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“A walk on the wild side” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Hide

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The Hide
PO Box HG261, Hwange National Park Harare, Zimbabwe   |  
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A walk on the wild side”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

The Hide was a place I wanted to visit on my previous visit to Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, I never managed to find the time. On this occasion I was determined to make it, even though I only had a day. I wasn't disappointed at getting to this award winning place on a concession just outside Hwange National Park. Nothing quite prepares you for the experience - there are no fences and elephants, buffalo, leopard, lion...basically just about anything can decide just how close they want to come to you. In fact, I found that I saw more sitting on the main dining area at the Hide than by driving around the part. The most breathtaking experience was watching scores upon scores of elephants arrive at the waterhole just a few metres from the Hide...we must have seen at least 200 elephants in about 2 hours and I was told this was actually less than par for the course. We also saw a leopard coming to drink, a hyena, a herd of buffalo and several giraffe, sable antelopes etc. We also missed seeing 2 lions coming to drink because we decided to go a night safari! The best part about the Hide though is the hospitality and food. Everyone was friendly and always asking if you needed a drink or something to eat...the food was excellent and I found that a pleasant surprise since this is a really wild location. Of course, its all about the wildlife experience and having elephants and buffalo grazing just a few feet from my hut was an experience I can't even begin to describe. It is an amazing place and I do need to come back and spend more time...I will be back for sure!

  • Stayed September 2013, 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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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

The Hide has had recent refurbishment, and the tents are all extremely comfortable, no matter which category you choose. Staff are helpful. I see other reviews have mentioned meals - we found that these were variable, but just when you thought one was rather average, the next one more than made up for it. (At night you may hear train noise, but you are just as likely to be woken by hyaenas than diesel engines)

Guiding was of the very high standard that one expects in Zimbabwe. Game sighting is always variable, and while we saw no big cats, we were pleased with what we did see. The two "hides" were great fun and certainly are a feature of the property.

The only unusual item that deserves a mention is the (suggested) tipping system, where three envelopes are provided for three categories of staff - it is unclear who actually falls into which category and we felt that it wasn't a clever or fair reward system..... some of us ignored it and directly tipped our guides, but weren't sure how to give something to the wonderful "back-of-house" staff that do such a good job.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We visited The Hide early last year and had a fantastic time.

I was prompted to write this (my first ever trip advisor post...) following a previous negative post which i couldn't have found further from the truth.

The food was great, location beautiful, guides knowledgeable and very friendly and we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The rooms were clean comfortable and had wonderful views [we had a great outdoor bath] and the morning wake up tea was always appreciated before the drive!

For travellers going to Zimbabwe i would definitely recommend visiting The Hide followed by a trip to the Vic Falls Hotel with a view over the falls.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Adelaide
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We had the most fantastic time at The Hide! Kate, Lindsay, Tye, the Guides Nicholas Jean, Cosi and all the other staff were so friendly & accommodating. Nothing was too much trouble for them. An extra mention to Nicholas who took us on the ride of our lives trying to get to the Pride of lions only to find we had missed them but then driving into the bush to watch a research vehicle putting a collar on a lion they had darted. It was now dark & took us so long to find our way out of the bush. We arrived back at camp 2 1/2 hrs late but the Kate. Lindsay & Tye were there waiting to greet us & let us know they still had our tea being kept warm for us. What an experience which made our time at the camp all the more exciting. Thank you all. We loved waking up to the animals at the watering hole right in front of our tents. It was great.

Room Tip: Every room is great.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
reading, England
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

I have been travelling to southern Africa since 1992 and this was by far the most disappointing safari I have experienced. The accommodation was not luxurious by any standards and certainly not on a par with comparably priced lodges in South Africa or Namibia. The best aspect of the tent was the amazing view of the waterhole, which was frequented by elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, warthog, impala and a whole host of small game.

I took a group of twelve people on a tour of South Africa, Namibia & Botswana in September / October 2012 which ended at the Hide in Hwange National Park.

On the first day we were met at the main gate of Hwange National Park by two rangers, John and Shephard. We had been driving since 8am and eventually arrived at the main gate at about 3pm. We were tired and hungry so the guides stopped at the first waterhole and gave us each a ham sandwich that tasted like it had been made the day before then wrapped in cling film. This was accompanied by an apple and six bags of crisps to share between twelve people. One can of cheap lemonade was given to each person. One of my guests commented to me that we wouldn't get fat here. That evening the starter was tuna pate with tinned pears and cocktail sauce. I don't eat fish, a fact that I had conveyed to the lodge before arrival, but they served the starter anyway. When I asked for an alternative the plate was taken away, the tuna was removed and the plate was returned to me with three tiny pieces of pear and the cocktail sauce! The food was extremely poor and I found the kitchen staff to be very quiet and lack-lustre, almost as if they were afraid to show any sign of personality. I complained bitterly on behalf of my group when we were served a dessert called raspberry soufflé that was actually instant whip.

The first morning we met for the game drive at 6am with half of my group going with Shepherd and the rest of us going with a very young, inexperienced John. The two vehicles went in different directions and by all accounts the other group had a wonderful time with Shepherd, who was a fount of knowledge about the flora and fauna of Hwange. They didn't see a huge amount of game but what they did see was thoroughly analysed and explained by their very knowledgeable guide. Sadly, we had a totally different experience and we endured a five hour game drive in searing heat where we saw virtually nothing as we were travelling at high speed, hardly slowing when we saw the odd elephant or giraffe.

