An elegant camp in a incomparable location, Somalisa Camp is set in the heart of Hwange National Park, tucked away on an acacia island along the edge of an ancient seasonal floodplain. You’ll find sweeping views of the savannah plains of the Kennedy Vlei, a fossil river also known as Massumamalisa. The seven spacious canvas tents are raised off the ground and have gauze sliding doors and large exterior decks. Each tent includes an en suite bathroom, hidden behind a brick wall with a copper slipper bath and both indoor and outdoor showers. Hwange can get cold in the winter months, so Somalisa provides wood-burning stoves and a floor fan for the hotter months.
The camp boasts an elephant pool and natural waterhole just below the main decking area. This pool was developed as an extension to the splash pool, built specifically for the elephant that visit almost daily in search of clean, fresh water. Relaxing on a lounger while elephant slurp and bathe just feet away is highlight of any visit to Hwange.
There are just seven rooms at Somalisa, each raised off the ground with a spacious deck at the front with comfortable seating. The well-furnished rooms have a contemporary feel. Closed wood burners offer respite from the cold winter evenings and a floor fan cools you in the summer months. The en suite bathroom is hidden behind a stylish brick wall where there's an indoor and outdoor shower and a copper slipper-style bath, all with lovely views.
On the opposite side of the acacia island is a smaller, private camp, Somalisa Acacia, which has just four rooms including two connecting family rooms, making it an ideal spot for families or groups of friends. All facilities here are the same, just with a slightly more private feel.
Situated in a private concession right in the heart of Hwange National Park, Somalisa is built under the shade of acacia trees. The rooms are strategically positioned to look out over the floodplain yet not be overlooked themselves.
Food and Drink
Starting your day with tea or coffee delivered to your room, the service at Somalisa is personal, attentive and impressive given the remote location. Three-course dinners will be served under the stars or around the fire. Lunches can be enjoyed under the shade of the open-sided dining area, which overlooks the very popular 'Elephant Pool' and waterhole.
Somalisa's main camp has a minimum age of seven, but at Somalisa Acacia children of all ages are welcome. Due to restrictions within the national park, children under the age of 16 are not permitted to join a walking safari, but all other activities are available.
Facilities and Activities
Morning, afternoon and evening game drives are the main activities here, although guided bush walks are a great way to stretch your legs and learn about the bush from a different angle. There are also some photographic hides nearby, all of which overlook a waterhole allowing for close-up images of the wildlife that passes through in search of water.
We think that Somalisa is one of the finest camps in Hwange. Its peaceful location is frequented by herds of elephant that regularly come to drink in the nearby waterhole, while the park's wide range of other wildlife makes for some excellent game-viewing by vehicle or on foot.
Hwange National Park itinerary suggestions
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.