10 August 1999

11. - 10 AUG: Hwange national park game drives

Just about every accommodation we heard of in and around Hwange is
overpriced in relation to what it offers: in our experience and in that of
everyone else we met accommodation here is much more expensive than
anywhere else in the country, it seems, as if they assumed that anyone
going to Zim must go to Hwange, which perhaps is even true but won't be
for long at this rate. We stayed at the Chimwara tented camp which at
USD225 per person per day all inclusive, was definitely not worth it. The
"luxury camp" was rather pretentious and details left a lot to be desired,
which at this price is not acceptable; their flood lit water hole was
always avoided by the game while we were there, perhaps because the
property borders on hunting grounds; to get to Hwange you must drive
through a hellish 45 min of (very) bumpy dirt road; food was barely OK.
The only saving grace was our being taken to Hwange by Nick Greaves, a
photographer and long time expert of the park who was magnificent at
gracefully chasing elephants in the park's labyrinths and get just close
enough for the best photo ops possible while avoiding dangerous
situations. They say this is a true wilderness experience, but I do not
understand why one should pay as much as a 5 star hotel in Paris for
that...

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