Crocodile Bushcamp is all about walking safaris…
Crocodile Bushcamp: Our full report
The tiny Crocodile Bushcamp - also known as Crocodile River Camp - is one of Tafika's two satellite walking bushcamps, the other being Chikoko Tree Camp; together they combine to make up the Chikoko Trails Camps.
Crocodile Bushcamp stands beneath a tall grove of evergreen ebony trees, overlooking a large open pan (known locally as a 'dambo'), which was once the course of the river. This is a big open area with a depression, which often contains water during the early part of the dry season – and always has green plants and nutritious grazing for the game.
Accommodation at Crocodile consists of three rustic, reed and thatch chalets – so this little bushcamp accommodates just six people when full. All three are set on a slightly raised side of the dambo, where the ancient river-bank used to be. Inside are either twin or double beds, covered in brightly coloured African fabrics, with a chair and sofa by the large open window with a good view of the bush. Attached is a private open-air bathroom. It has sandy floors covered in reed matting and has a wash basin, flush toilet and (hot!) shower.
The main area is partially covered, with a small bar as well as a little library. In the centre stands a large round table where most meals are enjoyed.
Meals at Crocodile Bushcamp are very relaxed –there is a small kitchen team who produce excellent cuisine from a very simple bush kitchen. This includes delicious freshly baked bread baked in a hole in the ground, in the wood-fired “oven". The well-stocked bar is 'help-yourself'. Everyone eats together, at a table laid with linen, glassware and crockery – usually out in the open. At the front of the main area is a small seating area with a couple of comfortable chairs and a sofa.
Activities at Crocodile concentrate on walking safaris: the camp is in an area with no roads at all – so no vehicles are allowed here. This means that any luggage will be carried by porters to and from camp for you. (They always walk separately; they won't be with you on any walking safaris.) You can easily walk between Tafika and Crocodile, or Crocodile and Chikoko, in about 3-4 hours walk.
Most guests will arrive here from either Tafika Camp or Chikoko Tree camp, as part of a longer walking safari which starts and perhaps ends at Tafika, and incorporates both Chikoko and Crocodile camps. See the Giraffe safari and the Scrub hare safari under “trip ideas" as examples of this kind of trip.
Walking safaris from Crocodile Bushcamp normally last about 3-4 hours, and are fairly relaxed affairs, including a mid-morning break for tea. The terrain is broadly level but often uneven underfoot – so sturdy shoes are a good idea. The emphasis is on observing the area's excellent wildlife; these walking safaris aren't endurance tests or route marches – so a moderate level of fitness is fine!
The top guides from Tafika are shared with Crocodile Bushcamp – guaranteeing the excellent wildlife knowledge and experience that is the hallmark of this operation.
See the satellite map of the area around Crocodile for a view of this and its sister-camps. Alternatively, if you want to venture further, then Tafika and its bushcamps combine well with their more distant sister-camp, Mwaleshi Bushcamp, in North Luangwa National Park.
Crocodile is a very simple, unpretentious, yet comfortable bushcamp, whose guides are amongst the most experienced in the valley. The emphasis here is on walking safaris and we would highly recommend it – either for those who only wish to spend one night or those more adventurous guests who would like to stay longer.
Ideal length of stay: In the dry season, it's perhaps most popular to start a safari in the South Luangwa at Tafika for 2-4 nights, and then head to the bushcamps – Crocodile Bushcamp and Chikoko Tree Camp for a few nights each. Often trips will then return to Tafika for a night or two at the end – although some will finish with a visit to Mwaleshi in North Luangwa. To check if Crocodile Bushcamp has space on the dates for your safari, click on the 'camp availability' link on the right-side of this page.
Directions: From Mfuwe it's an approximate 1 1/2 - 2 hour road transfer to Tafika. A flight transfer from Mfuwe to Lukuzi airstrip (Tafika) takes 15 minutes. From Tafika you would walk to Crocodile which takes about 3 – 4 hours.
Owner: Owner run – John and Carol Coppinger
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Crocodile offers good food produced in a small bush kitchen. On our last visit (September 2012) we arrived in time for lunch, which was served buffet-style in the main area. We had a choice of coronation chicken, aubergine lasagna, coleslaw, stuffed eggs, bean salad and green salad. Desert was a light but tasty amarula and fruit mousse with cream.
Later in the evening, after returning from the afternoon walk, dinner is served. We had a bean soup starter, followed by beef fillet served with potatoes and cauliflower cheese. Desert was a tasty chocolate mousse.
A very early morning breakfast is served around the campfire. On our visit there was a choice of cereal, fruit juice and a cold platter of sausages, hard boiled eggs and tomato. Tea and coffee is also available.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Yes - soft drinks, house wine and local spirits are included in the rates. Note that fine wines, champagne and imported spirits and liqueurs, are charged as extras.
Birdwatching: Bird-watching in the Luangwa Valley's is excellent and Crocodile Bushcamp has a great spot overlooking a verdant dambo – with first-rate guides who know their birdlife. Simply sitting in the lounge area and looking out, you'll find a constant flow of birds in the trees around.See more ideas for Birdwatching in Zambia
Walking safaris: Crocodile Bushcamp is run by Remote Africa Safaris, one of the Luangwa's most experienced walking safari companies. The camp is dedicated to walking safaris; that is its sole focus. Camp-to-camp walking trails are the norm betweenTafika and Chikoko Tree Camp – with your luggage carried separately for you.See more ideas for Walking safaris in Zambia
Wildlife safaris: Crocodile Bushcamp's excellent guides lead walking safaris in a remote, walking-only area South Luangwa National Park. The big game in this area, and even in this camp, can be prolific; it's an excellent area for big-game safaris – and a terrific area for walking because the environment around camp is often open, and the game is generally very relaxed. 4WD safaris are not available at Crocodile.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Zambia
Attitude towards children: Crocodile Bushcamp welcomes children 12 years and over.
Generally recommended for children: No. We recommend this camp for mature, well-behaved children over the age of 12.
Notes: This camp is very remote and is not fenced in, so animals do roam freely through the camp. With walking being the only activity there is nothing else here to keep children occupied.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: There is no cellphone reception here although the camp is in radio communication with Tafika – which has excellent communication facilities.
TV & radio: No TVs or radios
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: There is a doctor in Mfuwe, about an hours drive from Tafika. For more serious emergencies Tafika has links with a flying doctors service.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Your guide as well as the staff are all in camp.
Fire safety: There are sand buckets outside each chalet as well as in the main area.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: A complimentary laundry service is included, but this does not include ladies underwear; soap for this is provided in the rooms. Note that clothes are hand washed and coal ironed.
Money: No exchange facilities are provided