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All reviews rhino tracking national park other guests excellent food game drives big table cecil rhodes short drive stayed for nights the cottages beautiful location shepherd lynn lin cave boulders bush
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Reviewed 13 December 2019

We stayed for two nights in Nov 2018. The view from our villa was breathtaking as was the setting. This is where the positives ended. The location, set in boulders made accessing the property treacherous on wet and slippery rocks. Once in our room we found we had no hot water , our toilet didn't flush , nor was there toilet paper or a kettle. An attempt was made to rectify the issues with the plumbing however they continues through out our stay and we were unable to have a hot shower the whole time. We had friend staying in other villas and they too had issues with hot water. The room was dusty and had a musty smell. The rocks in the outdoor pool were covered in green slime. The power is turned off at 11pm till 4 am each night.
The lady on reception was rude and appeared put upon when issues were politely raised with her. She also vented her anger when we opted to pay via card, bemoaning the difficulty accessing cash on Zimbabwe.
I would definitely not stay here again.

Date of stay: November 2019
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank kimK353
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 15 December 2019

Good day Kim. Thank you for your review and I am really sad that you did not enjoy your stay. Big Cave Camp as per all of our marketing information is a game lodge that is set into its natural environment, and that is what we pride ourselves on. The lodge is barely visible upon arrival. The lodge is built on the rocks and thus yes when it has rained the rocks are probably slightly slippery yet we have NEVER had any incidents of people falling or hurting themselves. Likewise the pool is built into the natural rock, and so does have a different texture to a standard fiber glass pool, however apologies if you did not like it, or found it slimy. Quite honestly I really do not believe that you should have been placed by your tour operator in a bush lodge, you definitely would have been a lot happier in a hotel in the city. In addition our rooms have recently been renovated this year, and everything in the rooms are brand new. The toilets, plumbing, showers, linen, curtains etc. Thus I am afraid that I dispute your claim that the room was dusty and had a musty smell. I have yet to ever have this sort of complaint from any other guests which is easy to see on Tripadvisor. In addition the hot water runs from gas heaters on the outside of the room, and is easily rectified if there is any issue by simply replacing the batteries, which we do if the issue is raised . So again I really find it hard to believe that you had no hot water throughout your stay. In addition the claim that there was no toilet paper again is very difficult to believe, and the reason the toilet did not function correctly for a morning was due to the fact that you managed to break the new mechanism which we subsequently repaired.. We did not have any other complaints from the rest of the group who travelled with you. In addition when you complained that you wanted a room on your own even though you had not paid for a single supplement we gladly accommodated you. Lastly you actually paid using a credit card so am not understanding why Lin my manageress would then raise an issue about this. Ninety percent of our clients pay using credit card, so this is nothing unusual. Thus in conclusion I very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay, but definitely dispute that the rest of your group share your point of view. We have had no negative feedback from the tour operator either. Best Regards Dave Waddy

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Reviewed 12 November 2019

Beautiful accommodation made in the rocks. A really individual place and a very friendly manager and helpful staff. Really enjoyed our stay there but it was very expensive. Decided not to do the tours as just couldn't afford them, and a shame nothing was offered as a substitute. Also the bikes we were hoping to use weren't available. The pool was nice but could be much nicer if there were towels and better sunbeds etc. The food was good, but early start for breakfast especially as it was just us there. A lovely place and it has even more potential than what it has got at the moment, but i dont think it was good value for money.

Room tip: The rooms to the top of the hill seem to have more privacy
Date of stay: October 2019
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sally T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 14 November 2019

Hi Sally. Thanks for the review and we are glad you enjoyed your stay. Unfortunately the National Park fees and vehicle licensing fees cost us a lot of money each year, so we have to charge a reasonable amount for activities, and US 60.00 per person excluding Park fees is average for our area. Sincere apologies on the bikes, as it is a quiet time of the year they are all being serviced currently. Likewise the sunbeds we already have the fabric to recover the cushions, however are still waiting for the high density foam to come up from South Africa. So apologies on that one as well. Sad you did not find us good value for money, we are still one of the best priced products in the Matobo Hills :) . Best Regards Dave

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Reviewed 24 October 2019 via mobile

We spent a couple of nights at Big Cave - our second trip there after a gap of 20 years - and had a wonderful time.

Lin and her team, including Thabi and Eugene in the dining room, were first rate; friendly and attentive. Our guides, Shepherd and Tawanda, were outstanding and really went out of their way to make our game drives (including a walk with rhinos!) and other visits fun and interesting.

The camp itself is spectacular, perched on top of the rocks and our little cottage was spotless, comfortable and well equipped. The food was delicious and plentiful. And the evening campfire was such a lovely, relaxing experience after a busy day in the bush.

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank GHDownie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DavidW12603, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2019

Hi Guys. Fantastic to have you back after 20 years! I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay so much and the guiding as well! Lin and the staff will be very appreciative of your comments. Hopefully it wont be another 20 years before we see you again! Best Regards Dave

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Reviewed 26 September 2019

Location:
Beautiful setting with view over the valley and sunrise from the balcony of our room. Not in the middle of the national park but about 20 km from the main entrance. I would recommend warm clothing because it can get chilly in the open game drive vehicle (even though blankets were provided).

Check in:
The parking lot is down the hill where the lodge is located and they provide a free jeep to bring the clients and luggage up. Check in was very smooth.

Rooms:
Very nice beds and bed linen - no luxury but everything you need

There was no electricity (fire at electricity company) while we were but they managed to prepare nice meals for us. We enjoyed our talks with Sheppard and Lynn very much and like how they take the time to have meals with the guests. They are really nice people and Sheppard was an excellent guide on our trips. On top of this they made a nice program for us so we could enjoy a drive on the property, walk to the top of the boulders in the national park, rhino tracking in the morning, walk to big cave on our own just before lunch, and walk to bush paintings, game drive and sun downer at Cecil Rhodes Grave to end the day. We stayed for 2 nights and arrived late on the first day and left early on the last day.
We would not recommend to pay the supplement for the all inclusive arrangement. The supplement was steep and you hardly have time to have lunch due to the late breakfast, everybody goes to bed early and the bar was rather soulless.

Date of stay: September 2019
Thank LINDA081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2019

Hi Linda. Thanks very much for the lovely review and we are glad that you enjoyed your stay. Yes the main sub station in Bulawayo had blown up so our mains power was not working, however at least we have the generator as back up! We really hope to see you again soon. Best Regards Dave

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Reviewed 17 August 2019

The Big Cave lodge is in a beautiful location just outside the park. Excellent chalets that are one with the environment. Very knowledgeable guides with deep understanding of the local legends and history. excellent food too. We enjoy every minute.

Date of stay: August 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank smavro931835
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David W, Owner at Big Cave Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2019

Thanks very much for the lovely review of the lodge. I am so pleased you had a great time!! The staff will also be thrilled that you enjoyed the food and accommodation. Best Regards Dave

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