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“3 days - great hospitality”
Review of Warthogs Bush Camp

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Warthogs Bush Camp
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Aarhus, Denmark
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“3 days - great hospitality”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

After a 20 hours chicken bus ride we arrived at Warthogs but unfortunately it was in the middle of its renovation so there was no room for us. But Ian, the owner, was very kind and helpful and drove us to look at another hotel. But he felt it would be too expensive for us so he offered us to pitch a tent for us at a good rate. The following day he moved us into a chalet with a fantasitic open shower and lake view. Through the entire stay Ian was super friendly and helped us arrange a canoe trip on the Zambezi river (Zambian side). We would recommend Warthock anytime - we had a fantastic stay.

Cheers,
Mikkel & Ditte

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mikkel Børlum P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Harare, Zimbabwe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Firstly I apologize for this long review but I was extremely appalled with warthogs and its owner, Ian, and I don't wish what happened to us to happen to someone else.

On the 28th of December 2013, friends of us who were staying at Warthogs bush camp in a chalet were broken into when they were at the party that night. The burglars had cut the lock leading into the chalet to gain access. I cannot comment further on this particular burglary as I don't know the full details but moving on to the 30th of December, our accommodation at Charara fell through and so we decided to pitch our tent outside our friend's chalet at Warthogs. On arriving back at Warthogs after the party on the 30th, we realised that we had been broken into -again- and this time they had climbed through the space between the wall and the roof and had taken both bags of women's clothing that was there as well as they had slashed our tent- leaving us having to sleep in the truck as it was pouring down.

We then proceeded to the bar to try and contact the police and the owner. The police didn't come that night and the owner, Ian, simply said "I can't do anything at this moment." -and put the phone down.
Next morning comes and Ian only appeared at around 9-9.30 and was 'too busy to talk right now' . He then came back later and between his 'very busy schedule' he offered us 1 minute periods to try and explain to him what happened. He was extremely hostile with us talking to him and was consistently trying to get away as we were trying to talk to him. He constantly denied anything we tried to say including denying information that is clearly state on the warthogs website. The website clearly states that they have staff for security and a guard dog- copied and pasted here-" We have staff (and a cheeky dog) on duty 24 hours a day to help with security, washing up, making fires etc". The 'cheeky dog' is a very old, frail and lovable Labrador that sleeps quietly under one of the tables. Ian openly denied the possibility of him even getting a security guard as he said the area is too 'large' for the guard. The camping and chalet section is very small and fits into the space of possibly a quarter of a rugby field.

Once the police arrived and we gave our various statements etc, our friends asked the police to assist them in getting a refund for the costs of their stay there as they had lost more or less around $2000 in the thefts and damages of their items. The cost of their accommodation had come up to $270 and upon them asking Ian for that as a refund so they could stay somewhere safer, he simply handed them a waiver that they had signed which stated that Warthogs would not be held responsible. He did not once apologize and was not prepared to assist any more than what was considered the bare minimum.

Upon further research, I found out that warthogs had been broken into several times before and the customers had experienced a similar situation. Other friends of ours had gone to stay there and the warthogs septic tank was overflowing leaving sewerage spewing around the camp and the owner was doing nothing about it.

We left warthogs that day empty handed.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank ashton b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisa H, Owner at Warthogs Bush Camp, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Apologies, also, for the long response but we feel it is necessary. Firstly, the burglary on 28th Dec was dealt with by the police, with all normal procedures undertaken. As stated, the locks on the doors where cut with bolt-cutters, which suggest that the thieves where well prepared and determined, so hard to stop.
As to the night of 30th Dec. Firstly, Ashton requested that he could put his tent near the Evans chalet as it had been damaged by elephants at Charara. Ian agreed to this despite being fully booked as the weather was very wet and it offered the opportunity for him to share with his friends in the chalet if the rain retuned.
As to the robbery that night, Ian admits that he did not attend (at 2.30am) as at that time of night there is little he could personally achieve, but he certainly did not "put my phone down" Our staff tried to arrange for the police to attend but they failed to arrive. At first light, Ian spoke to the staff by phone and was told the clients where sleeping and arranged to be called as soon as they awoke, and he arrived at camp before they did awake (after a party that they say they left around 2.00am)
Being new years eve, his day was "busy", but despite the clients NOT wanting the police, Ian arranged for 2 officers to attend. In the meantime he went to resupply the camp and returned to speak to the police. In that conversation Ian commented that he thought it odd the client had not taken her I-phone with her. She had told the police that the battery was flat, but Ian had personally put it on charge for her at lunchtime and personally handed it to her when she left to go to the party. This I-phone was, strangely, not stolen by the thieves, merely broken! Ian attended the police station later and was told by the officers that they (ZRP) did not want to file the report as there were too many inconsistencies in it. He certainly did not try to avoid the clients and the only time he got hostile was when they told him that our website "clearly" stated that we had 24 hour security and a "ferocious" guard dog. The person telling him this hadn't even seen the web page!
With regard to security at Warthogs, we are a bushcamp and are not allowed a fence, and by nature of the area it is very difficult to patrol. This is the opinion also of the security company who were employed for New Years eve itself. As stated in our website, we do have 24 hour staff to "help" with security. We also have a secure storage room and a safe that clients are free to use. The "cheeky" dog had to be put down last month, following an injury that the police advised us was making him too cheeky.
Ashton comments that Tamarind lodges are safe because they are fenced. They do not have wildlife! We are a bushcamp. We checked with Tamarind, and they DID NOT go to the shops to buy new fans, they keep them in a store room and put them in rooms on request.
Having experienced robberies at my house Ian understands how frustrating it is, but we cannot be responsible for every clients items of property. We am also confused about the "overflowing septic tank" as that happened at our old camp two years ago due to exceptional rains.
Warthogs has survived during difficult times because of our, and our staffs', dedication. We can assure you that we will continue to provide the best service possible for what is a 'budget' facility.
We hope this clears up some issues.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
windham, me
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2012

We stayed here two nights, went on a 3 day camping trip, then returned for one more night. The first night a hippo came up to the bar to graze and hung around for about 2 hours! The next day 2 elephants joined us for lunch. And upon our return from Mana Pools two zebras greeted us at the tables outside! This place was just perfect!

