The Elephant Camp, Victoria Falls
Situated on a private concession by the Masuwe River and the Zambezi gorges, The Elephant Camp has views across to the Victoria Falls’ spray and the huge gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Elephant Camp is a luxury, intimate lodge under canvas within easy reach of Victoria Falls (approximately 10km) and all its attractions and activities, yet secluded in its own private game reserve.
The Elephant Camp offers exclusive suite accommodation for just 18 guests in 9 luxury tents. All suites are gorge facing and boast a private viewing deck and plunge pool, private lounge area, air-conditioning and fans, bath (with a view), inside and outside shower, mini bar and tea/coffee stations. The lounge, bar and dining area lead out to a sun kissed pool from where the roar of the water rushing over gorges becomes a constant beat and soon settles into the background like an old friend. It is calming and therapeutic to sit back, watch and listen to “the smoke that thunders”…
The Elephant Camp offers close interaction with wildlife – in particular elephant at the Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary. All guests staying at The Elephant Camp will have an opportunity to meet the Wild Horizons elephant herd. Selected Spa Treatments are available in the privacy of your suite.
The epitome of a honeymoon hideaway, and firmly securing a place on the list of our top ten most romantic places to spend a night, Elephant Camp consists of just 12 luxury tents well spaced on either side of a central lodge, offering total privacy and peace within a wildlife conservation area, 15 minutes from Victoria Falls.
The team is headed up by Jonathan Ellway, a big personality who goes out of his way to make you feel welcome.
Each tent has everything you would hope for in a honeymoon suite; a king-size four poster bed, a large and comfortable lounge area, complimentary mini bar stocked with premium spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks, and coffee and tea facilities. What really sets Elephant Camps’ tents apart though are the sumptuous stone bathrooms with a double ended free standing stone bathtub, stone toilet, vanity area and rain shower – all with large glass bottles of bath salts, shower gel, shampoo and lotions. Outside each tent, overlooking the African bush below and the occasional elephant, is a large wooden decking area with a private plunge pool, outside shower, sun loungers and shaded seating area. Each of these patios is positioned with discreet screening to ensure total privacy while you watch the sun rise or set, or relax together in the sun. There is also a larger pool and relaxation area at the main lodge.
Meals are served on the decking in front of the main lodge at small restaurant-style tables, unlike many other lodges where everyone tends to sit together at large tables with the guides or lodge managers to discuss the day’s activities. The food is excellent, and there is the option of eating inside on cooler days.
Guests at Elephant Camp can enjoy interacting with the resident elephants at their base a few hundred metres away, where the fifteen or so domesticated elephants can be hand-fed amid baboons and friendly warthogs. For an additional fee you can ride an elephant for an unforgettable safari experience. The elephants are released every evening to roam freely with the other resident wildlife, often visiting the main lodge during the evening much to the guests’ amusement.
Despite being named after the resident elephants, the star of the camp is undoubtedly Sylvester, a wild cheetah rescued as a day old cub when his mother and siblings were killed by a lion, hand reared and now living in the enclosure with his handlers who walk him to the camp every morning to interact with guests. You can learn all about the conservation crisis facing cheetahs in Zimbabwe from his dedicated handlers or from his very own Facebook page, and guests at Elephant Camp get plenty of opportunities to chat to his handlers and stroke him.
To keep the domesticated elephants safe and other animals out, the entire area is securely fenced so this is not the place to look for the Big Five. Game drives are not offered here and there are no resident guides, however it does offer the perfect, safe, opportunity to learn more about Africa’s wild animals in a relaxed setting before or after a safari.
Although there is little to do at the lodge itself, it is just 15 minutes from Victoria Falls, with free shuttles available as required. The camp is owned by Wild Horizons, who also operate many of the Victoria Falls activities, so staff are happy to advise on and arrange everything from helicopter rides to kayak trips for you. However most guests find that while they are here they simply want to spend their time relaxing. There are few more relaxing places to stay.
The Elephant Camp is owned by the Victoria Falls based adventure company, Wild Horizons. Wild Horizons are Shearwater’s main competitors in the area, and both companies offer white water rafting, helicopter rides, elephant riding and safari trips, amongst other activities.
Web site for The Elephant Camp: www.wildhorizons.co.za/elephantcamp
We were introduced to The Elephant Camp by The Zambezi Safari and Travel Company Ltd.
They have offices in both London and in Victoria Falls, which makes booking easy, with the added advantage of totally up to date local knowledge.
All itineraries are designed specifically to your needs, and by using local transfer companies they are able to keep prices very competitive.
T: +44 (0) 1548 830059 (UK head office)
T: +27 (0)33 343 4329 (Victoria Falls)
M: +27 (0) 72 330 3440
The Elephant Camp
Sylvester; the camp’s resident cheetah