There is something profoundly spiritual about spending time in the wilderness in Africa. It’s a magical reminder of the interconnected web of life and our small but important place in it. And nowhere more so than while staying at an authentic African lodge while on safari in Hwange National Park.
This natural haven is renowned for its incredible wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. With its vast expanse stretching over 14 600 square kilometres, the park offers unprecedented opportunities to have the most memorable of encounters with a diverse range of species. From majestic elephants and graceful lions to elusive leopards and rare African wild dogs, Hwange promises an unforgettable safari experience for those who dare to venture to these shores.
It is the massive elephant herds that are Hwange’s main attraction. Numbering in the hundreds, they roam freely throughout the park, creating a mesmerising sight as they traverse the open plains and drink from the watering holes. Not only impressive in size, the diversity of these herds also provides a unique opportunity for an enriching wilderness experience, starting with tiny newborns taking their first tentative steps to wise old matriarchs leading from the front.
Staying in a bush lodge when choosing Hwange as an African safari destination ensures a truly immersive experience, providing the perfect balance between awe and wonder. It allows travellers to take a break from the fast-paced concrete jungle and connect with the unspoiled natural world.
Hideaways Nantwich Lodge
Situated on the borders of the Matetsi Concession in Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park in Botswana, the stunningly remote position of Hideaways Nantwich Lodge in Hwange is the perfect backdrop for an exclusive getaway where animals migrate freely. Safari lovers can explore a true wilderness gem that is off the beaten track in the 22 000-acre private concession.
In this part of Hwange, lions and buffalos are the most iconic inhabitants. The kings of the savannah exude an air of regal power and their stealth and strength make them the apex predators of the land. In contrast, the buffalo are a testament to resilience and unity, moving like an imposing dark cloud with their colossal horns raised defiantly towards the heavens.
And when there is an encounter between these two fierce members of the Big Five, sometimes right on the doorstep of Nantwich, it is a spectacle to behold. The predators skillfully strategise to isolate a vulnerable individual from the protective circle of the buffalo herd, while the buffalo respond with an unwavering collective defence, forming an impenetrable wall of horns and muscle. This eternal battle of survival showcases the delicate balance that keeps this Hwange ecosystem thriving.
First a farm and then a ranger station of Zimparks (Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management), Nantwich was lovingly refurbished and resurrected from a bygone era in 2019, and today it thrives on the foundations of responsible tourism, simple yet refined, and with a personal twist. It possesses a strong eco-ethos, minimising its impact on the environment with features such as solar power, rainwater harvesting, and waste reduction efforts.
The design elements at Nantwich carry distinct hints from yesteryear, with the shower screens in the bathrooms repurposed from the original building’s windowpanes. The main area of this bespoke lodge is the original farmhouse, with stories of the past evident in the authentic fittings from the old buildings, including copper taps and wooden doors. Colourful textiles and natural wood elements add to the rustic but luxurious appeal.
The attention to detail is evident throughout Nantwich, with vintage furniture and decor carefully curated to maintain the nostalgic charm. The use of repurposed materials not only adds character but also showcases a certain commitment to sustainability, creating a unique and eco-friendly experience for guests.
Nantwich Lodge’s prime wilderness location in Hwange National Park, unsurpassed wildlife experiences, the perfect blend of safari charm from years gone by and authentic African allure, leaves one with a profound appreciation for this continent’s wild wonders.