Reviews of Old Mondoro Bushcamp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
103 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Old Mondoro Bushcamp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Old Mondoro Bushcamp review"
We were transferred to OM by boat. It took between 1-2 hours from Chiawa Camp to get there. Immediately upon arrival, the camp was full of tranquil bull elephants who were eating around the winterthorn trees. The main area was a minimalistically beautiful roofed deck. We were briefed and then shown to our tent. We were in tent #3, which is a tent overlooking a small lagoon feeding into the Zambezi. The tent was so close to the bank you could have jumped into the lagoon from our deck! It was magnificently beautiful and we had great views of animals drinking along the bank and crossing it. There were some afternoons where we couldn’t take a nap because of all the action going on! One afternoon, it was surrounded by a herd of elephants in and around the lagoon, with a mom and baby crossing the lagoon right next to us! Another afternoon we saw the drama of a buffalo drinking and almost getting caught by a crocodile. The walls of our tent/chalet were made of 2 layers of reeds/small rods of wood lined interiorly with insect netting. The windows have relaxed coverings that it impossible to keep bugs out. This, however, made the place feel like the extension of a game drive and kept us in tune with the outdoors. At night, because we were so close to the lagoon, the sound of the frogs, insects, and hippos were at times deafening! I don’t mean that in a bad way because I loved it.
Staff were all excellent in adherence to covid protocols of masking and social distancing. Our temperatures were checked daily. All of the staff had at lease one dose of the covid vaccine.
Food was fresh, delicious, and generous.
The wildlife, exclusive feel, and landscapes were what stole the show, however. This place is in the best section of the park. The camp is in an area that was previously a flood plain prior to the dam. As a result, it’s a flat plain where winterthorns now grow in abundance. In the surrounding areas it felt so open as well. It lended itself well to looking for wildlife. On top of that, there aren’t many other camps in the area. The only vehicles we would run into were other OM cars at some sightings and maybe one other inside-the-camp car. Most game drives we were the only car around and my wife and I had sightings all to ourselves!
The predator density was AMAZING. Our guide during our OM stay was James and our spotter during the night drives was Tryford. They were a legendary combo. They were so skilled at finding anything, in particular lions and leopards. James would track their footprints, localize alarm calls, and read the body language of prey and vultures so well that he would seemingly find them at will! Leopard sleeping on a tree, leopard dragging an impala kill and eating it at night, leopard patrolling - all wonderful sightings. We had so many leopard sightings we had an equal number of sightings of leopards as we did lions! And we spent so much more time and were so close to the leopards compared to the lions. The only thing we couldn’t find that was reportedly in the area were leopard cubs.
In addition, the wild dog sightings in the area currently is fabulous. The guides are thinking that they may be denning just north of the Jeki airstrip and that 2 females are actually pregnant. We were told the pack numbered in the 20’s. When we were there we saw 17-19 of them. We saw them greet each other, which was so cool. After we had seen them for the first time one morning we headed back to that area in the afternoon and they were sleeping smack dab on the main road. We were with them and one other car for a good hour with no other cars coming by. We also followed them as they woke up to hunt. The morning of our covid test at the airstrip we even had the chance to witness them chase and kill and impala from start to finish. We were the only ones around to see this!
In addition to predators, James was exceptional at birds, and we learned so much about them and started actually becoming decent at identifying the more common kinds. We loved our walking safari with him as well. They weren’t offering canoe at this time due to water levels. We didn’t do any boating because the game drives were so good we wanted to keep being on land!
Our exit RT-PCR covid test was arranged to be done at the Jeki airstrip via a fly-in nurse. A representative from Tours Africa, who we were also working with and was handling this process, was also present at the airstrip to ensure everything was going smoothly. We were tested at 10am on a Saturday, the day prior to our Sunday 3:45pm international departure from KKIA for home. When we arrived at KKIA from LZNP, we were met by Tours Africa with a paper result in hand!
Of all the places that we stayed, this place is the one we will happily return to!" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Old Mondoro Bushcamp review"
For your info, they have built another room---room 5----which also faces this lagoon---so also very good
The only problem this year, and problem is not the proper use of that word, is that as the water levels were so low, there was less water in the lagoon, and therefore a few less animals---but that's nature for you---and climate change!
