Reviews of Island Bush Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
10 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Island Bush Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Island Bush Camp review"
Martin was a brilliant camp manager and guide.
The only issue was that the other guests didn’t want to do walking safaris, meaning we had to plead for these. Thankfully it worked out fine and we were able to do 2 great morning walking safaris, including walking from this camp to Three River Camp, about 10 km away.
We had some excellent sightings on our evening drives, including the sight of a large lion pride getting very agitated at the presence of another pride nearby. The camp was very efficiently managed, just like its parent lodge, Kafunta. Food was excellent and meal times were friendly, with guests sitting together and hosted by the camp manager." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 6n in Malawi
"Island Bush Camp review"
The next morning we had a very interesting walk, and we felt that walking at Island was better than driving because the dense woodlands limited views. That afternoon we wanted to walk but were unable to because no scout was available. The camp is extremely simple in comparison to the other camps we visited, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.
We did see impala, baboons, waterbuck, bushbuck, puku, warthogs, and many different types of birds." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Tranquil Island Bush Camp"
The food was again delicious and even more impressive after you have taken the "kitchen safari". The chef does some amazing things with very limited means! All the drinks were always chilled as well, which is no easy feat without electricity.
The walking safaris were very informative and it was nice to move about a bit after having been driven around for a week.
The staff was also amazing! You could tell that there is a nice camaradry between all the members of staff and everyone is happy to be there and to host you. We felt so welcome and were incredibly well taken care of!
If I could say anything that is maybe of the slightest criticism it would be that they didn't offer us the option of participating in the afternoon activity on our arrival day at bushcamp. In their experience people are too tired from the 3 hour rough drive in the heat of the day to still want to go out and walk. However, we would have loved too nonetheless. Having the private sundowners with our hosts was however no hardship either ;-)
Absolutely loved this place and highly recommend anyone to include it in their safari for a couple of nights!" See all these reviews: 5n in Zambia
"Walking safari at Island Bush Camp"
The team led by Klaus were incredibly welcoming and looked after us so well. The walking safaris brought another dimension to the trip beyond the game drives. Lots of wildlife expertly spotted and identified by the guides.
It's a bumpy 2 and a half hours drive to the camp from Kafunta, but well worth every minute.
Amazing sundowners just like Kafunta too!" See all these reviews: 5n in Zambia
"Great stay at Island Bush Camp"
The Bush Camp has no to limited electricity but that had no effect on our stay. The bush camp is a little more rugged that the River Lodge but was more that adequate, the lodges are very comfortable with a great view overlooking the Luangwa river. Klaus and the staff took care of everything and were a great source of entertainment.
The day begins at dawn with breakfast around an open campfire before heading out for the morning safari. The walking safaris were not difficult, I am 67, and lasted about 3 hours with a tea break in the middle. Martin is a wealth of knowledge and kept us entertained and well informed as we walked, pointing our various plants and how it is used to cure various ailments. We saw many types of wild life on the walking safari and you can not appreciate how big an elephant is or how tall a giraffe is until you are standing on the ground and looking up.
After our morning safari it was back to the bush camp for lunch and a siesta before heading out for the evening safari.
The evening safari ends around dusk either by ending up back at the camp or someone brings a vehicle and we ride back to camp and wash up before dinner. The food was excellent and there is plenty to eat so you will not go hungry. Sitting around at dinner with Klaus and Martin telling stories about the bush and hearing the hippos in the distance, while enjoying some of the best food that you could ask for, it does not get any better than this.
At the end of our stay we took a safari of the kitchen, which consisted of a wood stove, which made the quality of the food that much more amazing. How the staff could prepare such wonderful meals using only a wood stove is beyond me.
All in all we could not have asked to more and if you are looking for something a little more out of the way, we did not see a single person or vehicle during our stay, than the bush camp would be an excellent choice. We spent 3 nights and that was just about the right amount of time as you will not see the amount of wildlife on a waking safari as you will from a vehicle." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia
"Island Bush Camp review"
The manager and host klaus was wonderful and added to the experience and congratulations really do need to go to Godfrey the cook." See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia
"A fantastic experience"
The staff, small, is absolutely lovely and so enthusiastic. The chef even managed to bake me a birthday cake in a wood burning stove, which was brought to me by a singing and dancing staff. Very moving." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
"Monsoon at Island Bush Camp!!!"
