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Camp Amalinda

Matopos Hills, Zimbabwe

Camp Amalinda is a privately owned safari lodge set within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Matobo Hills National Park in south-western Zimbabwe. Stay in one of nine Flintstones-esque chalets built around the rocks as your base for exploring Matobo.

At a Glance

  • Paul Hubbard is the legendary guide on all things related to Zimbabwean history

  • Beautiful rock swimming pool with incredible views

  • Stone cottages built into the rocky hill

  • Every cottage is uniquely designed

  • Use Camp Amalinda as a base to explore the Matopos Hills and the many historic monuments in the area

  • Visit Rhodes' Grave on the summit of Malindidzimu, the 'hill of the spirits', and the rock art of Inswatugi Cave

  • The passion of the staff here is tangible and it feels like being part of a family.

Adventure, Couples, Culture, Honeymoon

Insider's View

Explore the surrounding caves to experience the incredible San rock art.

Louisa Ross-Taylor

Insider's View

Learn about Rhodes' explorations in Southern Africa.

Louisa Ross-Taylor

Insider's View

One of the most dramatic and iconic landscapes in Africa. The Matopos is well worth a visit for the views and special atmosphere of this rock strewn landscape.

Scott Dunn team

Insider's View

If you're based at Camp Amalinda, it is worth heading in to Bulawayo for lunch at the Bulawayo Club. Feel the ghost of Rhodes in the wood-panelled bar.

Scott Dunn team

Insider's View

Stay in Room 8 for the most amazing ‘Loo with a View’

Scott Dunn team

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Camp Amalinda or take a look at our itineraries to Matopos Hills and Bulawayo

Description

Camp Amalinda is made up of just nine stand-alone thatched chalets, built into the granite rocks of the Matobo (or Matopos) Hills. The area is home to both black and white rhino species, which you can track by vehicle or on foot, and the Matobo Hills offer some great walks in this unique landscape to the top of the granite dwalas. Visit ancient rock art sites which have been used over the centuries by the San Bushman tribes, learning about their rituals from your guide. The area is also the final resting place of Cecil John Rhodes, and a guided visit here to learn all about Rhodes and his legacy is not to be missed. It is a fascinating area, and offers a lovely compliment to a safari in one of the wildlife-focussed areas of Zimbabwe such as Hwange or Mana Pools.

The activities at Camp Amalinda are varied and engaging, the highly qualified guiding team here are passionate about the surrounding area, and the history of their country as a whole. They will ensure that you learn throughout your stay and leave with lasting memories.

The quirky rooms are built in and around the rocks, reminiscent of a Flintstones house, each with an ensuite bathroom. All of the bedrooms have mosquito netted beds, and there are sitting areas and African artwork and artifacts. Three of the rooms are family rooms, with two double beds in each, ideal for a family of three wanting to share. There is also the Homestead, originally the home of the owners, which has three bedrooms and a shared lounge, ideal for families.

There is a swimming pool and loungers where you can unwind when not out on activities, and a lounge and library area with plenty of wildlife and history books where you can learn more about the area. There is also a spa offering relaxing massage treatments.

The style here is rustic and characterful, rather than particularly luxurious, and in some cases the decor is a little dated. However, the overall atmosphere at Camp Amalinda is warm, welcoming and the staff go out of their way to make your stay a comfortable one. Meals are served communally and are delicious home-cooked dishes. The camp is the best option in the Matobo Hills area and a great option as long as you are not expecting five star polished luxury.

Accommodation

A total of nine thatched chalets are set against the huge boulders of the Matopos Hills. Two of the rooms are honeymoon suites with vast and comfortable king-sized beds. Three rooms are suitable for families with two double beds in each, and one is a smaller twin room.

Each room has been designed differently to give all a distinct look and feel. All are en-suite with showers and toilets built into the granite rock face. All beds have electric blankets to ward off the winter chill.

The Homestead is the original family home of the Stead family who lived here for 26 years. There's a master bedroom with ensuite and private deck and two additional bedrooms with outside decks which share a bathroom. There is a kitchen and lounge area, and private meals can be enjoyed here or guests can dine at the main lodge. You can enjoy activities from the main lodge and use the swimming pool there too.

Thatched Chalet

Double rooms with a queen-sized bed.

Lobengula Suite

Honeymoon Suite

Rhodes Suite

Honeymoon Suite

Family Room

Each has two double beds.

Twin Chalet

One twin bed chalet.

Homestead

The Homestead is the original family home of the Stead family who lived here for 26 years. There's a master bedroom with ensuite and private deck and two additional bedrooms with outside decks which share a bathroom. There is a kitchen and lounge area, and private meals can be enjoyed here or guests can dine at the main lodge. You can enjoy activities from the main lodge and use the swimming pool there too.

Childcare

Children are welcome at Camp Amalinda and, while there are no specific activities tailored for children, there is no shortage of things to do to keep them active through the day. Due to the outdoor swimming pools and setting of the camp, young children should be supervised at all times by their parents.

Facilities

The lounge and entertainment area of the main lodge are tucked away in a 'bushman shelter' with dramatic panoramic views of the Matopos. Meals are served around a huge teak table in the open air dining room and there is also a large deck that can be used for exclusive groups. The main lodge also contains a snug library and chess room. A natural cave acts as the camp wine cellar. On the colder evenings of winter, guests often choose to sit around a warm fire and share stories from the day's experiences.

A large swimming pool surrounded by comfortable sun-loungers and a bar is a great place to relax between activities in the heat of the day.

For those after some pampering, try a visit to the Heritage Spa. Camp Amalinda benefits from an in house masseuse.

Activities

Activities at Camp Amalinda include game drives in the national park, but the best way to explore the area is on foot. An historic trek to Rhodes' grave is not to be missed, both for the history and the dramatic views. Be sure to head to the top of one of the granite kopjes for a sundowner drink to remember. Other walks include visits to the caves of the area to witness the bushman paintings within. On request, the camp can organize walking safaris with qualified guides who focus on tracking rhino on foot.

For the more adventurous, abseiling down the boulders of the Matopos can be arranged, an exhilarating way to gain a different perspective on this unique landscape.

We recommend that you request Paul Hubbard to accompany you on at least one day of your stay at Camp Amalinda. Paul is a professional archaeologist and has a wealth of knowledge on the local area and Southern African history as a whole. There is an added cost to have Paul guiding you, but it is worth every penny.

Location & Directions

Matopos Hills, Zimbabwe

Camp Amalinda is located within the Matobo National Park. The camp is only 20km from Bulawayo airport, and 45km from Bulawayo itself.

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, The Matopos see 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 areas of permanent water. 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 The Matopos Hills as the area hums with life.

During the hotter times of year, focus will be on early morning and afternoon activities as the heat of the day can be oppressive and best enjoyed by the swimming pool.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Camp Amalinda or take a look at our itineraries to Matopos Hills and Bulawayo

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