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Zimbabwe Safari

Makalolo Plains Camp & Little Makalolo

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Lion pride at Makalolo Plains, Zimbabwe
Return to Map of Zimbabwe Camps

View images of Makalolo Plains Camp: Makalolo Images
View images of Little Makalolo: Little Makalolo Images

View Camp Layout Map of Makalolo Plains Camp: Makalolo Plains Camp Map
View Camp Layout Map of Little Makalolo: Little Makalolo Camp Map

MAKALOLO PLAINS CAMP RATES: Makalolo Plains Camp Rates
LITTLE MAKALOLO RATES: Little Makalolo Rates

Makalolo Plains is another of the few private camps situated within Hwange National Park. The Makalolo area is ecologically diverse, including vast, open, palm-fringed plains, grasslands, acacia woodlands, and teak forests. This ensures a varied food "pantry" which feeds great numbers of animals year round. Makalolo is made up of two small camps - Makalolo Plains and Little Makalolo - which have exclusive use of a massive concession area within Hwange National Park. Both camps are operated by Wilderness Safaris.

Makalolo Plains           For images of Makalolo Plains, click Makalolo Images
The camp is built on raised teak decks and boardwalks, providing panoramic unique views over the Somavundla Pan with its excellent concentrations of wildlife. Accommodation consists of ten large, comfortable tented rooms with en-suite facilities as well as an outdoor shower for those who enjoy showering under the stars. The lighting in the rooms is battery-powered so there is peace and quiet in camp, allowing one to listen to the sounds of the bushveld instead.

The main area has a lounge, pub, plunge pool and dining area where delicious meals are served. While the emphasis is on game drives, night drives and guided walks, well-situated hides or raised viewing platforms provide the ideal manner to while away the lazy midday hours, watching wildlife come down to the waterholes to drink.

Little Makalolo           For images of Little Makalolo, click Little Makalolo Images
Little Makalolo is the "sister" camp to Makalolo Plains. The camp lies in the heart of Hwange National Park, in one of its best game viewing areas, overlooking a vibrant waterhole. The camp's six rooms have en-suite facilities, with both indoor and outdoor showers. Solar power is used for electricity ensuring a lighter environmental footprint. The living areas include a dining room, lounge, plunge pool and an open fire area for those convivial evening fireside tales. There is a log pile 'tree house' hide overlooking the waterhole in front of camp where guests can enjoy wildlife viewing during the siesta hours..

Activities centre on open 4x4 Land Rover game drives and guided nature walks throughout the Makalolo concession. The area's large number of waterholes attracts game in both quantity and variety, especially in the winter months when Hwange is literally home to a Noah's Ark parade of animals as they come down to quench their thirst.

There are a number of shallow pans spread throughout the Park, around which wildlife congregates, making for excellent and reliable game viewing. During summer plains game migrate onto the plains, closely followed by their predators. Elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, southern giraffe, blue wildebeest, impala and sometimes even gemsbok (oryx) can be seen here. This Park is one of the best for predators - lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah are regularly sighted, along with the smaller African wildcat, serval, honey badger, civet and spotted hyaena.

Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe at 14 500 km² with varied habitats and vegetation types. The park is predominately Kalahari sandveld supporting teak and mopane woodlands, dry Acacia scrub and is interspersed with saltpans and
grasslands that support enormous species diversity and provide a true wilderness experience. Both Makalolo Plains and Little Makalolo are situated in the 31 000-hectare Makalolo concession.

Located on the border with Botswana, Hwange was proclaimed some 75 years ago and has served as a haven for one of the densest concentrations of game in Africa. In particular, its great herds of Cape buffalo and elephant (nearly 30 000) are a sight to see. Hwange has some of the highest mammal diversity for any national park in the world. With over 100 species the diversity is incredible: slender mongoose, yellow mongoose, banded mongoose, Selous mongoose, dwarf mongoose, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, side-striped jackal, lesser bushbaby, vervet monkey, baboon, porcupine, aardwolf, spotted hyaena, caracal, leopard, African wildcat, lion, scrub hare, southern giraffe, hippo, springhare, warthog and Burchell's zebra.

