Somalisa Camp

Situated in the North West of Zimbabwe in Hwange National Park

Somalisa Tented Camp is located on the eastern side of Hwange, Zimbabwe’s largest National Park which is 14,651 km2 (5,657 sq miles) in area. It is 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. Not only is Somalisa wonderfully situated within the park with excellent game viewing, guests have easy access to the Hwange road network for game drives.

The beauty of Somalisa Lodge is that it combines luxurious and private accommodation with old world hospitality and service. Somalisa reflects Africa’s timeless wonder and natural beauty and  provides guests with the ultimate and utterly unforgettable safari 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.

During the warmer months you can take a dip in the pool located on the deck overlooking the waterhole or gather around the fire pit underneath the brilliant African night sky, where guests can enjoy a relaxing drink and share their experiences. These special moments truly capture the essence of the African experience and does not compare to any other place in the world. Many fond memories will be created and guests find themselves reminiscing about those special nights around the campfire years after they have departed from this very special place. It is such a pleasure to witness the excitement of visitors describing their safari experiences and ‘sightings’ for the day… all before indulging in the delightful cuisine prepared by Somalisa’s talented chefs.

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. See ‘Wildlife’  below.

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At A Glance



7 luxury Sail tents with a total of 14 beds.

Exclusive use of the camp is available but a minimum of 12 people is required.

Each tent has:

  • Gauze sliding doors
  • Indoor and Outdoor Shower
  • Copper slipper-style bathtub
  • Flushing toilets
  • Solar Power (backup generator), battery-charging facilities available in tents and main area

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”




Airport and Road

Scheduled Flights:

Guests can fly into Victoria Falls and transfers can be arranged. It is approximately a three and a quarter hour road trip, 232kms (145 miles) to Somalisa Camp.

Somalisa Camp is a little over an hours drive from Hwange Main Camp.

Alternatively guests can fly into Bulawayo and it is approx four and a half hours, 349 kms (218 miles) by road to Somalisa Camp. Guests can do self drive or a transfer can be arranged for a fee.

Guests can drive to Somalisa Camp but off the main roads a 4WD is definitely recommended.

Light Aircraft:

 Manga Airstrip: Situated in the heart of Hwange National Park. It is only a 30 minute drive from Somalisa Private Concession where Somalisa Camp and Somalisa Acacia are located.

Hwange Airport: It is only a 35 minute flight between Victoria Falls Airport and Hwange National air field. Somalisa Camp is 150 kms (94 miles) or approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes from Hwange airport. Transfers can be arranged


Victoria Falls Airport is approximately 22 kms out of Victoria Falls Town and 232 kms (145 miles) from Somalisa Camp. Pick ups from the airport can be arranged by Somalisa Camp or with local transfer companies at an additional cost.

Guests can fly into Bulawayo and it is approx four and a half hours, 349 kms (218 miles) by road to Somalisa Camp. Guests can do self drive or a transfer can be arranged for a fee.



Victoria Falls Town to Somalisa Camp 254 kms (159 miles)

Victoria Falls Airport to Somalisa Camp 232kms (145 miles)

Livingstone Airport to Victoria Falls Town 20.6 kms (13 miles)

Livingstone airport to Somalisa Camp  271 kms (170 miles)

Hwange Airport to Somalisa Camp 150 kms (94 miles)

Bulawayo – Hwange 337 kms (210.63 miles)

Hwange – Somalisa Camp 63.2 kms (39.5 miles)

Hwange – Victoria Falls Town 102 kms (64 miles)

Bulawayo – Somalisa Camp 349 kms (218 miles)

Bulawayo – Victoria Falls Town 438 kms (274 miles)

Harare – Victoria Falls 878 kms (548.75 miles)

Harare – Somalisa Camp 616 kms (386 miles)

Kariba – Victoria Falls Town 778 kms (486 miles)

Kariba – Somalisa Camp 686 kms (429 miles)

Gweru – Somalisa Camp 448 kms (280 miles)

Gweru – Victoria Falls Town 539 kms (337 miles)

Bulawayo – Matopas 35 kms (22 miles)

Bulawayo – Beitbridge 320 kms (200 miles)

Bulawayo –  Gweru 164 kms (102 miles)

Bulawayo – Harare 440 kms (274 miles)

Bulawayo – Kariba 803 kms (502 miles)

Harare – Gweru 277 kms (172 miles)



The Dry season (from July to October) is the best time for game viewing when animals gather around predictable water resources.

Animals include: Lion, Elephants, Hyena, Giraffes, Kudu, Sable Roan, Cheetah, Leopard Hippos, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest, Wild Dogs, Hartebeest, Baboon, Impala, Warthog, Pangolins, Vervet monkeys.

Birds: Over 400 species have been recorded in Hwange which has the largest occurrence of birds in Zimbabwe.

