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Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

Level Contributor
375 posts
104 reviews
Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

We are researching safari options and have been recommended to stay at Davidson's by one group and Little Makololo by another. I understand that they are both located in the same concession (?), however I am not sure what the difference is between the camps. We are looking at travel in early May.

Also, typically what is the percentage price increase on camps in general year over year? We are trying to plan budgets for 2016 and only 2015 pricing is available.

Thank you

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
5,860 posts
1. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

I can't comment on those camps, but prices seem to go up about 10% each year. However, if you book before prices are released you may be able to negotiate for them to hold 2015 prices. Most places release their pricing around May to coincide with a big tourism show in South Africa.

I've booked two trips for 2015, both on 2014 prices.

Level Contributor
375 posts
104 reviews
2. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

Stokeygirl, thank you. That is a great tip! We are putting together a 15-20 day first time to Africa trip. It can be a bit overwhelming, but our goal is Cape Town, possibly Zimbabwe, for sure, the Falls, and Botswana. So we are open to any and all input/tips/suggestions!!

Wayzata, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2,929 posts
31 reviews
3. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

Hi 1wanaka,

I have been to both camps more than four times. I was also at both camps in May on one occasion. I think Hwange is excellent and the Makalolo concession where Davisons and Little Makalolo are located is one of the most productive areas in the park. They share guides from the same “pool” and game drive in the same area. Davisons Camp is just a simpler camp. When it was first built it was considered a Wilderness Adventure Camp and sold under a different brand than Little Makalolo which was a classic camp. The difference was that Davisons had (1) no pool (2) nine people per vehicle and (3) smaller rooms. Now the first two issues have been addressed and the only FUNCTIONAL difference today is room size and camp size. Little Makalolo has 12 guests and Davisons has 18. You can’t go wrong with either choice. The game viewing in May will be “light” compared to August-October but the lower rates and the amazing open space makes it OK for me!

If you go in May, you may get some rate breaks if you combine one of these camps with a Wilderness Safari owned camp in Botswana. If this is a first time, once-in-a-lifetime safari and you do go in May then I suggest a three day safari in the Kruger ecosystem private reserves on the same trip to make sure you see enough animals and especially Rhino. You could do an epic nine day trip combining Sabi Sands (private Kruger camps) with Hwange and Botswana for three days each. This is a bit more moving around than I would usually recommend but you would have a diverse safari. Unfortunately, from the limited insight I have into 2015 rates at the Wilderness camps their rates are going up a LOT.

If you do a three country trip it may make sense to get a comparable quote for other brands. For example: The Hide in Hwange (next to Makalolo concession) + Shinde or Sandibe in Botswana + one camp in South Africa.

Good luck!

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond

2011-2014 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana

Level Contributor
375 posts
104 reviews
4. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

Hi Craig. It sounds like you are familiar with these areas in May, and from what you have said, it also sounds like the animal viewing may be dicey? That is raising a red flag - should it? We are retired, so we are flexible. That said, we are wanting really good animal viewing without the crowds and prices of high season.

Right now the leading itinerary looks like:

Cape Town, Mana Pools, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Linyanti, Okavango (2 camps). How would you restructure to include Sabi Sands & Kruger?

Thank you very much for your input and expertise!

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
5,860 posts
5. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

In those areas, crowds are not an issue in high season but especially in Botswana prices can be.

The other option to avoid high season prices would be November. I think the game viewing will probably be better in Nov than May, at least in those Zim parks. However, November can be very very hot, especially in the Zambezi valley (for Mana Pools) and Hwange.

The selection of places you've picked are a tricky balance. For Zimbabwe and Zambia I'd always strongly favour dry season,and probably as close to the end as you can stand in terms of heat, as this is when the game really concentrates near the water. In rainy season, the game does disperse away from water. In Botswana, I think there's less difference between low and high season for game viewing but much greater difference in pricing so I would personally lean towards shoulder or low season.

You might find high season more affordable if you dropped Botswana and instead combined Zimbabwe and Zambia. Then you could look at Aug or Sept (which would be very expensive in Botswana). Just don't try and combine too many short stops as transfer costs between the parks will be quite high. As it is, on your list you have 7 stops which even in 20 days is less than 3 nights each, which seems tight to me.

Or you could go in low season and combine Botswana with Sabi Sands. In proper green season (Jan-Feb) the desert areas of Botswana (Central Kalahari) are actually at their best so would definitely be worth adding.

Level Contributor
375 posts
104 reviews
6. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

Hello Stokeygirl. This is an itinerary provided us by a travel company when we identified Cape-town, Victoria Falls, and Botswana as key three places in a goal of 15-20 days where we want to be on safari a minimum of 10 nights. That said, we are not set on Zambia or Zimbabwe. The time of year was also suggested by this travel group, who has identified higher end camps, which we are hoping to stay. We are retired, so timing is flexible - however we do not have an unlimited bank account!! This is likely our one trip to Africa and we want it to be the best possible! Thank you for this further information - concerning......

London, United...
Level Contributor
14 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

15-20days is not enough for all the stops you are planning. Pick one country and do it well. If it is your 1st time I would choose South Africa . Kruger and maybe Cape Town depending on the time of year. Kruger is bed June to October . Capet town is best December to March. November is a compromise on both

Level Contributor
375 posts
104 reviews
8. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

Thank you. Since I posted this quite a long time ago we have decided on an itinerary for this next May. We are looking forward to an amazing experience. This forum was very helpful. So thanks to all

9. Re: Davidson's or Little Makololo camp in Hwange Nat'l Park

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