This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Sausage Tree Camp
Sausage Tree Camp
Sausage Tree Camp
Sausage Tree Camp
Sausage Tree Camp
Sausage Tree Camp
Sausage Tree Camp

Sausage Tree Camp: Our full report

Deep within Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park, Sausage Tree Camp has a wonderful setting overlooking a ...

... portion of the Zambezi River dotted with reed islands. Opened in August 1996 and having undergone various transformations since then, the current incarnation of the camp is stylish, luxurious and very well run. Exceptional service and a very warm welcome combined with a range of activity choices make this a camp that travellers return to time and time again.

Smiling faces, a refreshing drink and a cooling flannel will normally welcome you to Sausage Tree Camp, whether you arrive by safari vehicle or boat. Travellers return to this camp time and time again, and once you’ve experienced the service of the team and enjoyed their hospitality you’ll see why.

Each group of guests is allocated a private guide from a pool of engaging and knowledgeable safari guides. Each room is cared for by a Muchinda, a private room attendant, who looks after every aspect of the guests’ comfort and stay. It is an unobtrusive and excellent added service that can really enhance your stay. Sausage Tree Camp has a team of caring staff, many of whom have been there for years, dedicated to providing excellent service and ensuring a wonderful stay.

The camp underwent a complete rebuild in 2018. Canvas and reed rooms were replaced with seven tented suites and a two-bedroom ‘house’. Evenly spaced and positioned for both privacy and to allow for animal trails between them, all are built in the same luxurious style.

The spacious suites have an entrance reception room with lounge, tea/coffee station and fridge, a spacious bedroom where king-size or twin beds are made up beneath a mosquito net canopy, and a large indoor bathroom with twin sinks, twin rain showers and bath with a river view. Glass doors can slide back to completely open the front of the room onto the large deck with its private plunge pool, and, extended off the bathroom, is a private outdoor shower. Ochre screed floors, natural wood surfaces, individual pieces of furniture and neutral colours create a contemporary, bush chic décor that accentuates the feeling of luxury. Imaginative displays of vegetation, seed pods and origami animal shapes made out of towels are individual touches added by the room Muchinda, whilst complimentary binoculars for guests’ use and the supply of yoga mats show a wonderful attention to detail.

The Lower Zambezi valley gets hot in the dry months from late-September to November. The rooms are not airconditioned, but a cooling air flow is created by ceiling fans in the lounge and above the bed. And the private plunge pool is a wonderfully cool place to wallow between activities.

The two-bedroom Kigelia House is similar in build and style. Made up of two en-suite bedrooms, separated by an open plan living area and fronted by a deck with a slightly larger pool, it’s a great space for a family or friends travelling together.

Sausage Tree Camp’s main area is a vast teak deck, overlooking the Zambezi River. Partially shaded by a wood and canvas roof, the interior has a lounge with comfortable leather sofas and a small library, a social bar to one side and food service area to the other. A step down, the open-air space is dotted with umbrella shaded tables and has a fire brazier and surrounding seating area to one side.

Set to one side of the main area. and running parallel to the Zambezi River is a 25 metre swimming pool, long enough to swim laps. So, if you like a bit of exercise, often not possible in safari camps, then you'll enjoy this feature. Otherwise, simply enjoy the spectacular view whilst taking a dip or relaxing on a comfortable sunlounger.

One of the best features of Sausage Tree Camp is the variety of activities you can enjoy with your private guide. Activities on offer include walking safaris as well as day and night drives in open 4WDs and through a variety of landscapes. It's also possible to canoe down some of the channels that branch off from the main Zambezi River. On own visits we’ve spent some pleasant hours canoeing down the Chifungulu Channel and seen lions coming down to the water to drink, goliath herons, numerous fish eagles, a variety of antelope and large bull elephants crossing or feeding in the waterway. The canoeing channels can be narrow (see the satellite photograph of the camp, and note nearby channels) and the close proximity to hippos and crocodiles can be slightly intimidating, but the guides are excellent at taking their time, making the animals aware of their approach and reading the situation in order to avoid any conflict.

Relaxing morning and afternoon boat cruises on the Zambezi River are a further option and a great way to explore around the islands and along the riverbanks while keeping an eye out for the wildlife and birdlife that the ecosystem supports.

Anglers at Sausage Tree Camp can practice catch-and-release fishing, with high-quality professional rods and reels to cater to both novices and serious fishermen. Try for catfish (barbel), bream and the exciting tiger fish by using bait, spinners or fly-fishing. The first fishing activity of your stay is included. Any additional fishing excursions incur a charge to cover park angling fees. At the time of writing (Nov 2022) this was US$40 per person.


Our view

Sausage Tree is one of the most luxurious camps in the Lower Zambezi National Park. We believe this is as much a result of the high standard of service as the spacious and stylish accommodation. Combine this with superb private guiding in a beautiful wildlife area and you have a great balance that we think works really well.

