Island Bush Camp

Island Bush Camp: Our full report

5 Bush chalets
Traveller's rating
Excellent (100%) From 4 reviews
Best for 16+
20th May to 1st November

Island Bush Camp is a simple camp in a very remote part of South Luangwa, a three hour drive south of Mfuwe. The camp focuses almost exclusively on walking safaris, though does also offer some limited drives too.

Most guests will start their journey at its sister camp Kafunta Lodge, and will often combine the two. This makes for an excellent value safari – as neither camp is costly for the standard that they offer. From Kafunta it is then a relatively long drive on bumpy roads to Island Bush Camp. It is also worth noting that this road is outside of the park so isn’t really a game drive – though you might see some wildlife along the way.

Island Bush Camp is a simple property, with just five thatched bush chalets, all of which are identical in build and style. Each is raised off the ground on its own wooden platform, and the front is completely open. As a result the front is a veranda sorts, where you can sit and enjoy a great view over the Luangwa River. You can even see the view from your comfortable bed! All of the rooms have two twin beds (there are no double beds in the camp at all), a directors chairs and a small table on which there is filtered drinking water.

The open-air, en-suite bathroom is on the same level as the bedroom and accessed via a short walkway. It has a bucket shower that is filled with hot water once a day, a flushing toilet and cold running water.

The main area is a large, thatched, and semi-open building facing towards the river. Here you will find a well-stocked bar, a large dining table and a lounge area with sofas and armchairs. In front a number of directors chairs are positioned around a fire pit that faces out over the river.

Meals are freshly prepared in the camps open-air kitchen using a simple wood-burning stove. Ask for a tour of the kitchen – it is extremely interesting and adds to the marvel of the excellent meals prepared each day. Meals will be served inside the main thatched chalet, or outside next to the river. Though you can always be sure that it is a sociable event – as is a drink around the campfire.

The activities at Island Bush Camp focus mainly on walking safaris which take place in a small group, with an experienced guide and an armed guard. Though 4WD game drives can also be arranged. At its maximum capacity the camp can take ten people, in which case guests would be split into two groups for their daily activities.

Our view

Island Bush Camp is an excellent value walking camp, in a very wild area far away from any other camps in the park. The chalets are very simple, and the experience here is quite rugged and outdoorsy. It will suit people looking for a real wilderness experience and a competitive price.


Location: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Ideal length of stay: 2 to 3 nights

Directions: Island Bush Camp is a three-hour drive south of Kafunta.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: The food at Island Bush Camp was very tasty when we last visited in September 2015.

Breakfast was served around the camp fire, with toast, cereals, fruit and porridge on offer. There was also coffee, tea and fruit juice available.

Lunch was laid out as a buffet to which guests helped themselves to. We enjoyed pasta with meatballs in a rich tomato sauce and a fresh salad on the side. Then for pudding we were served a rich chocolate-and-orange mousse.

Dinner was probably the best of the three meals we had. The starter of corn chowder was very tasty and served with fresh bread. Then the main course of beef stir-fry was delicious, full of flavor and with very tender slow cooked beef. This came with rice, beans and carrots. The third course was a smooth crème caramel.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Most drinks are included, apart from Champagne and specially imported wines and spirits.

Special interests

Walking: Island Bush Camp is a simple, remote camp in the far south of South Luangwa National Park that focuses almost entirely on walking safaris lead by expert guides and an armed scout.

See more ideas for Walking in Zambia


Attitude towards children: There is a minimum age of 12 years for walking the walking safaris from Island Bush Camp.

Property’s age restrictions: Minimum of 12 years.

Special activities & services: None.

Equipment: None.


Power supply: None

Communications: None

TV & radio: None

Water supply notes: Island Bush Camp is sent borehole water from Kafunta, which is used for washing and also for drinking. Though there is bottled water available too.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is a bush clinic with a nurse nearby, but the nearest doctor to Island Bush Camp is in Mfuwe. For emergencies there is an airstrip about 20kms away that is a 10-minute drive. There is a first aid kit at camp, and one is taken on all activities. The guides and manager are first aid trained.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: There are lock boxes in the rooms, and guests can also leave valuables in the safe at Kafunta.

Fire safety: Island Bush Camp has extinguishers in the vehicles and sand buckets at the camp.


Disabled access: In Place

Laundry facilities: Laundry is included. It is hand washed and line dried.

Money: There is a central safe at Kafunta.

Accepted payment on location: All payment is done at Kafunta.