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“Somalisa... For true safari experience”
Review of Somalisa Camp

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Somalisa Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Somalisa... For true safari experience”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

My Honey and I had been on safari for ten days and this was our last tented camp and most favorite. We were in Zimbabwe during a severe drought, and quite a number of elephant carcasses were scattered around the park. Somalisa was a perfect respite from the heat and the drought. Tents are perched around the grounds among an ancient stand of acacia trees. Traditional in style, these tents, are HUGE-- with a comfortable bed, two matching side tables with reading lamps, a canvas closet with shelves, wooden floors and two chairs. The bathing area was attached but open-to-the-sky with a flush toilet, bucket shower and gorgeous brass basin and matching scoop. For Somalisa guests, water was plentiful and delicious, coming from a special bore deep in the ground. Somalisa offers guaranteed close up and personal elephant encounters, because it is positioned directly on the banks of a watering hole. in fact, the only thing separating you from these amazing creatures, is the deck rail and a rather narrow drinking trough. You can literally look into the mouths of giant tusked elephants as they pour water in from their trunks and gulp it dow. The food here was fantastic---a mouth-watering sweet and savory item at tea, (one of the most scrumptious chocolate cakes I have ever tasted) plus three truly delicious meals. Somalisa is in a very remote and romantic setting, and even in the severest drought, your every creature comfort will be met. We also enjoyed the new managers- a young enthusiast couple who absolutely love the bush. They had just rescued two newborn bats, and were raising them in a waste basket and feeding them baby formula. if its even possible, we think they will do even more at Somalisa to make this marvelous camp shine.

Room Tip: A tent near the dining area is on the side open to the bush. We found two rare mongoose in our tent...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank kdinesDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Thank you very much for your review of Somalisa Camp. We are delighted you had such a wonderful and true experience of the African wilderness and our camp, and that you enjoyed the new Manager's, Alex and Karien. You share our confidence that they will do even more to make Somalisa Camp exceptional. We hope we will have the opportunity to host you again in the future!
Warmest Regards from the Team at African Bush Camps and Somalisa Camp
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219 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Liverpool, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
630 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

If you want to be close to the animals go to Somalisa. Nic was an outstanding guide who did everything to make our drives the best. The camp staff was so attentive and the food was outstanding. One night they even cleared off the pool deck and we had dinner right next to the elephants drinking from the pool. The tents were great we stayed in the new part of camp which had solar showers. The game was plentiful. We saw elephants like never before we even took a walk and saw them up close not to mention how close they are as they often walk through camp. We saw sable, roan, heards of cape buffalo, zebras, steenbok, kudu, secretary bird, impala, jackel, kori bustard, giraffe, mongoose, hyaena vervet monkey, and baboon. The highlight of our drives were the animals at the watering holes, our walks with the cape buffalo and the elephants, and the grand finale was watching a pride of lions killing a cape buffalo right in front of us. From the time we landed at Somalisa where we were greeted by elephants just off the runway at the watering hole, our 2 hour trip to camp which should have been 3/4 hour but we saw so much game that it was so exciting that we kept stopping to see the many animals, to the unforgetable game drives this place exceeded all expectations. The constant flow of animals at the camp was great entertainment when we were not on a drive. When we go back to Africa this camp will be on our re-vist list. Their attention to detail was amazing from the food, to the recycled wine bottles that were glasses to the staff such as Sabina this is a very special place! I have told all of my friends if your going to Africa don't leave this camp off your list.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SheriBobLove2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Thank you very much for your review on Somalisa Camp and your trip with professional guide Nic Polenakis in October 2012. We are delighted you had such a wonderful time and excellent wildlife sightings throughout your stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you at Somalisa Camp again when you are next in Africa.
Warmest Regards the Team at African Bush Camps and Somalisa Camp
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Rheinberg, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed in Somalisa Camp for three nights from Sept. 27th - 30th 2012.

The entire camp gives you a true safari feeling. The tents are in classic safari style with zipper doors and outdoor bathrooms where the bucket shower and the bucket sink complete the impression (and the flush toilet was welcome as well). The beds were very comfortable just like the two chairs on the terrace.

The service was very friendly and perfect. No matter if you want hot water at 05.30 am, 03.00 pm or 07.00 pm - you get it ( and it was hot, not only warm).

Food was plenty and of very good quality. Porridge and cornflakes before the morning game drive and warm and cold dishes for lunch. At tea time freshly baked cakes and canape were served. The dinner was served at the table with candle light what gave a lovely atmosphere.

The Camp itself is famous for its water hole and all the animals that come to drink. The Elephants also like to drink from the pool and for that reason they come so close to the pool terrace that you can almost touch them.

The game drives were of excellent quality. Thanks so much to Michael (Mike) our incredibly dedicated guide. No matter how many times I've asked him to stop for a photo or to return the car a bit. Whatever you want to know or to do was no problem for him.
And we saw lots of wildlifeduring the game drives: Zebras, Giraffes, Buffalos, Sable Antelope, Spring Bocks, plenty of lions, lots of pretty birds and much more.

Also the beauty of the landscape in Hwange Nat. Park in the area of the Somalisa consession must be mentioned: the grassland, the Acacia trees, the forests ….very varied and beautiful.