Megan Green

Megan Green

Zambia expert

Geographics

Location
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Ideal length of stay
We'd recommend a minimum of three nights to make the most of the environment and wildlife around Sausage Tree Camp, and the variety of activities.
Directions
The flight from Lusaka to Jeki Airstrip takes approximately 35 minutes. From here, it's around a 10-minute drive to the river, where you’ll board a motorboat for a river transfer to camp, taking about 40 minutes.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
On previous visits, including the most recent in October 2022, we've found it difficult to fault the food at Sausage Tree Camp.

Tea and coffee are delivered to your tent along with your early-morning wake-up call. Then, just prior to the early-morning activity, a light buffet breakfast of toast, muffins, cereal, yoghurt, porridge and fruit is served. The chef is ready behind the grill, offering bacon and eggs cooked to order. The coffee at Sausage Tree Camp is particularly good, with most types available. Whether your preference is a latte, a cappuccino or an espresso, the team can make it for you.

Lunch is served around midday, with a choice of up to three courses. You’ll usually be given the menu at breakfast and asked to pre-order your choice for lunch. There’s typically a selection of main meals such as a meat or vegetable gourmet burger, battered fish with potato wedges, chicken pie or crayfish linguine. For a lighter option the choice might be dishes such as roast vegetable or grilled chicken salad, beef fillet open sandwich or pulled lamb wrap. On our most recent visit we also enjoyed a really good pecan pie with cream for dessert.

Save space for afternoon tea, which is served before your afternoon activity at around 3.30pm. The freshly baked chocolate cake during our stay was moist and delicious! There is also fruit for the more health conscious, along with a selection of hot and cold drinks.

The afternoon activity typically includes sundowner snacks such as chicken skewers, mini samosas, roasted nuts and sushi.

Dinner is usually a three-course meal, and you may be asked to make your selection at afternoon tea time. Starters are often a choice of soups, and we selected and really enjoyed the camp’s version of leek soup. There’s always a choice of meat and vegetarian dishes for the main and we opted for the souse vide beef fillet, creamy mustard mash and fresh vegetables. The meal was rounded off with a delicious crème brulee, topped with blue berries and strawberries.

Occasionally a bush meal experience will replace lunch or dinner in camp.

Our only criticism is that the portions are on the large side, so we didn’t have the space to try every course!
Dining style
Mixture of group dining and individual tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
Room service is available during daytime hours, which is unusual for a safari camp. The fridge in your room can be stocked with drinks of your choice and your Muchinda will ask for any requests when you arrive. There is a radio in the room which you can use to order any additional drinks.
Drinks included
House wines, soft drinks and a wide selection of local sourced spirits are included. Champagne and premium imported wines and spirits are not.

Guests are gifted an aluminum drink bottle upon arrival as an initiative to save on plastic waste from bottled water. Your drink bottle is refilled with cold, filtered and safe drinking water whenever it is required and always before any safari activities.

Special interests

Honeymoons
Sausage Tree Camp is romantic, elegant, peaceful and remote: perfect for a honeymoon in Zambia. Each suite is spacious with a private plunge pool, and you’ll have a private guide for your activities. The Machinda (room attendant) will decorate the room and leave special touches to mark the occasion, as well as be on hand with everything you need – whether you prefer a private, intimate safari or the opportunity to socialise with others.
See ideas for Honeymoons
Birdwatching
Sausage Tree is great for birdwatching in Zambia, with land and water birds seen from game drives, walks, canoeing and from the camp itself. Our best sightings included goliath herons, giant kingfishers, carmine bee-eaters, open-billed stork and tropical boubou.
See ideas for Birdwatching
Walking safaris
Sausage Tree Camp's guides are very knowledgeable and engaging, helping to bring the bush alive. Combined with a variety of scenic environments such as glades of tall riverine trees, plains dotted with Ilala palms and hidden lagoons make one of the best locations for walking safaris in Zambia. Travellers can walk straight out of camp or game drive to an interesting walking area and wildlife is never far away.
See ideas for Walking safaris
Wildlife safaris
Sausage Tree Camp is located in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park itself – in an area considered to be one of the most productive in the park for wildlife viewing. The location is complemented by superb guides, making this one of the best camps for a Zambian wildlife safari.
See ideas for Wildlife safaris
Luxury
Expansive suites with a private plunge pool and stylish, contemporary, bush chic décor, attended by a Machinda (butler) overlook the Zambezi River at the luxurious Sausage Tree Camp. Great food and an excellent standard of service ensures a memorable stay and a dedicated private guide and vehicle mean an exclusive safari experience. Sausage Tree balances an authentic wildlife experience with a very comfortable stay.
See ideas for Luxury

Children

Attitude towards children
Children over 8 years are welcome at Sausage Tree Camp.
Property’s age restrictions
Please note the minimum age for walking and canoeing activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park is 12 years.
Special activities & services
Children's programmes can be arranged, to include such activities as 'hunting' (i.e tracking spoor), or making candles and cards.
Equipment
There is no furniture designed for small children, but an extra bed can fit comfortably into one of the tents. The Kigelia House has two rooms, so is much better suited to small families. Alternatively, neighbouring sister-camp, Potato Bush Camp, has a two-room family tent.
Generally recommended for children
We would recommend Sausage Tree for sensible, mature children who are interested in wildlife and will understand the full safety implications of being in an area of dangerous big game.
Notes
Sausage Tree Camp is located on the edge of the Zambezi River and within the Lower Zambezi National Park. There are no fences around the camp, so dangerous animals often do roam freely through the camp. The camp also has a swimming pool which is not fenced in. Children must be supervised by their parents at all times.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Sausage Tree Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Sausage Tree 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.

