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Camelthorn Lodge

Unique luxury Safari Camp situated in the remote south eastern corner of Hwange National Park offering phenomenal game viewing opportunities

Fantastic photo opportunities Beautiful interiors Beautiful interiors Get there by rail safari Excellent game of Hwange

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Hidden away in the Acacia Forests bordering the Hwange National Park, this unique lodge has a complete atmosphere of its own. Unlike other 'traditional' Safari camps, Camelthorn Lodge has moved away from the Safari tents and wooden decks that have almost become the norm and brought the feel of a Spanish villa to the African bush.

Placed right on the border of Hwange National Park's south eastern section - this is a beautiful piece of Africa. The lodge is nestled in under one of the few untouched Camelthorn Acacia forests left in this area. Only a couple of minutes’ drive into the park is the famous Ngamo Plains of Hwange, amazing open savanna dotted with acacia woodland. This area is well known for its huge elephant populations, especially in the dry season. Along with buffalo, wildebeest, impala, zebra, giraffe and many more species this area teams with game. These large concentrations of game also bring in the predators and resident lion, cheetah and painted dog are often seen. During the rainy season the plains transform into an enormous shallow lake bringing with it an abundance of birdlife.

Camelthorn lodge itself has its own unique feel, eight spacious villas take in the feel of the forest. Each beautifully finished with their own en-suite bathrooms. Being cool in the summer months and warm in the winter, these rooms are very comfortable. The main area is also very nicely finished with the dining area having large glass sliding doors that can be closed in the winter to keep out the biting cold of the night air. The focus, however, is an ancient Camelthorn Acacia in the centre of the lodge, after which the lodge was named.

Camelthorn Lodge offer a wide range of activities, including game-drives, game walks and night drives each with top quality professional guides that know the area well. Some of the more unique activities include the 'Village Visit', allowing overseas guests a great insight into the lives of the local population and the contribution that Camelthorn makes to the nearby villages.

Another activity is the 'pump run'. This is a full day activity, where you will visit all the water pumps in the area that Camelthorn service, join in and help deliver fuel to these diesel pumps and do your bit for the conservation of Hwange’s wildlife. Then there is Stoffies hide - a container sunk into the ground in front of a very active waterhole. This outstanding experience offers toe level viewing of massive elephants only a few meters away.

Tour of the Rhino sanctuary headquarters includes meeting some of the Community Wildlife Protection scouts on duty that day, and hearing a short talk on the origins of the Cobras unit and how they protect the rhino, as well as the future plans for our ground-breaking Community Rhino Conservation Initiative. You get to do a walking tour to view and spend time with the rhino and the Cobra Rangers guarding them 24/7 – lots of photo opportunities and quality time to watch and enjoy the rhino in their home on the Ngamo plains (how close one will be able to get to the rhino is subject to conditions on the ground).

As Camelthorn is remote, more than 5 hours’ drive from Victoria falls, guests are encouraged to fly in or out by private charter to the nearby airstrip and then transfer at least one way on the unique Elephant Express railcar, which is a must do experience and a safari all in itself.

Being part of Imvelo safaris, Camelthorn is great when paired with her sister camps in Hwange, Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park.

Our Opinion

The unusual stone architecture of the villas at Camelthorn makes it one of those lodges that you will either love or hate. Spectacular game viewing opportunities are almost guaranteed on the concession that this camp sits adjacent too and its remoteness, away from the maddening crowd, is what particularly appeals to us. Ensuring an authentic and exclusive safari experience for our clients, which cannot be over emphasized enough. Unforgettable activities such as the hide sit at Stoffies pan will leave you feeling high with pleasure. During the rainy season, this south eastern section of the park is the best area to go and during the cold winter months the cosy fireplaces in each room certainly add to this camps appeal.

Our only disappointment would be that Camelthorn does not overlook a waterhole teaming with wildlife as many other camps do but the upside of this is that the surrounding vegetation has not been decimated by elephants and therefore it stands in a lush grove of acacia trees buzzing with birdlife.

As with all Imvelo safari camps, we have no hesitation in recommending the guides or the service, it’s personalised and in the top range. Suitable for first time or seasoned safari goers looking for a bit of luxury and a quality game viewing adventure. Camelthorn's active involvement in community projects is also appealing to many people.


