Reviews of Mwaleshi Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Walking the North Luangwa Park
Let me start with a caveat: North Luangwa National Park, and Mwaleshi Camp, is not for everybody! I would not recommend this park or camp to first-time safari goers, or those looking for a "Big Five Experience." You won't get that here.
However, for those who A) Have been on safari a few times and are interested in something beyond "game drives," B) Want to get off the beaten track, C) Want to get as close to the bush as possible, with a high degree of comfort, and D) Enjoy walking, Mwaleshi is a FANTASTIC option!
The experience from walking at ground level is very different from sitting in a Land Rover and driving around looking for game. It is much more exciting, even if you don't spot the "Big Five." We did some terrific walks (none were what I would describe as "overly taxing"), and were able to really learn a great deal about the bush. We also had some amazing wildlife sightings, including huge herds of buffalo, elephants at close range, Cooksons wildebeest, crocodiles and hippos, and the best honey badger sighting I've experienced yet. We tracked lions for close to five kilometers one day, but never did get to see them....
The camp itself is laid out with the bush huts in a row on the bank of the Mwaleshi River. The accommodations are comfortable and attractive. A bowl of hot water is provided in the morning and buckets of hot water for showers are placed in the tank in the afternoon; if you wish additional hot water it is never a problem, as the staff is always willing to provide for you. The lounge and dining area is well-designed and also overlooks the river. Staff is experienced and friendly. Catering is fantastic; they follow the same menu as the "mother camp" Tafika and the meals are, along with that camp, the best I've had on safari.
Quality of guiding was extremely good. My only point of contention is that there is only one guide at Mwaleshi. This means that all of the guests in camp must agree on and participate in the same activity. If you have strong walkers and not-so-strong walkers (which, unfortunately, was the case while I was in camp), the group must tailor the walk to accommodate the needs of the weakest walker. This is a bit of a problem, in my book....
Privacy personified in the North Park.
Firstly thanks to Ed for the two fantastic flights in the RemoteAfrica Cessna. The views of the park from the air are magical. Ernst- great guiding, mostly walking safari with some drives.
The river provides a warm bath of relief in the very high temperatures and we could hear the hyena splashing through at night.
Very private stay here shared with friendly staff who all do RemoteAfrica proud and very much part of the extended Coppinger family. Excellent food, many drinks and stories shared with other guests and the grand event of the frisbee match in which the United Nations team beat the Zambians at their own game. Great fun, fantastic experience- thanks to everyone.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Mwaleshi Camp is in an extremely beautiful and remote part of North Luangwa. If you are happy to be in a very remote and unspoiled wilderness and in adequate but basic accommodation then you will enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place. However, we would say it is not for the faint hearted as you need to be prepared for paddling across the river, animals coming through the camp and plenty of insects.
We absolutely loved it and were fortunate enough to have the place to ourselves - but we don't think it would be for everyone. We understand that at the time of our visit we were the only two visitors in the whole of North Luangwa National Park - which was just amazing to have this pristine wilderness all to ourselves.
The food prepared by Brightwell in nothing more than a hole in the ground was the best food we have ever eaten in an African camp and the guiding team of Alex and Special were first class. We were hosted at the camp by Karen and family and they made our stay very special.
We will certainly return to Mwaleshi on our next trip.
An amazing experience at Mwaleshi
Mwaleshi was truly magical and we loved every minute of it. It was just the sort of remote and intimate camp that we had hoped for. The team there always seemed to be able to pull off a surprise, whether it was setting up a sun downer in the river or setting up the kitchen in the bush to serve brunch at the end of a long walk.
Karen was a superb host and the guiding from Alex was as excellent as it was fun. Given the facilities, the cooking from Brightwell was truly astonishing and to be honest we thought that the food at Mwaleshi surpassed that at Tafika although probably best not to tell them that ;-).
The game viewing here was still very good, even on foot and we managed to get very close to some lions. We could easily imagine returning here at some point in the future.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Excellent as expected .The very real bush feeling. On arriving, we had to wade the Mwaleshi to reach the chalets overlooking the river. This brought us right into the informal, welcoming, friendly atmosphere of the bushcamp.
