Reviews of Mwaleshi Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
our favourite bushcamp in Luangwa
Once again, on our 5th visit, this is a wonderful and remote camp. We could sit all day and watch the river action, but it is better to go on a walk of about 4 1/2 hours - upstream or downstream, across the river or down to the Confluence with the Luangwa. But our favourite is through the Winterthorn Forest to the Luangwa Dead Lagoon. Elephants everywhere and consistently beautiful with stacks of mammals. we love this place.Read more about the whole safari
Buffalo delayed all our Mwaleshi walks
We had a great time at Mwaleshi walking up to 8 hours a day. We did not always intend to walk for so long, but if there is a large herd of buffalo always getting between you and the camp, then you have to take diversions.
We saw lion every day and watched 6 adults on a wildebeest kill. We thought we had crept up on them unnoticed, but we were wrong as when we peeked out from behind a tree there were six pairs of eyes looking at us. The animals were all more skittish and aggressive than in South Luangwa but it made seeing them more rewarding. We saw lots of game from small snakes to large pythons, from squirrels to elephants and a couple of aardvarks!!
the camp was friendly and well run by our hosts David and Karen. The food was great from bush lunches, sundowners on the river and an excellant barbecue. Our room had a great view over the river and was comfortable. We slept well possibly helped by the sundowners and long walks. It was hot during the day but you could cool off in the river. At night it cooled down. All the staff and scouts were pleasant and very good at what they did
Mwaleshi Camp review
Mwaleshi was the highlight of our whole trip. What a stunning location, with wonderful hosts and outstanding guiding.
Karen, David and family, well supported by a superb backroom team, and our guide, Alex, ensured a memorable experience. A bonus was lovely, knowledgeable fellow travellers who whetted our appetite to learn more about birds!
To wade across the Mwaleshi river ..........
....... returning to camp with hot feet was so refreshing.
Light aircraft transfer (from airstrip near to Tafika) only took 30 mins and was so smooth, thanks to our pilot Gareth. Then another pleasant walk to camp. On the way encountering Cookson's Wildebeest and a large lone Hippo, who had many wounds and looked to be on his last legs.
Mwaleshi is in another stunning setting with wildlife all around. With it's remoteness you certainly feel to be in the 'wilds' of Africa. It is truly wonderful.
The same excellent standards of the other Remote Africa camps and such tasty meals from the kitchen. Amazed at the bread and cakes produced from an oven in the ground.
We had mainly walks here, but also used the 4x4 a few times. With our guide Brent explaining the relationships between the landscape, flora and fauna and Special constantly on the look-out. We experienced wonderful encounters as a result of their knowledge and expertise. Mwaleshi camp gave us our most moving 'African' bush experiences of the trip.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Mwaleshi is a very remote camp, usually reached by small plane. As at Chikoko, the rooms and facilities are a bit more rustic than at Tafika, but we still rate the rooms and facilities as excellent considering where they are. The morning hot water, for example, is delivered in a tin jug, through a hatch. Hot water for the shower is provided in the evening, after your walk. Food and friendly service were also excellent here. You certainly won't be losing weight on these trips!
Most trips are on foot, but with a limited number of drives. It the truck was used, it was usually to deliver the party to a remote location from which we walked. We did manage to have a night drive with spotting light - this gave our second view of wild dogs and was one of the highlights of the trip. The animals in North Luangwa are much more nervous than in the south, and here we had a couple of interesting interactions with them. Out for an evening walk, we came across an elephant who was not going to let us pass. After several retreats we made a final about turn. Once the elephant realised this he trumpeted in delight! Although exciting, we did feel perfectly safe - the guiding (as at all three of our camps) was very good and operated with safety in mind.
On another walk we encountered a herd of buffalo wanting to cross our path, we had to stand back and allow this. They seem so much larger and more intimidating when on foot that from the jeeps. Also out on a walk, we saw vultures circling; this led us to a tree with a leopard in it. Thanks to the excellent spotting by Special; we would certainly have missed it. If you are considering these walking camps - do it! You will not regret it.
return to paradise
We dream of this place when we are away. It is so isolated, beautiful and satisfying with lots to see - especially if you look for little things and not just the main mammals. However this year we saw a lot of lions while walking with Greg & Special. A pride eating about 100 yards away; a large male sitting 30 yards away while he watched buffallo, then joining 11 others including 2 cubs.
Then we watched a kill 100 yards away on the river opposite the camp - lioness chased a Cookson (shame!) onto the opposite bank and into the waiting pride, which included 2 cubs. The short drive before walking 1 hour to the Mufa Lagoon is worthwhile as it is stunning - plenty of water and loads of elephants, hippo and other life. A grand place to sit for tea break.
The camp is simple but the food is good and the staff exceptionally friendly. It remains our favorite place in The Luangwa valley.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Of all the camps in the Tafika family, Mwaleshi is my favorite, probably due to its remoteness and the river with clear water running on your doorstep.
Starting or finishing your walk by crossing the river bare footed is simply magic, and the guides are always prepared with towels for getting that sand out from between your toes. Safaris here are almost predominantly walking, and for me, there is probably nothing that compares to walking up to lions on a kill on foot, never mind that you don't get as close as you would in a car.
Had a fantastic time here.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Our first time to this lovely intimate camp in the North Luangwa after a thrilling transfer in a small Cessna 206 from Tafika - thank you Brad! Greg, Special, Moffat, and the team, plus Timbwe, our National Park scout were all very welcoming.
This is a very different experience compared to being driven around in a Land Cruiser. Be prepared for frequent crossings of the Mwaleshi river, and on-foot encounters with elephants, zebra, wilderbeast, hippos, hyena, and a rather forlorn looking crocodile and other smaller animals. The larger cats were somewhat elusive during our visit, but they had been around. The walk to the Confluence is beautiful, and provides a very different perspective on the African bush.
Lovely brunch overlooking the hippos at the junction of the Mwaleshi and Luangwa rivers. Elephant in camp on our first night provided some excitement, while the experiment photographing the stars above camp on our last night only helped to reinforce how much light pollution we have in the UK - rarely have we seen the MIlky Way so bright. Be aware that by 10.30am the temperature is hot - a walk across the "badlands" to the airstrip at this time will bring this home!
Thank you to Greg and all the team for a very different African experience.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Mwaleshi lived up to expectations this time!
The guide, Greg, was a very nice guy and he knows a lot. Special is special of course.
Most genuine bush camp. Excellent guiding.
Intimate camp, well kept. Very nicely situated at the Mwaleshi river. Very diverse habitat.
Excellent walking, guided by Alexander. We were the only two guests. The interaction between scout, guide and special was among the best we had. Enjoyed the "examination" before we let to fly back to Tafika. Walking pace gave room for discussions on all various aspect of the walk that came up. "Le chef" was the best of them all.
A good and healthy breakfast before safari. The idea with a "tea man" or special was very appreciated during the walking safari.