Many people desire to go to Africa. We only know what we have seen on television, but do we see the full picture? Zimbabwe is a place one might consider visiting if you are searching for a budget destination.
Bush camps are perfect for explorers and adventurers, and especially for nature lovers. African bush camps act as a tourist attraction and contribute largely to the economy of not only the countries, but the entire continent. There are numerous top-notch bush camps scattered throughout Africa, and some of the very best ones are located in Zimbabwe.
To help you get familiar with African bush camps, here are 5 of the best ones in Zimbabwe you should definitely visit:
Kanga Camps at Mana Pools
Mana Pools is renowned for the heavenly walking safaris and the abundance of wildlife to accompany you. This place is full of life, with excellent guides to the completely natural wilderness. The Mana Pools National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, and continues to delight visitors even today.
The best time to visit Mana Pools is in the dry season throughout June to October, with September and October being the peak visiting periods. As October can be very hot, lots of animals will come to the rivers for a cool drink and to graze, giving you some unparalleled wildlife viewing experience. Of course, you will feel the intense heat as well, but it is well worth enduring just to see this magical sight. Most camps close during the rainy season (November to April) as the animals move away from the river, meaning you should avoid that period.
If you are looking for an authentic experience this might be a good fit. The 12-bed tented Kanga Camps is located within Mana Pools National Park along the floodplain of the Ruckomechi River. The tent camp has bathroom facilities. The showers and basins are situated outdoors. Moreover, the main area has a cozy lounge with a dining area that offers guests the chance to spend some heavenly moments.
The one thing that sets Mana Pools apart from most of the other safaris is its walking safari experience. Being a flood plain with plenty of open spaces and all around visibility makes the on-foot safari experience simply amazing. Guests are accompanied by experienced guides at all times, who are constantly vigilant to the risks and dangers around to ensure the safety of the guests. You can watch all of Africa’s most sought-after wildlife in this safari, including lions, hippos and crocodiles.
In addition to the regular safari experience, you can also experience the wildlife using biomimicry. This allows you to explore camps in Mana Pools through the lens of biomimicry, which uses high-tech equipment, such as individual headphones each calibrated to pick up the sounds of the wild. This adds a whole new dimension to safari camp experiences.
Linkwasha Safari Camps
Linkwasha is located in Hwange National Park and offers eight luxury tents and one family tent. There are activities for everyone to enjoy at Linkwasha. People who have never been to Africa might enjoy seeing wildlife while they are on a game, or they might enjoy interacting with locals at a nearby village.
People who have been to Africa before might enjoy walking through the savannah, or they might like to see some exotic animals like a sable, or gemsbok. The seasoned traveler might enjoy bird watching, or they might enjoy spending a night under the stars at Scott’s Pan.
Linkwasha does not provide wifi so make sure to plan accordingly. Rates change on a yearly basis so it is important to do your research before you book your stay. Costs are all-inclusive and include: accommodations, meals, local drinks, park fees, laundry, and activities.
Another way to enjoy the stunning beauty of the Mana Pools is with the help of Zambezi Expeditions – an exclusive camp overlooking the majestic Zambezi River. This 12-bedded mobile camp oozes luxury and is situated at the Mucheni 1 camping site on the banks of the Zambezi River.
The mobile camp will be set up near the Zambezi River before you arrive at the location. There are 6 twin-bedded tents, which have en suite bathroom facilities, including flush toilets and a hot bucket shower. There are also dining and seating areas, as well as 12V lighting and charging facilities, so that your camera is always ready to snap away at some unforgettable scenes.
Safari activities you can enjoy include canoe fishing from either the banks or off an island in the middle of the Zambezi River. In addition to fishing, you can also enjoy a game drive along the flood plain and reach deep into the heart of one of the most beautiful places in Africa. Wildlife sightings include an abundance of some of the most unique species – elands, elephants, water bucks, kudus, lions, leopards, African wild dogs, and huge herds of buffalo.
