Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park
Camelthorn Lodge - Hwange National Park

CAMELTHORN LODGE - HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

Camelthorn Lodge is nestled in a patch of pristine woodland just west of Ngamo on the edge of the south eastern corner of Hwange National Park and is just outside the park in a private concession around 10 minutes' drive to the park gate. The main lodge is unique in design and has a huge ancient Camelthorn tree that spans a 35-metre outdoor dining area as its centrepiece.

The Lodge is strategically placed to explore the remote and unspoilt south eastern area of Hwange National Park and offers a spectacular wilderness experience. Less than a kilometre away from the lodge you can enjoy the underground blind in front of a beautifully located waterhole. Camouflaged as a termite mound and buried under an ancient Mitswiri tree - the photographic opportunities are dramatic. Elephants can be photographed from toe level silhouetted against the sky at a distance of 25 feet.

Enjoy al fresco dining under the ancient camelthorn tree, savour your morning coffee in front of a roaring fire, track herds of elephant by foot and enjoy close up photography from inside the fabulous look-up hide. 

LOCATION

Camelthorn Lodge is located in a private concession just outside the south eastern corner of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.  Access is via a 1 hour light aircraft flight or 4 hour road transfer from Victoria Falls and Bulawayo.  You can also take a 2 hour road transfer from Victoria Falls to Dete and then a 2.5 hour rail car transfer from Dete Station.

CAMP

The lodge has just 8 ensuite villas with a bath and feature window overlooking the woodland, large shower, closed off toilet, fireplace, a private ground level deck, upstairs outdoor maisonette with hammock and day bed and electricity by diesel/solar generator.

Main lodge is a magnificent stone structure with thatch roof built in an open U around an ancient Camelthorn Tree.

The woodlands surrounding the forest villas are dotted with small water baths that attract some of the smaller and less destructive woodland creatures - bushbuck, mongoose, squirrels and an abundance of interesting and colourful birdlife.

ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

Hwange National Park is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe and was granted Game Reserve status in 1928 and proclaimed a National Park in 1961.

Hwange has an incredible diversity of wildlife and boasts more varieties of mammal and bird species than any other Zimbabwean National Park. There are over 100 species of mammals, including 19 large herbivores such as buffalo, eland, sable and wildebeest and over 400 bird species. The area is particularly famous for its population of elephant - some 44,000 strong based on the latest aerial survey - and combined with the elephants of northern Botswana this is the world’s largest contiguous elephant population.

The southern two thirds of the park are ecologically defined by deep Kalahari sands which support impressive forests of Zambezi teak and other hardwoods. Scattered within these woodlands are ancient fossil lakebeds and drainage lines which are now large savannah grasslands fringed with acacia and leadwood trees.

Bomani and Camelthorn are located close to Ngamo - this mix of open grasslands and woodlands provides the perfect mosaic of habitats for the full spectrum of both grazing and browsing herbivores resident in Hwange and the carnivores that prey on them - lion, leopard, painted dog and both species of hyena - spotted and the seldom seen brown. This abundance of wildlife set in both woodlands and open grasslands provides some of the best year-round game viewing to be found anywhere in Zimbabwe.

During the wet season months from December through March the ancient lake systems still fill with water and the open grasslands are flooded, attracting migratory birds from all over Eurasia and Africa. Over 300 species have been recorded in the Bomani and Camelthorn area, both migrants and residents.

In the far south of the Park is the Dzivanini wilderness area with only one concession, where Jozibanini Camp is located. Remote and very wild, Jozi is for the more adventurous who wish to see the wildlife there and explore the fossil sand dunes and ancient elephant trails between them.

Northern Hwange is distinctly different from the south, drained by the Lukosi and Deka Sand Rivers and dominated by mopane woodlands, hills and kopjes. Set firmly astride the southern and western Kalahari Sand and northern mopane woodlands ecotone is Nehimba Lodge. A fascinating feature of the north west are the natural seeps such as Nehimba and Shakwanki where elephant and other animals still dig for water.

The grasslands of the Shumba area add further diversity and the dams such as Masumo and Mandavu make for wonderful day trips and picnic lunches. Another fascinating all day game drive trip in northern Hwange is to visit some of the interesting ancient archaeological sites at places such as Bumbuzi and the Mtoa Ruins, important to the history of Chief Hwange and the Nambya people resident north of the Park.

Game Drives – morning game drives with tea, coffee and biscuits and afternoon drives with drinks and snacks are in open safari vehicles driven by experienced guides

Game Walks – usually taken in the mornings with a highly experienced professional guide.  Walking is brilliant to get closer to all the small things you may miss whilst on a game drive and are Ideal for photography of big game on foot.

Underground Blind - Camelthorn has a 6m long underground blind with ensuite flush toilet

strategically positioned in the shade of a Leadwood tree.  Designed to take advantage of both the sunsets and the evening light at elephant toe level this blind is great fun for taking up-close photos of elephants and other wildlife at unusual angles.

Night Drives – to view the array of nocturnal wildlife found in the area are normally on return from the afternoon activity or after supper – particularly when lion are heard calling nearby.

Pump Runs - Imvelo Safari Lodges operates 8 waterholes for the wildlife within this area of the park, the furthest of which is 55 km into the Park.  The lodge offers an all day trip into the park to visit the waterholes and drop fuel and oil for the motors and rations and supplies for the pump attendants.  A picnic lunch is then enjoyed near one of the waterholes before taking an afternoon game drive back to the lodge

School Tours and Village Visits – the village of Tsholothso is 15 minutes’ drive from the lodge and you will have the opportunity to experience village life in rural Matabeleland and visit a local school.

Daily Horse Rides - the open grasslands and forest groves of the Ngamo Plains is ideal for horse-riding and several activity options have been designed for riders of different experience levels.  There is a weight restriction of 90kgs and no children under 16 years of age (children 7 years and above are permitted on the Beginner Bush Experience).

All rides are tailored to rider’s experience and led by experienced, qualified guides and trackers. The pace is determined by safety and terrain and is mostly fast walking and trotting and where safe a canter and gallop. Rides are from 1 hour to an 8 hour excursion.

Pop Up Spa - Imvelo’s ethos is to enrich the lives of local people and have strong links with communities around the lodges.   Spa treatments fall in line with the tradition of empowering the community through providing jobs in tourism and the beauty therapists have been hand-picked from the surrounding community area and trained locally.

Spa treatments are available at your private villa on the maisonette level, overlooking the unspoilt acacia woodlands or a destination treatment can be arranged in the Camelthorn concession, close to the lodge, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

GIVING BACK

Ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel whereby portions of the funds generated from visitors are used to directly benefit and empower local communities and promote environmental sustainability.

Game water supplies and Imvelo’s interactive ‘pump runs’ that involve guests directly, mobile dental clinics, village boreholes, water pumps, building schools and school libraries and providing educational aids… the list goes on. Imvelo has spent over 20 years creating symbiotic relationships between man and nature and have formed some mutually beneficial relationships with its surroundings. 

Some if Imvelo’s conservation initiatives include providing game water supplies, fire protection, wildlife buffer zones, raptor protection and education, rural conservation awareness, anti-poaching initiatives and support and presence and support in peripheral areas of the park.

Some of the company’s community initiatives include providing clean water, providing health care, education and all the lodges are part of Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE looking at local community involvement in tourism and wildlife conservation.

CAMELTHORN LODGE IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

THE CAMP WELCOME FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AGED 7 YEARS AND OLDER

Call +44 1386 830264 or Email [email protected]

Our expert staff are on-hand, happy to assist with any enquiry you have.Enquire