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“A very unique place”
Review of Big Cave Camp

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Big Cave Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Finland
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A very unique place”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at the Lodge and our stay was very enjoyable. The nature is all around, the ´hut´ (we were given the bridal suite) was very beautiful. Home-like feeling at the breakfast and dinner table. Everyone were so nice and Sam, the guide, seemed to know just about everything. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank J0te
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaveWCapeTown, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Hi JOte. Thanks so much for the review on Big Cave, and we are really glad that you had such a good time. We looking forward to having you back in Camp soon! Best Regards Dave Waddy
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102 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2012

We stayed for one night at Big Cave Camp en route from Sentinel to Hwange Park. The accommodations were luxurious and the food was outstanding. We were encouraged to go on a game drive immediately upon arrival by the staff. There was no mention of price ( nor was there for any other add-ons we were charged for). It was our understanding the only extra charge was for drinks. We went on a drive to Matopos Park the next day and had an early light lunch upon return (lunch was staff's idea- no mention of price again). They nailed us with a 450.00 bill. Although we did not ask, it would have been nice if hey had told us up front as they booked us with expensive game drives and extra meals. Part of it was our fault, since our outfitter's US correspondent had in our contract that our safari, and any accommodations were all inclusive.
Lynn was very apologetic. The management needs to be up-front with all the added fees when they encourage guests to do their over-priced game drives and have extra meals (lunch was 15.00 a person, no joke).
Thank Goodness we were able to get to an ATM in Bulawayo after our night at Big Cave

Room Tip: Beware of add ons
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaveWCapeTown, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Hi Sarah. Many thanks for the review and input, and while I am happy that you enjoyed the lodge, I was distressed about your comments re lack of knowledge with the extras. We really do value our customers reviews, so I have spent some time researching the issue. What is a little disappointing is that there was detailed correspondence between my reservation office and the tour operator who would have dealt with your travel agent. The tour operator requested that you were on a dinner bed and breakfast rate, and they asked specifically for certain activities and in all instances were quoted the prices for the various extras such as activities. I would be happy to mail this correspondence to you if required. Thus the tour operator or your agent in the US requested the rates that you were on, which was dinner, bed and breakfast. Clearly somewhere along the line this was not communicated with yourselves, or worse was incorrectly communicated. I do not believe that our prices for activities or meals are over priced given our location and market, but are really very similar to other lodges in the upper end of the market. The lunch at U.S. 15 per person including a dessert and teas & coffees is also on par with other lodge in the area. Either way I can understand that if you were not made aware of the extras or were under the impression that you were on a fully inclusive rate that this would be disappointing. I will endeavor to make sure that the people involved in the booking are brought up to speed re your complaint so that in future the communication is clear from all parties involved. Best regards, Dave Waddy
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Waterlooville, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012

This place is so wonderful, as to be arwinspireing, The host when I was there was called Lyn(hope thats the right way to spell it). This lady was from Liverpool, and has lived in Zimbabwe for many years.
The lodge is very well run the staff are very helpful. I would go back very soon if I could!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rory M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2012

On a recent trip to Zimbabwe I stayed at Big Cave Camp and went looking for Rhinos with Ian Harmer. He is a qualified guide and was born in the local area near Bulwayo. We visited Matopso Park in the Matobo Hills and were able to walk through the bush tracking Rhinos. Ian Harmer is absolutely passionate about Rhinos and their future in Africa. We saw both Black and White Rhinos, and were able to get quite close to the White ones (kind of scary but fantastic). We stayed at Big Cave Camp - Lodge on the Rocks which was an amazing place to stay. We stayed in lodges but you can also camp there.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank lovetotracel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2012

