Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020





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  1. #1
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    Default Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    We are travelling in/out of Hwange via Panda, August 2020. It is our fist time to Zim and need some help figuring out which campsites/hides to stay at and more importantly in which order we should visit them.

    In 2018 we visited Moremi/Chobe and the schedule was too rushed. This time we have 8 nights there, a couple of nights in Kasane to stock up and then into Hwange for 6 or 7 nights.

    Detema dam, Masuma pan, Guvala Pan, Kennedy pan 1, Ngweshla pan, Nyamandhlovu pan all sound great. I personally would like to include a couple of nights at Robins (purely to touch base - My husband is the adventurous one, I just follow....).

    We like the idea of sitting, waiting and watching at the hides rather than driving round the whole day, so our itinerary needs to take that into consideration. It is difficult to judge on how long it would take to get from one stop to the next and of course you never know what will happen on the way. With that in mind how does this itinerary work:

    1 Detema dam,
    1 Guvala Pan,
    1 Kennedy pan 1 or Ngweshla pan,
    1 Nyamandhlovu pan
    1 Masuma pan,
    2 Robins

    If you had 7 nights, which spots would you pick and why?

    After Hwange we head back south to JNB and The Netherlands where we live.

    Thanks for any hints and tips in advance,
    Tracy

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    If as you say you are not keen on a lot of driving; then 2 nights Robins, 2 at Masuma Dam, a night at Sinamatella for a change of scenery then 2 nights at Deteema Dam on the way out. The road from Masuma towards Main Camp and the other places is not great.
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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Tracy,

    I'd hate to have seen your rushed Moremi itinerary. For 6/7 nights I'd do two spots, max three if I had to.

    I really like Ngweshla but it is hard to sit in camp and get a view of the pans. But if driving a few hundred metres is not a hardship then the world is your oyster.

    If you want to sit where you sleep, literally, then Masuma and Deteema are your best bets. Robins is the best equipped camp at the moment.

    Personally I'd do one in the north (Deteema) and one in the south (Ngweshla), and if you can't get into an exclusive campsite then stay at Robins and drive to the waterholes.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    I would do all 7 nights at Deteema as option 1, I just love the place.

    Option 2: 5 nights Deteema and 2 nights Robins.

    Option 3: 1 Night Sinamatella, 4 nights Deteema and two nights Robins.

    I will not stay at Masuma in future as you now have to camp north of the transit road (not on the edge of the campsite that has the perfect view as in the past) and have no view of the dam from your campsite. There are other issues that I have about Masuma but that is off topic.

    The road to Main Camp and Ngweshla is horrendous and time consuming.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Yet another variation to consider.

    I like to visit the various sections of Hwange as they have different vegetation (trees in particular), and this affects the species and numbers of animals most prevalent. Thus the far east ( Ngweshla, Kennedy) is more open with mixed acacia woodland. There are less elephant and buffalo here but more animals such as sable/roan antelope. The central area (Deteema, Masuma) is more thickly vegetated with thick mopani thickets, narrower vistas even in leafless winter, but more buffalo and elephant in larger herds. The birds also differ if that is an interest. These areas offer subtly different but satisfying experiences, perhaps especially important for first time visitors.

    We have not spent much time in the Robin's area but the new camp arrangement has changed things.

    With 7 nights I personally would look at:
    Robin's - 2 nights
    Ngweshla/Kennedy - 2 nights
    Deteema/Masuma - 3 nights (or variations thereof).
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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Thanks for these great tips, Deteema and Ngweshla seem to be firm favourites.

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind driving but really would like to experience the area at a more relaxed pace than we did in 2018! Our previous safari experience has been to wake before dawn, get in the car and see as much as possible and then continue till sunset! I love the idea of waking up early, get the kettle going, kick the embers of the fire back into life and just sit and watch the goings on at the waterhole as the sun comes up.

