In the peak of Zimbabwe’s popularity, The Hide was well known among the several dozen camps and lodges in the vast Hwange National Park. Now one of the few that has managed the pretty impressive task of keeping its head above water, it is among a handful of choice places in this neck of the woods. The Hide has also enjoyed a face-lift, full body scrub, manicure and pedicure to come out looking shiny and new without losing its old-style charm.
Positioned to make the most of a waterhole that can be so busy you practically need traffic lights, the main building houses a lounge, an indoor and outdoor dining area and pool. With the new re-furb there will also be an upstairs lounge where you can get internet access (hmm... not crazy about this), though we are fairly confident that you’ll be so busy watching elephant and the like that your e-mail will be left unopened. The added little nooks for curling up with a good book or for private dining are a great addition.
You won't go hungry here but you also won't have the common problem of feeling like fois gras in the making...stuffed. Meals are simple and unpretentious.
Each tented room has a view of the water-hole from a shady verandah. Recently styled-up to reflect contemporary "safari chic", the decor is fresh and inviting. A few of the rooms have deep roll-top baths which is a real bonus during the chilly winter months. For the romantics and multi-taskers, the suites have baths outside so there is no need to miss any action at the water-hole while you are soaking off the day's dust in lavender bubbles.
Hwange is vast and game-rich with particularly enormous herds of elephant (numbering in the many hundreds) and buffalo (sometimes 1000+). The Friends of Hwange have kept water holes maintained around the park and these are the lifeline for the wildlife. There are also good populations of lion and wild dog among prolific plains game and a number of rhino. The green season is less abundant but you'll still see quite a bit. You have no excuse for not getting out and about here as there are four activities a day included in the price, including walks and night drives. You should also allow yourself time to just relax at camp or in one of the hides and just see what comes in. When we visited, the afternoon at the waterhole saw a steady flow of greater kudu, elephant, impala and giraffe.
There are two pro guides at The Hide, Daffy and Nicholas, who have long history in this area. They have extensive knowledge of their surroundings and are very informative if a little serious in their delivery.
The Hide also has a quirky little tree house called the Dove's Nest overlooking an open vlei and pan. You can arrange to be dropped out here either with dinner or after dinner and sleep out, surrounded by the night noises. Of course, you may not get much sleep but your partner's snoring may seem positively tame in comparison...
To make the most of Hwange, we recommend you allow 3 to 4 nights. It fits in well with Victoria Falls (only a 2 hour drive plus a 1 hour leisurely game drive) and Matobo National Park.