This is a selection of some of our favourite Zimbabwean safari lodges and luxury tented camps, most of which we have personally visited and can offer our honest suggestions and first-hand advice on.
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A'Zambezi River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The lodge is a stone's throw from the Zambezi National Park, and is also the only hotel in Victoria Falls with a jetty site and river frontage. The hotel is about 10 km from Victoria Falls and surrounded by natural bush.
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa is a luxury lodge situated on a high hilltop overlooking the massive expanse of Lake Kariba - the world's largest man-made lake - and it's game-rich shores. Various game activities and excellent tiger fishing are on offer at this tranquil, exclusive lodge.
Perfectly positioned on a rise overlooking a perennial waterhole, Camp Hwange is professionally run by one of Zimbabwe's leading safari guides and offers an excellent safari experience filled with fascinating bush lore and a wealth of safari stories. Informal, yet with all the creature comforts, Camp Hwange offers all the benefits of a private concession: day and night game drives, off-road driving and bush walks with an experienced ranger.
Located in the remote north of Zimbabwe's rugged Matusadona National Park, Changa Safari Camp overlooks Lake Kariba. Family owned and run, this East African style tented camp offers authentic accommodation and a wide range of lake, beach and bush excursions that take advantage of its unique location.
This safari company has been going for 30 years in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools National Park and it consistently gets rave reviews. It's owned and run by ‘Stretch’ Ferreira, one of southern Africa’s most experienced and legendary guides. By all accounts, he seems to be an ‘elephant whisperer', able to communicate and develop relationships with individual wild animals and get really close to them and other dangerous game.
Ilala Lodge is the closest hotel to majestic Victoria Falls. Dine al-fresco at their award-winning restaurant while watching the spray from the Falls and its thundering. It's an eight-minute walk to the Falls and all the fun and activities on offer at Victoria Falls are a stone's throw away.
John's Camp is an intimate, tented safari camp located inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mana Pools, one of Zimbabwe's most beautiful game reserves and a popular destination for walking safaris. Overlooking the Zambezi floodplains in the quieter eastern section of Mana Pools, John's Camp offers a welcoming, authentic, off-the-grid, eco-friendly African bush camping experience.
Kanga Camp is in one of the most remote sections of the pristine Mana Pools area, a World Heritage Site not far from Chitake Springs. This vast, untouched wilderness is a veritable eden, offering excellent and varied safari experiences. Closed mid-December until 1 April each year.
Sitting atop its very own island in the expanse of Lake Kariba, not far from Bumi Hills, is Musango Safari Lodge. As with Bumi Hills, it’s just outside the Matusadona National Park. A small, well-established safari lodge, Musango is owned and run by the well-known Steve Edwards, former conservationist and warden of Matusadona, who personally guides and shares his incredible wealth of knowledge about the area, its wildlife and its history.
Deep in the wilds of the magical Mana Pools lies Nyamatusi Camp, the latest in the African Bush Camps collection. 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 welcomes guests to experience an authentic safari in ancient, untouched Africa. Open from April to the first week of January each year, Nyamatusi offers game drives, guided walks, birding, canoeing, and catch and release fishing.
Somalisa Camp is reminiscent of bygone heydays ... luxury and elegance coupled with untamed, pristine Africa. It offers sweeping views out over the grassy plains and overlooks an ancient, seasonal floodplain with a perennial pan where animals often congregate. As part of a concession, flexible game viewing activities are allowed, including night drives with huge spotlights and bush walks with a knowledgeable, expert ranger.
Newly opened (Nov 2018), Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel is the first of its kind in Victoria Falls, one of Africa's major attractions. Serene and luxurious, it provides a lovely base from which to explore the many sights, scenes and attraction the area has to offer. Or you can simply relax and take a break between safaris, watching as the wildlife comes to visit at the waterhole.