Reviews of Tena Tena
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great Safari at Tena Tena
Tena Tena was very different from Nkwali in the compactness of it, and I loved the remoteness of the Lodge.
The staff and guides were without fault, and sharing our meals with the guides was entertaining and informative, we had a lot of fun together. Special mention of Julius, our excellent guide.
Luxury tented accommodation
Tena Tena was a nice change to Nkwali. The tents are amazing. One negative aspect would be the distance some of the tents are from the main reception / bar area. But lovely remote area and you really feel like you are away from it all. Food was amazing.
Staff again was so helpful.
Tena Tena review
The camp being brand new, it was a joy coming there. Here we felt really being in the bush, though in a luxurious way. The food was excellent. With a small pool to cool down in during the day, it would be perfect.
After experiencing a super-dedicated guide at another camp, we were a bit disappointed with the drives. Just driving around without stories isn´t that interesting. Stopping, listening and talking about the sticks in the road is part of being in the bush, too, and this was a bit neglected by our guide. Not having that many roads in that part of the park, this could have extended our experience. They are more cautious about off-road driving than in the south of the park, which is good! We didn´t meet any other cars on our drives, and you got a wonderful feeling of being alone out there on the drives.
Lovely and helpful people working there.
Tena Tena review
We were expecting tena tena to be the jewel in the crown and whilst we did have a fantastic time we were disappointed in so much as it could have been 10 out of 10 which is a little frustrating.
When we arrived the host was on her break so James from Robin's house was with us and we mentioned that we would be grateful if we could have a car for just the three of us if at all possible, James said with five tents and three cars it should not be a problem. We did have the first evening drive on our own, but then we were with other people the rest of the time. We seemed to be allocated two Norwegian ladies, they said they were particularly interested in lions. On the second day two French gentlemen arrived and Bertram drove them over to the Nsefu area to see the pride of lions there, at this point we felt that they were having a gold star service and we were having bronze or silver.
There was an issue with a car breaking down on the second day, so we had to get someone out to push us and then we had to leave the car running when we stopped. This meant that there was a car short on the last morning, Helen did not come on this safari but the two Norwegian girls were sat behind Steve and I and talked for most of the time which was a disappointment for us. They went back to pack just after 9 and we stayed out. One questions, if there was a car to collect them, could we have actually gone out on our own to start with. With just five tents I thought five people in one car with the amount we paid for the holiday was disappointing especially when James had told us on arrival that a vehicle to ourselves should not have been a problem. The guide was good at Nsefu but was not careful driving as we were being scratched by branches and having to duck out of the way of them.
It was noticable that there seemed to be no urgency to get people out at six oclock in the morning and on both our walking and driving safari we were waiting for some time for the other guests to go back to their rooms which resulted in us leaving camp at 6.30 or later.
Ali the waiter was very good and was very good on our spot light on the evening safari and exremely well mannered and polite.
Expert Africa comments
Robin Pope Safaris and the team at Tena Tena Camp admitted that these guests could have been allocated their own vehicle during their stay there as there were enough vehicles available. But then, after the first afternoon, there was a lack of communication between the guide and the managers which meant the request wasnt carried out. The camp team tell us that they have learnt from this experience and will ensure that a similar situation will not occur again.
Robin Pope Safaris have also apologised for not explaining the game drive routes better to these guests. They informed us that they are careful to work within rough boundaries when on game drives in this area of the park in order to avoid guests visiting both Nsefu and Tena Tena safari camps driving over the same routes. In this instance, one guide broke these rules in order to take the French guests to see lions in Nsefus game drive area. But on the safari drives that these guests were on, the guide would have been careful not to take them into areas he knew they'd already been. Whilst Robin Pope Safari's reasons behind setting these rules are valid, it would have been much better to explain the situation to the guests once everyone knew where the lions could be found, and to offer them the option of making an informed decision over which direction they'd like to take their game drive in.
Tena Tena review
Arrived after walking from Nsefu. Claire and her team made us feel very welcome.
Everyone was very friendly, right down to the night watchmen who led us to our tents each night. We were accommodated in large, new tents with a bathroom that overlooked the river which was full of hippo pods. We had three separate guides, Chylomba, Nyambi and Julius and each, in turn, added to our knowledge. A special mention here for Nyambi who led us on a walk and particularly made us aware of the interdependence of all life in the park.
Unfortunately we had a couple sharing our stay who drank too much. A big thank you must go to Claire who handled the situation very well, even giving us a private dinner one night so that we could avoid the couple (the man was particularly overbearing and loud).
Expertly run camp at Tena Tena
The camp has recently moved to an ideal situation.It is expertly managed by Claire and Bertram and this is reflected in the wonderful attitude of the staff.
It is a very interesting area,good for walking and game driving accompanied by knowedgeale,competent guides.Wonderful sightings of Eland herds and a magnificent Carm ine bee-eater colony.
Three day safari at new Tena Tena Camp
Tena Tena camp has been rebuilt on a new location back from the Luangwa River. The Robin Pope Safaris team was very good, but there were still some details being ironed out during our stay. The shower in Tent #2 was designed to be eco-friendly, but we had great difficulty with it's operation and had either cold or scalding water two of three days. The camp's location is also less attractive than Nsefu Camp.
The highlight of our three days was witnessing five lions swimming across the Luangwa river in morning light. Our guide said they usually cross at night and he had only witnessed such a swim twice in five years.
We also saw three male and one female lion on a buffalo kill, and another group of eight lionesses close to another kill.
The lions were taking advantage of the buffalos' weakened condition this time of year. All told, we must have seen nearly twenty lions near Tena Tena.
Tena Tena review
Beautiful new tents and a great location.
We received very good service in camp and some good guiding. We saw some memorable game including 5 lions crossing the river and wild dogs.
Food was excellent and the whole ambience in the camp was welcoming yet professional.
Tena Tena first encounter with hippos
Our first camp in Zambia. We arrived from London late so staying only two nights was a bit short. The management and staff gave us a great welcome and very good service throughout our stay, including Brown (the night watchman) who escorted us to and fro.
Wonderful setting on Luangwa River: our first encounter with hippos who munched grass round our tent all night. We felt really close to nature in our tent and loved the open air "bathroom" complete with tiny fly-catching frogs! The only snag was getting up in the night to go to the toilet - unzipping the tent in the dark was a bit off-putting! Breakfast round the camp fire in the morning was magic.
Lots of game on the drives including leopard, lions, giraffe and buffalo.
Tena Tena Camp Safari experience
Well organised and a good introduction to being back on safari and in Zambia.
The only current issue is with the location of the camp in that, over the years, the river has taken various different courses and currently the camp is not situation close to the river so the location is nice but it could be better situated by the river. That said they are in the process of moving the map and within 2/3 month it'll be in a new and better location. The general location of the camp is in a good area of the S Luangwa for game viewing and walks and also an ideal starting point for the Robin Pope Luangwa Bush camping.