Our family of four (including two children, ages 10 and 13) stayed at Davison's in July 2013. It was one of five safari experiences we had in this most recent trip. Davison's strongest suit is its guides. Livingston was absolutely fantastic. He was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about his work. You point out any bird and he can even tell you the page of the guide on which to find it. I got the impression that he is kind of a father figure for many of the guides in the area given his 25 years of experience. From talking with others, it appears that the other guides are very good as well. But I think we were very fortunate to have Livingston. In fact, I spoke with a couple of different folks who knew many of the lodges in Hwange and they all knew of Livingston's stellar reputation. The rest of the staff were also great. They struck the right balance between professional but personal. Big smiles and pleasant conversation. Notably, the camp is run by Zimbabweans and not ex-pats which we greatly appreciated.
Hwange, like all parks, has its strengths and weaknesses. A big plus here is the frequency of the animals to the watering hole in front of the lodge (as well as to the other lodges close by). Every day, there were huge herds of elephants, buffalo, sable, and other antelope making their way to the watering hole. Often, the groups of animals would practically queue up behind one another to wait their turn. The number of elephants is truly astounding and every day there were many opportunities to see large groups of elephants interacting. All of this you could easily view from the porch of your tent. The drivers had good communications with other drivers from other camps in the area and shared information well so that you maximize your opportunities to see some of the harder to find animals. At the same time, they did a good job at ensuring that there were not too many vehicles at any time around any particular sighting. We saw lion on three of the four days we were there. We also cheetah on two days. The lodge has a log book/checklist in which the guides note the wildlife that has been seen on any given day. From the book (and I appreciated the lodge’s openness about this), there had only been a couple of leopard sightings in the month that we were there. However, there were lion sightings on most days and cheetah on quite a few. We saw lion very, very close feeding on a buffalo and a cheetah also close feeding on a waterbuck. I thought that overall the wildlife sighting was very good. I am a bit puzzled by the review below that criticized the game viewing. Unfortunately, rhino are seldom found in most of the national parks in Africa. Hwange is no exception. Leopards are also difficult to find in most parks. The profusion of elephants and buffalo and the very close up experience with lion and cheetah more than made up for me.
The food at Davison’s is very good. Not gourmet, but very solid. We stayed in the family tent which, while fairly basic, was very comfortable. One constructive criticism: the family tent, which consists of two tents, co-joined with two separate bathrooms, is oddly and awkwardly laid out in that those in the second bedroom look straight into the toilet area of the first bedroom without any door or screen. We had to drape up a blanket to ensure a bit of privacy.
All in all, we had a very memorable experience at Davison’s. We will most remember the smiles and friendliness of Livingston and the rest of the staff in addition to the very good game viewing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set under a shady grove of ancient false mopane trees, Davison's Camp overlooks grassy plains and a shallow pan that entices a steady stream of plains game and elephant herds in their hundreds, especially in the water-scarce winter months. Named after Ted Davison, the first warden of the Park who devoted 30 years of his life to it, Davison's offers the quintessential Hwange experience combining excellent wildlife viewing with the opportunity to visit a local village and participate in community projects. • 9 tents (1 family) • game drives • nature walks • village visits • viewing platforms ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Davison`s Camp Hotel Hwange National Park