Zungulila

Zungulila: Our full report

Rooms
4 tents
Traveller's rating
Good (80%) From 1 review
Open
June to October

Zungulila is a small bushcamp, in one of the more remote areas of the southern sector of the South Luangwa National Park. Built on a raised bank, a natural spring passes directly below the camp and a wide expanse of the Kapamba River can be clearly seen about 100m beyond an open plain.Zungulila Bushcamp has just four safari tents on concrete platforms. The tents are strengthened by a wooden pole frame and covered with a thatched roof designed to help keep them cool. Two of the tents, west of the main area, overlook a natural spring and the lush green vegetation surrounding it. The other two tents, east of the main area, sit along a ridge and have a sweeping view of an open plain and the Kapamba River beyond.

Zungulila's safari tents are not overly large, but are relatively spacious. Each has a king-size or twin four poster beds, hung with mosquito nets. The floors are covered by thick, persian-style carpets and fabrics in bold natural colours such as russet and sienna add colour, without appearing gaudy. Simple, practical furniture carved out of rosewood includes bedside tables, a dressing table, storage chests and a standing storage unit. This ceiling high unit also acts as the divider between the bedroom and the en-suite bathroom. Each tent has a flush toilet and hand basin inside, as well as an outdoor hand basin, shower and even a mini sunken plunge pool on the deck.

Zungulila's main area is a thatched building set on a raised bank. A waist-high reed wall encloses the main building on three sides, whilst the front remains open for an uninterrupted view. The sitting area on the one side is furnished with an eclectic mix of furniture; old fashioned leather arm chairs, wicker sofas with brightly coloured cushions, a rather modern looking leather-lined bench and sturdy wooden travel trunks. The sandy floors are covered in persian-style carpets, so when we last visited in October 2013, we felt very comfortable slipping off our shoes to settle into one of the comfortable sofas and take in the view. To the other side is a dining area, where guests might sit down to meals around the communal dining table surrounded by very smart leather directors chairs.

Off to the side of the main area is a ‘boma’ area with a firepit. Just in front of that, where the bank falls away to the open plain, a large wooden deck extends out over the plain. A natural spring trickles past directly below this bank and animals that come to drink from the river or spring are often seen from this vantage point. It’s a great spot to dine under the stars in fine weather.

Activities at Zungulila Bushcamp usually focus on walking safaris, although with a few more roads in the area than there used to be, it is now also possible to do day and night nights. Having said that, there there is usually only one guide in the camp and activities are done as a group – with a maximum of eight guests if the camp is full. So this isn't a camp where you have great individual flexibility about your activities; the one on offer is the one favoured by the majority of guests. Each activity is accompanied by a professional guide, and walks also by an armed game scout.

Our view

Zungulila Bushcamp is in a beautiful, remote location of the park. The camp is simple and we love it’s eclectic, traditional feel. Yet it’s also quite stylish in it’s way, with a few unexpected comforts - like the mini sunken plunge pool on the deck of each of the tents, a welcome treat on a hot day! The road network here is reasonably limited, so it’s a great area for walking safaris and this is where the camp places the emphasis. However, day and night game drives are still possible. You’ll need to be flexible in your choice of activity, though, as there is usually only ever one guide in camp and so the one on offer will be the one favoured by the majority.

Geographics

Location: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Ideal length of stay: We suggest two or three nights at Zungulila. For a great safari experience consider combining it with a longer visit taking in a couple of its sister-camps: Kapamba or Bilimungwe.

Directions: Mfuwe Airport in South Luangwa National Park is reached by a 60-minute flight from Lusaka. Zungulila Bushcamp is then reached by a game drive through the park lasting approximately three hours.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: The Bushcamp Company

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: We only stopped at Zungulila for a short visit in July 2008, and so didn't have any meals here. However, we understand that the camp is going to offer hearty home-cooked meals. From our experience at the other camps run by The Bushcamp Company - Kapamba, Bilimungwe, Chamilandu, Chindeni and Kuyenda - we'd expect delicious food.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: All drinks available at Zungulila Bushcamp are included in the accommodation rate. A good variety of soft drinks, juices, beers, spirits and wines are available.

Children

Property’s age restrictions: The minimum age accepted by Zungulila is 12 years – but we don't recommend this camp for children.

Notes: Zungulila is unfenced, so dangerous animals can and do roam through the camp.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Solar Power

Communications: Zungulila has 24-hour radio contact with its sister camps and Bushcamp Company's base at Mfuwe Lodge.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The various safari operations in South Luangwa National Park sponsor a doctor who is based in the valley and always on call.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Guests are escorted to their tents after dark as a precaution against meeting wildlife on the footpath unexpectedly.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available at Zungulila. Clothes are hand washed and ironed with a coal iron so we don't recommend handing over any delicate items. Washing powder is provided for any hand washing guests would like to do.

Money: US Dollars are recommended for gratuities. In the unlikely event that payment for anything else is required, this would be processed by Zungulila's sister-camp, Mfuwe Lodge.