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“Funky Chic”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Somalisa Camp

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Somalisa Camp
Certificate of Excellence
california
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Funky Chic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

Its a one hour flight to a small dirt landing strip in the middle of Hwange National Park. Miles away from the big lodges and reserves lies this very special place called Somalisa camp. If you ever dreamed of a real safari experience this is the place for you. Lynette and our guide Mike went out of their way to make sure our experience met expectations. Fabulous morning and afternoon safari drives and hours spent just sitting on the deck with the elephants a few feet away made for a special visit. The food was excellent ( I still don't know how the chef did it in that little kitchen and the wood burning stove) and the service was perfect. Sitting around a big table with candelabras for light and a multi national guest list was great fun, Being greeted with a warm cup of coffee over the open fire every morning was the perfect start to the day.
Elephants everywhere..and I mean everywhere. During the 2 weeks traveling hundreds of miles to every possible style of lodge...this was by far the most fun. We'll be back.
Thanks Lynette!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ripmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, 11 June 2014
Thank you very much for your feedback on Somalisa Camp. It was wonderful to hear that you had such a wonderful experience and were so well looked after by Lynette and Mike. Our Team do pride themselves on focusing on the guest experience and ensuring your every need is met whilst in camp with us. Our private concession in Hwange National Park does allow for a unique and untouched safari experience, and the up close and personal encounters with the elephants is always a special occassion for both our guests and our team. Our Chef is incredibly talented in his ability to prepare such wonderful dishes in such a remote location and we are pleased you enjoyed the food. We look forward to welcoming you back and sharing more memorable experiences with you in the near future.
Warmest Regards from the Team at Somalisa Camp and African Bush Camps
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195 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dover, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2014

We arrived at Somalisa 41 hours after leaving home in New Hampshire, USA in July, 2013. Just driving to the camp we saw many animals and enjoyed our first sundowners next to a small pan. Greeted at the camp with warm washcloths and a cool drink, we felt welcome and comfortable immediately. A delicious dinner and a good night's sleep in our beautifully appointed tent were the perfect start to our African adventure. Our 3 nights at Somalisa, hosted by Sabrina and guided by Calvert, were just wonderful. Breakfast by the fire, walking and driving through the beautiful park, elephants at the plunge pool after lunch, celebrating our birthdays at tea, toasting our silver anniversary at sunset, every day was filled with new experiences, laughter and beauty. We are so grateful for the attention to detail and kind service provided.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kitty C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, 11 June 2014
Dear Kitty

Thank you so much for your review of Somalisa Camp and for choosing our camp to spend your birthdays and silver anniversary at. We feel privileged to have been able to share such special occassions with you and in such a wonderful setting as Hwange National Park! It was a pleasure to have you in camp and we are delighted that each day was filled with new experiences, laughter and beauty. We do hope you will have the opportunity to return to Somalisa to share more special moments with us and expand on the memories you made this last trip.
Warmest Regards
The Team at Somalisa Camp and African Bush Camps
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Hoedspruit, South Africa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2014

We loved our time at Somalisa a few weeks ago – it’s just the sort of camp we like – a combination of luxury & rustic charm. There really is a great feel to the camp and we were looked after extremely well. Ray was our guide and not only was he a good guide but a v good host as well – and with us at all meals which often doesn't happen in other camps. The plans to provide permanent hot water for the showers is a good one – whilst the idea of hot water on demand is part of a ‘real’ safari experience it is extra hard work for the staff and sometimes not convenient. We got caught in a monumental rain storm and came back to camp soaked and freezing – the staff were rushing about bringing us buckets of very welcome hot water & hot chocolate – getting drenched themselves but they did it willingly and in very good spirits. The food was excellent and Bernie is a great addition to the hosting & organizational team – the company definitely want to hang onto her. Despite the long grass (the park has had exceptional rains) the game viewing was good, particularly for elephants, and we were delighted to be able to photograph a host of smaller things from birds to bugs, amazing flowers and some stunning trees. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank kuyimba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, 11 June 2014
Dear Derek and Sarah
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Somalisa Camp. We are delighted we had the opportunity to host you at Somalisa Camp on your return to Hwange National Park and that our team looked after you so well. We do pride ourselves on offering an authentic experience for guests which is focused on the guiding and hosting and by the sounds of it we managed to successfully deliver on that during your time with us. The proposed plans for the conversion to running water showers are already under way and we are hoping to have these finalised by end of July all going well. So they should be ready on your next visit!
We look forward to welcoming you both back soon!
Warmest Regards
The Team at Somalisa Camp and African Bush Camps
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2014

Our family went on holiday to Somalisa for 2 nights in April 2014. The staff were fantastic and very friendly, thanks to Yvonne and her great team. Our guide was Armstrong and he really made the trip spectacular by seeing Lions twice, Cheetah twice, Bat Eared Foxes, and many, many other animals and birdlife. The Family Tent is spacious and comfortable, we tried to plan how we would steal the comfortable bed... but decided the camp staff would notice it on strapped to the roof of our vehicle.