    Point taken regarding the road from Deteema to Main camp. With that in mind will the following work:
    Kasane – via Panda – Deteema (2 nights Deteema)
    Deteema – Ngweshla (2 nights Ngweshla)
    Ngweshla – Robins (2 nights Robins)
    Robins – via Panda – Elephant Sands

    Would the drive from Ngweshla to Robins too long? Perhaps an extra night in between, if so where?

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    If you want to do all 3, this is what I'd do.

    From Kasane enter at Kazangula and head to Vic Falls and enter Hwange at Main camp. From there head to Ngweshla. You may even have time for a quick visit to the falls if you haven't seen them before.

    On the return you'll have more time on your side and can bumble north through the park to get to Deteema easily, then onto Robins.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Thanks again Rob for your imput.

    We did consider entering at Kazangula and driving down. We went to Vic Falls last time with an organised trip from Senyanti Campsite we thought that Panda would be easier/quicker but I suppose what you loose on one side you will gain on the other. How long would you expect the journey from Kazangula to Ngweshla to take?

    Another thought that has just occurred to me, do you need to “check in” at the main camp sites for the picnic/hide sites. This would also need to be taken into consideration for routes/durations.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Depending on your speed in the park I would say 5/6 hours from Kaz to Ngweshla. You will need to check in at Main camp for Ngweshla. They would probably do Deteema too, even if by radio to Robins / Sinamatella.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post
    I would do all 7 nights at Deteema as option 1, I just love the place.

    Option 2: 5 nights Deteema and 2 nights Robins.

    Option 3: 1 Night Sinamatella, 4 nights Deteema and two nights Robins.

    I will not stay at Masuma in future as you now have to camp north of the transit road (not on the edge of the campsite that has the perfect view as in the past) and have no view of the dam from your campsite. There are other issues that I have about Masuma but that is off topic.

    The road to Main Camp and Ngweshla is horrendous and time consuming.
    Interesting. When I stayed at Masuma maybe 5 years ago, we set up camp to the left of the hide and could view the watering hole from our camp. This was crucial because the hide gets busy during the day. I'm not sure we'd have visited if we couldn't sit in our camp (the hide gets quite crowded when we were there, 10 ppl at a time yapping away, not our idea of a good safari experience).

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Haus View Post
    Interesting. When I stayed at Masuma maybe 5 years ago, we set up camp to the left of the hide and could view the watering hole from our camp. This was crucial because the hide gets busy during the day. I'm not sure we'd have visited if we couldn't sit in our camp (the hide gets quite crowded when we were there, 10 ppl at a time yapping away, not our idea of a good safari experience).
    Exactly my point!
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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post
    Exactly my point!
    Wow. I wonder why they did that.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Haus View Post
    Interesting. When I stayed at Masuma maybe 5 years ago, we set up camp to the left of the hide and could view the watering hole from our camp. This was crucial because the hide gets busy during the day. I'm not sure we'd have visited if we couldn't sit in our camp (the hide gets quite crowded when we were there, 10 ppl at a time yapping away, not our idea of a good safari experience).
    Nice elevated hide but very busy as stated. The campsite is now near the cabin of the camp attendant and opposite the loo. We did not find the road too bad between Deteema and Masuma during June 2019 but it deteriorated between Masuma and Mandavu. From Masuma to Sinamatella it was in relatively good condition.
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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Go View Post
    Nice elevated hide but very busy as stated. The campsite is now near the cabin of the camp attendant and opposite the loo. We did not find the road too bad between Deteema and Masuma during June 2019 but it deteriorated between Masuma and Mandavu. From Masuma to Sinamatella it was in relatively good condition.
    personnally for 1 week i will focus on the western part driving from west to south east and back sounds unrealistic to me except if you want to cruise from 1 camp to the other
    i would like to know how you can do kasane ngweshla in 3.5 hours! ok i only have a hilux 2.4 and cant speed but i have seen people driving like hell but
    what is the purpose ? speed limit is 40 km and i found it hard to achieve roads are bad and you dont see anything it looks like empty and dusty boring of course if you have aircon and stereo...

