Rhino Safari Camp
Rhino Safari Camp Lodge
Rhino Lodge is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba, a massive man made lake formed by the damming of the mighty Zambezi River in the late 1950’s. It is also situated within the Matusadona National Park, a remote wilderness area which has been designated as an Intensive Protection Zone for a small but successful population of the endangered black rhino.
Rhino Safari Camp is small and highly personalized, staffed by people who are passionate about their land, their environment and the wild animals in it. This camp offers the unique opportunity to view wild Black rhino.
The camp is accessed by boat either from Kariba (roughly one and a half hours) or from the nearby Tashinga or Rukari (Kiplings) airstrips (roughly forty minutes). Boat transfers are by speed boat.
Depending on the time of year the camp can be accessed by road, but this definitely requires a 4x4 vehicle, lots of fuel and spare tyres and both a sense of adventure and a sense of humour. This is definitely not advisable in the rainy season as the many local rivers tend to flood and become impassable.
Facts & Facilities
Rhino Safari Camp is small and highly personalized, staffed by people who are passionate about their land, their environment and the wild animals in it.
We are here to offer you comfortable spacious accommodation with outstanding views, a superbly comfortable nights sleep, loads of hot shower water, freshly prepared home-style meals, game viewing activities that get you up close and personal, followed by a cool drink by the fire at the end of the day and an unforgettable meal beneath the canopy of the night sky. All in uncontrived natural surroundings in one of Africa's few remaining wilderness areas.
Rhino Safari Camp offers a balance between the mobile tented camp and the ultimately luxurious permanent camps. We do not have electricity and live with what nature provides - with a few added extras. We recharge batteries with solar panels, use petrol driven pumps for water, refrigerate and cook with gas, heat water in wood fired boilers, and light the camp at night with paraffin lamps, candles, and the flickering light of the camp fire.
Everyone at Rhino Safari Camp is there to ensure that your stay is an enjoyable as possible. With the spirit of Africa our staff are unobtrusive, friendly and uncontrived in their interest and concern for their guests
The Main Boma
At the entrance to the camp is the main Boma, the central area where we meet, eat and relax. This spacious platform is completely open at the sides allowing the breeze from the lake to cool the interior. We use both upstairs and downstairs sections for dining and relaxation.
Downstairs is a discreet bar and buffet area with a dining area and camp seating area. Upstairs is a comfortable living area and alternative dining area with magnificent views of the lake and the animals as they wander along the shoreline. We have a small but practical selection of reference books and reading material on offer, and a selection of traditional games to keep you occupied.
Tea, coffee and other beverages are available to guests throughout the day in the Boma.
All meals are freshly prepared at camp, with maximum nutritional benefit in mind. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are offered, but we ask that vegetarians, vegans and those with allergies let us know about these requirements in advance so that we can plan our supplies accordingly.
Breakfast: Our early morning snack incorporates porridge, toast, cereals and fruit.
Brunch: Offers a light main dish with salads and accompaniments followed by dessert.
* Cakes and biscuits for tea are freshly baked.
Dinner: A three course affair with starter, main and dessert. Tea, coffee, water, cordials and soft drinks are available throughout the day in the boma, and water is provided in the rooms.
What to bring:
Clothing: The weather at the time of year you visit us will determine what clothes to bring. When it's hot, cotton or microfibers are best. When it's cool, these still apply as the days still get warm, however night times and early mornings are cool.
Colours should not be "light, white or bright" : bush green, brown, khaki, medium grey, all the colours of the bush which will help you to blend in while you are on activities are ideal. Broken patterns such as checks - floral designs and so on also help with blending in with the bush. BLACK and WHITE are the two extremes which will make you ultimately noticeable to the wildlife, which is what you really want to avoid.
Long sleeved shirt/s: to wear over a T-shirt or vest prevent shoulders necks and arms from getting burnt and from the majority of thorns and bushes that can scratch quite badly. These can also double up for warmth and insect protection at night.
