Mushara Bush Camp: Our full report
Opened in 2009, Mushara Bush Camp is the newest property in the Mushara Collection, a group of lodges set ...... on the private 25km2 Mushara Reserve, just 10km from the eastern edge of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Owned by Marc and Mariza Pampe, this camp is specifically designed to offer families a comfortable, affordable base from which to explore Etosha's abundant wildlife.
Mushara Bush Camp is the simplest of the properties on the reserve, which also include the original Mushara Lodge, along with Mushara Outpost and the more exclusive Villa Mushara.
Bush Camp has 16 tents built from wood, canvas and local limestone – materials that help keep the tents cool in the hot afternoon sun. They are spacious and airy, with roof-to-floor gauze windows, small private verandas with two canvas chairs, and en-suite bathrooms, all overlooking the surrounding bush.
Inside the tents, the décor is simple, lightened by blue-and-white printed fabrics for the bedspread and cushions, and lovely draped mosquito nets adorned with small buttons. Lighting comes from lamps styled like old-fashioned lanterns, two of which hang next to the bed. Each room is equipped with a fan, mosquito nets, a safe and a tea/coffee station. Four tents, designed for families, have an additional sleeper couch with its own mosquito net, which will accommodate two small children.
The main area at Mushara Bush Camp is a thatched open-fronted structure, and includes the lounge, bar and dining area – although meals are usually served on the camp's gravel-floored thatched veranda and the breakfast buffet is laid out in the long bar. The stone floor of the dining area combines with a large number of potted plants to give the area a natural look; even the room dividers are painted to look like stone.
Décor throughout this area is a stylish blend of soft yellows, blues and greens, complemented by warm ceiling lights made from baskets that hang above each table. Numerous sofas and chairs provide space to relax, perhaps with one of the magazines you’ll find tucked into buckets or wall pockets.
Adjacent to the main area is a sparkling swimming pool, surrounded by a rustic wooden fence. It is raised from the ground and built in a circular shape, with a smaller circle at one end to form a shallower children's pool. From the shady sunloungers around the pool, you can watch the resident warthogs grazing on the lawns.
A campfire is a good focal point for guests to enjoy at the end of the day.
The camp is surrounded by a fence to keep out the more dangerous game, but there are still kudu, warthog and smaller antelope on the property. During our most recent visit, in December 2016, we saw a large male kudu outside our tent and a shy bushbuck beside the pool!
Activities from Mushara Bush Camp, all at extra cost, focus on morning and afternoon game drives into Etosha National Park with an experienced driver/guide. The wildlife here is exceptional, featuring most of Africa's big game, and as the camp is a mere 10km from the park, the drive is straightforward even for those with children. On our most recent visit in December 2016 we did a guided morning game drive into the park, leaving at 6.30am and returning at about 11.30am in time for lunch. This was a very productive drive in which we saw lion, cheetah, elephant and ostrich as well as some smaller game – all in the space of a few hours. The cost of the guided game drive, at the time of our trip, was N$550 (£35) per person, including soft drinks. It is also possible to do a guided bushwalk on the property at a cost of about N$260 (£16) per person.
Mushara Bush Camp is a very family-friendly, relaxed and affordable place to stay near Etosha National Park. It's ideal for self-drive guests, and offers a down-to-earth bushcamp experience – which is why we love it: it is very good at what it does, and is great value.
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- We would recommend staying here for two to three nights.
- Mushara Bush Camp is situated within the same reserve as the other three Mushara properties, about 1km from Mushara Lodge, and approximately 10km from the Von Lindequist Gate, Etosha's eastern entrance.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- On our most recent visit to Mushara Bush Camp, in May 2018, we found that the food here was very good.
The camp serves a hot and cold breakfast buffet, light lunches, and a set menu for dinner, which is displayed on a board in the main area during the day. There's also a separate children's menu and vegetarians are also catered for
For lunch.we had a delicious tuna salad followed by fresh fruit salad.
Dinner on our first evening was a three-course meal that started with twice-baked gorgonzola soufflé served with butternut purée and salad. The main course, of chicken fillet with a spinach and mushroom open lasagne, was rounded off by tiramisu with cream, a chocolate shard and coffee syrup.
On our second evening here dinner was served in the boma beside the swimming pool and was a buffet barbecue. There was a starter of chilled carrot soup and a buffet of salads grown in the lodge’s garden. The main course comprised traditional ‘mielie pap’ (maize meal) served with tomato sauce, grilled springbok chops with mushroom sauce, slow-roast kudu shank, barbecued chicken kebabs and potato wedges. For dessert there was apple cake with fudge topping, lemon mousse and homemade doughnuts with berry compote. The food was very good and it was lovely dining outside under the stars.
- Family holidays
- Near Etosha, Mushara Camp sleeps up to four guests in each family tent, and is highly recommended for family safari holidays in Namibia. Expect a pool, a climbing frame, a play area, flexible dining and a children’s menu. Children under 3 stay free.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Mushara Bush Camp.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions.
- Special activities & services
- Mushara Bush Camp is very family and child-friendly. Whilst your children are playing in the children's corner or splashing in the children's pool, childminders will keep a watchful eye. Please note that although these ladies are experienced at looking after children, they do not have any formal qualifications.
There's also a children's climbing frame and, a section of the main area has been set aside for children to paint, draw, participate in arts and crafts or read some of the children's books.
Dinner times are flexible, and there's a special menu for children that includes spaghetti bolognese, macaroni cheese, fish fingers with tomato sauce, ice cream with chocolate sauce, and grilled marshmallows.
- Mushara Bush Camp has four family tents with additional sleeper couches, ideal to accommodate a family with two small children. There are also baby cots and highchairs.
- Generally recommended for children
- We think Mushara Bush Camp is great for families
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Mushara Bush Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Mushara Bush Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back up generator in case of a power failure. Each tent has a plug point for charging batteries.
- There is complimentary WiFi throughout the lodge.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The water is safe to drink
Adopting a ‘people first’ philosophy
With 16 custom-made luxury tents, Mushara Bush Camp’s main goal is to offer an affordable yet authentic bush camp experience. To achieve this, it has adopted a ‘people first’ philosophy, providing training opportunities for its staff meant to not only improve their skills, but also enable them to provide guests with service that exceeds expectations.
To train the kitchen staff, Rhona Strauss, a fully qualified chef, is visiting the Mushara Collection once a month to teach the chefs new cooking techniques, discuss current food trends, brainstorm new dish ideas and more. During her monthly visits, she especially spends time the head chef of the camp, making sure that the standard is still as high as expected, revising the presentation of the meals and listening to his concerns about certain menu options. Whenever there are quality or presentation problems, the chefs are called back to the Mushara Lodge kitchen where Rhona thoroughly cooks the particular dish with them once again. The initiative not only improves the quality and taste of the dishes, but also inspires the staff and defines their work ethic, which is further translated in creating authentic meal experiences for the guests.
The training initiatives have visibly improved the service quality at Mushara Bush Camp, and have brought the camp TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2014.
See more great sustainability projects in Namibia
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest doctor is in Tsumeb, about 100km away.
- Dangerous animals
- Moderate Risk
- Security measures
- There's a secure parking area, and the main gate is locked at night. A watchman is on duty day and night. It is worth mentioning that we have received a few reports from travellers that they did not feel the brass cabin door hooks on the inside and the outside of the door provided adequate security.
- Fire safety
- Each tent has a fire extinguisher.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is available at an extra charge for stays of two nights or more.
- US dollars and euros can be exchanged. Each tent has a safe.
- Accepted payment on location
- Visa and Mastercard are accepted as well as cash in Namibian dollars, South African rand, US dollars and euros.
Other lodges in Etosha National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.