Thanks to Alex and Karien, the Managers of the Camp and to Sabrina for their huge talent to take care of the needs of the guests and again thanks to Mike for being a perfect guide. Many greetings to all the other nice people who we met at the camp.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ralfcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Thank you very much for your review of Somalisa Camp. We are delighted that the camp provided you with a true safari experience and that you had excellent wildlife sightings during your time with us. We hope we are afforded the opportunity to host you again in the future.
Warmest Regards from the Team at African Bush Camps and Somalisa Camp
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Loved this place, so natural,friendly and wonderful to see so many animals in their natural habitat. Although we arrived in the dark we immediately felt welcome and at home. I admit to being a 5 star person so was a little concerned that this wouldn't be for me but that doubt soon disappeared and I felt at home quickly. the food was very good and sitting down with the other guests for meals was part of the experience. My husband and I shared the table with 10 Australians travelling together but we felt included and all chattered together Our safari guide, Michael was wonderful and taught us so much. We loved the fact the the elephants loved to drink the pool dry and even put up with us watching them as they did it. Would not have missed it all for the world!!!

Room Tip: All the tents have fabulous views!!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank wishgranter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Thank you very much for your review of Somalisa Camp. We are so happy you had a special stay with us and felt welcome and at home and we hope to have the opportunity to host you again in the near future.
Warmest Regards from the Team at African Bush Camps and Somalisa Camp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malta
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Given the chance we'd
go back in a heartbeat. Stunning scenery and copious opportunities to view game and birldlife up close. A total re-energising get away from it all once in a lifetime experience. In addition to the hefalumps we saw zebras, baboons, lions, jackals, giraffes, sable antelope, impala, steenbok, duiker, roan antelope, warthogs, vervet monkeys, dwarf mongoose...

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Anne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, August 22, 2012
Dear Anne F

Thank you very much for your review on Tripadvisor.com. We are delighted you had such a wonderful trip and when you next feel like reenergising your batteries, we look forward to once again having you as a guest at Somalisa Camp.

Warm Regards
From The Team at Somalisa and African Bush Camps
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2012

Aaaahhh! The sound of relaxation. Somalisa is wonderful camp built on principals of respecting the earth, the animals and providing top quality service. Though the camp is quite remotely located, it does not require being overly adventurous to make the trek, just patient. From your arrival to your departure, the staff will cater to you and are fully engaged to ensure your comfort and meeting your desires. This all inclusive camp with keep you constantly fed with exceptional freshly made foods. Your hosts become friends and allow the daily agenda to ebb and flow as you balance relaxation and adrenalized game watches. The animal life you will see is awesome. Expect nightly visits within camp by elephants and zebra. On the game drives plan to see giraffe, kudu, ostrich, hippo, many species of birds and if lucky you will see a lion or dung beetle as we did. The "camp" is what I imagine when I think of old British exploration camps... large white canvas tents. Inside these "tents" (about 12' x 24') are hardwood floors, LUSH bedding, a writing desk, a hamper for a their laundry service (take them up on this), LED nightstand lights to read with, flush toilets and all the sounds sound of nature. "Go" is my only recommendation. It's a fantastic experience, priced very modestly and the people in all of Zimbabwe are wonderful and inviting. You'll love ending your day with a sun downer.

Room Tip: Ask to be close to the watering hole so you can sit on the porch of your tent and watch the animals...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, August 1, 2012
Thank you very much for your lovely review of Somalisa Camp. We are glad you had a wonderful time and were able to balance relaxation with the adrenalin of being in an authentically wild environment. We hope we will have the pleasure to host you again in the future. Take Care and Regards from the Team at Somalisa and African Bush Camps
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2012

All the other previous reviews sum up Somalisa. An excellent location and aspect over its own pan, private, well set-up permanent tents (occasionally some assistance is needed to negotiate the elephants feeding inside the camp), exceptional food by any standards, a knowledgeable guide Armstrong and, of course, hundreds of elephants and lots of other wildlife in the national park.

Room Tip: You are in the bush - take pot luck!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank ianteese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricanBushCamps, Public Relations Manager at Somalisa Camp, responded to this review, June 19, 2012
Thank you very much for your review on Somalisa. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and found the food to be exceptional. We look forward to hosting you again in the future.
Regards from the Team at African Bush Camps and Somalisa Camp.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Somalisa Camp

Property: Somalisa Camp
Address: Hwange National Park, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Hwange National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Hwange National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Somalisa Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Somalisa Tented Camp is set in the heart of Hwange National Park Zimbabwe, and is known as the land of the giants for its big elephant herds. Nestled in a stunning location tucked away on an acacia island along the edge of an ancient seasonal flood plain, Somalisa provides guests with breathtaking views of the savannah plains across the famous Kennedy Vlei line. Recently re-built, Somalisa Tented Camp has upgraded its level of accommodation to that of complete comfort and luxury whilst still maintaining its focus on the guiding and hosting of guests to ensure the ultimate guest experience. Consisting of seven elegantly furnished Sail Tents with gauze sliding doors, a glass wood-burner fireplace for the cold winter nights, and an overhead fan for the hot summer days, each tent has en suite bathroom facilities including flush toilets, an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper slipper-style bathtub. The main decking area includes split level decking with a separate lounge and dining area, as well as a small splash pool for guests overlooking the “Elephant Pool” and a natural waterhole where herds of game congregate to drink and where guests can relax whilst soaking in the African bush. Activities include guided walks lead by qualified and passionate guides who will share their knowledge and love of the bush with you, game drives and night drives. Wildlife sightings include elephant, kudu, sable antelope, zebra, wildebeest, gemsbok, the rare and endangered roan antelope, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena, and many other wildlife species. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Somalisa Camp Hotel Hwange National Park

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