Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
At a Glance
Scan the branches for lounging leopards as you drive through the quiet teak forest
Sit on the edge of the pool and look up into the eyes of the planet's largest land mammal
Stop in one of the wide vlei's, gin and tonic in hand, as the sun goes down - then take a night drive back to camp following the beam of the spotlight as it picks up the nocturnal animals
Watch the big bull elephants stand and wait at the solar powered water pumps - they know when the sun becomes powerful enough to get them working and don't miss out on a single drop
Set in it's own private concession, Somalisa offers you an exclusive game viewing experience without the risk of running into countless other vehicles and with the added bonus of being able to night drives within the concession.
To sit on the edge of the swimming pool at Somalisa looking up into the eyes of a herd of elephants is a truly out-of-this-world experience that will leave you pinching yourself.Scott Dunn team
Some of the bull elephants wander through camp during the day to hunt for pods that have fallen on the tents roofsLouisa Ross-Taylor
After your day's adventures on safari, unwind in your copper bathtub to freshen up before dinnerScott Dunn team
Spend an afternoon just relaxing at the camp, cool off in the pool and watch the wildlife come to you.Scott Dunn team
Enjoy a sundowner whilst watching the elephants take their evening bath in a nearby waterholeSophie Levey
Spend an afternoon relaxing by the swimming pool watching the local elephants coming to drinkAnnie Foot
Meet our specialists
To start planning your vacation to Somalisa Camp
Somalisa, and her smaller, more family-friendly sister-camp Somalisa Acacia, are set back to back on an island of large shady acacia trees in a private concession in the heart of Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. The camps enjoy great views along the savannah of the Kennedy Vlei line where herds of elephant process towards the camp to drink from the camp swimming pools or bathe in the mud at the waterholes.
Both Somalisa and Somalisa Acacia feature small swimming pools in which to cool off during the heat of the day. At Somalisa they have had to build a second pool for their guests as the first was being emptied quickly over the day as huge numbers of elephant came to drink from it, understandably seeming to prefer the sweet borehole water to that of the muddy waterhole below. This extraordinary sight is worth the trip to Hwange in itself, to sit mere yards from full breeding herds or huge bulls, greedily sucking and slurping up water, is quite an experience.
Somalisa Camp has seven luxury tented rooms, each with wooden floors and canvas walls and roofs. Each has extremely comfortable double or twin beds, a writing desk, deck to the front, indoor fireplace and ensuite bathroom with flush toilet and indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper rolltop bathtub.
Somalisa Acacia has just four tents; two large family tents, with one double bedroom and one twin bedroom, and two standard tents. This camp welcomes children of all ages and they are developing an exciting Kid's Programme for their young guests.
Activities from here are varied, including game drives, walking safaris, game viewing from hides and bird watching.
Somalisa Camp consists of six tents, while Somalisa Acacia has two family tents and two standard tents.
All tents are en-suite with flush loos, indoor and outdoor showers with hot running water and beautiful copper bathtubs.
Hot water bottles are provided to ward off the chill over the cold winter nights. The tents also have an internal fireplace which are lit during the cooler months.
There are no age restrictions at Somalisa Acacia and they have two fabulous two bedroom family tents. However, Somalisa is not recommended for children under the age of 7 years old, and there is a minimum age of 16 for walking safaris at both camps.
Meals are taken at the mess tents of either camp. Dining is communal and guests are joined by their guides and the management who are adept at answering the endless questions you have at the end of a day's safari. The guides will always keep an eye on the waterhole below and it is not uncommon to spot lion and hyena coming down to drink in the darkness. If you do wish to dine privately though this can of course be arranged.
Activities at Somalisa include guided walking safaris and game drives as well as game viewing from hides and bird watching. The highly qualified and passionate guides are trained and tested by Beks Ndlovu, owner of the camps and himself a highly recognised Zimbabwean guide.
Location & Directions
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Somalisa is set on a private concession at the heart of Hwange National Park in north-eastern Zimbabwe.
When to go
From mid May through to early August the days are warm and clear but the night time temperatures can drop below freezing. September through to May is generally hot in the day and warm at night, Hwange sees rain from late November to April.
The best time for game viewing is from August to early November, water is scarce, the bush has died back and game congregates around the pumped waterholes. Birdlife is prolific during the rainy season, and although the game has dispersed due to readily available surface water, this is still a great time to experience Hwange as the National Park hums with life.