The Foundation also funds the education of more than 30 disadvantaged children, and a nature garden where children learn about bush life….
Somalisa Camp is at the heart of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Hwange is the largest park in Zimbabwe, at around 14,600 sq km, and we offer guests several ways of exploring it – walking safaris, game drives and birding and cultural tours.
The ethos at Somalisa is all about conservation and sustainable development and the camp’s founder, Beks Ndlovu, goes over and above to develop relationships with local communities. Through the African Bush Camps Foundation, set up by Beks, we’re able to support several communities near the company’s three camps. Between our camps our guides have over 620 years of guiding experience – and it shows!
The village experience is a full day out. We visit a primary school where teachers’ cottages have been built by the Foundation, which also funds the education of more than 30 disadvantaged children, and a nature garden where children learn about bush life.
On the way to Mambanje Village we get to show guests parts of the park that you wouldn’t otherwise see. I explain about the Lion Guardian programmes that are helping to mitigate conflict between humans and lions and talk a bit about communal grazing systems, including a mobile cattle boma which helps protect cattle from attacks from lions, and is helping to improve the quality of grazing, raise the water table and fertilise the fields.
In the village guests visit one of the homesteads constructed with sage grass, mud and soil and we see some of the artistic wall decoration inside the houses. Lunch is a traditional style meal prepared by a local homestead featuring foods that they would normally eat on an everyday basis. Heading back to Somalisa, depending on what I see, we may end up taking a full game drive. Part of Beks’s vision was to make the safari guide the foundation of the guest experience and he was right. Guests say they are not just coming for the animals, but also the people, and to learn about how we live and for the cultural insight that they gain.
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