This camp has a minimum stay of two nights for at least two people. It provides the perfect combination to include with Kanga Camp, so that you can enjoy the Mana Pools to the fullest.
Bomani Safari Camps
Bomani offers 10 tents and one bungalow. There are 6 Hornbill Tents that are raised one meter from the ground. The 4 Spurwing Suites and the bungalow are at ground level.There are many activities offered at Bomani. Examples of things you can do include: game drives, birdwatching, pump runs, and visits to local villages, and schools.
Wifi is provided in the main lodge, but sometimes the connection is weak.If you are interested in staying at Bomani you should call to inquire about costs. All rates include: all meals, drinks, transfers and guided game activities – such as the game drives mentioned above. With all of the choices, it might be hard for people to make up their minds, but it’s hard to go wrong with these lodges.
The Somalisa Tented Camp, called ‘The Land of the Giants’ because of its big elephant herds, is located at the very heart of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. It overlooks a vast, seasonal flood plain, which allows guests to enjoy truly breathtaking surroundings while getting involved in the various available safari activities. This alone makes it one of the most stunning safari camps you can visit.
The best time to visit the Somalisa Camp is during the green season, which stretches from November to February and allows you the additional advantage of getting to watch plenty of African birds and other smaller animals.
The Somalisa Camp consists of seven Sail Tents that are elegantly furnished and equipped for both the hottest days and the coldest nights. The tents have attached bathroom facilities, and include showers and a bathtub in addition to flushing toilets. Guests can also have a relaxing soak in a small pool overlooking a waterhole, and watch the serene and peaceful sight of herds of animals coming for a cool drink.
Guests can enjoy wildlife sightings which include elephant, zebra, wildebeest, lion, giraffe and leopard, as well as the rare and endangered roan antelope. Professional, qualified guides accompany the guests at all times, staying alert to their surroundings while filling guests in with their vast knowledge of everything related to the bush. In addition to game watching, guests can participate in various activities, such as night drives.
These safari camps are considered among the best by travelers. They provide amazing safari experiences, serene scenery, and unforgettable memories. These places really are pieces of heaven on Earth, and the experiences they provide are magical.
Before You Leave
Before you start packing you need to find out if you need a travel visa and what the requirements are. This will vary from country to country so don’t make assumptions about whether a visa is or is not needed. Most countries in Africa require a visa for American citizens. When traveling to Africa one of two situations is likely to occur when a visa is required for entry into a country:
- You will be required to mail in your passport to the embassy of the country you will visit along with an application, an invitation letter, an itinerary, information about where you will stay in country, and a fee as well as well as anything else they ask for.
- You will be required to get a travel visa once you arrive in the country at your point of entry whether that be at an airport, or somewhere else.
Zimbabwe does require a visa and the situation number  (above) is what will be applicable when traveling into the country for tourism, or business. $30 USD is the projected cost for a single entry 30 day visa, and 60 USD is the projected cost for a multi entry 60 day visa.
Blank Passport Pages
If traveling through South Africa you need to have two blank visa pages. One is for your arrival in Africa, and the other is for your departure back to your home country. Entry could be denied if you do not have enough pages.
It is important to prepare yourself before you travel. One way you can prepare is to find a travel clinic or talk to your primary care physician and check into medications and immunizations you may need before you travel. You may have a strong immune system, but it is better to prepare yourself before you go than to deal with illness in Africa or en route to your home country.
The CDC recommends that people traveling to Zimbabwe receive several immunizations. The vaccines on the list include: yellow fever, hepatitis A, and typhoid.
It is recommended that people traveling to Zimbabwe take a medication to prevent malaria while they are in Zimbabwe. Malaria is spread through infected mosquitoes and then passed on to humans when they are stung. Africa is one of the places where malaria is most prevalent so it is important to ask your doctor about this if it isn’t brought up in your appointment.
Facts provided in this article were researched to the best of our ability, but errors/changes may occur. Please confirm all facts independently before acting upon them.