Ntemwa Busanga Camp: Our full report
Located in the north of Zambia’s Kafue National Park, Ntemwa Busanga Camp is a simple, seasonal bushcamp ...... located at the southern end of the Busanga Plains.
This small and incredibly personal camp is open seasonally between July and October, with guests often using Ntemwa's sister camp Musekese to start and end the trip. Although rustic, the camp is comfortable and has a professional team on hand to look after you.
Ntemwa is simple, with four reed and thatch chaletss, taking a maximum of eight guests. Each chalet has either twin or double beds, and a small luggage shelf and hanging rail. A bedside table holds a solar lamp, reusable water bottles, whistle and mosquito spray.
To the back of each chalet you’ll find an open-air en suite, sheltered by the trees, with a flushing toilet and with a bucket shower which staff will fill with hot water on request. Large jugs of water are provided next to a basin for washing, and hot water will be brought each morning along with your wake-up call.
The main area is built tree-house style, a large tented-platform raised on stilts under a magnificent sycamore fig tree. Two sets of stairs lead up – there’s no handrail here so you need to watch your step – to an open-sided area with comfortable leather sofas with colourful cushions, and a small wooden bar. There’s also a tea and coffee station and a water dispenser to fill your water bottles, with a charging station nearby. A dining table is in the centre, though meals are often eaten down next to the edge of the plains, under the stars.
The activities up here mainly focus on driving, with day and night drives available, in order to get the most out of the Busanga Plains, the best spot in Zambia for spotting cheetah, and antelope species such as roan and sable. However, walks are also possible in the woodland areas to the south of the plains, a haven for birdlife, with advance notice. Both the camp owners, Phil or Tyrone, plus the camp’s guides, have many years experience guiding in the park, and a clear passion for the area.
Ntemwa Busanga Camp is one of the most affordable camps in the Busanga Plains area of the Kafue, and although simple, this adds to the camp’s basic charm. Being isolated in the largest national park in Zambia, this is one of the best ways to camp out comfortably and explore a true wilderness area.
Country manager: Zambia
- Kafue National Park, Zambia
- Ideal length of stay
- We'd suggest a stay of two to three nights at Ntemwa Busanga Camp, which combines well with staying a few nights at Musekese Camp at the start and end of your visit here.
- Trips usually start at Musekese Camp, which is approximately a five hour drive from Lusaka – this is three hours on tarmac and two on bush tracks. It is also possible to fly for an hour to Lufupa Airstrip in the Kafue National Park, via charter. Then it is a short vehicle and boat transfer of 20 minutes to the camp which is on the other side of the river. The mobile camp is then a two and a half to four hours drive north in the park, depending on the wildlife you see along the way.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- The kitchen at Ntemwa Busanga works from the same rotating meal schedule as Musekese, so if guests are staying across the two properties they shouldn’t have the same meal twice – and on our last visit in October 2018 we very much enjoyed the meals. The camp’s kitchen is able to cater to a range of dietary requirements, though they do ask that these are requested in advance.
Breakfast is served early, before the morning activitiy, and is a buffet of fruit, cereals and yoghurt, with hot options (porridge, or eggs) on request.
We weren’t able to stay for lunch on our last trip, but the camp serves a buffet lunch, usually with a meat or fish course and a vegetarian option, along with fresh salads, home-made pickles and chutneys, and freshly baked bread.
We were served a light spiced loaf cake for afternoon tea at 3.30pm, before the afternoon drive. Then, on our return from the night drive, dinner was served and we enjoyed a delicious pulled pork aranchini to start, followed by steak (cooked to order) in an onion sauce, served with macaroni cheese and fresh vegetables.
Dessert was a light chocolate sponge, with tea and coffee to follow.
- Dining style
- Group Meals
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- Filtered water from the camp’s borehole is provided, though bottled water is available if guests wish. Soft drinks and local alcoholic beverages are included.
- Zambia’s Kafue National Park is home to nearly 500 different bird species, and so a trip here is perfect for those wishing to partake in some serious bird-watching. The critically endangered wattled cranes are a highlight.
- See ideas for Birdwatching
- Attitude towards children
- Ntemwa Busanga Camp is very basic, and in an incredibly isolated area of the park. It's best suited for older children only.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children under the age of 14 are not permitted.
- Special activities & services
- No specific activities are provided for children.
- Generally recommended for children
- Given that Ntemwa Busanga is remote, and a more basic bushcamp, it’s suited much more to adults.
- Wild animals wander through the camp, which is unfenced. Children are the responsibility of their parents or guardians and should be under supervision at all times. Parents should also note that this area has a higher concentration of tsetse flies than other parks in Zambia, as children often have a stronger reaction to the bites.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Ntemwa Busanga Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Ntemwa Busanga 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
- Ntemwa Busanga has a back-up generator on site in case of power shortages.
- Whilst at Ntemwa you should consider yourself out of contact. There is no WiFi or phone signal. The camp is in constant radio contact with its sister camp Musekese, for general communication as well as in case of an emergency.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Water is obtained from the camp’s borehole. Tents all have individual en-suite bathrooms, with plumbed flush toilets. Jugs of hot water are brought each morning, and bucket showers are filled with hot water on request.
Conservation in the northern Kafue National Park
Established in 2017 by the owners of Musekese and Ntemwa-Busanga camps, Musekese Conservation (MC) has a responsibility to protect a 2,700km² area of the northern Kafue National Park. Working with both the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife and other like-minded organisations, their impact is already significant, with a notable reduction in illegal activities and a commensurate increase in wildlife populations.
Rates at Ntemwa-Busanga Camp, as at Musekese Camp, include a contribution to Musekese Conservation of US$40 per night, so this vital work is supported by every guest.
See more great sustainability projects in Zambia
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The guides at Musekese at Ntemwa Busanga are first aid trained - both Phil and Tyrone are trained in advanced first aid. There is a trauma kit in camp for serious injuries, and a basic first aid for minor. First aid kits are taken out on activities. The camp has medevac cover to Lusaka and Johannesburg, and would use Lufupa Airstrip as its evacuation point.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- An armed scout stays in camp, and camp staff escort guests to and from rooms at night.
- Fire safety
- Ntemwa Busanga Camp has a fire break around the camp, they also have fire beaters and water bags. Staff members have attended fire fighting training and every tent and vehicle has an extinguisher, as do the kitchen and main area.
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is included in the cost and clothes are hand washed and line dried. The camp are happy to wash all items, but washing powder is available if there is anything you would rather do yourself.
- There is a central safe at Ntemwa which guests are welcome to use. Just discuss this with your guide when you arrive. There is no currency exchange here as the camp does not carry much in the way of cash.
- Accepted payment on location
- There are no additional extras at Ntemwa so you won’t need money for anything other than optional gratuities.
Other lodges in Kafue National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.