Reviews of Mwaleshi Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Really can't add much more to comments re previous comments.
If I was being extremely picky, I'd say the only improvement would be more more ice/colder beer. Having said that, the staff, and Laurence in particular were pro-active in putting beer in the freezer to cool off. This is not a criticism in any way, this is a bush camp after all. Alternatively, damp socks work well!!
our favorite remote camp
This is our favorite camp of all.
It is so remote and in a wilderness that has very, very few people and trucks so no chance of meeting anyone else while we are there. No chance of habituated animals here either. But it is comfortable and the standards of service and food are as Tafica. The Mwaleshi river has lots of animal activity along it, and the walking across is always fun.
Gerard Fagan had several high tech aids, Ipad and GPS, which were fun to use. As a guide he was superb - very experienced and great fun to chat with. We found the spoor of one of the escaped black rhinos, but couldn't find it.
I dream of this place and after our 3rd visit cannot wait to get back to this bit of paradise.
Mwaleshi, not what we expected
We had high expectations for this camp, especially after our stay in Chikoko, which was absolutely brilliant. We expected this to be a very special ending to our trip.
However, there were a few things that were a bit disappointing:
- The guide, Gerard, seemed to be new to the area and also new to his role as guide/manager of the camp. You could tell he was a really experienced guide, but he didn't seem to feel sure of himself. He was a very nice guy, but we expected a little more after Alex (our guide at Chikoko).
- We were warned beforehand that the wildlife in the North park would be more skittish and that we would see less. Still, we were disappointed. One morning we had a six hour walk in which we saw one hippo and one puku.
- The camp was much more crowded than we had expected. It was constantly full with six to eight guests. This meant that we had to walk to the airstrip to pick up incoming guests which was a long walk in the hot sun away from the water and the wildlife. At other times we would travel by car with nine people in a car designed for a maximum of six. Also, walks are limited to a maximum of seven guests, so when the camp was full some of us had to go on a drive.
We feel that Mwaleshi can be a great and magical place to stay, but for us it was let down by an inexperienced (for the area) guide and the fact that it was fully booked during our stay.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Ernst was refreshingly laid back making this the most relaxed experience. For us a much more mature approach to bush safety - very aware but not molly-coddling.
Walks were very good with wading in the river (where the crocs weren't) and some good encounters in close cover. Ernst was very good at recognising what you knew, and what you didn't.
No 'host' here so first hand knowledge on tap. Food was again very good - although not Norman Carr standard.
best bushcamp site again
it is simply marvellous here, with Ernst in fine form as a top guide. Miles from any other human contacts.
Could we come back for a 3rd time, I wonder?
A wilder bushcamp experience
We would not have missed the Mwaleshi camp experience from choice since in a way it was so different to the other camps in the southern park.
All the Tafika standards of service, food etc were here but the game was a lot more nervous.
Our walking Safaris were therefore more exciting and we had to work for our views of the game.
3rd bush camp
By now we knew how it all worked but it was exceptionally good fun. Ernst with Gill were wonderfully hospitable and as elsewhere the cooks ( little charles, little puttit(?) and brightwell) were on top form. This is an exceptional place with lovely river walks, some with a bit of a breeze, and always with socks and shoes off for the crossings and chance for a dip.
It was very nice of Rupert to let me fly ( mostly straight and level) the Cessna up to Mwalshi airstrip which was real treat - my first flying was at age 17 51 years ago, so I was a bit rusty despite the odd top up meantime.
Here we saw lion (once 40 and once 70 meters away) but no buffalo at all - although a larg herd was somewhere around. The wlks to the Luangwa river were lovely and the surprise lunch at the confluence a great idea - we were up for the 2 hour return walk at 38C at 1130 of course!
The peace of this place, the birds, the variety and the occasional watchful detour to avoid upsetting a (large) animal were wonderful. I cannot think of a place I would rather be just now - well perhaps Huab Lodge in Nambia is a contender as it stay there throughout the year.
Mwaleshi Camp review
The best part of the trip. Loved the location and Ernst our guide was great.
Some wonderful walking but again the animals were very shy and most were observed only from a great distance.
However on one night drive my husband saw two mating lions.
Ernst did a great job in looking after us, as did his staff which included Special (great name!). I never imagined that I would be at ease when wading through a river, but I had every confidence in Ernst and his team each time that we had to cross the Mwaleshi river during our walks. We even played frisbee in the river.
When planning this holiday, Anna had insisted that we should include Mwaleshi in our intinerary, and we were not disappointed. The camp is just fantastic. We perhaps didn't see quite as much wildlife here in North Luangwa as we later did in South Luangwa, but that was just the way it happened to work out, and did not detract in any way from our enjoyment of the place. The animals don't work to a timetable, so nobody can ever be sure how much or what will be seen at any given time!
Though the Expert Africa website indicates that tbis camp is for walking safaris only, we did in fact also go for a game drive one evening.
Mwaleshi - great wilderness camp
We were very lucky to have the camp to ourselves so everything was done to suit us; the camp staff are all very friendly and did everything to make our stay enjoyable in an easygoing way. Ernst also seems more relaxed in charge of his own camp so he was very good company as well as being an informative & interesting guide.
The opportunity to go to the rhino reserve was a real treat - besides seeing a rhino, which we didn't expect, we saw a lot of other game that day that we wouldn't have otherwise seen. We generally favour spending most of the time on foot, but we're really glad we spent that day in the car - its nice to have a mix and see other areas.
We really enjoyed the remote area and the site of the camp next to the river - the river crossings were fun. A wonderful combination of relaxation and fascinating wildlife - we hope we can return.