We chose the pre-erected tents which were a great value at $10 for a single, or $15 for a double with mattresses and bedding! If you bring your own tent it's only $5 to camp. The bar was reasonably priced, but the food was quite expensive. Expect to pay $10 per lunch/dinner and breakfast was $7-10. But, they do have a shared kitchen, braii, woodstove, and kitchen utensils for free use, just ask the bar for the cupboard key.

The staff was incredible! We hooked up a cheap tour to Mana Pools as well. If you are looking to canoe or game drive into the park don't get sucked into natureways which charges upwards of $500 per person! They are a tour licensing company, so their guides are typically new and working towards certification, but once they obtain guide status they leave to pursue better paying jobs. For an amazing time with a local legend contact Zera or Doubt, ask for info at the bar or email aqualifedm@gmail.com

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Erin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harare, Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 27, 2012

A brilliant little hide away that always has something interesting happening. Owners and staff always willing to be helpful, Got company even at 2 in the morning.. Beautifully quiet and peaceful, Stunning view and definitely a place that will drag u back again and again... Miss it terribly..

Room Tip: Dorm brilliant for families..
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2011

We were originally just going to spend one night at Warthogs before our kayak trip to Mana Pools but ended up staying almost a week because it was so good. There really isn't much to do at all in Kariba unless you are into fishing (which we weren't) but relaxing at Warthogs was just what we needed. The highlight though was that on our first morning two zebras wandered outside as we showered in our en-suite bamboo hut - and that was only the start. During breakfast five elephants wandered around the camp and every day this was the same. It was amazing - you only had to look outside and there was some form of wildlife; every walk into town was a walking safari and I even got woken up one day with ones trunk in our hut. But you felt perfectly safe all the time. The restaurant is always open and does great value food, Ian the owner is the perfect mix of helpful and relaxed and all the staff are really obliging. Also the huge bed and mosquito net was one of the best we have had so far in Africa.

Room Tip: The bamboo huts have en-suite shower rooms with hot water whenever you want it
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SuziLW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2011

This place was recommended to me by my safari advisor when I asked for a more affordable place to stay in Kariba than the expensive hotel he originally offered. My boyfriend and I stayed here the night before and after our canoe safari on the Zambezi river (which I highly recommend to all). Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner, who is an incredibly friendly englishman, who promptly picked up my 20kg backpack and showed us to our tent himself. The first night we stayed in a tent which was only 15 dollars a night for the 2 of us. The tent was basic, but it was clean and there was a large double air mattress which was quite comfortable. The bathrooms are clean and the water is hot. Within 10 minutes of our arrival a huge elephant started romping through the camp site eating the leaves on the trees. We got way closer then we ever did on our safaris. At first I was worried about the safety aspect of this, but later we were told that it was the same elephant that comes in every night and wouldn't hurt anyone. We also had the unique experience of seeing hippos grazing just outside of the restaurant area as we ate and hearing hippos munching on the grass just outside our tent at night. This is very fun, but bring ear plugs if you need a good nights sleep. The food is great! Best burger and fries I've ever had and a delicious breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage, fried tomatoes and onions. The owner also helped us out when we needed to get some cash from town, he asked one of the workers to drive us into town so we could go to the ATM. This was quite the adventure because their company jeep is about 50 years old and is missing half the windshield and the drivers door, but it got us there and back in one piece.

The second night we stayed in a cabin (the owner gave it to us for the price of a tent because he had taken all the tents down for the night to use at an event the next day). It was very fun because the bathroom only has half of a roof so you can look up at the stars if you shower at night (although this can be a bit chilly in august). I didn't get to try the pool because we weren't around much during the day, but I definitely would have otherwise (it has a water slide!).

This place may be a little rough around the edges but it was an adventure that I will never forget and it still had enough comforts to make it a very enjoyable experience!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cassie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level Contributor
61 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2011

Did not stay here but the accommodation is in a basic small rondoval for $25/night and includes an on-suite. Internet access available. Lunch was good and a few elephant pass near the pub/restaruant.. Owners very friendly and welcoming.
The surrounds are real Kariba bush. Very basic but would have stayed for a night or maybe two for the adventure. Excellent for backpackers. Very small swimming pool.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dave_duncs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Warthogs Bush Camp

Property: Warthogs Bush Camp
Address: Warthogs Bush Camp, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Mashonaland West Province > Kariba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Warthogs is a small camp offering budget accommodation for short stays. Although we are situated in a game corridor and have frequent 4 legged visitors, we are also only 4km from the shops, harbours and fuel stations. We are registered Tour Operators and can arrange Canoe Trips, Houseboats and day trips on the lake. ... more   less 

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