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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Zimbabwe

Bomani Tented Lodge: a synergy of community, environment and awesome wildlife

We want people to have an immersive safari and importantly, meet the local community…

By Mark Butcher
Managing Director of Imvelo Safari Lodges

Bomani is definitely a destination for people wanting to travel further off-the-beaten path. Sitting in a 5,000-acre private concession with only 10 tents and one family suite, we want people to have an immersive safari with lots of different activities and importantly, meet the local community. A lot of lodges will talk about hiring locally when they actually mean hiring Zimbabweans, but we typically try and hire people within walking distance of Hwange National Park. So it has to be from the community – I’m talking about the front-line villages; that’s my criteria.

We’ve done lots of cool things together. We’ve built special treehouses where guests can stay for four or five hours and we fetch them later. We do a lot of sleep-out nights under the stars. We eat outdoors more than indoors usually. Set up lunches by the waterholes; a bottle of cold wine, set the tables under a nice shady tree and watch the elephants coming into drink. Sometimes they’ll come into camp and you can sit quietly on your deck with the elephants all of five meters away. That’s one of the coolest things you can do in Hwange – just hang out at camp surrounded by animals.

Inside the park, you’re not allowed to drive or walk off the road and it’s a good rule but on the Bomani concession you can follow predators by car, something that really sets us apart. Walking though is a thing we really do a lot of. If you see an elephant from a car it’s wonderful but when you walk up to them on foot, wow that’s a whole new dimension. People sometimes worry about it and the way I explain it is I say if I drive around the M1 in London, I’m terrified, I’m white knuckled. It’s not my environment. But you guys know what you’re doing and it’s the same thing with us here. We spend most of our lives walking around Hwange Park and we know what you can do and what you can’t do.

Categories

  • Community
  • Places to stay
  • Wildlife

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Mark Butcher

Mark Butcher is an eco-tourism professional with a passion for linking local communities directly to wildlife conservation. In the 80s, he was a ranger for the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife and later, the Provincial Wildlife Officer in the Matabeleland North Province adjacent to Hwange National Park. Mark is now the Managing Director of Imvelo Safari Lodges, a selection of properties that directly benefit disenfranchised communities around Hwange.

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Andy, who's travelled extensively in Zimbabwe. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember – the ranger who can show you the best game viewing and fishing spots on the Zambezi, the guide who’ll introduce you to ‘moonbows’ at Victoria Falls and the locals who’ll invite you in for dinner.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656