Top Billing features Somalisa Camp

Top Billing recently chose to showcase Somalisa Camp in a segment on their show.


Top Billing is South Africa’s best loved and highest rated lifestyle television programme. The crew consisted of Lorna Maseko, one of the lovely Top Billing presenters, who is a delight to watch on screen and is just as warm, funny and beautiful in real life. Etienne was the cameraman- he could not film the action going on around him quick enough, he loved the thriving wildlife populations in Hwange and showed a special interest in birding. Marisa was the sound engineer- she was so gentle and engaging and a pleasure to be around. DuPreez was the director/producer- a larger-than-life character who was quick with a joke and had an incredible eye for detail. The crew arrived in Hwange National Park at the end of September- one of the hottest months in the park, but one of the best for wildlife viewing.

Filming Lorna on Somalisa Deck The Top Billing Crew getting the elephant experience at Somalisa

On their first day, Lorna did a walking safari with professional guide and all-round fountain of knowledge, Lewis Mangaba. At first she was a bit nervous- it is not every day that you get to walk with a herd of elephants, but once she saw how calm and relaxed Lewis was, she enjoyed the tranquility that comes from being deep in the bush and just…. Watching.

Lorna, who is a foodie herself and a judge on Top Chef SA, was bowled over by Chef Adam’s offerings at Somalisa- especially his homemade chilli. She even had a pizza making contest with our hostess, Yvonne. The team also managed to surprise Lorna and the crew with a specially prepared bush lunch. While the crew thought that we were going out to film some wildlife, the Somalisa team has actually prepared a pop-up bush restaurant under a grove of acacia trees. Lewis serenaded the group with musical stylings from his mbira. The stunning performance ended in what seemed like a coordinated procession of elephants passing through the ‘restaurant’. Perhaps Lewis, who speaks the language of Hwange, called them to us with the sounds of his mbira, or perhaps they just wanted to be on TV, but we could not have planned it better.

kaguta inn Kuguta Inn- The pop up bush restraurant

The Top Billing team were enchanted, not only by the breath-taking scenery and the magnificent wildlife on display, but by the natural charm and hospitality of Zimbabwe as a whole.

Sundowners at Chris Pan with Beks Sundowners at Chris’ Pan with Beks Ndlovu and Lorna Maseko

After Somalisa, the crew journeyed to the Matobo Hills, where Beks Ndlovu, founder and CEO of African Bush Camps has a private home. ‘Khayalitshe’ is built in the heart of the Matobo Hills granite boulders and is Beks personal escape from the hustle and bustle of life. His house was featured as the architectural show piece of the episode, as well as the location from where all of the links for the episode were shot.

khaya for top billing Khayalitshe House- set in the heart of the Matobo Hills


Khayalitshe House- conceptualised, designed and built by Beks, is a marvel. The thought and care that has gone into collecting and selecting pieces, artwork and design elements is astounding. It is, perhaps, one of the best houses ever showcased on Top Billing. It was a privilege to share this with Top Billing and its viewers.

filming at khaya Filming at Khayalitshe

Top Billing came to Zimbabwe to film an insert for their show, but they left as part of the African Bush Camps family. The episode aired Top Billing on Thursday 13 October at 8:00pm on SABC3. You can watch the inserts about Somalisa and Khayalitshe on the African Bush Camps Youtube Channel  


top billing crew Top Billing with the Khayalitshe crew- L-R Charlie, Brenda, Marissa, Etienne, Promise, Lorna and Dupreez