Zimbabwe is home to an array of fantastic value and exceptional safari lodges. Here, you get some of the best guiding, wildlife and overall safari experience in Southern Africa but for half the price as its neighbour Botswana. We would really recommend Zimbabwe for this reason! It is also a really off the beaten track safari adventure, as the parks are quiet and you still get the private concession feel as with the Okavango Delta. Lodges range from $700 per person per night up to $1,350 per person per night, so Zimbabwe caters for a good range of budgets. However, there is not necessarily a super glamorous option in Zimbabwe – the lodges go from authentic style safari camps, to classic, old school permanent safari lodges. There is no show-stopping or modern luxury here, so if this is a priority and you have deeper pockets, we would suggest Botswana.

The best authentic and great value safari lodges in Zimbabwe


Two of the very best authentic safari camps in Zimbabwe are located in Hwange National Park - The Hide and Davisions which cost $700 per person per night. Both are tented camps and offer an exceptional yet very authentic safari experience – all the comforts you need; excellent beds, cosy rooms, good food and dining, excellent service and the guiding is fabulous. If you like to feel as though you are truly in the wilderness, and are after that classic old school safari experience without the added mod-cons, then these lodges are perfect.
 

The best classic safari lodges in Zimbabwe


The lodges at the top end of luxury in Zimbabwe are the Wilderness Safaris properties; in Hwange there is Linkwasha at $1,260 per person per night as well as Little Mackalolo at $990 per person per night. In Mana Pools you have Ruckomechi at $1,172 per person per night, and Chikwenya at $1,352 per person per night. These lodges could not quite be called “barefoot luxury” as in their essence, they are authentic safari camps reminiscent more of the old school safari romance, rather than being obviously luxurious. The luxury comes in the quality of guiding, service and overall safari experience.

Little Mackalolo is probably the most rustic of these which is reflected in the price – though the camp is an excellent one, and an office favourite. Then you have Ruckomechi, which is really captures the romance of safari in its interiors, and barefoot comfort. We love it. Then, Linkwasha and Chickwenya, which are the more luxurious it gets in Zimbabwe. They are tastefully done, and are extremely comfortable camps, though they do not match with high end luxury in Botswana. Perfect for travellers who don’t want to fork out a huge amount, but still like a few mod cons like a communal pool to relax in after a long day of safari.
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Themba and Bee were such awesome hosts. The staff is also so congenial and so wonderfully helpful. The campos is stunning and the staff wonderful providing both comfort anf really good food. The game was fantastic with lions andn large herds of buffalo and elephants!

- R. Tilson
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    Cost: $908
    Matetsi River Lodge - Victoria Falls

    Our View

    Perfectly in tune with Matetsi Private Game Reserve’s pristine habitats, the exclusive andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge offers a safari oasis that combines an exceptional wildlife experience and 27km (17 miles) of private Zambezi River frontage with easy access to the majestic Victoria Falls.
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    Cost: $265
    Molori Mashuma - Mana Pools

    Our View

    Mana Pools is without doubt one of the best places for a pure, wilderness safari. And whilst bush camps and Mana Pools often go hand in hand, there’s no denying that some guests prefer their creature comforts. And Molori Mashuma provides this, plus much more in the heart of walking safari heaven.
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    Cost: $1,700

    Our View

    Nyamatusi Camp and its more family orientated camp Nyamatusi Mahogany are two of the most luxurious camps in Mana Pools National Park. Located in the far Eastern reaches of the National Park, on the banks of the Zambezi, you can either enjoy the endless wonders of Mana Pools on game drive or out walking, or stay back at camp and enjoy its comforts. 
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    Cost: $1,073
    Pamushana Lodge - Malilangwe
    In short, we loved our stay at Pamushana. Amazing place, amazing people, and such a great stay. Everything worked very smoothly and the transfer from JNB to Buffalo Range airport was very smooth, never done that smooth travel in JNB before. The staff was friendly and since day 1 we felt like the same family.
    The lodge was in perfect condition and their cooks are simply amazing, we've never so good food in Africa before and best of all, it was local and included game. We've been disappointed in e.g. Kenya when the food was more European pizza-pasta -style. As a private resort it's not as animal rich as some national parks but that was really an advantage as one (read: the guide) had to make some effort to find the animals, especially the more rare ones.
    The animals are also less used to cars. In Maasai Mara it was a bit annoying that there was a lion family under every second tree, and the guides made noise simply to wake them up. Zimbabwe got high on our list for future trips so we'll most definitely be back.

    - P Ojala
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    Cost: $895
    Ruckomechi Camp - Mana Pools
    We found Ruckomechi Camp to be one of the most magical places we have ever visited. We loved getting to know the staff and were treated like royalty. It was fun to be able to experience Mana Pools National Park from a car, boat, canoe and by foot.

    - R.Lane
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    Cost: $1,073
    Sapi Explorer Camp - Mana Pools
    Sapi Explorer Camp is the new camp from Great Plains. Small, intimate and located in a very large private concession that runs adjacent to the Eastern borders of Mana Pools National Park, Sapi is a must for safari lovers. This is a newly opened concession which has some wonderful game viewing opportunities and is an excellent addition to a Mana Pools safari.
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    Cost: $1,073

    Our View

    Somalisa Camp and Somalisa Acacia are both owned by African Bush Camps. Located on an acacia island in their own private concession in Hwange National Park, a private and intimate stay can be assured. In front of both camps is an elephant pool which regularly sees large herds of elephants come to drink. This is just one of the highlights in one of safari's best destinations.
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    Cost: $667

    Our View

    Somalisa Expeditions, owned and run by African Bush Camps is an incredible small tented camp set deep within one of the best parks in Southern Africa. This old school style camp offers an authentic safari set in a quiet area of the park amongst a grove of acacia trees on a small floodplain with a small waterhole in front of the camp that is regularly visited by roaming elephants.
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    Cost: $667
    The Hide - Hwange

    Our View

    The Hide has consistently been voted one of the “Best Tented Safari Camp in Zimbabwe”, and in our view it remains one of the best lodges in Hwange. It is also one of the few lodges actually inside the National Park, with just 10 tents, it’s small and intimate and now beautifully renovated.
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    Cost: $650
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