Reviews of Old Mondoro Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A lovely finish
We were told this is the only bushcamp now in the Lower Zambezi NP and this explains its popularity. We could only get two nights (and wanted to stay longer) and we met several who couldn't get in at all. It's a small camp, feels intimate and remote, yet is of a very good standard. We hope they don't follow the trend and upgrade it too much!
The terrain is much more open than at Chiawa so the camp offers good land and water activities (with fishing stated to be secondary). It's this wide variety that makes this camp special. We particularly enjoyed the night drives - we shall never forget the leopard leaping over a 7m stream - twice! Well tracked, Livvy.
However, we also had a most enjoyable river trip (thank you, Andrew) and constant interaction with animals (elephant in particular) in the camp.
Superb in every respect
Old Mondoro had the best table arrangement of our trip.Read more about the whole safari
Surrounded by elephants at Old Mondoro
We loved Old Mondoro!
The camp has a lovely, intimate atmosphere and is very well run by Etienne and Leana and their team. Our guide Levy must be one of the top guides in the country - superbly knowledgeable and very personable. We had frequent and excellent sightings of lions and leopards, but also of rarer animals e.g. porcupines, Scharpes Grysbok and grey mongoose. We enjoyed particularly the walks - the open woodland and the adjacent open plain are ideal for this.
The camp should really be called 'old Elephant' as they were a constant presence, 'joining' the guests for tea, for a shower etc.
Wildlife at your door step
What an absolutely delightful camp. Sarah's number one place scoring 10/10. [Ed: 'Sarah' is half of this couple, travelling together!]
The situation is wonderful right on the Zambezi. The room was very comfortable with great facilities. The staff were extremely attentive without invading personal privacy. We loved the boat trip combined with the night safari. The guide Morat, was superb and we had our best daylight sighting of leopard here.
Unlike some smaller camps this one has two vehicles which gave more flexibility. Liana and Etienne could not have done more to make us comfortable and the view from room 3 straight onto the river was superb.
The only one downside was that we wish we could have stayed longer!
Old Mondoro Bushcamp review
We had a super time here and Leona and Etienne were very helpful, enthusiastic, professional and went out of their way to ensure that we had and did everything that we wanted. Their help with watching and photographing the swimming elephants and the nesting bee eaters was over and above what might have been expected.
Levi, our guide, was excellent and also went out of his way to ensure that we saw loads of animals.
Ann is not very comfortable with "bugs" and does feel that the chalets could be upgraded to something similar to Kakuli where there is a mosquito net surrounding the inside of the tent. Otherwise we had a grand time.
Old Mondoro Bushcamp review
This was my least faveourite out of the 4 camps we stayed at. However, its location on the Lowere Zambezi was one of the nicest and the terrain was idyllic.
The reed cabins could have been a bit larger and as we had our son in the room, it was a bit cramped. I loved the bucket/shower concept. All 3 of us had no problem sharing one bucket and enjoyed a hot shower. The host couple was lovely and he was really disappointed that we did not see more game and in particular leopard. We also enjoyed a white linen lunch in the bush which was quite special. We also went for sundowners on the boat and there was a lot of hippo activity in the water.
The hostess was quite involved with the menu and even made her own ginger beer for the guests to try. We did not have the same guides for our 2 day stay and I really think that it is shame as you do not develop the same repoire you might have by only having one guide. Also, the guides do not know what has previoulsy been said on the last safari outing.
Is there a better location - anywhere?
Locations by water always offer something extra. Here at Old Mondoro the 'open aspect' lodge perches on the bank of the Zambezi with an attendant orchestra of hippo to ensure the right atmosphere. But take a look round 180 degrees and there is a wonderful open wood of winterthorn within which we were able to enjoy stalking leopard one evening and hyaena on a kill another morning.
Whilst game may be more abundant at the other end of the park, here it is much more visible, especially with Levy as your guide - and you are likley to have the seclusion of private viewing. River activity here is excellent - and you must take a trip down 'corocdile alley' with Andrew.
Mondoro is a bush camp, but there is comfort a plenty. However, there may be some changes in place for the 2010 season, including new managers when John and Lana move on, so you will need to ask about these.
On the banks of the Zambezi
Lana and John made us very welcome. Levy and Morat showed the level of expertise we had by now come to expect.
This was more relaxed - no middle-of-the-day activities, and later starts in the morning.
The boat transfer between Old Mondoro and Chiawa was "made" when we came across a family of elephants swimming across from Zimbabwe; hearts were in mouths while we willed the baby to make it to dry land - it did.
Old Mondoro review
There was less game than usual here but we got a magnificent view of 2 leopards. One came and ate the remains of a kill in a tree very close to us.Read more about the whole safari
All of the staff at this lodge were great - laid back, but very professional, helpful, and friendly.
I did not have any luck here with seeing cats, but the canoe trips were great and a real highlight here. Excellent bird life and lots of wildlife along the river. Guides were very knowledgeable and respectful for the welfare of the wildlife.
Meals were excellent.