Antelope often seen in the area include common duiker, eland, roan antelope, impala, kudu, sable, steenbok, waterbuck and blue wildebeest. White rhino is another special sight to see here; Wilderness Safaris has recently helped translocate a number of these wonderful beasts into the protected park.

The park is also home to a varied bird community. Typical drier Kalahari birds include Red-billed Spurfowl, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Cut-throat Finch, Red-eyed Bulbul and Southern Pied Babbler. A Bat Hawk and African Hobby (summer only) are good finds here, which are sometimes seen at dusk hunting bats and swifts. The plains are alive with pipits, larks and wheatears like African Pipit, Dusky Lark (in summer) and Capped Wheatear. Raptors are plentiful including Martial Eagle, four vulture species and accipiters like the Shikra. In the summer months the bird list is greatly increased by migratory species like Southern Carmine Bee-eaters, Black Kites, Broad-billed Rollers, various cuckoo species, Abdims Storks and European Bee-eater.

Bird life in the area is prolific, with more than 400 species found, and varied as species frequent teak woodlands as well as those more typical of the drier Kalahari being present.

As the concessionaire of a large area in south-eastern Hwange National Park, Wilderness Safaris has taken responsibility for many aspects of the management of this 100 000ha area.

During the dry season, water sources become scarce and Hwange has some 57 boreholes to pump water from deep underground to sustain the wildlife in the area. Wilderness Safaris has drilled and supplied engines, piping and the pumps on 18 of the 57 operational boreholes in the entire Park. Since February 2002, we have taken on responsibility for pumping 22 boreholes 24 hours a day, thereby supporting the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management both logistically and financially. This includes daily refuelling and maintenance and a full oil and filter change every 250 hours!

For updates on the Hwange Water Supply project, see the Trust website here.

We have also joined the National Park in jointly combating the effects of poaching along the Park's southern boundary, an area beyond our concession. Along the reserve boundary itself and also in the community areas beyond it, a large variety of mammal species fall victim to snaring, with larger species such as elephant and buffalo breaking free of their wire nooses and heading back to the refuge of the Park. Wilderness Safaris and the Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust provide funding and logistical support in the form of transport, fuel and rations to the anti-poaching units of the National Park.

For updates on the Hwange Anti-Poaching project, see the Trust website here.

Even white rhino appear to be increasing and in order to bolster and ensure this trend another joint project between Wilderness Safaris, the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management and the Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust successfully translocated a substantial breeding nucleus of the species into this area of Hwange. The first five animals arrived in July 2007 and were temporarily held in bomas before being released into the wild.

Read more: Hwange White Rhino Reintroduction Project

Research on this threatened species as well as lion and wild dog is supported by our staff in the area, both in terms of logistical support of the researchers themselves and also observations and monitoring conducted while on game drive. In the case of the lion study the long-term effects of sport hunting on the species have been examined by a team from Oxford with the result being a significant reduction by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management of the number of lions on quota for sport hunting on lands lying along Hwange's boundaries.

Near Hwange National Park lies a little school that caters for a number of children from surrounding villages. The area suffers from poverty and lack of amenities and Ngamo School is no exception. Linkwasha, the nearest Wilderness camp, has begun to help by providing some basic equipment as well as taking guests to visit - to get a glimpse of another, poorer world.

Read more: Hwange National Park - Ngamo School

Future plans for community involvement in Zimbabwe include the establishment of annual Children in the Wilderness camps and a comprehensive follow-up programme.

Top           Return to Map of Zimbabwe Camps

For further information about the National Parks of Zimbabwe, click Zim Parks
For History and General information about Zimbabwe, click More Zimbabwe

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