Luwi Bushcamp

Reviews of Luwi Bushcamp

Excellent(91%) From 30 travellers
Excellent
19
Good
9
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 30 of our travellers who have visited Luwi Bushcamp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Ms D & Mr B - Berks
Arrived on: 18-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Luwi Bushcamp review

Had some great walks and our guide was fantastic.

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Mrs. L from Surrey
Arrived on: 5-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Poor
Poor
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

Luwi Bushcamp review

Good location, good host and guide (Brian). Limited activities as only walking safaris here, we did 3.5 hrs in the morning and only 2 hours in the evening. 9.00 pm seemed a late night for the staff.

Chipped toilet seat in chalet detracted from the luxury concept.

The realisation that walking safaris are NOT for getting up close to the animals was a major shock and disappointment. We have been on numerous safaris before in vehicles and were not aware all the animals fled when confronted by humans on foot. The Norman Carr literature did not mention this and the photographs in their literature are a total misrepresentation of reality.

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Expert Africa comments

The safari camp has noted the chipped toilet seat will be checked and swiftly fixed.

Close encounters with wildlife whilst on foot can occur, and so whilst these camps use only their most tantalising images in their marketing literature, the portrayal is not entirely incorrect. The managing director of Norman Carr Safaris noted that the company takes their guest’s safety very seriously as is evident by their excellent record over the past 60 years. He comments that it is something that neither he nor his guiding team will compromise on. The areas in which they offer walking safaris are completely wild and unfenced and so, whilst it is possible to walk in these areas, one must never forget that the animals here are wild and can be unpredictable. This priority over safety is also Expert Africa’s experience of walking safaris offered in our portfolio, including those done with Norman Carr Safaris. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that you don’t sometimes get close to wildlife. Whilst on a walking safari, you may find yourselves upwind of animals when generally they will smell you and run away; sometimes you’ll be downwind of an animal which won’t have seen you or smelt you and if the guide deems it safe you can creep closer; and sometimes you’ll come across an animal unexpectedly and if they haven’t seen or smelt you, your guide will often ask you to duck down and sit still so that you can safely watch – this can be from quite close by!

Mr & Mrs J from Dyfed
Arrived on: 20-Jun-2011 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Into the wild

A wonderful greeting and welcome, arrived just in time for lunch. We loved the rustic room and the marvelous view across the small grassy plain towards the dry Luwi river bed.

The location is remote and unrivalled, the walking excellent. Brian our guide was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour.

Memorable sightings of animals but so much more eg learned about the habitat. We were sorry to leave but had a very good walk to Nsolo

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Mr S & Ms L - California
Arrived on: 3-Sep-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Luwi Bushcamp review

Camp was just fine. Just that Nkosi and Botswana trip were very "hard act to follow"

[Ed: This comment refers to the fat that these travellers started their trip with us with a 12-day Botswana safari organised through our Wild about Africa programme. They rated this as "excellent", and their Botswana guide, called Nkosi, as "**AWESOME**" ]

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Mr M and friend from Italy
Arrived on: 12-Aug-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Remote and wonderful

Luwi has probably the most fascinating setting of all the camps, at least in my personal opinion: the landscape you have in front of your chalet and in front of the morning fire, where we had breakfast at the sunrise, is breathtaking.

We started immediately, after our first brunch in Luwi, with a short drive in the plain just in front of the camp to follow a dominant male lion who was chasing away the young male lion: a scene very emotional, also considering the behaviour of the lioness who was the mother of the young one.

We had very interesting walks with our guide Levy, and at the camp Mouse was very friendly. The first afternoon walk in Luwi ended in the hide overlooking the hippo lagoon where we had sundowner: wonderful setting!

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Mrs & Mr H - San Francisco
Arrived on: 5-Aug-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Luwi Bushcamp review

Walking was great.

Birding was excellent.

Staff was very accommodating.

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Mr & Mrs R from Plymouth
Arrived on: 20-Jun-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Poor
Poor
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Luwi Bushcamp review

we enjoyed it at Lewi and the staff were excellent but unfortunately we saw hardly any game except hippos and crocodiles. Would not choose to go there again

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Mr and Mrs C - East Sussex
Arrived on: 3-Jun-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Luwi Bushcamp review

Very enjoyable but, as it is purely a walking bush camp, two days is probably enough. Super staff.

What a shame that Mouse suffered a bout of malaria whilst we were there - but she was great. Paul collected us from Mfuwe International (!) and also guided us during our stay - very good.

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Mr and Mrs B from Gloucestershire
Arrived on: 24-Sep-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Cotton wool at Luwi

Our experience at Luwi was mixed. We arrived at nine o'clock in the morning after the drive from Kapani. Apart from eating, our next activity was at 15.45 almost seven hours later. There was little to do at the camp as the safety arrangements were, in our opinion, restrictive and assumed we had absolutely no idea how to behave in the bush.