Migratory birds are present from November to April. There are two main birding areas: the one around Main Camp and one to the north of the Park, around Robins and Sinamatella Rest Camps. Both areas are linked by a network of roads which take visitors through a variety of habitats, including many waterholes that attract large numbers of animals and birds.

Birds include: Ground Hornbill, Yellow Hornbill, Lilac Breasted Roller, Spur-winged Goose, Rufous-naped Lark, Red-billed Spurfowl, Bronze-winged Courser, Sandgrouse, Yellow-crimson Breasted Shrike, Kestrel, African Hobby, Kori Bustard, Yellow Billed Kite, Cape Griffon Vulture, Carmine Bee-eater, Martial Eagle, Pearl spotted Owlet, Swallow Tailed Bee Eater, Arnot’s Chat, Racket-tailed Roller, Crimson-breated Shrike, Red-creasted Korhaan, Secretary Bird, Kalahari scrub Robin etc

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Activities include:

  • Morning and evening game drives
  • Walking
  • Bird watching
  • Game viewing from hides
  • Night drives
  • Cultural tours of local villages

Zimbabwean guides are recognized as being amongst the most highly trained and knowledgeable in Africa. Walking safaris were perfected in Hwange and Somalisa Camp’s guides offer guests the opportunity to view wildlife close up on foot.

From big game viewing to examining the lowly ant-lion, this is a unique and fascinating way to see Hwange. Game drives allow guests to cover vast distances and see the diversity of the park as well as come across a plethora of wildlife.

In addition to experiencing the park, guests are encouraged to sit and enjoy the game that moves through the area close to camp.


Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park (formerly called Wankie National Park) was founded in 1928 and set aside as a National Park in 1929. It was named after a local Nhanzwa chief.

Hwange became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th Century.

Hwange is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying approximately 14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest of the country about one hour south of the town of Victoria Falls.

Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The Park has three distinctive Camps and administrative offices at Robins, Sinamatella and the largest one at Main Camp.

Hwange has two main seasons, one hot and wet season starting in mid November and ending in mid April. This is the season for migratory birds in Hwange ranging from the inter-African migrants like the Southern Carmine Bee-eater to the Palearctic Migrants like the Amur Falcons and the Ruff. The number of bird species found in Hwange exceeds 400 and this is largely due to migrants that take advantage of the huge numbers of insects and favourable conditions during the wet season.

The second season in the cold and dry season starting off in about mid April and ending when the rains break in mid November. The low temperatures occur for a brief period in May/June and July and then it remains dry but get progressively warmer as the season progresses. Summer temperatures can reach into the 40s whilst winter overnight lows can be in the minuses but normally for only short periods. Hwange is on the edge of the Kalahari desert and as such we see a number of desert specialist birds in this dry period such as Sand grouse, Coursers and Nightjars.

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Hwange Weather

Hwange National Park weather 

Hwange experiences a mild to warm climate. The warmest months are September to March, while May to August are the coolest. 
Temperatures can vary from 1 degee in winter to 45 degrees in summer, but generally average highs and lows are more moderate. 
The Dry season occurs in April through October and brings fine, fair weather with plenty of blue sky. 
The Wet season occurs from November to March and consists of showers in the afternoon followed by clear, sunny skies. On occasion It can remain cloudy with light showers for a few days. 
Winter is regarded as the dry season and summer the wet season.
Dry season – April to October – Winter
April – Generally this is the month when the rains diminish and temperatures are falling bringing to an end the Wet season.   The evening / night time temperatures can drop rapidly and it is necessary to wrap up warmly particularly when on early morning and evening game drives. 
May, June, July, August – These are essentially the winter months with temperatures rising in late August, early September. 
Given there is no winter rain it is a very dry time of year and many of the waterholes which are not serviced with boreholes will dry up. The lack of water and sparseness of the vegetation generally makes it the best time for game viewing.
Daytime temperatures are around 26°C/79°F, but it gets very cold at night with average temperatures of around 7°C / 40°F. 
September, October – The dry weather continues, but is broken up by the first rains which generally occur in early to mid November.
The change to the bush is almost immediate and new vegetation growth is clearly visible within a few days.
Daytime temperatures rise to 30°C+ quite quickly. October is the hottest month of the year and temperatures frequently rise to over 40°C.
Wet season – November to March – Summer
November – This brings a start to the rainy season and it is common for heavy rain to occur with plenty of thunder and lightening which makes for spectacular viewing. November remains very hot and daytime temperatures average around 32°C.
December, January & February – These are the wettest months of the year and whilst it may rain often the rain maninly occurs in the afternoons and will then clear.  It rarely lasts the whole day. Daytime temperatures average 29°C while night and early morning temperatures average 17°C.


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