Welcome to thethoughtfultraveller.com’s Zimbabwe accommodation series!
Thanks to the wonderful Sikeleli Safaris, this lucky blogger has gained an exclusive insight into the best safari camps, lodges and hotels that the country has to offer.
Stay tuned for Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls highlights…
When I think of my time at Miombo I get a warm, fuzzy feeling. Probably the same feeling the staff get when they arrive at work each day from the next door village, thanks to the camp’s homely environment and wonderful owners.
The fact the staff all call Francie ‘amai’, a Zimbabwean term for ‘mum’ speaks for itself. And the fact I called her that too by the end of my two night stay is reason enough to book with Sikeleli Safaris ASAP. But if it’s more detail you want, I aim to please…
The camp is situated just on the outskirts of Hwange National Park. A truly special place, it’s a relaxed environment where guests flit from chalet, to pool, to game drive and back.
This flitting is easier said than done, however, since the food on offer is of an incredibly high standard. The rusks (African biscotti), for instance, are delivered from Zim’s second city, Bulawayo, and are the best I’ve tried. You won’t want to leave the dining room.
Neither will you want to leave the game drive vehicle, thanks to ‘Mr B’ and his warm, witty game tours (leaving twice a day to coincide with sunrise and sunset).
So, the accommodation itself? Flexible and varied, it ranges from a Honeymoon suite to rustic tree houses to thatched rondavels.
They’re all a very short walk from the main site, and are brimming with charm, if not the latest in luxury.
Wooden decor and minimalist furnishings make for a smart suite, whilst the velcro windows allow for sunlight aplenty.
The rooms tend to be situated overlooking watering holes, allowing for an uninterrupted view of animals lounging and drinking.
Not that the above is a necessity – elephants have been known to drink out of the camp’s generous-sized swimming pool itself!
In addition to on Hwange’s bumpy roads and siesta-ing from Zimbabwe’s midday sun, guests tend to be found at the camp’s massive dining table.
Here, the awkward British person’s nightmare becomes a reality, as it’s where everyone convenes for mealtime. Thankfully, the setup tends to result in the most interesting conversations – between travellers of all ages and life stages.
It doesn’t hurt either that after dinner drinks are a much encouraged phenomenon (go for South African cream liquor, Amarula, on the rocks). Neither does it hurt that the campfire adds warmth to both atmosphere and temperature.
Often, too, you’ll find candles lighting up an animated conversation between guests, staff, or a mixture of both. Power cuts are common in this part of the country, but, if anything, they’re less frustrating and more a means of bringing people closer together.
And by this I mean that a Dutch girl I barely knew used the power outage as a way of guilt-tripping me into sharing her treehouse. She was scared of elephants coming to her door. If that’s not an authentic African experience, then I don’t know what is..
Ultimately, there’s nowhere with a warmer heart than Miombo Safari Camp, so slap on some bug spray (or as they call it, ‘bush perfume’), cast away any misgivings and jump straight into the safari experience of a lifetime.
To book Miombo Safari Camp please visit Sikeleli Safari’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.