With the obvious exception of the guides and scouts we had more bush experience than the camp staff having travelled reasonably extensively, travelling and camping unscorted in big game areas and having many 'interesting' encounters.

There is a great hippo pool with a hide overlooking but we were not allowed to stay there alone without a 'minder'. This arrangement did not work well - I think I managed a 30 minute stay - and the first few hours at Luwi were very frustrating - essentially sitting and waiting for the opportunity to actually do something. Unlike kapani there was little to maintain interest in the dead hours.

Apparently the restrictions on staying at the hide had been introduced when a visitor was lucky enough to have elephants visit the vicinity. He enjoyed the experience and we would also have enjoyed the experience. Sadly my diary entries refer to the camp as 'Stalag Luwi'.

On the walks we went out as a group of six,ourselves and a group of four italians travelling together. After the luxury of having our own guide in Kapani we found that this became a bit wearing. Groups of four stick together as a group of four and we inevitably found ourselves at the back of the group very quickly. This prevented significant contact with the guide and we lost sighting and photo oportunities also. The group size of six was particularly frustrating when other pairs went out as a group of two. Why not two fours? We raised our concern and disappointment with the camp staff but this made no difference.

We finally got a change in approach when we raised the same concerns at Nsolo and our host (Pria) took action. Whilst at Kakuli the GM, David Wlson, spoke to us and apologised for our experience. He also agreed with our view of managing the risk from wildlife encounters in a more thoughtful and less defensive manner. If you want to have any sensible bush wildlife experience then there is inevitably an element of risk, but it needs to be managed, not avoided. If you want to avoid risk altogether then stay at home and watch 'The natural world' etc. The roads are more dangerous than the animals.

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Expert Africa comments

We’re sorry that these travellers had such a mixed experience at Luwi Bushcamp. We relayed their comments to the camp and Dave, the General Manager of Norman Carr Safaris (NCS) replied:

“I thought I would just reply to you concerning the below feedback from the clients. I did indeed meet them at Kakuli to redress the issue. The bottom line is that they really did not like/get on with the Italian family.
Unfortunately as we were solidly booked it just so happened that they followed each other through all the camps. They did not pay for a private Guide and vehicle and due to how busy we were, we were unable to put on a guide specially for them until they got to Kakuli.
With regards to their comments on safety - it is an issue which I will not compromise on given the litigious nature of our society and the long standing reputation of professionalism in our company.”


We do understand that obeying safety rules can be frustrating, but we feel that they are vital to follow. With regards to the hippo hide, we would be unhappy if NCS took clients there without a guide or scout to accompany them. The hippo hide is on the edge of the Luwi permanent lagoon, and is often visited by wildlife – from elephant, to hyena, and even lion and leopard on occasion. Hence we are pleased that a member of staff is always present.

Safety rules, much like the safety talks at the beginning of an airline flight, may seem superfluous. However we are pleased that NCS maintains these, and would not ask them to change their methods in this regard.

We understand the frustration these clients felt when they arrived at Luwi to find that their next activity was in the afternoon. We have asked NCS to consider a later transfer to the bushcamps in future, perhaps after a morning activity and brunch at Kapani.

With regards to the arrangements for guides, clearly this didn’t work well – and we’ve discussed it with NCS to try to ensure that the same issue doesn’t happen again. We understand that the other groups had already been at Luwi for a few days, hence had already been on a few specific walks, which is why these clients were integrated this way. Sadly, the camps were full, so there was not a third guide available to guide them. We were pleased to hear that NCS made arrangements for a private vehicle for these travellers when they reached Kakuli and Mchenja.

The last word
After reading the above, our travellers commented further:

“Thanks for the feedback. However, it is important to address one misinterpretation. It is incorrect to say that we did not like or get on with the Italian group. They were very nice, like minded people and we got on very well.
Our point was simply that the group dynamic did not work on a walking safari. We do believe that six is too large a group for this activity and in this particular case mixing an 'established four' with an 'established two' did not work.
On the safety issue I accept your point on protection from litigation but, as a practicing professional safety and risk consultant, I do still feel your precautionary approach was over-protective. Anyway, we had a great time with Norman Carr Safaris.”

Mr & Mrs W - Staffordshire
Arrived on: 7-Jul-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Even more remote at Luwi

For remoteness and feeling well and truly in the bush, Luwi was exceptional. The accommodation was excellent.

Our guide, Brian could not have been more informative when asked questions.

As with other camps, the food and service was always first class. Lots of game sightings.

A very relaxed, enjoyable stay, beyond our expectations.

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