Reviews of Kuyenda Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kuyenda Bushcamp review
Kuyenda is in a lovely location and our transfer via Mfuwe was handled really well. Our guide was excellent and we had some amazing walks - even seeing a male lion with his buffalo kill.
We would have preferred to have spent more of the evening activity looking at the animals. Whilst it was nice to watch the sun going down, this took up a lot of the evening activity and the fixed time/place was a little restrictive for our game viewing.
The camp struggled with my dietary requirements initially - serving a number of dishes that I couldn't eat but after a day or so they sorted this out.
The rooms were lovely and the staff were really helpful.
The best saved for the last!
This was my third bushcamp and it was certainly the best of the lot. Kuyenda is located about an 1 1/2 hours from Kapamba/Bili area, a little closer to the Mfuwe lodge.
The camp itself is most rustic of the lot. There are only 4 chalets. All have views of an open plain and the sunrise in one of the best beautiful sunrises one can come across. But the soul of the camp is the couple who run it. Babette and Phil are legendary. They are genuinely warm people and I felt at home while staying with them. The food is superb. Phil, because of his age, is not able to do active guiding (which was ably done by Suzio) but he's always there to help and advise.
The biggest surprise however, was the wild dogs! The dogs were denning less than a kilometer from the camp and were seen practically everyday. One morning they killed an impala less than 100 metres from my room!! That was something! I did a lot of walking at Kuyenda with other guests. Suzio and Isaiah (The ZAWA ranger) always made sure that we always felt safe on the walks. We did see a lot of elephants, Giraffes and even a hyena on these walks.
One of the guests was a wildlife biologist who was working with Phil and his presence made these outings even more enjoyable. On the last morning I decided to take it easy. But after breakfast, decided to take a little drive to see the dogs for the last time. And behold! It turned out to am an incredible experience. While we were watching the pups, Suzio suddenly heard a distress call of an impala followed by the distinct "sawing" of a leopard. We hurriedly followed the sounds and came across an incredible sight!. A large leopard was up in a tree and he was growling at the wild dogs surrounding the tree. One of the dogs tried to sort of climb the tree which spooked the leopard. He made a jump for his life from the top of the tree and ran away! The dogs hung around for a while trying to locate the leopard but soon gave up probably thinking they had made a point!! as Phil explained what probably transpired was that the leopard made a kill, which in turn attracted the dogs resulting into the leopard being "treed" by the dogs.... Simply put I could not have ask for more. And I may not see something like this again!
wonderful return trip
Phil & Babette were in fine form and it was wonderful to meet them and their ever-cheerful staff again. Excellent food as before as there are lots of choices and dishes are inventive. Zac is attentive, knowledgeable and fun. Walking was very good with Isiah in the lead.
We tested the quicksands this year, and watched the thunderstorm move around us with no rain on us. We followed the election of Sata to PM with the staff enthusiatic voters. We love them and this place and hope their trip "Phil's favorite places" goes well.
It is our priviledge to be with them for 3 days.
Kuyenda Bushcamp review
An excellent experience. If there was a rating of outstanding this camp would qualify. The food here was the best we had anywhere on the trip and the walks with Phil were wonderful and quite exciting as we kept meeting up with elephants.
This feels like a real bushcamp with an outdoor bathroom and our hut looking out over the plalin.This camp is very well run with Babette in charge. We especially enjoyed having seats set up for our sundowners in different locations and eating in different areas around camp at dinnertime.
The lions killing an impala in camp added some excitement also!
what a priviledge to visit
What a priviledge to come to this place and meet up with Phil Berry and Babette Alfieri. The stories written about them are not as striking as meeting them in person. They have turned a Bushcamp Company camp into a home with loads of personal touches.
The chalets are simple enough but the food is excellent with wide choices of special dishes. Babette also is highly imaginative in the way the camp is run e.g. with sundowners and dinner laid out in the bush with candles only. We enjoyed the traditional Nshima dinner, eaten with right hand only, under the instruction of local Zambian Zac.