There was an unexpected storm on the second evening of our stay and the torrential rain lasted well into the night. The staff managed to cook and serve our dinner despite having no roof on kitchen and everyone getting extremely wet. What could have been an horrendous experience ended up being quite good fun.
The walks and drives were excellent.
Our only complaint about the camp is that we were not informed in advance that we would be transferred in an open top vehicle and so we were not dressed appropriately to cope with the heat/sun and the tsetse flies!" See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"A remote and peaceful haven in the bush."
The remoteness of the location was great for us - but might not suit everyone e.g. those who feel the need for greater security from the surrounding animals and woodland terrain; and bucket showers, although hot and perfectly adequate, may not suit some people." See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia; 4n in Zimbabwe
"Fantastic experience at Island Bush Camp"
The staff here are amazing; the food was better than at the River Lodge, and the kitchen safari at the end of our stay increased our admiration for Kenneth and what he had produced from the limited facilities he had. We ate together with our guide and the camp manager each evening, though the latter was not as outgoing as the managers at either Kafunta or Waterberry.
We were led out on walks by the wonderful Josephat, who coped well with the mixed experience of the group; 2 seasoned self drive safari experts and ourselves - one first timer and one nervous second timer. He proved to be as experienced an observer of human behaviour and interaction as of animals, and despite the abundance of safari adventure stories which were being thrown about, the nervous were reassured and not pushed too far outside their comfort zone." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia
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Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
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One of the Luangwa's oldest camps, Nsefu is a great safari camp in a remote, beautiful and game-rich location with top-rate guiding.
Small, remote and owner-run, Mwamba offers first-class walking, 4WD safari drives and superb hides, with excellent guides and a real bush feel.
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Chikoko Tree Camp
Chikoko Tree Camp is an excellent small, rustic bushcamp that concentrates on walking safaris, and is run by a top-quality operation.
Big Lagoon Camp
Big Lagoon Camp is a great little rustic bushcamp built to high standards that focuses on excellent walking safaris, with the emphasis on top wildlife guides.
Kapani Lodge is now the main office base for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations.
A relatively big safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
Luangwa River Camp
Luangwa River Lodge is a small and consciously stylish lodge in the Mfuwe area, overlooking the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park beyond – an area renowned for great game.
Beside the Luangwa River, Kakuli is a comfortable tented bushcamp offering 4WD safaris and walking safaris – the best of which are camp-to-camp walks linking Kakuli with its nearby sister camps.
Set in a shady ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa, Mchenja is a smart tented bushcamp. It combines well with Kakuli and Nsolo – its sister camps with a focus on walking safaris.
Nsolo is a small, comfortable bushcamp overlooking one or two pools in the usually dry Luwi riverbed. It concentrates on walking safaris in an interesting and diverse area, led by a knowledgeable guide.
Kafunta River Lodge
Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Luangwa National Park.
In a remote part of the South Luangwa National Park, Luwi is a rustic bushcamp whose emphasis is on walking safaris with great guiding and a chance of seeing some rarely seen and elusive antelope.
Robin Pope bush-camp
RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Lion Camp is an established and comfortable camp with a swimming pool, located near to the game-rich Lion Plain in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park.
Robin Pope mobile
RPS mobile safari camps are at the heart of their set-itinerary walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, which start and finish at a permanent camp.
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Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.
Luangwa Safari House
Luangwa Safari House is a vast and very smart four-bedroom house specifically designed for families and small groups, and offering an exclusive and flexible safari experience.
Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.
A smart bushcamp with four very spacious chalets, Bilimungwe offers interesting walking safaris in pretty riverine woodland, as well as day and night safari drives.
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Three Rivers Camp
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Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.
Currently undergoing renovations, Chichele Presidential Lodge stands high within the park, with superb views, and is due to reopen in late 2022.
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout
For an adventurous night in South Luangwa National Park, come and sleep out in the bush, around a campfire, with an experienced guide and game scout.
Opened in June 2021, Shawa Luangwa Camp is a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.
Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.
Chikunto Safari Lodge is a more traditional property in the South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.