The Hide

Situated in the Hwange National Park

The Hide Safari Camp is situated in a private concession on the Eastern boundary of the famous Hwange National Park. It opened in September 1992 and was built by the late Tom Preston who had a passion for wildlife and conservation. Since that time The Hide has continued to grow and develop and over the years has earned its reputation as a consummate safari destination for both the exceptional wildlife experience and the hospitality it offers.

The Hide has been designed to accommodate up to twenty plus guests in ten Delux tents, two of which are luxury family or honeymoon tents. The tents are a combination of canvas and thatch and are uniquely styled and spacious.All are mosquito-proofed and have en suite bathrooms, a fans for your comfort in summer and extra warm blankets and hot water bottles for the cooler winter months. One tent is wheelchair friendly. See ‘Accommodation’ below.

In addition to the Delux tents there is ‘Tom’s Little Hide’ which is a three bedroomed safari house which accommodates  six adults and four children. Additional guests can be accommodated in a nearby Delux tent.

Having been voted ‘Best Safari Camp – Tented’ sixteen times is testament to the numerous positive reviews on travel websites.

The Hide really is a place to go an chill out and enjoy what the beautiful Zimbabwean bush has to offer. Not only is the accommodation unique and very well appointed, the food is of a very high standard and the guides and staff are really welcoming and attentive and will ensure your stay is very memorable. Whilst nothing is guaranteed when it comes to wildlife the waterhole does attract a diverse range of animals and birds and the daily passing parade always offers something special.

Wake up to the first calls of robins and hornbills as the dawn light creeps in, enjoy a cup of freshly delivered coffee on your veranda and watch elephants, kudu, giraffe and zebra come down to the mist-edged waterhole. At the end of the day, soak in a soothing hot bath as the buffalo stroll silently by or enjoy an energising outdoor shower under the stars.

The hub of the camp is the signature “A” frame lodge which houses the dining room, a downstairs sun lounge and a large comfortable lounge / viewing area upstairs. There is also a plunge pool near the main lounge and dining room. 

Most meals are served in unsurpassed elegance and style in the A Frame dining area around the magnificent 22 seater teak dining room table. Morning and afternoon tea and cake is best enjoyed upstairs, in the A-frame, overlooking the pan. Meanwhile, breakfast can be served Alfresco, under our Acacia trees.
The Hide’s waterhole is close by and offers a unique feature.  Without the need for a guide, you can go directly from the deck into the underground hide through a tunnel where you can sit quietly and observe the animals from up-close. 
Along the same tunnel you will be delighted to find The Hide’s wine cellar built into in the wall with a small selection of suitably cooled fine wines from around the world. Guests are invited to choose the wine they’d like with dinner – or suggestions can be made based on wine pairing recommendations.

At A Glance



Tents: The Hide has 10 spacious and very comfortable deluxe tents two of which are designated as family deluxe and honeymoon deluxe tents.

Tents 6 & 7 are large Deluxe Suites or Family Tents.

Note: The Hide has a no Under 10 year old age policy in its tents, however families with children of any age are welcome to book Tom’s Little Hide or The Private Hide where everyone is catered for. See below.

Tom’s Little Hide: 

Accommodation consists of 3 large luxury en-suite rooms, all overlooking the main waterhole. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom,
consisting of bath, outside and inside shower, his and hers hand basins and flush toilet along with a teak dressing table

 All rooms have been mosquito proofed and have fans. The spacious bedrooms are tastefully
furnished with solid Zimbabwe teak furniture and each are individually decorated.

The third room is tented and has an inter-leading children’s room, accommodating two children. 

Tom’s Little Hide offers:

  • Exclusive & intimate safari house
  • Private safari vehicle & Professional Guide
  • Private & flexible dining
  • Morning & afternoon game drives & walks on offer

The Private Hide:

This consists of a private dining / lounge area with a fire pit. For accommodation, guests use The Hide’s Tents 7 and / or Tent 6, and / or Tent 5 depending on the number of adults.