Shorts and/or longs: for bush walks bearing in mind that you will be walking through jesse bush with lots of thorns, grass etc which may scratch your legs. Sunburnt knees can be painful.
Shoes: for bush walks should be comfortable and have flexible soles of medium thickness (thorns) and preferably be worn in. Socks are suggested to prevent blisters.
For around camp, vests, T-shirts or cotton shirts, shorts and thongs or Teva rafting shoes. Hat or cap to protect your head, face back of your neck and ears from sunburn.
For evenings, a pair of longs and long sleeved shirt offer additional protection from mosquitoes and other insects. In winter a fleece can be useful for early morning and evening game drives. If you feel the cold bring gloves, wooly hat and scarf. But only in winter.
In the rainy weather a waterproof jacket with a hood and a few heavier jerseys as it can get cool in the evenings and after the rains have fallen.
- Prescription medications and a spare pair of reading glasses, contact lenses and cleaning solution.
- Camera with plenty of spare film or extra memory cards.
- Torch or night light for reading
- Journals and books
- Insect repellant
- Ant specialist toiletries
- Batteries, charging units and adaptors
Rhino safaris are not just about photographic encounters with the Big Five. Each is an adventure and a deeply moving learning experience. All activities take place in the care of professional guides who are there to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the animals and trees, plants, insects, history and geography of this wilderness area. There is also plenty of time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the African bush.
A typical safari day starts with the rising of the sun. We meet in the main Boma for a light breakfast before setting off in our open safari vehicle. Your professional guide will be looking for the signs of nocturnal activity - Vultures circling - telling of a possible Lion or Leopard kill, Rhino making their way to the water to drink. Dew-drops glistening on spider's webs, dung beetles busy rolling their impossibly large ball of dung, or Fish Eagles making their way to the shoreline to commence their day's hunting. No two days are the same and there is always something different and exciting to see.
As the heat of the day starts to be felt return to camp to enjoy brunch, before retiring to your room for some private game viewing time - or to enjoy a siesta or catch up on your journal. The drum signals time to meet up in the Boma again for High Tea with freshly baked snacks before heading out for an evening drive or cruise.
Late afternoons are the best time to cruise along the shoreline, exploring the creeks and inlets. Catching a glimpse of hippos or crocodiles. Cruises also offer excellent opportunities for photography, allowing you to get up close to the animals from the safety of the water. Enjoy a cool sundowner as you gently drift along, and marvel at the spectacular Kariba sunsets that splash vivid colours across the wide open skies.
Return to camp as dusk envelopes you welcomed by the gentle glow of the camp fire and twinkling lights of camp. After a hot shower beneath the stars your guide will escort you to the fire to enjoy a cold drink and share the days adventures. There is very little light pollution in the area and on most evenings the major constellations in the night sky are clearly visible.
Weather permitting, we enjoy our dinner beneath the stars in a clearing at the foot of the boma, slowly making our way back to our rooms for a refreshing nights sleep under the watchful eye of the guides.
Routines are not set in stone and there are numerous places of great interest and natural beauty to be explored. A packed lunch can be arranged and guests can partake of a picnic in a suitable area. We sometimes venture forth from camp and find an alternative spot from which to enjoy the sunset in the presence of elephant, hyena or lion. It all depends on your requirements and what mother nature provides.
Evening cruises on the lake exploring the creeks and inlets around us offer excellent opportunities for close up photographs from the water as the larger animals enjoy their sunset drinks from the lake.
Serious fishermen can also take advantage of the lake waters to try their hand at catching Tiger, Niloticus (known locally as Bream) Cornish Jack or Vundu. We have a limited supply of fishing tackle, so please include a specialized rod or let us know about your passion for fishing before you travel.
The Ume Crocodile Farm at the Rukari Airstrip will sometimes allow us to bring visitors to view their farm.
In a nutshell, we offer walks with highly trained and suitably equipped professional guides who are passionate about the bush and its inhabitants and able to enhance and educate you through your safari experience. With such a vast area to explore, walks are often combined with drives in our open safari vehicles, allowing access to areas away from the camp which are often only visited by our guests.