Phil is of course a superb guide with such bush knowledge and we went out with him x2 a day walking through lovely and varied areas. We feel that 6 is the max number of people for walkiing and hope that they are not pressurised to take 8 as it limits what you can hear and where you can go. Lots of elephants to detour round and we saw many more animals and birds than at Kapamba. It is accesssible in 1 hour from Mfuwe Lodge, but with Phil gamedriving this stretched to 21/2 as we tracked a leopard closely.
This is a very special place with very, very special people and we loved every minute of our 3 day stay.
High standards and attention to detail
We cannot speak highly enough of the care and attention that Babette and Phil put into running this camp and its activities.It has a real family feel and Babette goes to considerable lengths to make the stay special even on the sundowner stops. Babette makes meal times are a real event with plenty of conversation and of course outstanding food. The intimate nature of the camp means that you do actually feel part of the place. If you love Africa then you are always welcome here.
We were full of admiration for Babette and Phil with the way they coped with everyone's wishes even though we thought some guests were being totally unreasonable. We were also impressed by the number of tourists making repeat visits which speaks volumes for the quality and draw of the camp.
Phil as guide and driver carries a huge responsibility and does it with aplomb. His many years of guiding experience and his love of the Luangwa shines through. The bush walks were welcome as a way of getting some exercise but particularly for learning about the bush. In order to meet guest's desire to get close to the wildlife Phil has developed combined walks and drives to meet every need. Wildlife may not be as plentiful as in some other areas but the relative exclusivity of this part of the park means you are not competing with other camps to see it.
We leaft as friends and very much hope to return.
Kuyenda - the very best camp
We had planned our itinerary in order to save the best until last and we were not disappointed.
The location of this camp is excellent, deep in the bush and very authentic. There was a buffalo herd right next to the camp whilst we were there and elephants very close. The camp is small, intimate & Babette hosted it as if we were guests in her home with lots of attention to the small details.
We were guided by both Phil Berry & Gilbert, both excellent. The morning walks were informative, scenic, enjoyable & just the right length. We saw some good game on the night drives including leopard & 3 lions with a kill. The food was excellent and the dinners memorable with time to enjoy the food and the conversation.
We would highly recommend this camp & would love to return to it one day.
What a magical place!
To finish our safari here was perfect. Phil & Babette were charming hosts, and their staff great.
The situation of the camp, its simplicity and the presence of elephant and buffalo within feet of our window at night was unforgettable. We were lucky enough to have Phil guide us on two walks and one drive and it was the highlight of our trip.
Babette's menus were extraordinarily good. The surrounding bush was the most beautiful we had seen and the game amazing - a true Garden of Eden.
We loved Kuyenda and especially the walking. The wealth of experience of Phil and Babette and their very generous hospitality made for an extra special stay. Once again the location and comfort of the camp didn't disappoint.
The walks were full of interest and through very varied landscapes. One fairly close encounter was with a group of 10 giraffes, not to mention the young bull elephant who thought about charging. On one evening the sundowners were set out near the sand river in view of a gorgeous sunset on one side and moonrise on the other. Dinner was served under the stars and a nearly full moon, in the company of munching elephants. The tsetses were still annoying but didn't detract too much from a wonderful relaxing few days.
The only complaint here was that our departure from Kuyenda for the airport was dependent on a vehicle arriving from Mfuwe Lodge to transfer two other guests to another camp. That vehicle was late, meaning that we all had to pile into Phil's vehicle and meet up with the other transfer some way down the road. This meant that our transfer to Mfuwe Lodge was again at high speed. But Phil and Babette managed to deliver us with minutes to spare for our final tranfer to the airport. Again on arrival at Mfuwe Lodge everything was handled very efficiently and the same staff greeted us and sent us off to the airport.
Our time at Kuyenda will rate as one of our favourite bushcamp experiences.
Great start to our holiday
We had a great stay at Kuyenda and found it a great place to start our holiday. Phil and Babette were great hosts and the animal sightings were good. Highlight was the lion cubs and an eagle with a baby baboon.
We liked the style of the camp and the open air shower and sand floor. Really got us into the holiday mood.