The Private Hide offers:

  • Authentic private safari experience
  • Private safari vehicle & Professional Guide
  • Private & flexible dining
  • Morning & afternoon game drives & walks on offer

Airport and Road Transfers

Scheduled Flights:

Guests can fly into Victoria Falls and transfers can be arranged. It is a two hour road trip to Hwange Main Camp where guests are met by a Hide representative. The Hide is a little over an hours drive from Hwange Main Camp through the National Park.

Alternatively, you can fly into Bulawayo and it is approx four hours (330 kms) by road to Hwange Main Camp and a further one hour to The Hide. 

Guests can drive to The Hide but off the main roads a 4WD is definitely necessary.

Light Aircraft: 

It is only a 35 minute flight between Victoria Falls Airport and Umsthibi Airfield or Hwange National Park air field. There is also the Hwange Main Airport.

The Hide is just 40mins from Umtshibi Airfield or 1hr 30 mins drive from Hwange Main Airport through the National Park. 


Victoria Falls: Most guests tend to fly into Victoria Falls Airport and then take the two-hour road transfer to Hwange Main Camp where they are met by a Hide representative.

The Hide is a little over an hours drive from Hwange Main Camp through the National Park.

This transfer is conducted in a Hide open safari vehicle and offers game viewing opportunities.

Bulawayo: Alternatively, you can fly into Bulawayo and it is approx four hours (330 kms) by road to Hwange Main Camp and a further one hour to The Hide. 



The Park hosts over 100 mammal and 400 bird species, including 19 large herbivores and eight large carnivores.

All Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers.


Lion, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Sable, Cheetah, Warthog, Zebra, Hippo, Giraffe, Impala, Leopard, Elephant, Wild Dog, Spotted Hyena, Brown Hyena, Gemsbok plus many more 


Bateleur Eagle, Tawny Eagle and Martial Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Southern Pale Chanting-goshawk, Ostrich, Burchell’s Sandgrouse, Woolly-necked and Saddle-billed Storks, Kori Bustards and Red-crested Korhaans, Southern Ground-hornbills, Secretary birds, lapwings, Waders, Collared and Black-winged Pratincoles, Three-banded Coursers, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Chestnut-backed and Grey-backed Sparrow larks, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Bradfield Hornbill,  Dickinson’s Kestrel, African and Eurasian Hobby, Red-necked Falcon and a wide of others plus harriers in the wet season. The pans themselves have herons and egrets, Dwarf Bittern, flamingos and ducks including Maccoa, Lesser Moorhen, terns and African Skimmer, and it is worth checking the more vegetated ones in the rains for Corn, Spotted, Striped and Baillon’s Crakes. The woodlands and drier bush and acacia have Southern Pied Babbler, African Red-eyed Bulbul, Arnot’s Chat, Kalahari Scrub-robin, Barred Wren-warbler and Stierling’s Wren-warbler, Tinkling Cisticola, Black-chested Prinia, Magpie Shrike and Crimson-breasted Shrike, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Meves’s Starling, Red-billed Buffalo-weaver, Orange-winged Pytilia, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah and Black-faced Waxbill plus many more



The Tents have a number of different
configurations with indoor and / or outdoor bathtubs and showers. A facility matrix for each tent is available.

Two Deluxe Tents can be used by families with children.

Each tent has a private veranda from where guests may be entertained by the comings and goings of a large variety of game at the floodlit waterhole.

Fully inclusive rates include:

  • Accommodation twin share, triple or single
  • Honeymooners will be accommodated in the Delux Honeymoon tent
  • All meals and snacks
  • Drinks – local drinks including beers, wine, soft drinks and spirits.
    Coffee & tea available throughout the day
  • Early morning tea/coffee is delivered to your tent.
  • Meals, teas / coffees, drinks are available in the main lodge
  • Landline telephone service and WiFi available at The Hide’s reception area.
  • Daily laundry service (weather permitting)
  • Check in is 1200hrs and check out is 1000 hrs
  • Powered by mains electricity (220 volts) with generator back-up. Please bring adapters.


Location Pin


The Hide is situated on the eastern boundary of the famous Hwange National Park in a 5 square km area.

The roads are dirt roads and therefore subject to the impact of local weather conditions and the quality does vary. Self-drive guests are advised to use 4WDs.

Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest National Park, accounting for an area of 14,651km² being approximately half the size of Belgium. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the mighty Victoria Falls.

