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“A wonderful choice” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pioneers Camp

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Pioneers Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A wonderful choice”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2013

We stayed 3 nights at Pioneers in November 2013 with our group of 10 Canadians. This was our first safari camp on our 3 week Africa trip. At first we were a little leary of staying in tents but when we got there and saw our rooms,we were totally blown away. Definitely not roughing it! Each tent has its own bathroom including shower. Beds are luxuriously surrounded by mosquito netting and very comfortable. They call it "gamping" - glamorous camping- and that it was.
The food was great, staff couldn't have done more to be helpful in assisting us newbies to African safari life. Some of our group were even fortunate enough to see leopards mating in the wild! Three of us went canoeing and loved it. The canoes are actually inflatable type canoes and very safe. Our group took up the entire camp so it was very private. The staff even put on our own private BOMA dinner on our last evening there. Keep in mind the camp is about an hours drive from Vic Falls over rough roads so do not plan to go back and forth. Upon leaving my cousin said "I could stay here for a month". That pretty much sums up our stay.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank visitxcda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wildfrontiers1, Owner at Pioneers Camp, responded to this review, 3 February 2014
I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay at Pioneers - we were there over Christmas & New Year (with the heavy rains), so we had limited game drives ... but its such a lovely little place, tucked away in the bush. I hope you can come back and visit us again soon - and stay longer!!
Thank you for taking the trouble to do your write up.. much appreciated. Debbie,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

Pioneers is a permanent tented safari camp located approx 25km upstream on the mighty Zambezi River from Victoria Falls & the Victoria Falls township, but it may as well be a half a galaxy removed, to the degree of uninterrupted, unobtrusive relaxation & safari related activities it offers discerning guests.

Yes, we spose some would say `rustic` but that`s a term too easily confused with `basic^& most certainly that`s the letter Z from the letter A removed from reality ... we`d prefer to say Pioneers Camp exudes uncomplicated elegance.

There are six tented guest suites, each one strategically & privately situated with glorious views of the Zambezi but at minimum 40m from the neighboring tented guest suite, therefore out of sight & totally private from each & other.

The `main` guest common areas part of Pioneers are under canvas & on a sandy base, trhe largest being a huge tented canopy, open sided lounge & bar ; a few steps removed on the back side from a guest loo & on the arrivals grassed front access, from the fire pit which at night is a magnet for sitting around, suitably armed with your favorite drop of tonsil tempering liquid, be that an ice cold beer, glass of red or white South African premium wine, an Amarula, or a top shelf aperitif.

The `dining area` is also under canvas & on a sandy floor 25m from the lounge & bar (call it a short stumble) & the dining table settings, ambiance & of particular mention the fresh ingredients that make up breakfast, lunch & dinner servings & the chefs ingenuity, can only be applauded loudly. Needless to say, you won`t leave Pioneers lighter than you arrived, so don`t fight it, go with the program & make the utmost of this wee slice of heaven.

The staff at Pioneers are indigenous Zimbabweans, many of them with many years of safari camp & lodge experience & it shows, making this safari product & guest service delivery a standout, stellar experience. As a word to the wise, you cannot stay here one night as you`d commit hari-kari knowing what you've done to cut yourself short; Pioneers is a minimum two night stay, we`d strongñy urge those who read this review to contemplate a third night as the variety of safari activities, ranging from pen 4x4 game drives in the National Park, to fishing expeditions on the Zambezi River renowned for it`s prolific fighting Tiger Fish which put up an amazing display of prowess hooked on light tackle; to Guided inflatable `canoe` styled craft excursions down river, or just chilling out, in a riverfront hammock, or maybe with a good book on the deck of your tented suite listening to the punctuated grunts of territorial hippo, cries of hunting kingfishers, a plaintive or bellicose chatter of hyeana & the roar of lions.

After dusk & in the early morning hours guides escort guests to & from their tented suites & each morning along with wake-up (if you choose to be involved in an early morning activity) they deliver a piping hot flask of tea, coffee & / or hot chocolate to the deckside table of your tented guest suite. The guest service is impeccable.

Access is by way of a provided pick up from VFA International airport, or from any Victoria falls hotel & it is a matter of an easy 45 minute `game-drive` in the National Park to Pioneers Camp. The transfer 4x4`s offer guests ice cold bottled water & the guides here are among the most professional & knowledgeable we have struck anywhere in Zimbabwe & Zim trained guides are widely regarded as the best in the safari business, bar none. The attached photos were taken during our stay, 9 days ago & you can bet the bank, we`re headed back there as soon as we can.

Allan & Muriel

Room Tip: Room 2 & 3 on the down river side of the dining area & main lounge are each very private &am...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Echeverria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kasane
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2013

This is a great place to stay. Although it doesn't have the immediate access to Vic Falls that the town hotels have, it is still only a short trip to the Falls if and when you want to see them. This means you can stay in the bush and visit the Falls which is a fantastic combination. The tents are very well set up and spacious and having an elephant next to where you are having lunch is much nicer than listening to cars going by. It's also nice and small so an ideal place to get away from the crowds. You can then combine the Vic Falls activities while having safari activities on your doorstep. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Safari and Guid... S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2013

After a few days of safari in Hwange, we arrived back at Victoria Falls Town and took a boat cruise to the newly opened Pioneers tented camp on the banks of the Zambezi River in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.This permanent camp is luxuriously rustic,charming and is located inside the park, on a lovely quiet stretch of shoreline with a natural spring-line through the site, which attracts an abundance of wildlife throughout the year. The camp is eco-friendly, with modern solar lighting, and efficient and correct waste disposal. At this stage there are 3 tents on the one side very close to the river bank and on the opposite side of the main area the other 3 tents seems to be more wild but private amongst the trees. I stayed in a tent close to the river and loved the sound of the Zambezi flowing down.
It is the perfect spot to be away from the touristy crowds in Victoria Falls town and was a great post safari nature experience. Though I would usually be caution to participate in walking safaris Charles our guide made me realize that walking in the wild close to a huge herd of elephant was one of the most rewarding activities one can do while on safari.
On our final morning after a hearty breakfast we enjoyed an adventures canoe trip lead by our expert guide Casper that took us along the Zambezi where we were picked up and taken to view the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side.
I would opt for a boat transfer in and a transfer by road back to town or as we did it as a partial canoe trip and then by road. A boat transfer to camp is 20 to 30 minutes. The drive into camp is 45 minutes but can take more if you stop to look at things. Canoeing can be started anywhere above camp or from camp depending with guests’ request. Shuttle into town can be done any time of the day considering that you have to be back in camp before dark and this is free of charge.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MariJacobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pioneers Camp

Property: Pioneers Camp
Address: Victoria Falls | Zambezi National Park, Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe
Region: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Zambezi National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Zambezi National Park
Hotel Class:4 star — Pioneers Camp 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Upper Zambezi National Park, located in close proximity to Victoria Falls, has many things to boast about. Our new luxury permanent camp is located inside the park, on a lovely quiet stretch of shoreline with a natural spring-line through the site, which attracts an abundance of wildlife throughout the year.This area has a healthy, and increasing game count and with the Zambezi River along the park’s boundary – there are many other activities available such as fishing, canoeing, sunset cruises as well as guided walking along the Mpala Jena springline.It is so close to Vic Falls you can easily go into town to enjoy some ‘adventure’, a game of golf, high tea at the Vic Falls hotel or anything else! In the park we will offer game drives, walking, bird-watching, and of course ‘river’ activities too.Phase one will be just six luxury tents, well appointed and nestled under shady trees. There is a central dining and lounge area to relax in. As with all our other camps, it will be eco-friendly, with modern solar lighting, and efficient and correct waste disposal. Your comfort and enjoyment is our prime concern and our dedicated team will look after your every whim. ... more   less 

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