Buffalo

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Lion

92% success

Leopard

91% success

Zebra

55% success

Spotted Hyena

50% success

Wild dog

36% success

Aardvark

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Eland

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
Power is available 24 hours a day. There are plug and USB points in the rooms for charging batteries.
Communications
There is very occasional cellphone reception at Sausage Tree Camp, but it's intermittent and cannot be relied upon. WiFi is available in the tents and in the main area, and can be accessed using a code gained from the camp manager. The main area WiFi signal is not strong as it is encouraged that guests use WiFi in their rooms. A fibre optic cable runs through camp, taking connectivity to each room, so the service and speed is reasonable, but it can still be relatively slow and intermittent. It works well for checking emails and using an application such as WhatsApp to text and video call, but it is not a great connection for surfing the internet.
TV & radio
None in the main part of the camp. There is a TV room back of house, and guests are welcome to ask for access to view something like a major sports event with the staff team.
Water supply
Other
Water supply notes
Water is pumped from the Zambezi River and filtered for showers and baths. A jug of drinking water is provided in each tent, having been triple filtered and treated with a UV light. Whilst it is filtered, it's not recommended to drink water straight from the tap just to err on the side of caution.

The showers are plumbed in with hot and cold running water, and there are flushing toilets.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
The camp managers and guides are first aid trained. Guides carry first aid kits on activities and there is a very comprehensive kit at the camp. In a serious emergency guests would normally be evacuated by air to Lusaka, and then possibly to Johannesburg.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
Guests are escorted to their tents after dark, and radios are provided in the tents to summon help in case of emergency. Each room also has an air horn with which to attract help in an emergency.
Fire safety
There is a fire extinguisher and a bucket of sand outside each tent.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

    Boat trip

  • Canoeing

    Canoeing

  • Fishing

    Fishing

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
A full laundry service is included. A small pot of washing powder is also supplied in each room for guests who would like to do some handwashing.
Money
No exchange facilities are offered. There are no safes in the rooms, but valuables can be stored in the office safe if required.
Accepted payment on location
In the unlikely event that you'll need to pay for something, cash payments in the local currency, kwacha, are preferred. However, Sausage Tree Camp can accept small amounts of US dollars (which are also fine for tipping), South African rand, UK pounds or euros in cash. MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted, but take a bit longer to process as the payment goes through the head office in Lusaka.

Other lodges in Lower Zambezi National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

A blend of the stylish and traditional in a most picturesque site in the Zambezi Valley, Chongwe River Camp offers an excellent safari experience and real value for money.


96% (120 reviews)
Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

For an intimate safari in the Lower Zambezi, with superb guiding, Old Mondoro is up there with the best.


99% (123 reviews)
Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp

One of Zambia's top safari camps, Chiawa is family owned and run, offering superb service and a flexible approach from a location well inside the Lower Zambezi National Park.


98% (89 reviews)
Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush is located right in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park, with privately guided activities taking you on game drives, walks, boat trips and canoeing.


100% (17 reviews)
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp

Anabezi Luxury Camp

Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp offers a high degree of understated luxury in a very lovely, quiet part of the Lower Zambezi with outstanding wildlife.


99% (14 reviews)
Amanzi

Amanzi

Opened in 2015, Amanzi is an intimate and rustic yet luxury camp in a very quiet area of the Lower Zambezi, with plenty of wildlife and good birding.


96% (10 reviews)
Kutali Camp

Kutali Camp

Kutali Fly-Camp offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, in this simple fly-camp located on Kulefu Island.


95% (8 reviews)
Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House is a stylish four-bedroom house designed for the exclusive use of families and small groups, affording the ultimate in flexibility on safari.


100% (8 reviews)
Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka River Lodge is a relatively simple, family-friendly camp. It's outside the Lower Zambezi National Park and, with a recent change of ownership for the better, it offers a great-value safari destination.


93% (6 reviews)
Chula Island Camp

Chula Island Camp

Chula Island Camp offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, in this simple fly-camp located in a natal mahogany grove on a small island on the Zambezi River.


95% (4 reviews)
Tafara Springs Bushcamp

Tafara Springs

Tarafa Springs offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of the Lower Zambezi National Park, in this rustic bushcamp located next to the main Zambezi escarpment.


100% (1 review)
Lolebezi

Lolebezi

A chic safari spot, luxurious Lolelbezi is the Lower Zambezi’s newest camp and offers a mix of walking, canoeing and game drives led by excellent guides.


100% (1 review)

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa