Camp Kuzuma: Our full report
Camp Kuzuma sits just inside the northern boundary of the Kuzuma Forest Reserve, very close to Botswana’s ...... border with Zimbabwe and Hwange National Park. No one from Expert Africa has stayed at Camp Kuzuma yet, but we did drop in to take a look around during a recent research trip and we were impressed with what we found.
Overlooking a waterhole, Camp Kuzuma sits in the path of an elephant corridor linking Chobe and Hwange National Parks. This makes it a fantastic place to see elephant, particularly in the dryer winter months (July – October). Camp Kuzuma has access to its own 20,000-hectare private concession and is in stark contrast to the other accommodation options in this area, looking more like a lodge one might find in the Okavango Delta rather than on the relatively unknown Kazuma Pans. For guests looking for something a little quieter than the busier Chobe waterfront this should be a good alternative option, albeit a little more out of the way (Camp Kazuma is about a two-hour drive from the town of Kasane, considered the gateway to Chobe National Park).
The whole camp is raised up on wooden platforms and walkways with a total of 5 tented suites all well spaced out form one another and decorated in an Edwardian style found in the Africa of old. Campaign furniture as well as a few ornaments here and there add to this classic feel. Each suite has a king-size bed as its centrepiece; these can also be converted into twins if desired. The concrete floors in each suite will no doubt get quite cold when the temperature drops. Having a few antelope skins and rugs dotted around to lend warmth to each room counteracts this well.
An overhead fan provides respite from the heat during the day but do bear in mind there is no air-conditioning at Camp Kuzuma. The mesh walls of each room open up from ceiling to floor and so the whole suite can effectively be made open-air – a feature many will be grateful for when relaxing in the afternoons in the hotter months. Conversely, canvas flaps can be rolled down to cover the mesh when the wind picks up or the temperature drops.
The en-suite bathrooms include a freestanding bath tub, his and hers indoor showers and an outdoor shower too, complete with views onto the surrounding bush. His and hers ceramic basins are decorated in local patterns and there are complimentary shower gels, shampoos and soaps provided in each bathroom too. A hair dryer is provided too. To the side of the bathroom, in its own separate cubicle is the flush-toilet.
Camp Kuzuma’s main area overlooks the floodlit waterhole. When we visited the camp had no guests and humans were outnumbered by elephant, most having come down to the water to escape the early afternoon heat. In addition to elephant we’re also told that the water hole attracts lion, wild dog and the occasional leopard as well as a variety of antelope, including roan and sable.
The main area has a canvas ceiling with a thatched roof forming an upper shell. The flowing canvas inside the main area gives it an airy feel and this is complimented by its design, with an open-plan (and impressively well-stocked) island bar surrounded by a few comfortable seating areas aswell as dining tables. It all feels very spacious and with nice touches like a couple of coffee machines, quite luxurious too.
In front of the main area is the camp’s swimming pool and deck. On clear evenings guests can sit with their guide and enjoy a spot of star-gazing while waiting to see if anything comes down for an evening drink at the waterhole. Just to the side of this decked area is a ground level boma where humans care welcome to have a drink, pre- or post-dinner. A fire is lit every evening and welcomes guests back from their evening game drive.
Activities at Camp Kuzuma focus on 4WD game drives and guided walks, all conducted by fully proficient guides and trackers. We didn’t have time to experience the quality of the guiding at Camp Kuzuma when we visited but from what we understand the camp offers morning and afternoon game drives in 9 seater Land Rovers, each taking a maximum of six people so everyone gets a ‘window seat’. An armed guide and back up scout accompanies all walks in the Forest Reserve and this is a great chance to experience the smaller things which are missed from the back of a vehicle. The area around Camp Kuzuma is reportedly also quite productive for bird watching too.
In addition to the standard activities on offer at Camp Kuzuma, many guests may also wish to unwind at the camps dedicated ‘bush spa’. The spa room is situated close to the main area with views across the watering hole. A wide range of massages, reflexology, aromatherapy as well as facials and hand and foot treatments are all on offer from professionally trained staff. The spa also has a Jacuzzi.
Away from camp there’s the option for guests to request sunset cruises and day trips to the Chobe National Park. Day-trips to the Victoria Falls can also be arranged too.
No one from Expert Africa has stayed at Camp Kuzuma yet but we did pay it a brief visit not long after it had opened. We found a stylish camp, off the beaten track, where game drives and nature walks take place in a private concession inside the Kazuma Forest Reserve. This area is well known for elephant’s as well as other big game and wildlife is frequently viewed drinking form the waterhole in front of camp. Although Camp Kuzuma is about a two-hour drive away from the Chobe riverfront, we’d consider it a good alternative for those travellers who wish to spend a day in Chobe National Park, but who would prefer to spend the remainder of their time in a less busy area of northern Botswana.
Country manager: Botswana
- Chobe National Park, Botswana
- Ideal length of stay
- We’d recommend a stay of two or three-nights at Camp Kuzuma. It’s a fair drive from Kasane and having at least one full day here is essential, preferably two.
- Most guests staying at Camp Kuzuma fly into Kasane and then transfer down to camp by road. This road transfer takes about an hour and a half.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- When we visited Camp Kuzuma we dropped in somewhat unannounced and so, understandably we didn’t get a chance to experience the menu here. From our own desk research and from speaking with the camp itself we would expect the dining experience here to be of a very high quality though.
As is the norm with safari camps in Botswana, the day will revolve primarily around two main meals – brunch, and dinner but with the gaps all filled in with sizeable snacks so that you will never go hungry.
Guests will wake up early, usually around 5 or 6 am depending on the time of year.
A light breakfast is served at the main area before the first game drive, not long after first light and this will include cereal, toast, home made rusks or muffins and preserves with coffee and tea on offer too.
On return from the morning game drive brunch will be waiting to be served, usually in the dining area or next to the pool. This takes place around 9:30 and at this point you’ll be able to enjoy a cooked breakfast accompanied by a range of fruit, yogurts and again toast and muffins served with a selection of fruit juices and fresh tea and coffee.
After a few hours to relax and digest, the next snack comes at afternoon tea when a selection of sweet and savoury options are served before the evening game drive.
The evening meal is served on return from the game drive and this is a three-course, sit down affair. Again, we haven't been lucky enough to sample the food at Camp Kuzuma, but from our research and the photo galleries we’ve seen, it looks to be of a very high quality indeed.
- Attitude towards children
- No children under 4 years old are permitted at Camp Kuzuma and private activities have to be booked for groups with children younger than 6.
- Property’s age restrictions
- No under 4’s
- Special activities & services
- Generally recommended for children
- This is an open safari camp with big game frequently passing through. In addition to the risk from game the whole camp is also elevated off the ground and so there are hazards there too. The swimming pool is also unfenced. Children need to be supervised at all times.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back up generator available should it be needed.
- There is no cell phone reception or WiFi at Camp Kuzuma.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV or radio at Camp Kuzuma.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Borehole water is available for washing in and bottled water is supplied for drinking water.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest doctor is in Kasane or Pandamatenga but the guides are all first aid-trained and for anything serious and urgent medical air rescue is on standby. Please note that it is only possible to fly out of camp during daylight hours as the bush airstrips do not have any lighting at night.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Security guards patrol the camp at night.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers dotted around camp.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is included in a stay at Camp Kuzuma.
- Each room has its own electronic safe. The lodge does not offer exchange facilities.
- Accepted payment on location
- The lodge can accept credit and debit cards but not Amex.
Other lodges in Chobe National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.