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“Terrific safari camp” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Safaris Little Makalolo Camp

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Wilderness Safaris Little Makalolo Camp
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Hwange National Park, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe   |  
Hotel amenities
Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Terrific safari camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2011

We recently visited Little Makalolo camp and had a wonderful time. From the warm welcome by camp staff (not only initially, but after each game drive) to the fantastic food, to the great game viewing, to the beautiful accomodations, Little Makalolo made our trip to southern Africa well worth while and one we would like to repeat. Wildnerness Safaris, which runs the camp, has truly figured out what it takes to make guests feel that they are welcome and appreciated. They employ professionally trained managers and guides and it pays off. Although we did not see rhino at the camp, we did see the other "4" of the Big 5--and not only once, but repeatedly. The safari vehicles, which were in excellent condition, were limited to 7 guests, but we never had more than 5, so everyone was able to take photos without obstruction from other guests.
The food was prepared and presented beautifully and was well-balanced and nutritious. Little things, like the chef grilling one evening by the tables, made our visit to Little Makalolo very special. Our guide, who was with us from arrival to departure, was very knowledgeable and took time to explain interesting details of the animal and plant life in Hwange. Night drives used red-tone lights to protect the animals sight--one of many steps taken to show that Wilderness respects the environment.
The camp was solar powered, yet there was no shortage of electrical power. Steps again had been taken to ensure that the solar panels were sufficient to operate each unit comfortably.
Although the camp is not air conditioned, fans and the design of each "cabin" allow the units to be comfortable for sleeping. Little Makalolo is the perfect safari camp from all perspectives.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

Hwange National Park is one of the most beautiful places one could ever wish to see. Truly an amazing experience and we were blessed to be able to stay at Little Makalolo. It is a tiny tented camp, just 6 tents but they are a good size, comfortable and well decorated - all are solar powered. The staff working there really were lovely and our guide (who's name has left me, as it was a while ago now that we visited) was particularly knowledgable and clearly loved everything about Hwange. The game drives were long but you never got tired as the landscape, again, was spectacular. There is plenty of wild life and we managed to see most, and were lucky as we went during the wet season where it is harder to see the animals in the lush surroundings. Can't say enough about the place really ! Enjoy!!!!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

A 45mins flight from Vic Falls literally drops you in the middle of nowhere (200Km from the nearest town), to be met by a smiling guide and a comfortable Land Rover ( used for game drives) takes you to Camp past zebra, elephants and hippos at the water hole and lots of other birds and animals too.
Arrive at the camp to more smiling faces, a welcome cool flannel and a drink. Bags are taken to your tent while you have a quick chat about what goes on at the camp.
Tents are beautiful - we had a tent for 4, double for 2 adults and twin for 2 teenage boys. Comfortable beds, crisp white sheets, hot & cold water (solar powered) and copper hand basins, lots of towels, robes, lights, indoor and outdoor shower. There are no sockets in the tents but you can recharge cameras, ipods etc in the communal areas. We were there 18th-20th July which is mid winter, so mornings and evenings are cold, as low as 1C, gloves and woolly hats and fleeces are a very good idea!
Days started early with a gentle wakeup call from our guide at 6:30am for breakfast at 7 and the game drive at 7:30-7:45. This seems early but, probably is the best part of the day. It is cold, so early morning showers tend to get forgotten, (best in the outdoor shower after lunch in the warm) so clothes chucked on and head for the warmth of the campfire and breakfast.
Hot drinks, (tea is wonderful), cereal, muffins and/or porridge and toast cooked over the camp fire are great, and taste good, perhaps it’s the crisp, cold air and the wide open view of Africa as the sun rises that makes it special.
Off on the game drive, thermal ponchos provided, buffalo, elephants, zebra, a pride of 16 lions, steenbok, giraffe, impala, sable, and loads more. Don’t forget the birds, eagles, vultures like jungle book, hornbills by the dozen, are all great to see.
Before you know it your guide will stop for tea; or coffee, and a snack, it gets better in the evening, a G&T or a beer under the African sunset. Fantastic. Our guide ‘Sibbs’ was kind, friendly, knowledgeable and great fun to be with – but the other guides Lewis et al were all good from what we heard. In camp all the guides and hosts at the camp (Shane and Kim) were just great to be with and really were what made our stay so memorable.
Back for an early-ish lunch, and a rest, before the afternoon drive at 3-3.30pm after tea and freshly baked cake. All the food and supplies are shipped weekly from the nearest shop 200Km away which makes the high standard of food all the more remarkable – the food is plentiful, fresh, tasty – just great!
While Little Mak is not a 5 star hotel in the sense of a Four Seasons, you will be hard pressed to experience a better place, and perhaps what makes it so special are the people at the camp. Positive, friendly, helpful, just all round fantastic.
Little Mak is relaxed, help yourself to a beer from the fridge if someone doesn’t insist on doing it for you first. Dinner, a chat or few songs by the fire and then most people went to bed between 9 & 10, escorted to your tent by a guide, as the camp is open and animals do wander through it, a torch is useful.
We took some pens/pencils which will be distributed by ‘Children in the Wilderness’ part of Wilderness Safaris who run Little Mak, it is somewhat uncomfortable to see the gratitude for such small gifts but it does help.
We were told the light plane trip luggage allowance was only 12 Kg, but turned out to be 20Kg so do check. We could have done with a few more warm clothes and would have taken more pens etc too.
Our first safari, and we did not know what to expect; Little Mak made a big impression. Fantastic people, a great camp and a special experience in just the 3 days we were there – we were all sad to leave!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

