Mushara Bush Camp: Our full report
Designed with both families and couples in mind Mushara Bush Camp is the newest property in the Mushara Collection.It was opened in 2009, one of a group of lodges set on the private 25km² Mushara Reserve, just 9km from the eastern edge of Namibia's Etosha National Park. From here, the camp offers a comfortable and affordable base from which to discover 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, housing 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 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. There are also a number of toys, children’s books and puzzles in baskets to help keep younger safarigoers entertained.
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 one of our stays, 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 in the park can be exceptional, featuring most of Africa's big game, and as Bush Camp is a mere 9km from the park, the drive is straightforward even for those with children.
On our most recent visit in May 2022 we stayed at Mushara Lodge, only popping in to Bush Camp for a look round. However, on a previous stay 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 rewarding drive on which we saw lion, cheetah, elephant and ostrich as well as some smaller game – all in the space of a few hours.
It is worth noting that, because Bush Camp is outside the park, and no activities take place on the Mushara Reserve, all guided activities are subject to the same rules as self-drivers: access to the park is not permitted before sunrise or after sunset, and no off-roading or walking is allowed. This is more restrictive than staying somewhere that conducts activities on a private reserve, but conversely, we have always felt that Mushara Bush Camp offers fantastic value for money.
Most guests staying here arrive in their own vehicle, so can easily drive themselves into the park. Indeed, Mushara is an exceptionally convenient location to do this. However, we feel that a local guide can often enhance the game-viewing experience. For example, a guide will be aware of animal behaviour patterns so might know which animals are likely to put in an appearance at a certain waterhole, and even if a drive is quiet, they will be able to point out birds and plants that might otherwise be overlooked. Finally, the Mushara vehicles are fitted with radios, so the guides can communicate with each other and call in any good sightings they come across, further increasing the chance of seeing something exceptional. On balance, the combination of guided excursions and self-drive trips into the park is often a winning formula.
Please note that Mushara Bush Camp has more beds than seats in its vehicles, so if you know you would like to do an activity during your stay here, please tell us so we can inform the lodge. On rare occasions, travellers have missed out on activities that have not been pre-booked.
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.
Country manager: Namibia
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- We 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 9km from the Von Lindequist Gate, Etosha's eastern entrance.
The Mushara Reserve has its own airstrip, but it is also possible to fly to the airstrip at nearby Mokuti and be transferred to the lodge.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- On our most recent visit to Mushara Bush Camp, in May 2022, we didn’t have the chance to eat here, but on our previous stay in May 2018, we found the food 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 a buffet barbecue dinner was served in the boma beside the swimming pool. 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.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Drinks are not included, but the water at Mushara is considered safe to drink, though travellers may prefer to stick to bottled water for an extra charge.
- Family holidays
- Near Etosha, Mushara Camp sleeps up to four guests in each family tent and is highly recommended for a family safari holiday 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, with 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
- All rooms have hot and cold running water and flush toilets.
Investing in people
As part of its aim to offer an affordable yet authentic bushcamp experience, Mushara Bush Camp has adopted a “people first” philosophy, providing training opportunities for its staff designed both to improve their skills, and to enable them to offer a high standard of service to the lodge’s guests.
To train the kitchen staff, Rhona Strauss, a fully qualified chef, visits lodges within the Mushara Collection once a month to teach new cooking techniques, discuss current food trends, brainstorm new dish ideas and more. During her monthly visits, she especially spends time with the camp’s head chef, making sure that the standard is still as high as expected, revising the presentation of the meals and listening to any concerns about menu options. If quality or presentation problems arise, the chefs are called back to the Mushara Lodge kitchen where Rhona will go through a particular dish with them again. This initiative not only improves the standard of cuisine, but also inspires the staff and defines their work ethic, which is further translated into creating authentic meal experiences for their guests.
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 and South African rand.
Other lodges in Etosha National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.