Luwombwa Camp has three ochre coloured chalets...
Luwombwa Lodge: Our full report
In the western half of the Kasanka National Park, Luwombwa Lodge is located beside the permanent Luwombwa River, which is ideal for gentle guided canoe trips. It's a delightful place to stay, but very simple by the standards of many more modern safari camps.
Luwombwa has three simple but spacious en-suite chalets with polished stone floors. Two are split level, with a double bed and a single downstairs and two single metal-framed camp beds on a mezzanine level. The upstairs area is located in the apex of the roof and is very small, so suitable only for children. The third chalet has a double bed and a single downstairs. A mosquito net is hung above each of the beds. The only other furniture is a small cloth-covered table with a solar light, a candle and some matches, a mosquito coil and a couple of bottles of drinking water.
Wooden doors lead out onto a wooden veranda with views directly over the river. The chalets are very basic but clean and functional, with mismatched linen and curtains and threadbare towels, all of which could do with a bit of updating.
The bathroom, too, is functional with a flush toilet, single basin and large shower cubicle. Cold water is available all day. On request, a member of staff will fill the water container outside the bathroom with hot water boiled over a fire; the camp has no electricity.
There are two main areas at Luwombwa. One, an open-sided thatched structure on the banks of the river, is where breakfast and lunch are generally served. A long wooden table, flanked by benches, is laid with an ethnic-print tablecloth and dishes are laid out in a buffet style. There are also a few deck chairs here where you can enjoy the views over the river and indulge in a bit of birdwatching before or after meals.
The second main area is set slightly back from the river under a large mabula plum tree. It is open at the front but closed in at the sides and back to create a sheltered spot for dinner and when the weather isn't so good. In the evening, camp chairs are arranged around a campfire in front: a good spot to enjoy a cold beer whilst catching up on the day's activities with other guests.
Activities at Luwombwa concentrate on boating and canoeing as this is the best way to explore the Luwombwa River and enjoy the area's amazing birdlife. Night boat trips can be arranged in search of nocturnal birds such as Pels fishing owl and white-backed night heron. It is also possible to do walking from Luwombwa as well as fishing, and basic fishing gear is provided.
On land, guests on 4WD game drives may spot puku, sitatunga, reedbuck, duiker and Lichtenstein's hartebeest, as well as the magnificent sable.
Luwombwa is usually best visited in combination with its sister-camp in the Kasanka National Park, Wasa Lodge, and possibly with a trip to Shoebill Island Camp, in the Bangweulu Wetlands.
Ideal length of stay: One or two nights are Luwombwa are a good add on to a longer stay at Wasa Lodge.
Directions: Luwombwa is an hour's drive from Wasa Lodge. The nearest airstrip is Chikufwe airstrip, about 15–20 minutes' drive from the camp.
Owner: Kasanka Trust
Staff: Staff are generally brought in from Wasa Lodge when guests are expected in camp, they are not generally resident.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food at Luwombwa is simple but tasty, cooked over a fire in a bush kitchen.
Breakfast is a selection of cereals and toast as well as a choice of eggs, sausage and bacon.
When we visited in 2011, we had spinach, tomato and cheese quiche for lunch, with a pasta salad and a green salad.
For dinner we were served roast chicken with roast potatoes, boiled green beans and carrots, followed by a warm chocolate pudding with cream.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are included except for premium wines, spirits and champagne.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Luwombwa.
Property’s age restrictions: Although children are welcome, no children under 12 years are allowed on a walking safari.
Equipment: There is no special equipment for children.
Generally recommended for children: There is relatively little big game in this area, so we can recommend it for children - although they should always be closely supervised by their parents.
Power supply: None
Communications: Radio contact only
TV & radio: None
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: There is a night watchman on duty at night.
Fire safety: There are sand buckets outside each chalet and the main areas.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Included
Money: There are no safety boxes available so all valuables must be left behind at Wasa or locked into your luggage.
Accepted payment on location: No money is accepted at Luwombwa as all payments must be made at Wasa Lodge.