Unfortunately we were only there for 2 nights, but we still managed to see Ellies under every tree and on every blade of grass - as well as Lions and Leopard and the majestic sable. The camp is run excellently by Ranya and the tents are extremely comfortable with very large bathroom areas, incl outdoor showers which are great fun. The loos with a view are also an added bonus.
We were there in July - height of winter and it is freezing at night, but the hot water bottles mean the beds are a joy and there are plenty of covers to keep you warm.
Everyone we spoke to staying there agreed that the 6am wake up in winter is too early, it is still so cold when you leave at 7am that you are not seeing anything for that first 45-60 mins and you are very uncomfortable. Our last morning I had long sleeved t shirt, shirt, cardigan, velour jacket, fleece jacket, plus the ponchos they provide which are excellent fleece and plastic (water and windproof) covers and STILL we were freezing. You really don't seem to warm up until past 9am, and as you are back in camp about 11-11.30, there is plenty of time to delay the start.
The solar option does not seem to be working too well as two different tents ran out of power, I understand the reason and concept but at these prices you should at least have light.
Also ladies - beware - no socket in room so no hairdryer use possible !! There are sockets available in the dining area for charging cameras laptops etc but it is a pain as we forgot to charge one of the cameras one evening and only remembered when we were in the tent and you cannot leave it again once you have been escorted there at night (due understandably to the fact you may bump into an Ellie or a Lion !)
The food is plentiful and very good
We were so lucky to be with the guide Lewis. I have been going to Africa and the bush for 18 years and he is excellent - very knowledgeable but also great company and a lovely host with a great laugh !! The guide can make or break your safari, and Lewis will always make it - he even managed to organise some gorgeous sunsets for us - especially the last night where the sun set in the west as an enormous moon rose to the east !! Stunning
I would def recommend Little Makalolo, the staff are excellent, always asking after you and ensuring everything runs smoothly and providing seemless service.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011

Everything was superb ! The warm and friendly staff catering to every need (even a prescription sunglass repair!), the expert guides, outstanding food, lovely accommodations, all was far and above expectations! BRAVO to "Little Mak" !! Each and everyone of you should be proud of the job you do to create such magic. We will never forget you, or the wonder of this experience.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

We visited Little Mack during a major cold spell. The tents are luxurious, but 35 degrees is cold! The staff went out of their way to make us comfortable. In fact, the staff makes this little game camp a first-class place to stay. The managers meet every need and the guides are extremely knowledgeable about the animals and birds. We saw elephants, herds of buffao, impala, lions, hippos and many more.

The tents are lovely with copper washbasins, dreamy beds, places for equpment and much more. Our tent overlooked the watering hole where elephants and others gathered every afternooon. I am not sure how they managed the varied and excellent menu, but we ate well each day.

Room Tip: All six tents are lovely.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south africa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

If you really want to get down to nature, this is it! Vast plains filled with game and Miombo forests that let you feel that you were lost in a jungle.
The camp is down to earth, but luxurious. Food was very good, if you keep in mind that Zim is a poor country and have to source products from it's neighbours.
The staff and guides are excellent, and nothing is too much trouble.
The tents are very private, set far apart, with indoor and outdoor showers. The tents are huge, so are the bathrooms.
There is a lovely pool and the Ellies come to drink in the dry season!!
This is a peaceful, hidden place and a very good option to combine with Victoria Falls.
Stay at least 3 nights.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Little Makalolo Camp

Address: Hwange National Park, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Hwange National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Hwange National Park
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Little Makalolo Camp lies in one of Hwange National Park's best wildlife viewing areas. It offers privacy for guests who enjoy small camps and a sense of remoteness. The area is ecologically diverse, ensuring great numbers of animals year-round. The camp's six spacious en-suite tents, with both indoor and outdoor showers, are nestled in the tree line, with solar power for hot water and lighting ensuring a lighter footprint. A false mopane tree in the centre of the camp shades a separate dining and living area. During siesta hours, guests can enjoy up-close and outstanding wildlife viewing at the log pile hide that overlooks the waterhole in front of camp. Activities centre on game drives in open 4x4 Land Rovers and guided walks. The area's large number of waterholes attracts game in both quantity and variety. This is especially true in winter when water sources become scarce and Wilderness Safaris takes responsibility for pumping 22 of Hwange's boreholes in the Concession to sustain its wildlife. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Little Makalolo Safari Camp Hotel Hwange National Park

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