Little Makalolo is simply spectacular. My husband and I visited Zimbabwe in Sept. 2012 and stayed in 3 camps. Little Makalolo was our absolute favorite. We fell in love with Africa, are returning in March of 2013. I insisted that Little Makalolo be included on our 2nd itinerary. It is the only camp we will re-visit, although each was wonderful in it's own way.
From the moment we arrived on the bush airstrip & began our 20 minute ride to camp with Buli, our first guide, I was blown away by the amount and variety of game in the area. Little Mak & Hwange National Park are in part of the Kalahari, and at that time of year the only water available is in pans (waterholes,) so the game is always plentiful and easy to view.
Upon arrival at Little Makalolo we were warmly met by the manager, Rania, and her assistants Tracy and Vee. They treated us very kindly throughout our stay. Nothing was too much trouble, and I truly enjoyed time spent in conversation with each of them. After each game drive they were waiting to greet us as the vehicles pulled up with moist towels, refreshments and smiles.
The food at camp is plentiful and delicious. First, an early breakfast around the campfire before heading out for the morning. Upon return to camp at 11:30 a.m. there is a full brunch - a buffet of cooked items (such as chicken or a casserole) side dishes and salads, plus a grill where a gentleman will cook omlettes and eggs to order, bacon etc. Following lunch is siesta time during the heat of the day.
However, there is no need to lie around! The log pile hide (or blind) at the waterhole is not to be missed for up close, safe viewing & exceptional photographic opportunities. Huge parades of elephants come and go all day long, not to mention sable and roan antelope, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and more. After siesta, there is tea or cold drinks with savory and sweet snacks, & then off for the afternoon / evening activities! Stop for a sundowner cocktail with snack & then see game at night. You return to camp for an 8 p.m. full, lavish dinner with wine or coctails. I believe I gained weight there.
We were lucky enough to stay in the Honeymoon Tent, the farthest away from the main camp and closest to the waterhole. Little Mak is an initmate camp with only 5 or 6 comfortable, tented rooms.
Our first night there was our 25th wedding anniversary. The staff surprised us with a champagne dinner for two poolside with a private waiter. Upon retiring for our first night in the bush, we were serenaded all night long by two male lions roaring between our tent and the waterhole. What a heart racing thrill!
First thing the next morning, Buli said "Shall we go find those lions?" and we were off! We found them within 20 minutes and were treated to a great show.
Buli was an exceptional guide, full of knowledge, skill, humor and personality. He was one of the 2 top guides we had in our entire time in Africa. We were sad at first to hear he was leaving for a trip home during our stay (but happy for him.) Buli is a smart, fun man who obviously understood & shared our joy when we saw something new.
We had 2 additional guides at Little Mak who were also wonderful!
The first was Mike - a man whose enthusiasm was contagious. He can talk forever about a bone or the stars! I learned so much from him. Not to mention that he found us a pride of 16 lions, UP CLOSE, and threw his hands up in the air to celebrate. Wonderful!
Then we were fortunate enough to have some time with Dixon. Dixson is mild mannered, funny and an excellent tracker. He asked our interests and then set about to find what we wanted to see. The highlight of our time with him was the cheetah he raced to find for us, and the wild ride to get there. Great fun!
While most guests generally stay with 1 guide for their entire visit, we gained something different & wonderful from each of our guides. I can safely say that you can't go wrong with any guide at Little Makalolo.
Our time there felt too short and the stay was characterized by exceptional service, a feeling of family, fantastic game, a manager, guides and staff who have a passion for what they do and the wildlife of Zimbabwe. I can give them no better compliment than to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Charming and intimate, Little Makalolo's location in the south-east of Hwange lends it a sense of seclusion and remoteness. Nestled into the treeline, the camp overlooks a productive waterhole that draws large numbers of wildlife, observed up close from the log-pile hide. Elephant, buffalo, giraffe and zebra are regular visitors, while special sightings include sable, roan and eland. The area is best explored on game drives and guided walks, with special extras like an unexpected pizza or a night spent under the stars on the Madison Pan star-bed platform. • 6 tents (1 family) • game drives • nature walks • Madison Pan star-bed • log-pile hide • village visits ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Little Makalolo Safari Camp Hotel Hwange National Park