop overlooking year-round natural springs that are clearly a favorite with the local elephant population. The comfortable stilted tents all offer great views. However, when staying at tents number 6 through to 8 you’ll most likely have some very close encounters with elephants drinking right below your balcony. Game drives are usually centered around Deteema Dam, a favored drinking spot for the resident wildlife.
Deteema Springs Tours

 

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57 Hwange Safaris

By Ariadne van Zandbergen
South Africa ZA

Ariadne is an Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author many guidebooks to African countries.

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