The food was superb, and we enjoyed every walk with Alex as our guide. we left after 4 days, knowing that we would return.
The transfert to ( from Mfuwe) and from Mwaleshi ( to Jeki ) was perfectly organised.
Mwaleshi Camp review
Mwaleshi is truly stunning. The sense of being away from it all is felt deeply at this camp, and yet your needs are taken care of to the very highest standards. Like all the Remote Africa camps, Mwaleshi is rebuilt each season from grasses and reeds, simply done but incredibly chic!
Like all the other camps, the food was superb. Cleverly, fresh greens and herbs are taken from the large vegetable garden at Tafika with their root balls intact, transported with you and your luggage by plane to Mwaleshi, then re-planted in the small vegetable garden at the camp, ensuring fresh salads each day for the duration of your stay.
Like Tafika, the camp is right on the river, but unlike Tafika, you can walk across this river, or even better, sit in it and cool down after your morning walk. Again, we were so fortunate to have Alex as our guide, together with James, the scout and Special, the tea bearer. Our sightings were wonderful, big and small. If you are looking for a superb spot for walking, you would be hard pressed to find somewhere nicer than Mwaleshi.
our favourite bushcamp in Luangwa
Once again, on our 5th visit, this is a wonderful and remote camp. We could sit all day and watch the river action, but it is better to go on a walk of about 4 1/2 hours - upstream or downstream, across the river or down to the Confluence with the Luangwa. But our favourite is through the Winterthorn Forest to the Luangwa Dead Lagoon. Elephants everywhere and consistently beautiful with stacks of mammals. we love this place.Read more about the whole safari
Buffalo delayed all our Mwaleshi walks
We had a great time at Mwaleshi walking up to 8 hours a day. We did not always intend to walk for so long, but if there is a large herd of buffalo always getting between you and the camp, then you have to take diversions.
We saw lion every day and watched 6 adults on a wildebeest kill. We thought we had crept up on them unnoticed, but we were wrong as when we peeked out from behind a tree there were six pairs of eyes looking at us. The animals were all more skittish and aggressive than in South Luangwa but it made seeing them more rewarding. We saw lots of game from small snakes to large pythons, from squirrels to elephants and a couple of aardvarks!!
the camp was friendly and well run by our hosts David and Karen. The food was great from bush lunches, sundowners on the river and an excellant barbecue. Our room had a great view over the river and was comfortable. We slept well possibly helped by the sundowners and long walks. It was hot during the day but you could cool off in the river. At night it cooled down. All the staff and scouts were pleasant and very good at what they did
Mwaleshi Camp review
Mwaleshi was the highlight of our whole trip. What a stunning location, with wonderful hosts and outstanding guiding.
Karen, David and family, well supported by a superb backroom team, and our guide, Alex, ensured a memorable experience. A bonus was lovely, knowledgeable fellow travellers who whetted our appetite to learn more about birds!
To wade across the Mwaleshi river ..........
....... returning to camp with hot feet was so refreshing.
Light aircraft transfer (from airstrip near to Tafika) only took 30 mins and was so smooth, thanks to our pilot Gareth. Then another pleasant walk to camp. On the way encountering Cookson's Wildebeest and a large lone Hippo, who had many wounds and looked to be on his last legs.
Mwaleshi is in another stunning setting with wildlife all around. With it's remoteness you certainly feel to be in the 'wilds' of Africa. It is truly wonderful.
The same excellent standards of the other Remote Africa camps and such tasty meals from the kitchen. Amazed at the bread and cakes produced from an oven in the ground.
We had mainly walks here, but also used the 4x4 a few times. With our guide Brent explaining the relationships between the landscape, flora and fauna and Special constantly on the look-out. We experienced wonderful encounters as a result of their knowledge and expertise. Mwaleshi camp gave us our most moving 'African' bush experiences of the trip.