Activities at The Hide
Because The Hide is on its own private concession, a 5 km square area in Zimbabwe’s largest national park, the range of activities we can oﬀer is wider and more exciting. Go walking in the bush with your guide where you’ll discover it’s less about the Big Five and more about making a connection that’s personal. Drive at night after an unwinding sundowner and experience wild nocturnal activity that you don’t get the chance to see elsewhere.
The rest of the day can be spent further afield on game drives in search of predators and prey alike. We like to do things properly so sundowners are an important part of the experience. Enjoy the natural beauty with a cold drink in hand. The guides at The Hide are very much part of the family and have been with us for many years. They have undergone some of the most rigorous training in Africa and their passion for and knowledge of the bush is often what makes a safari so special. Click here to find out more about our guides.
There is no typical day at The Hide as it really depends on you how much or little you would like to do. Meal-times are normally a good chance to catch up with everyone and plan the rest of the day or the following morning. As a general rule, we go out-and-about at the same time as the animals – usually mornings and late afternoons or evenings. However, the scope and scale of Hwange’s wildlife is such that there is generally always something to see. We don’t limit the number of activities you can do, so if you can’t sit still, you could do an early morning walk followed by a morning drive after breakfast. In the afternoon you could head out again, stopping off for a sundowner and a night-drive back to camp.
If you are really looking for value, you could venture out after dinner to see if you can find anything out on the prowl. The waterhole at The Hide is particularly special, being the only source of permanent water for a good-sized area. So even if you don’t feel like venturing out, you will still be able to enjoy the daily visitors to the camp, which often include elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala, waterbuck and kudu. Lion come in from time to time and wild dog have even made kills in full view of the camp.
What to expect at The Hide
- A vast playground to explore
- Thrilling wildlife encounters
- Outstanding natural beauty
- Experienced Guides
- Flexible itinerary
- No limit to the activities you want to fit into your day
- A popular wildlife watering hole in front of the camp
In order to explore the full range of wildlife habitats in Hwange, we have a fleet of specially designed safari vehicles. In the expert hands of our guides, you’ll find yourself heading out through the acacia-fringed grassy vleis and through the teak forests in search of Hwange’s Big Five. Game drives are the best way to see the variety of wildlife and scenery of the park and they almost always yield unexpected sightings. Often, sitting quietly and watching an impala ram guard his harem against marauding bachelors can be just as fascinating as coming across a pride of lions lazing under the broad canopy of an acacia tree. During the winter months, we highly packing a few extra layers to keep warm during the chilly, early morning game drives.
There is nothing quite like being on foot to put you in your rightful place in the natural world. Somehow your senses are heightened when on foot and you see, hear and smell things that you would miss in a vehicle. Walking is also the best way to appreciate the small magic of the bush – the way termites build their colonies, how dung beetles work, the finer points of the toothbrush tree. Encountering big game on foot is the ultimate thrill, safe in the knowledge that there is a trained, armed guide on hand to look out for you. Walking gives you a completely different experience of wildlife and the bush and its just nice sometimes to get out there and stretch your legs in a place that is so uncontrived, beautiful, wild and vast.
The Waterhole Hideaways
Hides are very much part of safari tradition. Essentially, the concept is to disguise a little safe room as a termite mound or other piece of the natural landscape and slip inside via the back door. There are two hides at The Hide! The first is a little way away from the camp and a guide will accompany you there and ensure you are comfortable as you watch the wildlife unseen. Guests can also make little independent forays into the underground hide from camp, which emerges on the edge of the waterhole, giving you a startlingly up-close view of this incredible micro-world.
The park has a notable bird population with over 400 species recorded to date; the variety is truly astonishing. Morning, afternoon and evening/night drives will normally head out for 2-3 hours through a variety of eco-systems and habitats. We like to stop for coffee or tea and biscuits in a lovely spot and see what might happen past. In the late afternoon, we’ll find a place to pull out the coolboxes and watch the sun set with due reverence – every one is different.
Neil Fairlie, Your Photographic Guide
Going on safari is an exciting prospect and, for many, when the dust has been wiped off your boots and the hat hung up till next time, there is no greater pleasure than poring over the special moments you’ve captured on camera.
A native Zimbabwean, Neil Fairlie is a professional wildlife documentary filmmaker with a profound knowledge and deep respect for Africa and its wildlife. His formal experience spans a decade, including the recent Netflix series Our Planet, but his intimate knowledge of the bush, natural instincts and his skill in capturing unique moments of animal behaviour on film make him a brilliant photographic safari guide.
If you enjoy taking photographs in the wild or love the idea of it, there are a few factors we’d like to focus on!
Wildlife photography can test even the most seasoned photographer, so a decent helping of patience and commitment is a definite requirement. But so too is timing (early mornings or late afternoon/evenings for beautiful light), a good knowledge of wildlife movement and areas, where to stand or how to position the vehicle for the correct angle, ample room/storage for your equipment and also ease of movement around the vehicle – each of these are factors that Neil helps bring together beautifully for the perfect capture.
This is a rare opportunity for groups or individuals to benefit from Neil’s skills, both behind the lens and in the bush…
- For beginners: Neil will teach you the basics of photography, help you set up your camera equipment for safari, offer various possibilities in terms of habitat and animal behaviour, and show how to edit your photos back at camp.
- For pros: Neil will liaise with you regarding the type of animals you are interested in photographing, and will identify the most likely habitats for a successful outcome. When you have your subject in sight, he will flag the signs that an animal or bird is about to put on a show, just to make sure you don’t miss that once-in-a lifetime shot.
No matter what your skill level, Neil will provide you with a better understanding and appreciation of your wild subjects, and you will come away from the experience vastly enriched, not just with magical memories, but with a renewed passion for wildlife, nature and the art of photography. If you would like to book Neil for your next photographic adventure, please get in touch here.