As we missed the early drive the previous day we decided to have another go and waking up at 5:30am the skies were clear and the search for the predators was on again. With another 4 guest on board we headed back to the park. Again the journey through the concession to the park proved interesting with sightings of Elephant, Side-Striped Jackel, Zebra, Wildebeest, Impala and Southern Ground Hornbills before we even made it to the park. With 14500 Square Kilometres there is plenty of Hwange to explore, so taking some more new roads we thought we might have some luck. Again the birds did not disappoint with many interesting sightings including some of the harder to see birds like Red-Backed Shrikes and Shaft and broad tailed Wyders. The waterholes were again very busy, with Hippos, Crocodiles, Warthogs, Black-Backed Jackals, Ostriches, Giraffe and Waterbuck to name a few. Stopping off for our morning tea and coffee we met another vehicle for the first time. They had just driven the same roads we had and seen a Leopard sloping off into the grass. We retraced our steps to see if we could catch a glimpse but unfortunately it was not our lucky day. Hwange will start drying up soon and by April there will not be much grass or water left. The migrant bird species will move on but the animals will start concentrating around the waterholes, the line of sight will clear and game viewing will become phenomenal, not only in the park but directly in front of Elephant’s Eye and on its concession.
After lunch we decided to explore some more of the concession. Unfortunately the amount of rain that has fallen has left the concession difficult to get around at this time of year but we battled on. Elephant’s Eye concession is 6,000 acres and is as diverse as the park itself. I was accompanied by Dollar who has a passion for plants and trees and their local uses and medicinal properties. It was fascinating to discover how the bush helps the people who live in the area in their everyday life.
Following the drive we visited a small local village to learn about their ways. The Village comprised of 2 Kitchens, 3 Bedrooms, a chicken run, a pen for the goats and maize fields. Although small it is a fascinating trip that allows you right into the lives of this small community. African Luxury Hideaways are currently looking into ways to support this small community which is made up mostly of women as the few men are usually out working to support them the best they can.
Unfortunately due to the bush being fairly thick at this time of year I could not go on a night drive which are offered on the Elephant’s Eye concession or a nature walk.
Although you could visit Elephant’s Eye for 2 nights and spend one full day in Hwange to make the most of the experience I would recommend visiting for at least 3 nights. This way you can visit Hwange National Park, explore Elephant’s Eye concession both by day and by night, enjoy the thrill of a walking safari and experience the culture of the local people. However make sure to leave enough time to relax, sit high up in your chalet and watch the wildlife come to you.
When African Luxury Hideways told me they were going to create Elephant’s Eye, Hwange, an eco-friendly camp with amazing accommodation in an area where the game comes to you and all at an amazing affordable price I could never have imagined they would have created something this good. However they have managed to exceed all expectations to deliver a camp with very high standards of accommodation and service that rivals camps at twice the price. The high season rates from 16th July are US$395 per person per night including meals, drinks (excl premium brands) and game activities (excl park fees and walks), however don’t miss out on the opening special which runs up to the 16th of July of US$255.00 per person per night.
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See more images and details of Elephant’s Eye on http://www.africanluxuryhideaways.com