Takwela Camp

Takwela Camp: Our full report

Rooms
2 chalets
Traveller's rating
Excellent (100%) From 4 reviews
Children
Best for 16+
Open
15 Jul to 31 Oct

For many years the only camps that we have been able to offer in Zambia's North Luangwa National Park have been walking-only camps. While this has always ensured a top class walking-only experience, it has limited access to the park for people interested in a more varied safari experience. We're therefore delighted that Takwela Camp, which opened in July 2019, offers both game drives and walking safaris in the North Luangwa.

We visited the area in October 2018, and though the planning and construction of Takwela Camp had only just started, we loved the location, on the banks of the confluence of the Luangwa and Mwaleshi Rivers.

The camp is now open, and we understand that Takwela has been constructed in a very similar style to its sister camp in the North Luangwa, Mwaleshi. Though the camp initially had just two chalets (four beds), in 2020 it will have four chalets, keeping it an intimate and personal camp. We are expecting a very simple and rustic camp, but with a good level of comfort and plenty of character.

We understand that each of the two chalets has two double beds, with large mosquito nets around, and solar powered bedside lights. The en-suite bathrooms are largely open air, and jugs of hot water are provided each morning, with hot water for the shower brought on request.

Takwela Camp offers both game drives and walking safaris, though there won't be the option for private safaris as there will be just one guide for the four guests. Based on the activities we've experienced at Takwela's sister camps in the South Luangwa National Park, Tafika, Chikoko and Crocodile Bushcamp, we're expecting a very high standard of guiding here.

Our view

Takwela camp promises to be very exciting - and it has generated great excitement amongst our regular travellers and ourselves! It's run by an experienced team that we have worked with in Africa for 20+ years - who focus on the experience with first-class guiding. It opened in July 2019 and, with just four rooms, is one of the smallest safari camps in Africa!

Geographics

Location: North Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Ideal length of stay: We'd recommend a stay of at least 3 or 4 nights in the North Luangwa - whether that's just at Takwela, or a stay combining its sister camp Mwaleshi also.

Directions: Guests will need to fly to Mwaleshi, the airstrip that serves the North Luangwa National Park, and from there will be transferred by vehicle to Takwela, approximately a 45 minute drive from the airstrip.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Independent / Owner Run – Remote Africa Safaris, John & Carol Coppinger

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: Meals at Takwela will be served either in the main “chitenje” or on the banks of the river. The food on our previous visits to Takwela's sister camps was consistently delicious and very well presented, and we'd expect the same from the newest addition to the Remote Africa camps. With sufficient notice, the camp can cater to a range of dietary requests.

As at Mwaleshi, your day at Takwela will usually start with a light breakfast around the campfire before your first walk of the day, followed by brunch on return to camp. After a relaxing siesta, tea and freshly baked cake are offered before the evening walk, and then a full three-course dinner is served at around 7.30pm.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Children

Attitude towards children: Children under 12 won't be allowed to do walking safaris, and so this camp isn't suitable for them.

Property’s age restrictions: Minimum age 12 years

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: None

Notes: Takwela is open to the bush and the river, with wild animals in and around camp, so parents or guardians need to be constantly aware of their children's whereabouts. They should note, too, that there were a few tsetse flies about when we last visited, as children tend to react more seriously than adults to the bites.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Solar Power

Communications: There is no cellphone reception although the camp is in constant radio contact with its main camp, Tafika.

TV & radio: None

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: The bathrooms at Takwela have plumbed taps and basins, and flush toilets. Bucket showers are available throughout the day, with hot water available on request.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Staff are trained in first aid, and first aid kits are located in the office and all vehicles. The closest doctor is in Mfuwe – a 50-minute flight from Mwaleshi Airstrip (a 45 minute drive from Takwela), then a road transfer of approximately 25 minutes.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Both your guide and the camp staff stay in camp with you, and guests are escorted to their room in the hours of darkness.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all common areas and sand buckets outside each chalet.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Money: There is a secure box in the staff quarters if you wish to leave valuables there. No exchange facilities are provided.

Accepted payment on location: No money is accepted at Takwela. Any necessary payments may be made at Tafika, which accepts cash in UK pounds, US dollars, euros and Zambian kwacha. Visa and Mastercard are accepted also at Tafika, with a small surcharge.

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