Quite clearly my guests were not enjoying the experience so I requested a meeting with the manager, Ian. He met me in his office and immediately became very defensive when I presented my complaints, advising that whilst I might be a very experienced African traveller, things were different in Zimbabwe to the rest of Southern Africa and I should not expect standards to be as high here, due to the deprivations of the country. Nevertheless, he agreed to change our guide and from that point we travelled with a fantastic ranger called Nkosi. Nothing was too much trouble for him and, although he could not conjure up animals that simply were not there, what we did see he told us in great detail about their habitats and breeding habits. On one occasion we saw the most enormous herd of buffalo and we followed them to a waterhole, which was a really interesting experience. I fully expected to see some predator presence with all of this game around but sadly, there was none. Several times at night I heard a lion roar but they eluded us for the first three days. On the last morning we heard that the lions had made a kill on neighbouring Somalisa land so I asked Ian if we would be able to go over there to see them but he immediately pooh poohed this suggestion, saying that such cooperation does not exist in Zimbabwe. I pointed out how ridiculous this is and that in other countries it is the norm to invite neighbouring lodge's guests on your land after an interesting kill in the knowledge that the favour will be returned in the future but he flatly refused to do so, saying that he was not on good terms with somalisa's management. In desperation I told him to offer Somalisa $10 per head to allow us to go on their land. To my surprise we got a call to get ready in ten minutes as we were being allowed to see the lions. We raced across there and luckily saw one lioness up close and another on the brow of a hill. This was our one & only sighting of any cats in Zimbabwe and I was truly grateful to Ian for arranging it. In all honesty, if he had not gone to this trouble I would only have given the Hide one star but Ian redeemed himself at the eleventh hour.

Would I return to the Hide? Probably not as it is not cheap and there are so many lodges that offer so much more. Nkosi and Shepherd were lovely people and a joy to have as guides but the game is sparse, to say the least, and the food is well below par. My advice would be to stick to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Hide-Gavin, Owner at The Hide, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thank you for this report. Although, it baffles at to why you would wait 10 months before posting the complaint or contacting our offices directly?

We remember this group very well and remember the tour leader raising some concerns with our management who responded quickly and professionally. At the time, our management also received compliments from some of the guests in the party.

We are pleased to say that Jean, our young guide, has come along brilliantly well. He used to be slightly shy, especially at first with new guests, but soon came into his own. These are classic characteristics of a humble young man with fantastic manners. His confidence has grown immensely whilst he has been with The Hide and it shows in how he communicates with guests. His bush knowledge is excellent and guests have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with him. The Hide is very well known for it’s high guiding standards and we pride ourselves in keeping it that way.

Our game drive cooler boxes are filled with an assortment of beverages so it surprising to hear this complaint. Contrary to some beliefs, there is no restriction on how much or little a guest wishes to take pleasure in. Once our guides get to know the preferences of their guests, guests can be assured of enjoying the beverage of their choice.

The food served at The Hide has received many fabulous compliments, even when asked to follow sometimes difficult dietary requirements in the middle of the wilderness. One just needs to look at the numerous fantastic previous posts to this effect. We are upset to read this complaint and apologise that the food was not to the guests liking. We know very well that our superb chef and kitchen staff produce the most delicious and well presented food, all of which are made from raw ingredients. We will not serve food that we are not personally proud of, certainly not “instant whip”.

We are pleased to say that we have an excellent reciprocal relationship with our neighbours. We will however never enter their concession without their prior consent. We will also not accept payment of any kind to make arrangements with our neighbours on behalf of our guests to access their properties.

We recall prior to this group arriving, that we had unusually heavy and early rain showers for two days. When this occurs it does upset the game flow patterns and can make finding animals more difficult. In Hwange National Park, we pride ourselves for not driving off the roads to locate wildlife. This ensures that we keep Hwange the true Wilderness and Wildlife area it is. And we can never be sure what we are crushing under our wheels if we were to drive off the road, perhaps there could be ground nesting bird’s nests for example. It is usual for the rain season to begin around mid-November so it highly unfortunate that this group did not get to see the abundant numbers of animals that we have to offer.

It is common knowledge that Zimbabwe offers fantastic value for money when compared to properties of similar standard in neighbouring countries. At The Hide, we offer upto 4 game activities included in the rate per day, which include bush walks with professional guides, morning, afternoon and night game drives. As well as the opportunity to sit in one of our two underground “hides” right next to our waterhole for up-close, personal and safe encounters with wild animals as they drink. Over and above this, we offer two guests the thrill to “sleep out” in our romantic Dove’s Nest, a tree house with a difference.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longyearbyen, Norway
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

We stayed two nights as part of a two week holiday in Zimbabwe with our children aged 15 and 18 – from Norway. These two days where the highlight for all of us! If you have the dollars to spend this is definitely a place we recommend. The game viewing has great but he hospitality and professionally was outstanding. We have never experience anything like it. We could easily have spent an extra day taking in the serenity of the place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I loved the Hide from beginning to end and recommend it highly for every aspect of the experience. Even the other guests were delightful! Our tent was very well appointed looking out to the waterhole and hide. Every comfort including an outside shower and inside bath. Food was delicious, all the staff looked after us very well. There was a good feeling everywhere and excellent guide on our game drives. Thank you very much for a very special stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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 The Hide

Address: PO Box HG261, Hwange National Park Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Hwange National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Hwange National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Well known and much loved, The Hide Safari Camp is situated within Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's largest game reserve, renowned for its abundant and diverse wildlife. Built in 1992, The Hide has justly earned its reputation as a great wildlife experience wrapped in warm and welcoming hospitality. Accommodating up to 20 guests in comfortable, spacious, en-suite luxury tents under thatch, The Hide prides itself on having a family of experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. Activities on offer include guided walks with a professional guide, day and night game drives, ‘hide’ sits, sleepovers at the romantic Dove’s Nest and much more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hide Hotel Hwange National Park
Hide Hwange National Park

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