Private Safari Lodge: An African Elephant Experience

The Hideaways Camp Kuzuma luxury African safari lodge experience begins as you leave the airport. The elephants wander around outside the airport and on the side of the road between the trucks which are waiting to be loaded onto the ferry. Their presence is a teaser for what is in store for you. The camp is about an hour from Kasane airport and is discreetly camouflaged under a canopy of Mopane trees. It is as close as you can get to bush heaven. Not only is this 5-star lodge private and exclusive, it is also an oasis for the animals and some of the 196 bird species that live here. You need not move further than the comfort of your armchair to watch the game either drinking at the water hole or wandering around the area.

Kuzuma means ‘hunter’ in Botswana’s indigenous language but the only shooting in the area is with a camera lens. The camp has a strong co-operation with Elephants without Borders to ensure their survival. What sets it apart, is the proximity of the elephants at the camp’s water hole in what can only be described as elephant heaven. Whether you are having an outdoor shower, sitting on the deck with a sundowner or being pampered with a back massage in the open tented spa – they are never more than a short, trumpeting charge away.

Owners Stefan du Plessis and Rudy Visser have turned a 3-hectare land concession into a five star luxury safari lodge and in strong co-operation with the authorities, promote ecotourism. The animals are free to roam across the 11 800 hectares of traversing rights in the pristine Kuzuma Forest reserve. On the surrounding open plains of the Kuzuma Pans you can see wildebeest, buffalo, roan antelope, the very beautiful and rare sable, giraffe, lion and leopard. Rhinos are however, protected in secret sanctuaries and apparently guarded more closely than the President, Ian Khama.

Botswana's Elephant Corridors

Camp Kuzuma, borders the Chobe National Park of Botswana and the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. 200 000 elephants roam in this busy corridor - including massive breeding herds, bachelor herds and lone ranging bulls. They move thousands of kilometres across the country’s wildlands, using ancient routes to pass through private farms, national parks, towns and move deep into neighbouring countries. The watering hole may be visited by any number of animals at night, seeking the cloak of blackness to drink. It is unsurprising that Camp Kuzuma was voted as one of the seven best boutique lodges by the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). The award celebrates Africa focussing on local experiences and eco-tourism. Stay updated with Camp Kuzuma’s elephant experiences by following our latest news.

Five-star private safari lodge

Hideaways Camp Kuzuma has seven luxury open-plan tented suites, connected with an elevated walkway purportedly to give you a height advantage if you were to meet a lion passing through the camp. The canvas and stone suites are open to the bush during the day, facing the bushveld and designed for absolute privacy. Each has a sundeck and you’re in a late 19th Century time warp amongst the Victorian high backed baths, silver trays and teapots, leather couches and super king sized beds - draped with mosquito nets - as well as outdoor showers. You want for nothing and are woken in the morning by the soft beating of African drums as the sun is rising. The perfect setting for a luxury bush holiday. The main lodge area is home to an open plan bar, lounge and dining area that opens to the bushveld breeze, boma and pool with extended deck. The sunken fire pit just off the deck welcomes guests and offers an opportunity to find solace and comfort whilst reading a book in the cool afternoon breeze and is the informal meeting place for a nightcap and story swopping in the tranquil evenings. You are likely to hear the sound of a hyena barking or laughing, bat eared foxes in the distance or equally the sound of lion on the hunt.

A warm Kuzuma welcome

The heart of the luxury safari lodge surely has to be the kind, warm and gentle Kuzuma team, who take loving care of all their guests. The lodge family of safari guides, chefs, butlers, housekeepers and managers is driven by what you want and when you want it. Despite the platinum service at this owner-run safari lodge, you feel more like part of a contented family than a guest despite the platinum service.