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Wilderness Little Makalolo

When To Visit Hwange National Park:
When To Visit Hwange National Park:
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"A traditional tented camp in the best game-viewing area in Hwange. Perfect for those looking for an authentic safari experience but with lots of comfort!"


Little Makalolo (affectionately known as ‘Little Mak’) is an absolute gem from the Wilderness portfolio. Few places do authentic safari in a luxurious setting like Little Mak. Its location, in a private concession within Hwange, gives you great exclusivity away from the slightly busier areas of the park, with only the vast numbers of elephant getting in your way! It’s famous for these elephant numbers, with families often walking through camp and drinking from the swimming pool! If you’re looking for an up-close encounter with these wonderful creatures, this is where to come.

The camp has only six tented suites (one of which can be used as a family room), which keeps things nice and intimate. The guiding here is phenomenal, with rangers who’ve been working at the property for many years and know the park intimately. The camp is located by a busy watering hole that sees huge numbers of wildlife, no matter the time of year – although it does get even more active in the dry season (June – Oct). Hwange is home to a wide range of big-hitting wildlife, including buffalo, eland, zebra, giraffe, huge prides of lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog. The park’s amazingly maintained series of underground waterhole systems keeps the animals nourished in increasingly difficult climates, and is an amazing conservation success story in itself.

Little Mak has all the qualities of an old-fashioned safari camp – the rooms are beautiful, simple, and elegant, and the food is superb. It is this understated luxury, the warmth of the staff, and phenomenal year-round wildlife sightings that makes it the CEO of Wilderness’ favorite property of all their many fantastic camps! Quite a title to hold.


Little Makalolo sits in its own private concession within an eastern part of Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe. Hwange is the country’s finest game-viewing area, with a vast array of wildlife and huge predator numbers. Great herds of buffalo and elephant roam the plains, and over 400 species of bird have been recorded in the area! The property overlooks its own active waterhole, making the viewing, either from camp or the legendary log-pile hide near the water, absolutely first rate. The topography is the dry sandy soil of the Kalahari, with grassland plains, mopane and teak woodland areas, and scattered saltpans.

The camp is usually accessed by scheduled light aircraft from Victoria Falls into their local airstrip – from here it’s just a short drive to camp, depending on what game you might encounter along the way! It is also possible to arrive by road from the Falls, although this is a journey of 4 or 5 hours.


Wilderness Little Mak’s guest accommodation is made up of six beautiful tents, including a family unit, all linked to the communal areas via charming teak walkways. The tents are constructed in classic safari style, with timber frames supporting canvas walls and mesh windows allowing a fresh breeze to circulate. The interiors are simple yet classy, featuring warm wood and brass notes and a spread of rugs for comfort. Each tent has a writing table, a fan, a box safe, and double doors opening onto a private veranda with stunning waterhole views. The en-suite bathrooms are complete with flush toilets, twin copper washbasins, and indoor and outdoor showers. The camp is fully fuelled by solar power, in keeping with Wilderness’ excellent eco-credentials, so heavy artillery like hair dryers are not available.

The main areas of Little Mak are based around a wonderful false mopane tree, and everything points to the watering hole – giving you a front-row seat to the action! The areas comprise a large dining space with communal table, a comfortable lounge area with sofas and easy chairs, and a small adjoining library with a good stock of books, magazines, and board games. All this is fronted by an outdoor firepit, a fantastic focal point for the camp that is perfect for morning beverages and evening sundowners alike! The perfect spot to watch the vast array of wildlife parade past as the animals come to drink…

The camp also has a swimming pool on raised decking, which provides some welcome relief from the heat in between safari activities. The food is absolutely superb, with a wide variety of cuisines on offer. Meals are generally served communally, although private dining is available on request if you fancy a little tête-à-tête one evening. There is Wi-Fi at the camp, although speeds can be slow and intermittent due to the wonderfully remote nature of the location!


Given its supreme location beside a watering hole, you can relax in camp as the animals come to you! Although, of course, we would always recommend heading out into the bush with Wilderness’ world-class guides, whose knowledge of the area is encyclopedic. They offer an excellent choice of ways to see the wildlife that is so abundant in this part of Hwange.

  • Expertly guided game drives

    - Two game sessions each day are available, during the morning and the late afternoon. It is possible to do a full-day trip and go farther into the park, if another couple wishes to join (just in terms of vehicle numbers and availability). There’s a grand array of hunting plains animals on show in Hwange, among the highlights being lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard, and wild dog. You can look out for smaller predators such as jackal and serval, while the large herbivore collection features elephant, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and an assortment of antelopes, including sable, roan, and eland.
  • Walking safaris

    - Why not head out into the bush with an armed guide? As well as enjoying animal tracking and the area’s phenomenal birdlife, you’ll take a closer look at the reserve’s insects and plant life. Different levels and distances are possible, depending on the ages of your group. Classic walking safari has a minimum age of 16 years here.
  • Night drives

    - You can also head out at night, when all the big predators come alive. It’s always an unforgettable experience, watching what goes on in the dark of the night! You might see porcupines, genets, civets, bush-babies, and occasionally a larger predator with its prey. Night drives in this park, due to regulations, tend to be early in the night. You’ll have sundowners at a remote spot and head slowly back to camp after the sun goes down.
  • Wildlife hide

    - The lodge has a fantastic hide on the property, the ‘log-pile’, which is an excellent spot for photography. With the watering hole always busy with one visitor or another, this is a great chance to see animals at eye-level – and get that perfect photo!
  • Cultural trips

    - Visiting the local town of Ngamo and meeting the local Matabele people can be a very rewarding thing to do. It’s about an hour-and-a-half’s drive, and you’ll see the great work Wilderness does with local community projects to try to improve the lives of people in this area, including two community-run schools.
  • Star beds

    - Sleep out beneath the stars! This is a memorable experience indeed. Little Mak has a very good raised-platform ‘camping’ spot at Madison Pan, where two people can experience a night in the wild. It’s super-romantic – you’d spend an evening and have supper there first, with only the magical sounds of the bush and elephants for company. And of course with an armed guide at a distance, to safely keep watch. (Please mention this to your safari consultant if it’s of interest to you, as it needs to be booked in advance.)

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

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