Linkwasha Camp is undoubtedly the most exclusive and luxurious safari camp in the Hwange National Park, owing to its superb location, outstanding service, dramatic scenery and incredible wildlife viewing, all combined with some of the best guiding in Africa. Home to one of the densest concentrations of game in Africa, Hwange National Park is a wonderful year-round destination for safari goers. For years Zimbabwe, renowned as Africa's friendliest country, struggled for safaris due to poor accessibility and a lack of high-end camps. The reopening of Linkwasha Camp in May 2015 took it to another level, offering visitors the luxury and quality of high-end Botswana camps. Situated on the same site as the old Linkwasha, the camp is close to the renowned Ngama Plains, which offers fantastic summer game viewing and excellent winter viewing from the camp itself. Linkwasha Camp overlooks a plain that attracts game in the dry season, allowing guests to sip sundowners enjoying panoramic views whilst watching the continuous parade of wildlife at the camp waterhole.
Hwange National Park at 14,651km² is Zimbabwe’s largest, most popular game reserve, and its mix of different veld and landscape types allows for productive year-round game viewing. Linkwasha’s location within a private concession means that sightings of the abundant wildlife are exclusive and private. Staggering herds of Cape buffalo and African savannah elephant roam free in the thousands. Some forty-five thousand elephant inhabit Hwange, they're prolific; three times the optimum ratio of one square kilometre per elephant. Over a hundred different species of mammal call Hwange National Park home, including lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, brown hyena, wild dog, various mongooses, jackals, hares, primates and the elusive porcupine, caracal, aardwolf and African wildcat. White rhino have been reintroduced with hopes of growing a natural population, but there are currently too few in the wild and sightings are rare. Plains animals include eland, roan, sable, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest, among many others.
Guests at Linkwasha Camp can enjoy early morning and late afternoon wildlife drives that last after dusk, exploring for nocturnal creatures and hunting predators. This ‘night-act’ includes species such as lesser bushbaby, spotted hyena, leopard, lion, Selous mongoose, pangolin, caracal, porcupine, scrub hare, springhare and even honey badger. Game drives are exciting as there’s always something new to be seen. The concession's savannah habitat is the ideal environment for guests to enjoy guided safari walks, where encounters can be had with large herds of elephant and buffalo, prides of lion, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe, sable, blue wildebeest, Burchell's zebra, waterbuck and reedbuck. Hwange National Park is similarly a hotspot for birders, with more than 400 species found in the area. Zimbabwean guides are some of the best in Africa with a rigorous apprenticeship and examined qualification process; the guides at Linkwasha Camp fascinate guests with their knowledge and passion for their work. As well as game drives and walking safaris guests can also visit the local village and learn about the traditional ways of life of the local community. Also the resident ecologist at Linkwasha Camp presents informative talks about the area, its wildlife and the ways of helping to conserve it. At night the more adventurous guests can enjoy a thrilling sleep out on the specially built sleep-out deck, the ‘star bed’, dozing off under the stars surrounded by the sights and sounds of Africa.
Linkwasha Camp’s design is ground-breaking. Gone are yesteryear's safari-lodge extravaganzas of crystal, empire silver, regal sofas and Persian rugs: and welcome in clean, straight lines, minimalist decor and indigenous baskets and lamps; a library on African game, and an open-air boma for stargazing around the fire. Architect Joy Brasler paid careful attention to the camps cross breezes and sun exposure, conceiving a new design built using sustainable and energy-efficient solutions, which allows for natural cooling and maximum light penetration, keeping energy use low. The fresh, modern yet luxurious design of Linkwasha Camp is complemented by an eclectic mix of contemporary interiors retaining the original spirit and essence of safari.
This open and airy camp blends in with the surroundings perfectly and sleeps twenty-two guests in seven twin/double tents and two family tents. The main communal area has multi-level decks ensuring wonderful views, and the dining room, bar and lounge overlooks the plains. The focus is on fresh and light meals in the warmer months and for lunch, with soups and warming seasonal dishes in the colder season. The pizza oven is a favourite for lunch. For those wanting to enjoy romantic dinners alone there is also the option of private dining in several areas. There is a swimming pool in the main area, essential for those hot summer months, and a cosy snug with a warm fireplace, great for the cold winter evenings. The waterhole in front of camp draws wildlife from across the area; many guests at Linkwasha Camp choose to spend an afternoon sitting on the deck watching the wildlife coming to drink; great herds of elephant, buffalo and often lion and hyena come to drink at dusk.