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post

    I will not stay at Masuma in future as you now have to camp north of the transit road (not on the edge of the campsite that has the perfect view as in the past) and have no view of the dam from your campsite. There are other issues that I have about Masuma but that is off topic.

    This has completely ruined what was the best spot in Hwange.

    Day visitors have now been given priority over the paying campers.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    So based on all the information we have come up with the following route:

    23 July- Old bridge backpackers/Maun rest camp
    24 July - Old bridge backpackers/Maun rest camp
    25 July - South Gate, Moremi
    26 July - Third Bridge, Moremi
    27 July - Khwai, Moermi
    28 July - Savuti, Chobe
    29 July -
    Savuti, Chobe
    30 July- Mwandi View, Kavimba
    31 July - Ihaha, Chobe
    1 August - Ihaha, Chobe
    2 August - (Probably) Senyanti, Kasane
    3 August - Lokuthula Lodge, Vic Falls
    4 August - Lokuthula Lodge, Vic Falls

    5 August - Ngweshla
    6 August - Ngweshla
    7 August - Guvalala pan
    8 August - Deteema Pan
    9 August - Deteema Pan
    10 August- Robins Camp
    11 August - Robins Camp
    12 August - (probably) Elephant Sands, Nata Rd
    and then onto SA....

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Looks very good!
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy007 View Post
    So based on all the information we have come up with the following route:

    23 July- Old bridge backpackers/Maun rest camp
    24 July - Old bridge backpackers/Maun rest camp
    25 July - South Gate, Moremi
    26 July - Third Bridge, Moremi
    27 July - Khwai, Moermi
    28 July - Savuti, Chobe
    29 July -
    Savuti, Chobe
    30 July- Mwandi View, Kavimba
    31 July - Ihaha, Chobe
    1 August - Ihaha, Chobe
    2 August - (Probably) Senyanti, Kasane
    3 August - Lokuthula Lodge, Vic Falls
    4 August - Lokuthula Lodge, Vic Falls

    5 August - Ngweshla
    6 August - Ngweshla
    7 August - Guvalala pan
    8 August - Deteema Pan
    9 August - Deteema Pan
    10 August- Robins Camp
    11 August - Robins Camp
    12 August - (probably) Elephant Sands, Nata Rd
    and then onto SA....
    Maybe consider cutting out Guvalala and have an extra day and night in Ngweshla? One full day in the area isn't enough IMO. The drive from Nqweshla to Deteema (via Hwange town and Sinamatella) is easily doable in a day. I'd also consider cutting Robins by a night and rather have an extra night (and day) at Deteema.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Thanks Dave for your "out of the Park" suggestion of Nqweshla to Deteema, we hadn't thought of that. I see from you website that you are heading that way next month. I know this is off topic but any suggestions of a route back to J'burg. We were thinking:

    Elephant sands
    Lephahale (2 nights)

    Previsiously we have stayed at Kololo and Palala but we would like to stay somewere else for our last couple of nights in SA this time.

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    Default Re: Hwange - best camping route for 7 nights August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy007 View Post
    Thanks Dave for your "out of the Park" suggestion of Nqweshla to Deteema, we hadn't thought of that. I see from you website that you are heading that way next month. I know this is off topic but any suggestions of a route back to J'burg. We were thinking:

    Elephant sands
    Lephahale (2 nights)

    Previsiously we have stayed at Kololo and Palala but we would like to stay somewere else for our last couple of nights in SA this time.
    I'm afraid my website is badly out of date ...we did the Hwange trip last year in October and I've been very slack in not updating my trip reports. I did a report on this forum a while back (https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php/307925-Kubu-Island-and-Hwange-trip-October-2018 ) which gives a bit of detail. Our route back was via Harare where we stayed with family before exiting Zim at Beit Bridge.
    Last edited by Davesg; 2019/08/25 at 11:34 AM.

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