The accommodation at Luwi Bushcamp consists of four reed-and-grass chalets
Luwi Bushcamp: Our full report
Luwi Bushcamp is Norman Carr Safaris' most remote and rustic camp. The camp takes its name from the nearby Luwi River, a dry sandy bed throughout most of the year. The river was named after one of Zambia's chiefs - Chief Lubi (pronounced Chief Luwi).
Luwi stands in a small grove of mahogany and sausage trees, which provide welcome shade during the heat of the day. The camp has great views over a floodplain to the Luwi riverbed beyond. There are two permanent lagoons close by, each with an impressive population of hippo and crocodile.
Luwi is an intimate bushcamp with just four en-suite grass and thatch chalets. Each chalet is rustic but functional and comfortable with twin or double beds under a large walk-in mosquito net. Each en suite bathroom is spacious (almost too spacious) and partially open to the sky. Showers have hot and cold running water heated by a wood-burning stove, and there's a flushing toilet. There's no electricity here, but a solar lantern stands on the bedside table and in the bathroom, for light at night. Luwi's furniture is also very rustic – with just a shelf for your luggage, and a hanging rail with clothes hangers, all made out of local wood and reeds.
Each chalet is slightly different from the others. The honeymoon chalet is set slightly away from the others, and is slightly larger. The front wall of the chalet is set on wheels and hinges and cleverly swings open creating a private patio area and a completely open view from the bed out over the plain. Private meals can be arranged on the patio when requested.
Luwi Bushcamp has a small thatched building with a sand floor. This houses the bar with a few bar stools and a small reference library. All of the other communal areas are outside. A comfortable seating area surrounds the campfire and overlooks the floodplain; another is set up under shady trees for guests who'd like somewhere to curl up with a book in between activities.
During the day, the camp's dining table sits in the shade, near the bar, but at night it is moved to whichever spot has been chosen for a candlelit dinner. Often this is at the edge of camp overlooking the floodplain, but occasionally it is further afield, with some dinners even set up in the dry riverbed.
The emphasis at Luwi is on walking and there are usually two walks a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, with a guide and an armed scout. The camp does have a vehicle available for spot-lit night drives. However, there are only a few roads in the area so more ground can be explored on foot. Brian, the camp manager and guide, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the flora and fauna of the area. As there is usually only one guide in camp its usual for the activities to be decided upon and done as a group.
There are a variety of habitats here including open floodplains, dry river beds, mopane woodland and the two lagoons. There is also a hippo hide overlooking one lagoon just outside of camp, and fantastic photo opportunities are possible to those who are patient! The lagoons are a big draw for game to the area, being the only source of permanent water for miles in the dry months and attracting large numbers of game. On previous visits to Luwi Bushcamp we have seen a variety of wildlife here and had some incredible sightings including lion in the riverbed, the shy eland antelope and a leopard stalk and kill a bush buck.
Our viewLuwi isn't the most stylish bushcamp we have seen but it is intimate, rustic yet comfortable, and remote. Although walking safaris should be about the small things, tracks, plants, birds and smaller creatures, if you spend a few nights here you will probably see some great big game sightings too.
Ideal length of stay: We recommend two or three nights stay at Luwi Bushcamp as part of a longer safari combining some of its sister-bushcamps - Kakuli Bushcamp, Mchenja Bushcamp and Nsolo Bushcamp. It is possible to walk between Luwi and Nsolo bushcamps as a morning activity.
Directions: After a flight from Lusaka or Lower Zambezi National Park to Mfuwe it is about a two hour drive to Luwi Bush Camp depending on what you see along the way.
Owner: Norman Carr Safaris
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food at Luwi Bushcamp is very good.
Breakfast is usually served around the campfire before your early morning activity. There is a normally a buffet with a good choice of cereals, and juices whilst porridge, toast, tea and coffee are prepared over the flames.
Brunch is served after the morning activity, usually at about 11.30am. It is laid out as a buffet including a mixture of green, rice and/or pasta salads, a hot dish such as sweet and sour beef or roast ham, and a quiche or pizza dish. This is usually followed by fruit salad.
Afternoon tea and a delicious freshly baked cake are usually served at about 3.30pm before heading out on your afternoon walk or drive.
Dinner is a three course meal served by candlelight under the stars. A starter such as pumpkin or a zingy lemon ravioli, soup or avocado bruschetta is followed by a delicious main. On previous visits we have had talapia (local fish) served with vegetables and rice, beef fillet served with potato dauphinoise and green beans and most recently in June 2010 we had lamb tangine with cous cous. For desert we've had a very tasty banoffee pie, a yummy lemon tart and a banana soufflé.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Luwi Bushcamp has a fairly well stocked bar. All available drinks are included in the price.
Walking safaris: Luwi Bushcamp is in a prime walking area. There are a variety of habitats to explore including open plains, dry riverbeds and mopane woodland. Although the camp is away from the main Luangwa River, two permanent lagoons are home to a large number of hippos and crocs and also attract a wide variety of other wildlife.See more ideas for Walking safaris in Zambia
Wildlife safaris: Wild dogs had been seen near Luwi Bushcamp on our last visit, and so we headed out on a night drive one evening after our sundowner drinks. We had no luck with the dogs, but managed to find three hyena, a genet, a serval in the middle of the road, a lesser bushbaby and a couple of porcupine!See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Zambia
Attitude towards children: No children under 12 are allowed in camp.
Generally recommended for children: Walking safaris in big game areas like this cannot be recommended to young children at all.
Notes: As Luwi Bushcamp is predominantly a walking camp we would only recommend it for children of 16 years or over who might benefit from and enjoy exploring the bush on foot.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: Luwi is in radio communication with it's sister camps and the base at Kapani Lodge. There is no internet or phone coverage at Luwi Bushcamp – so you should consider yourself out of contact for your days here.
TV & radio: No you are in the bush!
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor is based at a clinic near Kapani (about 1 hour fast drive) For emergencies one would need to be airlifted to Lusaka or Johannesburg, but for minor cases the guides here are first aid trained.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: It is not recommended to walk to your chalets alone after dark. You will be escorted to and from your chalet by a guide.
Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen area and hoses at strategic points around the camp.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry is included here; it is hand washed and line dried. Guests may wish to hand wash delicate items and soap is provided in the rooms for this.