African Bush Camps on expansion drive

HARARE - Safari operator African Bush Camps is set to open a new campsite in Mana Pools National Park.

The new development is in line with an offer letter from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and a proposed lease.

The new semi-permanent 24-bed tented exclusive camp at Nkupe Campsite inside the game reserve is part of ongoing efforts by ZimParks to ensure that the country’s national parks are operating in a financially viable and environmentally sustainable manner.

African Bush Camps, which has engaged Black Crystal Consulting to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment, said the project contributes to specific global sustainable development goals — clean energy and responsible non-consumptive tourism and to the infrastructure and utilities cluster of ZimAsset.

Last month, African Bush Camp opened another campsite, Somalisa Expeditions, in Hwange National Park.

The camp is fitted with six Serengeti-style tents, each furnished and with panoramic views of the plains of Hwange. The en-suite bathrooms have been upgraded and include flush toilets and running showers. The camp also has an “elephant pool”.

Somalisa Expeditions’ main area includes a lounge and dining area on a raised deck that overlooks a small pool.

In 2016, the company said it was expanding into Zambia after taking over the site of Thorntree River Lodge on the banks of the Zambezi in Livingstone, a short distance from the Victoria Falls.

African Bush Camps chief executive Beks Ndlovu said Thorntree River Lodge was being redeveloped to fit with African Bush Camps’ style.

“We are not rebuilding from scratch but rather redeveloping the facility. Thorntree is currently in the style of stone chalets, so we are keeping those structures but tenting the roof structures so that it fits in with the style of African Bush Camps,” he said.

He said the lodge would have eight twin rooms and two family units, each with four beds. Each unit will have its own indoor and outdoor bathrooms and a private plunge pool.

Ndlovu added that the main lodge would consist of a lounge with an open dining area, a gym and a spa overlooking the Zambezi River.

“The communal deck is set on the edge of the stunning riverside and is home to a sunken boma area and an infinity pool.”

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