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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Z from Z

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

My Oct 2021 trip

Zambia between 17 Oct 2021 and 3 Nov 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall, game is very good across 3 NPs (South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, Kafue).
- Numerous lion sightings, but lions are the most majestic at Busanga Plains
- 13 unique leopard sightings, some with cubs, one feeding on an impala kill on the tree.
- Carmine bee eater colony was a bit smaller than usual at Shenton's hide this year, but saw the one near to Nkwali Camp from across the river. That colony was bigger.
- Not much luck on dog sightings except seeing the same pack twice in Mfuwe sector, and they were resting
- Game appears to be the strongest at South Luangwa northern sector. Lions were feeding on buffalo or hippo kills everyday

I have no hesitation in recommending all camps to future travelers
- Except for Mukambi Lodge/Mukambi Plains Camp, until the guiding issues are addressed.

Other notes to assist future travelers: PCR test
- Nature By Nature DNA Research Laboratory delivered as promised.
- Returned to Lusaka at 12 noon
- Swabbed at 1 pm
- Received results electronically (email/whatsapp) at 3 pm
- Was hand-delivered hardcopy results at 4 pm
- Left for airport at 7 pm.
- Flew out same day without issues.
- Healit Zambia now has a test center at Lusaka Airport, but it is not yet fully operational. I think it will be be up and running by next year. It is on the right hand side as you enter the departure hall of the new airport.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

None"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

"Flatdogs Camp review"

1 night Arrived 17 Oct 2021
"Solid place. Probably only complaint is too short.

The pool area is very nice."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"Mwamba Bushcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 18 Oct 2021
"Definitely my best camp choice for an October stay.

I was the only guest there throughout the stay and they gave me the room closest to the hide. The Last Waterhole hide was a hive of activity. Lions came everyday, and there is a constant parade of animals quenching their thirst eg elephants, buffalos, hyenas, guinea fowls, impalas, vultures. Both day and night. Astounding.

No camp manager onsite with covid reorg (common trend it seems with satellite/sister camps, not just with Shenton) but they bring in an interim one from Kaingo Camp whenever a guest is on site."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

"Puku Ridge review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2021
"The most fancy camp. A welcome respite in extreme heat as it has AC (or a system similar to it). This property is very similar in layout to Sanctuary Chief's Camp in Botswana. It's almost uncanny. I think they must have used the same design firm before Sanctuary sold off this property.

Starbed is pretty fun. Plunge pool was amazing and I think they have a circulation system because the water is constantly maintained at a cool temperature.

The wide plains/waterhole in front of the camp is not as game-rich as I expected. It is quite a distance for the animals to walk to it from the tree-line. There is a hide looking out to the waterhole too where you are more on the eye level with the animal.

They also organized a cook out for 4 of us in the bush one day which was a pleasant surprise. It is Asian stir fry and tastes amazing. One of the camp managers (Grant), who used to be a chef at Sanctuary Chief's Camp, made the lunch for us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

"Old Mondoro Bushcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 25 Oct 2021
"A memorable stay that rivals Mwamba Camp.

Saw various elephant antics in and out of water, including one who stands on hind legs to reach for the winterthorn tree. I am very happy with what I saw out of Room 2 but did wonder what others saw out of Room 3, 4, 5, since these rooms tend to look out to the lagoon/stream rather than the main river.

Probably one of the few camps in my life where omnipresent wildlife are threading the same path as me. It is a very well-designed bush camp. There are some critters in the room too just like any other bush camp eg Mwamba but it doesnt bother me beyond wondering if I am transporting a frog back to Lusaka."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mukambi Safari Lodge

Mukambi Safari Lodge

"Mukambi Safari Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 28 Oct 2021
"See later description [Ed: See below]"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mukambi Plains Camp

Mukambi Plains Camp

"Mukambi Plains Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 29 Oct 2021
"The setting of this camp is amazing. It is built on a date palm tree island, and looks out to thousands of lechwe roaming about on watery channels. Food is very good, on par with other 5 star camps I stayed.

The main problem I had is with guiding. The game drive seems to be only 3-3.5h while all other camp vehicles are out there for 4-4.5, there is a tendency to rush through all cat sightings, and spotter seems haphazard in shining the torch during night drives.

One particular incident really upsets me. I was sharing the vehicle with another guest for the first night but had the vehicle all to myself for the nights thereafter, so compromising is not relevant here. And the guide is clearly aware that big cats and wild dogs are my priorities.

During the final night game drive, the guide has spotted a leopard, a clearly skittish one. Instead of keeping the torch trained on the animal to assist my night photography, he seems more interested in using the torch to signal other camp vehicles to come join us at the sighting. And that's exactly what happened, two other nearby vehicles (from a competing camp) whom he signaled came over to us within 3 minutes of leopard sighting. The leopard now felt even more cornered with 3 vehicles around. I pleaded with my guide not to drive any closer to the leopard, but he insisted. As I expected, the leopard then ran away, with the other two vehicles chasing after it, while my guide drove away from the sighting. I was very upset by the whole encounter - not only a missed photography opportunity where I could potentially have a private 10+ minutes interaction with the cat, but also the way the leopard was treated.

Upon return to Mukambi Lodge, I was told that it is standard practice that camps share sightings between camps ASAP, and I should accept that because I will feel grateful if the situation is reversed. For the record, I disagree. I think any camp vehicle that is the first to spot the game is not obliged to inform competing camps, aside from a goodwill reason, and even then, the information sharing doesnt have to happen immediately. Therefore, I dont buy that argument. Sure, sightings are shared officially within the same camp via radio, and off the record between competing camps. But it still doesnt have to happen the way it did. Therefore, I dont have strong faith that Mukambi has any intention of addressing this issue but rather is more interested in sweeping the problem under the carpet. I never received an apology for this incident.

This is truly a maiden experience for me, where the guide deprioritize the primary guest needs in order to score brownie points with a competing camp. I really think there needs to be better training on the guide.

If guiding/spotting issues are non-existent, I would rate this camp as 5 star all around."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mukambi Safari Lodge

Mukambi Safari Lodge

"Mukambi Safari Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 1 Nov 2021
"I am not sure where this lodge falls under but if I need to rank I would consider it a 3 star lodge.

There are some maintenance issues that perhaps have fallen off radar with covid eg broken radiator in game drive vehicle, fumigation of ants from room, etc. I am more concerned about the former than the latter, because I keep seeing the transfer driver adding water to under the bonnet and it is a 5+ hours drive from central Kafue to Busanga Plains.

Other than that, the lodge is fine. Lots of bush bucks around and I was told a cheetah has been roaming nearby too. Food is very good at this lodge - on par with other 5 star camps I stayed at.

I am still glad I stayed outside of park in a GMA like where Mukambi Lodge is, instead of inside the park where tsetse flies are prevalent.

There are some guiding issues but the problems are more pronounced while I was at Busanga Plains (see previous). Any drop in rating is due to this."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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