Deteema Springs (Machaba)

Why photographers love Deteema Springs Machaba

Deteema Springs is in the massive 14 651 square kilometre Hwange National Park. It is located in the northwestern part of the park close to Deteema Dam. This park which extends into the Kalahari is renowned for its elephant herds which come to drink in their hundreds during the dry season.

Machaba which has won many awards for its simple but luxurious tented camps with the focus on fine food, great hospitality.  

This camp was brand new during our 2019 visit but definately is one to watch. It overlooks a seepline where elephants come to drink and there is excellent lion and buffalo herds in the area. During our visit a pride of 22 lions were in the area.

How we rate Deteema Springs

Wildlife  starstarstarstar
Birding  starstarstarstar
Lodge & Dining  starstarstarstar
Value for money  starstarstarstar
Guides  starstarstarstarstar
Landscapes  starstarstarstar

Deteema Springs  at a glance

Deteema has 8 luxury classic tents with en suite bathrooms, on raised decks with great views. The best views of the elephants are from rooms 6 and 7. You feel you can touch them from the decks. There are 8 tents. Each is a little smaller than traditional Machaba tents but very comfortable. There is a combined indoor dining and  library area with a fire pit. The camps depend on solar power.

The area

Hwange was founded in 1923 with the first warden being Ted Davidson. Since the 1930s, the herds of elephants here have been sustained through the dry season by artificial waterholes and their numbers in the dry season are now estimated to be 40 000 or more.

Aside from elephant, kudu, sable antelope, zebra, wildebeest, gemsbok, the rare and endangered roan antelope, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena and many other wildlife species. The Hwange game viewing experience in the dry season is mostly about waterholes and watching game come to drink.

The camp is in a private concession but game drives are also in the public areas. Game drives usually visit the area around Robin’s Camp and Deka.

The seasons

It’s best to visit Hwange when it’s very dry, from June onwards when game concentrates at waterholes. The summer season from January to March is also excellent for birds. Also, as there are all weather roads, it’s easy to get around in this season and predators are often using the same roads.

Getting there

The camp airstrip is a 30-minute flight from Victoria Falls and a further 40 minute drive to camp.

Photographers need to know

Hwange provides excellent elephants and lions and wild dogs. There are  special game such as roan. The birding is outstanding. There is currently no off-road driving in Hwange and that includes the private concession but there are applications to open up some additional private roads near the camp. Make sure you are able to go on drives with a registered professional guide as this allows you to walk and, within safety constraints, to get ground level shots of elephants.

The good news

Machaba has won awards for its tented camps and also supports the local communities. Visits to schools supported by the camp are on offer. 


Deteema combines very well with Victoria Falls and Machaba’s other great properties in Zimbabwe such as Deka  and Verney’s in Hwange as well as Gomoti and Machaba in Botswana.