Reviews of Old Mondoro Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Charming camp and excellent service
We spent four days at Old Mondoro in late October-early November 2013 as part of our honeymoon.
This was our second Safari in Africa and a lovely accompaniment to our South Luangwa trip. The Zambezi river is incredibly picturesque and we were thrilled to be in a tent overlooking the river - teaming with elephants, hippos and crocs.
Our hosts Jason and Michaela warmly welcomed us to Old Mondoro. Service was excellent throughout our stay; and the food simply incredible.
With a variety of activities - boat trips, canoe trips, night drives and walking - it's tempting to return to Old Mondoro and we can easily understand why there are so many returnees.
A great camp
Our only disappointment was we only stayed two nights! If we return to Zambia we will definitely revisit this camp. Compared to Chiawa this is a relatively simple bush camp but for us a great experience with high standards.
Similar to Chiawa the canoe trip is a fantastic experience and not to be missed!
The other great advantage of Old Mondora is that you are able to experience a more open landscape which some stunning woodlands.
We were also fortunate to see three leopards in the late afternoon (two in one tree and one scavenging below ) with a kill prior to sunset.
Also experienced one of our best moments when during our last dinner elephants crossed the river in front of us and glided silently on by as we dined, perfect !
We were glad we returned to Old Mondoro.
We do not normally pay return visits to places we visit on holiday. However we so enjoyed Old Mondoro last time we made an exception. We were very glad we did as everything was excellent again. Great game viewing on foot, vehicle and boat. The canoe trip down the discovery channel was really relaxing despite the best efforts of the hippos and elephants to add excitement.
The hosts Jason and Michaela were excellent and the whole Old Mondoro team first class. W had a private dinner on our veranda when the camp was quiet which we appreciated.
Great Food, location and tent. A cold bath on the veranda and wet kikoys kept us cool when it was very hot in the middle of the day. Great animal viewing from bath and shower.
We will go back again
Finale at Old Mondoro
Yet again, we encountered confusion between "bird-watching" and "sight-seeing". The first trip on the river for bird-watching was superb.
We asked for another similar trip to end the holiday but in spite of my emphasising our wishes to Jason, we found ourselves as part of a group were we took our own bird-scarer! Since this took place on our last afternoon and we had been treated so well vis-à-vis our Anniversary, we did not make an issue of it.
Old Mondoro Bushcamp review
This was the highlight of our holiday and and undoubtedly the best stay we have had in safari lodges in Africa. The position by the Zambezi was superb and the profusion and variety of animals both in the bush and inside the camp was very exciting.
Stewart and Maddie, the managers, went out of their way to please and help us. The guides and spotters and all the staff were attentive to our needs, and we were very impressed by the relationship that Stewart and Maddie had with them and they with us.
Can it get any better?
Now Lower Zambezi is becoming more mature it is rivalling S Luangwa, and with the boat/canoe activities adding a magical dimension. Fabulous game viewing and river canoeing a highlight.
Very hard to fault with cover hosts Stuart & Maddy making a flawless experience. Two great guides in James and Levi although did experience one shortage of scout which necessitated party of four delaying a walk and we did not walk every day. But given our first experience of OM was no hardship.
Lovely boat transfer to Chongwe.
Luxury in the Bush
Our game sightings got even better with our fantastic, top-notch guide, Sebastian. We lost count of the leopards we saw (which I will never tire of seeing!), but the real icing on the cake was seeing the elusive Pangolin. It came right up next to our jeep, giving us a good view. Amazing! And the boat safaris and sundowners were so peaceful and tranquil. I will miss the Cape Turtle Dove's repetitive call to "drink laaa-ger, drink laaa-ger, drink laaa-ger", and the hippos' hilarious laughing sound!
Again, we had a surprise lunch in the bush, with gorgeous food.(How do they do it?) Staff, accommodation, atmosphere-----top marks!
Ideal Bushcamp Experience
I loved the look and feel of Old Mondoro. It reminded me of some favorite bush camps visited during the past 20 years. The area is gorgeous, both the Zambezi itself and the forest of winterthorn and mahogany trees.
The management team, Jason and Michaela, are excellent--warm and welcoming and very capable, and their staff is exemplary. Lovely and plentiful food was prepared by two men that we never saw but greatly appreciated.
We arrived exhausted, so especially appreciated that our tent (#2) was comfortable and perfectly situated for wildlife sights and sounds. From the daybed on our porch, we watched hippos and elephants on the nearby islands and white-fronted bee eaters that frequented an uprooted tree on the riverbank. Despite our laziness, we enjoyed a game drive and a boat ride and saw quite a nice selection of wildlife. Just as we were about to leave for our next camp, two elephants walked right through camp as if they owned it and scoured the winterthorn trees for pods--the first of the season. I left wishing that we could linger for a few more days.
Helpful hint: take slippers or thick socks for the unbelievably, inexplicably cold floor in tent!
Old Mondoro - The Highlight of our trip.
Of the 7 campswe stayed at across Botswana, Zambia and Malawi, this was undoubtedly the best for us and we were delighted with the 4 nights we stayed there. It was exactly what we wanted. We could have ended our African trip right there as we did and saw almost everything we expected to cover over our 26 days holiday. We would liked to have stayed longer.
Wonderfully scenic with a mixture of woodland and a grassland plateau, plenty of animals and birds, including lion cubs, leopards, huge herds of buffalo ,hipoos, elephants etc,it was just what we wanted. Furthermore from the photographers point of view the lighting is magnificent. The walking safari therefore was the most pleasant of the several we did in the various other camps.
Turning to the people at all levels there is only one word needed - fantastic,
If we go again to the Lower Zambezi it will only be to Old Mondoro
Old Mondoro Bushcamp review
Again I believe we were poorly advised in our initial discussions with Expert Africa, in which we were discussing the split of time between S Luangwa / L Zambezi. I believe we should have been advised to stay longer at the L. Zambezi.
Old Mondoro was by far the best camp we stayed at in Zambia in all aspects. The Lagoon room was a perfect location especially with the close attention of the one tusked male elephant 'guarding' our tent. One day we were the only ones in camp at lunch time, so they served our excellent meal on the verandah overlooking the lagoon, where we treated to a show of several elephants crossing, a buffalo bathing/eating and our friend the one tusked drinking/eating and bathing only a few feet from us. The highlight of our holiday.
Mentioning diabetes again! Following discussions, they said leave it to us and we'll sort things out. I had some wonderful low sugar sweets (especially the fruit crumble).