Formerly occupied by the San bushmen, the Nhanzwa, and latterly the royal hunting ground for Matabele king, Mzilikazi.

The area was finally gazetted for wildlife conservation in 1928 and then called Wankie Game Reserve with the first warden being 22-year-old Ted Davidson. The reserve was created simply because the land was deemed to be unsuitable for agriculture with its poor soils and scarce water supplies. With neighboring Robins Game sanctuary, it become a national park under the National Park Act of 1949. Originally Robins Game sanctuary belonged to H G Robins, a cattle rancher.

Ted Davidson walked across most of this park’s immense area during the years 1928-1929 and discovered that wildlife was almost non existent.   The once teeming population of elephants was estimated to be under 1000, and the black and white rhinoceros had been eliminated. With water being the critical element, Ted Davidson set upon creating over 60 new artificial pans which helped to boost wildlife numbers now able to access drier parts of the park. To this day, water remains a critical factor and is vital to the survival of the park. 


There are a number of relaxing and enjoyable things to do whilst staying at The Hide. These include:

  • Walking safaris
  • Game drives
  • Birding

The Hide Safari Camp is fortunate in that whilst it is located within the Hwange National Park, it is also surrounded by a private concession, which allows guests to participate in activities not otherwise permitted.

Hwange is a vast playground worth exploring so you don’t have to worry about being bored. Early morning walks with our knowledgeable guides are invigorating and you will likely see wildlife and experience nature in a very different way. 

Sundowners in the bush are an important part of the outdoor Zimbabwe experience.  Enjoy the natural beauty with a cold drink in hand.
The guides at The Hide are very much part of the family and have undergone some of the most rigorous training in Africa. Their passion for and knowledge of the bush is often what makes a safari so special.
There is no typical day at The Hide as it really depends on you how much or little you would like to do. Meal-times are normally a good chance to catch up with everyone and plan what you would like to do. Generally bush trips are scheduled at the same time as when most of the animal activity occurs which is usually in the mornings and late afternoons or evenings. However, the scope and scale of Hwange’s wildlife is such that there is generally always something to see.
Guests are not limited in the number of activities they can do. In addition to early morning drives night drives after diner are popular with some guests. 
The waterhole at The Hide is particularly special with daily visitors to the camp, often including elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala, waterbuck and kudu. Lion come in from time to time and wild dog have even made kills in full view of the camp.
Sign Post

Nearby Attractions

Without doubt it is the Hwange Natonal Park which is the main attraction and the reason why so many people visit the park every year and indeed Zimbabwe.

Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park, accounting for an area of 14,651km2 with an average altitude of 3,300 ft (1,000m) above sea level.

It is situated on the main Bulawayo to Victoria Falls road in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe and borders Botswana.
Hwange has 300miles (480km) of roads, many of which are all weather but some get boggy during the rainy season and are closed. There is no off-road or night driving in the National Park.The landscape is diverse, dense teak forest in the north gives on to Kalahari sandveld in the south. In between, open grassy plains lined with acacia lie alongside mopane woodland and islands of ilala palms.

Hwange National Park is a haven for over 100 mammal and 400 bird species, the park protects populations of all of Zimbabwe’s endangered species, elephants numbering in excess of 20,000 (up from around 4,000 when the park was proclaimed), and what is thought to be one of the largest populations of African wild dog left in the world. Large prides of lion and buffalo are frequently seen here and you have a good chance of spotting leopard in addition to cheetah and spotted hyena. The wild and woolly brown hyena also occurs here and is something of a rarity.

A significant feature of Hwange is the absence of permanent surface water. Animals rely heavily on a series of waterholes, many of which dry up completely during drought years. The Friends of Hwange now maintain a number of these waterholes throughout the year thereby ensuring the livelihoods of thousands of animals, and excellent game viewing as wildlife congregates at these points.





Summer highs can reach 38° to 40°c

Winter lows can reach 5° to 8°c

The changing seasons, can impose dramatic weather changes on the park.

During the hot summer rains between December and March the bush becomes lush and the wildlife disperses. Between June and October, the winter months see the bush rapidly dry and thin out, all but a few waterholes remain, and the wildlife is concentrated and easy to spot.

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