Camelthorn Lodge

Camelthorn is nestled in the cool woodlands on the southern edge of Ngamo’s famous Plains.   Here, you will be treated to a truly memorable safari experience, in pure comfort and style.   Enjoy al fresco dining under our ancient camelthorn tree, savour your morning coffee in front of a roaring fire, track herds of elephant by foot, and enjoy close up photography from inside our look-up blind. This flagship lodge ticks all the boxes for your authentic African safari experience. 
Big news - white rhinos return to Hwange Zimbabwe. The Imvelo Ngamo Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect example of community-based conservation; local villages have given up prime grazing land for rhino conservation and re-introduction. This kind of conservation support from the community is unprecedented! Community development and conservation do not often go hand-in-hand, but if they can successfully be aligned, it will create a meaningful and sustainable method of ensuring wildlife conservation.

Getting to Camelthorn is just a 1 hour small plane charter from Victoria Falls or Bulawayo or a 4 hour road transfer.   A very unique transfer is a 2 hour road transfer from Victoria Falls to Dete and then a 2.5 hour rail car transfer from Dete Railway Station on the Elephant Express.

Less than a kilometre away from the lodge and inside Hwange National Park, we have built an underground hide in front of a beautifully located waterhole - elephants can be photographed from toe level silhouetted against the sky at a distance of 25 feet. Such close proximity to Hwange's giants is truly breathtaking!

Camelthorn is situated in one of Hwange’s last remaining well-protected and un-spoilt acacia woodlands, on the edge of the South Eastern corner of Hwange National Park.

The main lodge is unique in its style and design and has as its centre piece a huge ancient Camelthorn tree that spans a 35-metre outdoor dining area

There are 8 luxuriously furnished forest villas that are cool in the hot months and warm and cosy in the cold months.  Each villa has a private en-suite bathroom with a bath and feature window overlooking the woodland, large shower, closed off toilet, fireplace, a private ground level deck, upstairs outdoor maisonette with hammock and day bed and electricity by diesel/solar generator.

The woodlands surrounding our forest villas is dotted with small water baths that attract some of the smaller and less destructive woodland creatures - bushbuck, mongoose, squirrels and an abundance of interesting and colourful birdlife.

Forest Villa - Double Room
Large bedroom with overhead fans and fireplace, large glass sliding doors, mini bar and en-suite lounge, with a king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom with bath in front of picture window, shower, double basin and toilet, outdoor maisonette via spiral stairway provides an outdoor deck/roof with hammocks ideal for a siesta, private dining or a night ‘under the stars’.

Forest Villa - Twin Room
Large bedroom with overhead fans and fireplace, large glass sliding doors, mini bar and en-suite lounge, 2 double beds, en-suite bathroom with bath in front of picture window, shower, double basin and toilet, outdoor maisonette via spiral stairway provides an outdoor deck/roof with hammocks ideal for a siesta, private dining or a night ‘under the stars’.

Game Drives
Traditional open safari vehicles driven by licensed experienced guides.  Morning game drives with tea, coffee and biscuits and afternoon drives with drinks and cooked snacks.
Land cruisers seat up to 9 guests and Land Rovers seat up to 7 guests.  

Game Walks
Conducted by a fully licensed and highly experienced professional guide.  These are usually done in the mornings and are ideal for photography of big game on foot.  

Underground Blind
A feature of Camelthorn is the 6m long underground blind with en-suite flush toilet.  Strategically positioned in the shade of a Leadwood tree, disguised as an antheap and aligned to take advantage of both the sunsets and the evening light at elephant toe level - this blind will have novices taking National Geographic pictures! 

Night Drives
Night drives within the lodge estate to view the array of wildlife particularly nocturnal creatures is very popular.  Usually undertaken upon return from the afternoon activity or alternatively after supper, particularly when lion are heard calling nearby.

Pump Runs
Imvelo Safari Lodges operates 8 waterholes for the wildlife within this area of the park, the furthest of which is 55 km into the Park.  A popular activity is to take an all day trip into the park to visit the waterholes and drop fuel and oil for the motors, and rations and supplies for the pump attendants.

A picnic lunch is then enjoyed near one of the waterholes before taking an afternoon game drive back to the lodge.

School Tours and Village Visits
Within the neighboring villages of Tsholothso 15 minutes drive from the lodge, our guests have the opportunity to enjoy a real life look at village life in rural Matabeleland.  A fascinating experience of a variety of typical daily village activities is followed by a tour of one of the nearby schools conducted by the Headmaster where guests are given the opportunity to hear traditional songs sung by the children and enjoy a ‘class interaction’.  

Daily Horse Rides
The open grasslands and forest groves of the Ngamo Plains around Camelthorn and Bomani Lodges are among the most scenic areas of Hwange, as well as being home to a variety of wildlife, big and small. The landscape changes dramatically between the cooler dry winters and warm humid summers. 

This special scenery is ideal for horse-riding and several activity options have been designed for riders of different experience levels. We have a weight restriction of 90kgs and do not allow children under 16 years of age (children 7 years and above are permitted on the Beginner Bush Experience). 

All rides are led by our experienced, qualified guides and trackers. The pace is determined by safety and terrain and is mostly fast walking and trotting. Where possible in open areas we will canter and gallop. We look at our riders’ experience and tailor the pace accordingly. 

Typically between 2 and 4 guests can join an activity; breaks with refreshments are carefully planned to rest both horse and rider. We offer 1 ride for beginners and 4 rides for intermediate to advanced riders.

Pop Up Spa
Imvelo’s ethos is to enrich the lives of those who live around us as well as our guests. As such, we have a strong link with communities around the lodges and our spa treatments fall in line with our proud tradition of empowering the community through providing jobs in tourism as our beauty therapists have been hand-picked from the surrounding community area.

Our therapists were then trained locally to provide you authentic Zimbabwean treatments in the most spectacular settings! We encourage you to enjoy one of these treatments during your stay with us, as you will not only experience some true pampering in the African bush, but you will also be further giving back to our local community.

Spa treatments are available at your private villa on the maisonette level, overlooking the unspoilt acacia woodlands or a destination treatment can be arranged in the Camelthorn concession, close to the lodge, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
(Destinations available will vary, depending on seasonality, amount of guests in camp and time of day the treatment is requested.  Please discuss this with management the day before the treatment is requested and they will do their best to ensure something special is arranged.)


To view a digital brochure on Camelthorn click HERE

To view a video on Camelthorn click HERE

To see a virtual tour on Camelthorn click HERE


Superb Safari Living under Acacias
Green Season Special
Stay 3 nights / Pay 2
Stay 6 nights / Pay 4
Plus Single Supplement fee waived & kids 16 and under stay free.
* Valid Jan-Apr + Nov-Dec 2024/25. High season kids pay 30% (May-Oct)