I had spent a considerable time researching places to stay in or near the Matobo hills- a place loved by my husband on our honeymoon 30 years earlier. I eventually found Big Cave Camp on a site. The site showed it to be similar to the other places on offer in the area but cheaper. I contacted them directly by phone and recieved fantastic service. On arrival the actual site of the lodges was breathtaking, being driven up the large granite hill was an experience. The room we had was the best we had during our trip around Zimbabwe although all were very good. There was plenty of space in the room, luxury cushions on the bed , mosquito net draped around the bed making it seem like a four poster and a large bathroom. Tea and coffee making facilities along with a thermos of drinking water was topped off with a complementry bottle of champagne. We had a balcony where there were dassies basking in the sunshine. The communal areas are built into the rocks which gives them a unique ambience We met Dave Waddy the owner and his father, Mike however Sam was our guide. Sam was very well informed on all the animals in the region as was studying up on local history so was interesting to talk to. The food was excellent and presented well. Sam took my husband on an early morning walk up to big Cave and then took us on a drive looking for Rhino which we unfortunately didn't find but the fantastic rock formations more than made up for that fact. We drove ourselves to Worlds View (Rhodes Grave) about 40 mins away on a tarred road. We also did an evening drive on the property and saw Zebra and Wildebeest. Our washing was done at no extra charge.The road from Bulawayo was good tarred all but the last couple of kms but it was fine for an ordinary car.There is a small pool in the granite hill but we didn't try it.We were self drivers but Sam told us that they will collect people from the airport and arrange transfers to other resorts in Zimbabwe. I can't wait to visit again and would urge others to try this stunning piece of luxury in the middle of the bush. There is a camp site and some self catering accommodation on the property which also appears to be popular

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank CHRC58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaveWCapeTown, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this review, May 27, 2012
Thank you so much for the kind words. It was wonderful to meet yourself and your husband, and fascinating to know that your own roots in Zimbabwe run so deep!! We really look forward to having you guys visit us again. Best Regards Dave
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MN
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2012

Our guide, Pierre Duval, from BushBaby Safaris, had scouted Zimbabwe before our trip and wanted to try this facility. We were a little puzzled when the gps had us turn into a small parking area with a sign that said "New Visitors! Please hoot on arrival". Pierre tapped the horn a couple of times and soon there was an answering hoot. Down a very steep incline came a Toyota to collect us and our luggage and take us up to the lodge. It was beautiful - built into the rocks in the Matobo Hills. A lovely lady lifted our big case (50 lbs.) onto her head and led us to our private stone cabin overlooking a gorgeous valley. It is quite possibly the most spectacular site we've ever stayed in. Tracy attended to our every detail including a quick game drive around the property before dinner. The chef called us to dinner by beating on a deep voiced drum and the food was great. We got lost going from the lodge to our cabin in the dark but Tracy rescued us. In the dark all those huge granite boulders look alike! The next morning Ian came from Bulawayo and took us in search of rhino. We walked part of the drive and got very close to a big white rhino...also saw two sets of bones, evidence of the poaching. It was a really good experience on all counts.

Room Tip: Anything overlooking the valley is great.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RiverLadyMn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Cough of a leopard, bark of a baboon or the scurry of an elephant shrew. These are the sights and sounds you may experience at this fabulous camp set on a granite "dwala" in the Matobo Hills. We stayed in the delightful honeymoon suit looking out over the valley.This camp is African bush at it's best! The food and service was excellent.

Room Tip: We loved the honeymoon suit and the others looked great as well. They all overlook the valley and t...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ecko17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Cave Camp

Property: Big Cave Camp
Address: 46KM peg, Matobo | Kezi Rd, Matobo National Park - The Matopos, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland South Province > Matobo National Park - The Matopos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Matobo National Park - The Matopos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Big Cave Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Big Cave Camp reposes atop an enormous granite whaleback commanding inspirational views across the famous Matobo National Park. Big Cave Camp has a four star lodge with restaurant, as well as a well equipped camp site with adjacent Ndebele village. Sophisticated African architecture incorporates colossal boulders into a luxuriously appointed thatched lodge positioned amidst ancient Khoisan rock art.Retire at a day's end to the natural rock-pool and sundeck, the Leopard`s Lair lounge and bar, a cave-style boma for pre-dinner drinks or the popular lodge library. The seven thatched A-frame lodges, each with en-suite bathroom and private balcony, resonate African creative flair.Find solitude within an intimate retreat as secluded as the original Kalanga grain bins that nestle amongst the rocks. ... more   less 
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