We absolutely love Old Mondoro and it is probably our favourite of the 2 x properties owned by the delightful Cummings family
It has new managers who are good and helpful
The "dinner party "style at dinner times is lovely and again, we met some very nice and interesting people
Two of the guides were very very good---particularly Marshall, but also James was very good
What made Marshall so remarkable is the amount of overseas travel that he has done, which has widened his outlook on everything from the history of countries to the economics of various countries
So. apart from him being a very good guide, he was also a very interesting intelligent guide and we had some great drives with him
There are supposedly many leopards at Old Mondoro, and last time we visited here in Sept 2017, with yourselves. we saw many sightings and many diurnal sightings. This year, despite Marshall's best intentions, we saw only 1 x nocturnal sighting which was a bit disappointing
The same with the lions-----in Sept 2017, we saw lots of good sightings, but there seem to be far less lions around this year, which was a shame
Saw heaps and heaps of elephants here and also on the boat the Chobe Princess, which I forgot to mention
We also saw other animals and loads of birds which was great" See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 6n in Mozambique; 3n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe; 1n in South Africa
"Old Mondoro Bushcamp review"
A couple of points:
The camp is very spread out and the need for vehicle transport because of the presence of elephant and buffalo, rather than walking could be inconvenient.
Secondly, visitors would be well advised to get their requests for activities in early. We could not initially get a boat trip when we wanted because a group had booked a boat every day for fishing. Also the manager was not that attentive in putting like minded people together. In both cases the guides were more attune and found solutions. Having said that, Mark the manager was very good and experienced.
Coat hangers etc. etc.!
The use of red spotlights at this camp greatly enhanced night drives, and allowed approach to animals without distressing them.
We really enjoyed a leisurely boat ride down the Zambezi with great views of birds and animals We would have liked to have canoed in some of the Zambezi channels but the water was too low for this.
Waterbuck - 10+ sightings. Very Common
Porcupine and Genets
Buffalo - Big herds of 200+
Lion - 13 individuals seen including after dark
Leopards - 9 individuals in 8 sightings!
Honey Badger - 2 sightings, including in daylight.
Civit - 6 sightings, including in daylight
Hippo and Elephant and, in the water, crocodile everywhere.
Passing through a huge herd of Buffalo after dark.
Watching around 6 large crocodiles dismember a dead Hippo, while another 30 smaller crocs looked on.
A single 4 hour game drive from daylight to darkness that included:
8 lions including 3 males moving after dark
5 leopards, all active, three after dark. This gave a total of 8 for the day
1 Honey Badger
and an Aardvark!" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Old Mondoro Bushcamp review"
Excellent bushcamp experience.
Excellent guides." See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia; 2n in South Africa
"Excellent Safari at Old Mondoro "
The setting is delightful, right on the Lower Zambezi river and surrounded by beautiful trees. Even with the addition of a 5th tent, the camp remains "bijou", the team is wonderful. Wildlife is plentiful (in the camp and nearby). The leopard sightings were absolutely outstanding.
Already looking forward to returning next year." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia; 9n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
Juliet and James were very friendly, welcoming hosts and all the guides were excellent.
We had some fantastic leopard sightings here but will always have a memory of the elephants ambling through the camp and stopping to browse or have a good scratch on the trees.
The bathtubs are a great added luxury." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Old Mondoro review"
We had great sightings of leopard and lion on our game drives, when we met barely another vehicle, but just as good were the evening drives after sunset using a filtered spotlight. On one of these - thanks in particular to the sharp eyes of our spotter and trainee guide Samora - we were lucky enough to see an aardvark, something we had never ever thought would happen and which was really a highlight of the whole trip." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
Delicious food, which included a full cooked breakfast on our last day - nothing was too much trouble. All game drives were exceptional including a river safari. Particularly liked the "hot water bottle" which we had on the early morning game drives - when it was cold, these were a godsend!
Overall an excellent place to finish our safari." See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia
"Stunning river setting at Old Mondoro "
We found the accommodation most comfortable; all chalets are perfectly situated facing a small tributary with the main river to the left. Game was ever present: elephant were regularly sighted having mud baths a few metres away below our veranda; plus water buck, buffalo, impala and countless birds large and small: Goliath Heron, Grey Heron, Egrets, King fishers and Ibis.
The staff were lovely: attentive and courteous, and the food was excellent. No chance of losing weight here, with the charming Madeline, the hostess, anticipating our needs before we knew we needed them! The very knowledgeable guides proved to be expert trackers - the excellent host Mark being one and Sebastian another. We saw leopard three times in our short stay, and the rare aardvark and honey badgers on our nocturnal safaris.
We also loved the canoeing and boating experiences: lots of crocs, hippos, marabou storks, marshal eagles, fish eagles, a Harriet hawk, bee eaters and more kingfishers. On land the open vehicles gave unrestricted viewing. My only recommendation would be to have adjustable camera selves on the guide rails to rest long lenses on.
A memorable stay - thank you." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi; 2n in Zimbabwe
Holiday styles & special interests in Zambia
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zambia.
Other lodges in Lower Zambezi National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.