Room Tip: If you are in a family group of 4 and want to be close but still have privacy the Family Room is won...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Tammy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, 11 June 2014
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Somalisa Acacia and we are delighted you and your family were able to visit us in Hwange National Park. April is a truely wonderful time of year to visit the area and the sightings during the "Green Season" for the past three years have been excellent and very consistent - especially in terms of predator sightings. We share your sentiments on the comfort of the beds and are happy you were able to have a comfortable nights sleep in the middle of such a remote wildlife area. We hope we will have the opportunity to host you and your family again!
Warm Regards
The Team at Somalisa Camp and African Bush Camps
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Queenstown, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Somalisa Acacia for 3 nights and it will be forever embedded in my heart!

The location of the camp is second to NONE. Only a short drive to Ngweshla where animals can be seen in abundance. The closest camp is an hour away so we were always the first into the park just after sunrise.

From the minute we stepped out of our jeep we felt at home. Bernie (the Manager/Host) was friendly and bubbly. She tolerated our wacky sense of humour and bent over backwards to accommodate our every needs. We now miss seeing her smiling face and friendly wave! She is running a well oiled machine at camp which is testament to her.

Mike (or as we nicknamed him Magic Mike) was our guide for the duration. His knowledge and passion for the bush is infectious. We hung off his every word - he took full advantage of this and we were delighted that he took pleasure in stirring us up and sharing a laugh with us.

Dophus our waiter was gentle and attentive. He put so much thought and care into the finer details which we all noticed and were thankful for. Not to mention his smile - he smiled, we smiled.

Sandie and Patrick the camps chefs provided us the yummiest food we have had in Africa to date. We even joined them in the kitchen to talk about their Thermomix. Amazing that they can whip up such culinary delights in such a remote location.

I can not speak highly enough of this little camp of magic! I had the opportunity to sit by the "pool" while an elephant drank from it one night which was very unexpected as it's the wet season so not commonly in the camp. Breathtaking.

I can only dream about returning one day and taking my son and husband with me. In the meantime I will fondly recall my stay and will regularly wonder what the crew at Somalisa are up to! Thank you just doesn't seem enough.

  • Stayed March 2014
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wallyau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

What delightful camp, in a great position. Bernie and Mike made us very welcome as did the rest of the staff. Food was great and so were the rooms. The Camp is in a great location. We stayed at Somalisa Acacia, which was really nice. A suggestion is to make sure there are enough seating in the lounge area and more loungers at the pool to accommodate the number of guests in camp. Thanks camp manager Bernie and our safari guide Mike for an enjoyable one night from Jonathan and Liz, Africa with Style

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, 13 March 2014
Dear Jonathan and Liz
Thank you so much for the review of Somalisa and we are delighted you had such a wonderful time. We have noted your comments regarding the seating and pool lounger furniture.
We appreciate your support and look forward to having the opportunity to host you and your guests again in the near future.
Kindest Regards
The Team at Somalisa and African Bush Camps
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
196 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

One stays in a tent like room. One can get a room with hot and cold running water or one with cold water only but hot water is added when one wants to take a shower. The tents can be a little warm. There are no fans though I believe they will be adding them in the near future. Bathroom is open at the top separated by a zippered mesh wall from the bathroom basically to keep out the bugs from the bedroom. I got a cool breeze eventually as I left all window and door flaps open. The food was good, not great but not bad either. The management, staff and the guides couldn't have been nicer and more accommodating.
2 game drives a day are included. I believe that the afternoon drives are better as the morning drives dont feature a lot of animals. They sleep as well.
On both sides of the camp are 2 water tubs for the elephants to drink. On the first night, 30-35 elephants showed up to drink. Around 4 pm the next day around 5 showed up as well as a few around 11 pm. Note you are 10 feet from them. One also can not walk without protection, once it gets dark.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Semelg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, 13 March 2014
Thank you very much for your review of Somalisa and we are glad that overall you enjoyed your stay with us in Hwange National Park. The up close and personal encounters of the elephants drinking from the pool are very special indeed and we are delighted you got the opportunity to experience this during your time with us. We hope to have the opportunity to host you in our camps again in the near future.
Kindest Regards
The Team at Somalisa Camp and African Bush Camps
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Somalisa Camp

Property: Somalisa Camp
Address: Hwange National Park, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Region: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Hwange National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Hwange National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Somalisa Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Somalisa Tented Camp is set in the heart of Hwange National Park Zimbabwe, and is known as the land of the giants for its big elephant herds. Nestled in a stunning location tucked away on an acacia island along the edge of an ancient seasonal flood plain, Somalisa provides guests with breathtaking views of the savannah plains across the famous Kennedy Vlei line. Recently re-built, Somalisa Tented Camp has upgraded its level of accommodation to that of complete comfort and luxury whilst still maintaining its focus on the guiding and hosting of guests to ensure the ultimate guest experience. Consisting of seven elegantly furnished Sail Tents with gauze sliding doors, a glass wood-burner fireplace for the cold winter nights, and an overhead fan for the hot summer days, each tent has en suite bathroom facilities including flush toilets, an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper slipper-style bathtub. The main decking area includes split level decking with a separate lounge and dining area, as well as a small splash pool for guests overlooking the “Elephant Pool” and a natural waterhole where herds of game congregate to drink and where guests can relax whilst soaking in the African bush. Activities include guided walks lead by qualified and passionate guides who will share their knowledge and love of the bush with you, game drives and night drives. Wildlife sightings include elephant, kudu, sable antelope, zebra, wildebeest, gemsbok, the rare and endangered roan antelope, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena, and many other wildlife species. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Somalisa Camp Hotel Hwange National Park

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