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A wild escape to Wilderness Little Makalolo

A wild escape to Wilderness Little Makalolo

Wilderness Little Makalolo camp review

May 31st, 2023

At 34,000 hectares, Hwange National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Zimbabwe (and we’re told that it’s as big as the entire state of Massachusetts!). Here, you will find endless grasslands filled with some of the most incredible animals of the bush.

Our girl Hannah Tan-Gillies checked into the original Hwange bush camp, Wilderness Little Makalolo, or as the camp managers like to call it ‘Little Mak’, for a wild adventure in the African bush.

Little Makalolo is smaller than other Wilderness camps in Zimbabwe like Wilderness Linkwasha and Wilderness Toka Leya and Wilderness Chikwenya. With only six tented suites, Little Mak offers a much more intimate bush experience, that is equal parts rustic and charm.

Unlike other luxury camps, Little Mak offers a much more convivial atmosphere, where guides, camp managers and guests can mingle over a roaring fire during chilly evenings in Hwange. Our camp manager liked to call this ‘The Bush TV’ as it’s where people come together to share tales from their game drives and the most exciting sightings of the day. When the staff discovered that we were there for our honeymoon, they went above and beyond and surprised us with a special cake, candle-lit dinner and song and dance number. So, while Little Mak may not have all the luxury amenities of other Wilderness Camps, it certainly makes up for it with the warmth and friendliness of everyone in camp.

There is a small pool overlooking a nearby watering hole, a cute bar and a few tables dotted throughout the two main public tents for dinner, lunch and breakfast. The tents are not air-conditioned though offer all the creature comforts you will need for your stay including an electric fan (a must), indoor and outdoor shower, and luxury linens and amenities.

Days at the bush start at 5am with a guide knocking at your tent to get you ready for breakfast. A continental breakfast is served around a fire, and by 6am you’re off on your first game drive of the day. In Hwange, you’ll be able to see the safari ‘Big Five’ which are elephants, lions, buffalos, wildebeest and hippos. Lucky for us – all Big Five were in abundance during our drives.

Our guide Lovemore was the best of the bunch, with a wealth of knowledge not just on the animals but also how to track them and the delicate balance of the ecosystem that maintains the bush. For example, Hwange has a disproportionately large elephant population, which is wreaking havoc on the food chain of other animals like giraffes and other herbivores in the area.

During our drives we saw two cheetah brothers, a leopard who had hidden his kill up a tree, and a whole pride of lions, just a few meters from the truck – safari truly is a magical experience and there is no better way to do it than with Wilderness.

Nightly rates at Little Makalolo start from $USD 550 per person sharing; www.wildernessdestinations.com