The varying seasons in Hwange will have a huge impact on your wallet and Safari experience.

The Green season (rainy season) will see incredible bird and insect life but reduced animal sightings. However lodge prices in most cases are dramatically reduced offering really good value.

The High season (dry season) is when animals congregate in vast numbers around the waterholes and National Geographic type scenes are commonplace. This is peak season and lodge prices escalate substantially.

Please feel free to contact us with details of your preferences and allow us the opportunity to discuss which time of year is going to suit you best.

**NB** Hwange Lodges in the peak season get over booked, it is advisable to plan and book well in advance to ensure you get what you want.

• Located in the remote south eastern corner of Hwange National Park
• Modern and luxurious Mediterranean style stone walled villas
• Beautiful area with open savannahs and acacia woodland
• Well known for its excellent game viewing opportunities
• Wide range of activities including game drives and walks along with some other unique options
• Top quality professional guiding
• Best as a fly in or out combined with the Elephant Express rail safari transfer
• Great specials when paired with Camelthorn's sister lodges in Hwange, Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park

PRICE before special offers
Approximate price per person sharing per night

US$ 675  May to November

US$ 700  January to December

Special reduced rates January to April & November to December

Accommodation at Camelthorn Lodge

• 8 Mediterranean style villas with stone walls and spacious interiors
• Bedrooms with King or Double twin beds
• En-suite bathrooms

All rooms have:

• En-suite bathroom with bath, shower, basin and toilet, and feature window overlooking the woodland
• Comfortable lounge with ceiling fans and fireplace
• Ground-level deck
• Overhead fans
• Upstairs outdoor maisonette with hammock and day bed
• Mini-bar
• Coffee and tea tray
• Mosquito repellent and nets
• Digital safe
• Emergency whistles
• Bath robes
• Hairdryer
• Mobile lamp
• Fireplace
• Hatch for receiving early morning tea and coffee


• Remote location offering exclusive and personalised game viewing experience
• Bedrooms are cool in the summer and warm and cosy in the winter
• Some unique activities over and above the standard game viewing options
• Activities are tailored to suit individual client requirements
• Excellent game viewing options all year round
• Top quality guiding
• Good value specials when combined with their sister camps


The lodge itself is not situated in a game concession although it is only minutes from the Hwange National Park entrance


• Fine dining in the main dining room or under the large Camelthorn, dependant on the weather
• Bespoke and exclusive picnic lunches at waterholes or hides
• All meals and beverages are included in the rate (premium brands excluded)
• Picnic lunches, teas, drinks and snacks are provided during game drives and pump runs

Facilities and Services

• Main lodge with large dining room and fireplaces, lounge, reception, bar and outside lounge on the deck
• WiFi
• Laundry service
• Electricity by diesel/solar engine
• Morning and afternoon game drives, food and drinks provided;
• Game walks usually in the mornings;
• Night drives;
• Game viewing underground blinds;
• All day drives and pump runs with picnic lunch included;
• Village visits and school tours

Fully Inclusive Rates Include

• Accommodation
• Two activities per day
• Laundry service
• 3 Meals daily and local beverages
• Transfers from Bomani Airstrip, Sipepa Airstrip (1 hour road transfer), or Ngamo Siding (20 min road transfer)

Fully Inclusive Rates Exclude

• Horseback safaris
• National Parks Fees and Rhino Conservation Levy
• Curio shop purchases
• Premium wines and imported liquor
• Telephone calls
• Transfers other than specified
• Gratuities


• Children under 7 are allowed only by special arrangement and must sign an agreement.

How to Get to Camelthorn Lodge

• You can take a 1 hour small plane charter from Victoria Falls Airport or Bulawayo Airport to Camelthorn's private airstrip. The cost of the road transfer from the airstrip is included in the rates.
• A 4-hour road transfer from either Victoria Falls or Bulawayo.
• After a road transfer into Hwange (approx. 2 hours from Victoria Falls), you can take the 2.5-hour Elephant Express rail transfer which departs from Dete Siding to Ngamo. A game vehicle will pick you up from there to Camelthorn Lodge.

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