This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Lion Camp
Lion Camp
Lion Camp
Lion Camp
Lion Camp

Lion Camp: Our full report

Lion Camp is located in the remote north of South Luangwa National Park, a three hour drive from Mfuwe Airport.

The camp was closed throughout 2017 for a complete redevelopment, and reopened in May 2018. We hope to see the new camp now that it has opened, but in the meantime the information below is based on our previous visits to the camp.

Lion Camp's location in the park is well away from the main Mfuwe area, so visitors see relatively few other game-viewing vehicles when out on drives. Game densities immediately around the camp are excellent, with the Hollywood lion pride its most renowned local residents.

Plenty of animals are drawn to the lagoon in front of camp as well – so even during siesta you can watch out for wildlife. In one lunchtime when we were last here, in September 2014, we saw elephants, impala, zebra, warthog, puku, bushbuck and a lovely herd of kudu come down to drink here.

At the heart of Lion Camp is a big thatched main building with polished wooden floors and, in the centre, a large recessed firepit surrounded by chairs. Brightly covered fabrics adorn the wooden chairs and sofas, which are grouped in separate seating areas overlooking a long narrow swimming pool (a real rarity in South Luangwa) with sunloungers, and the open plain beyond. An extensive welcoming bar sits to one side, and adjacent is the dining area, dominated by a long dining table; there's even a billiards room! A library and a very good shop complete the picture.

Two-metre-high wooden walkways link the main area to nine solidly built chalets, themselves raised on wooden platforms, leaving the ground free for game to wander through. With high thatched roofs, wooden frames and canvas walls, the chalets are spacious, light and airy. Each has lovely views over the plain, and glazed double doors that open out onto a private deck with a couple of wooden chairs – a great spot to do some game viewing.

Inside, double or twin beds are draped in mosquito nets and covered with brightly coloured African fabrics, and an extra bed can be added if required. Each room also has a standing fan as well as a couple of easy chairs and a wardrobe.

Separated from the bedroom by a floor-to-ceiling wooden partition is the bathroom. The basin, shower and toilet each have separate cubicles, but with wood-panelled walls and a small window it all feels rather dark, especially when compared to the bright and breezy bedroom areas.

Safari activities at Lion Camp include a choice of walking safaris, 4WD game safaris and night drives. Typically there are two activities per day, each lasting around 3–4 hours and led by a fully qualified guide, and for each you'll have a choice of what you do. As with all of the Luangwa's camps, all walking safaris are accompanied by an armed scout, as well as your guide.

On our last visit we thought the guiding at Lion Camp was very good, and the guides were experienced and knowledgeable. On previous visits we had experienced guiding that focused too much on big game, missing out some of the finer nuances of the bush and its wildlife, but we saw no evidence of that during our time here in 2014.


Our view

Lion Camp's facilities are impressive, with an attractive and well designed main area featuring the significant luxury of a swimming pool. Its food and service were also very good, and the chalets comfortable, albeit a little less 'safari' than some purists might like. Whilst the larger size of the camp and its infrastructure might not appeal to those looking for a simple bush experience, Lion Camp is excellent value compared with its neighbours for this comparatively remote northern area of the park, especially during the peak season.

Geographics

Location
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Ideal length of stay
3 – 4 nights
Directions
Lion Camp is about a three-hour drive from Mfuwe Airport, through South Luangwa National Park.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
We have always enjoyed good food when visiting Lion Camp – and our most recent stop was no exception.

Typically, a continental breakfast is served before the early-morning activity. This normally consists of a selection of cereal, fruit, yoghurt, porridge and toast, with coffee and tea.

There’s a buffet brunch at around 11.00am when everyone has arrived back in camp after their morning activity. You can expect a selection of warm food as well as salads, such as chicken peri-peri kebabs, veggie burgers, butternut and tomato gratin, Greek salad, bok choi and apple slaw, all served with freshly made bread. A light dessert generally follows this.

Afternoon tea, before guests head out on their afternoon activity, comprises something sweet and savoury, served with tea, coffee or homemade iced tea.

On returning from the evening game drive there are canapés around the bar, followed by a three-course plated dinner. A typical meal could be a starter of Thai fishcakes with mango and onion salsa, lentil soup or spring rolls, followed by something like a fillet steak served with mushrooms and potatoes, or perhaps with cauliflower cheese. We also had a really tasty Thai chicken curry. This is then finished off with a dessert, such as sticky toffee pudding, chocolate and vanilla cream trifle, or apple and berry pie with custard.

Children

Attitude towards children
Lion Camp welcomes children of seven years and older, but a private vehicle must be booked for families travelling with children aged 7–12.
Property’s age restrictions
Children of seven years and older are welcome.
Special activities & services
None
Equipment
None, but an extra bed can be put in the chalets for a child sharing with parents.
Generally recommended for children
No - this is a remote bushcamp and we feel that it is only suited to older, sensible children. We recommend this camp for well-behaved children of 7 years and older.
Notes
Children will need to be constantly supervised by their parents as the camp is not fenced and game wanders freely throughout.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Lion Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Lion Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Buffalo

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Lion

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Leopard

88% success

Wildebeest

86% success

Wild dog

25% success

Eland

14% success

Roan antelope

13% success

Sable antelope

13% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Communications

Communications
There is a phone in the office which may be used by guests in an emergency. There is no cellphone reception or WiFi here.
TV & radio
No
Water supply
Borehole

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
There is a doctor based at Mfuwe Lodge, about three hours' drive away. Lion Camp has links to a flying-doctor service for medical emergencies.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
There is a night porter on duty.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers in the main area, the chalets and on board the game-drive vehicles.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
Not Possible
Laundry facilities
A complimentary laundry service is included.
Money
There is no currency exchange available.
Accepted payment on location
Lion Camp accepts Zambian kwacha or US dollars cash as payment, but guests are welcome to tip in other foreign currencies. Cards are not accepted.

Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Tafika

Tafika

Tafika is one of the best camps in Zambia: naturally built, with few apparent luxuries, but actually very high quality. Service and food are excellent, but the real focus is on top guiding skills and wildlife experience.


98% (275 reviews)
Nkwali

Nkwali

In the heart of South Luangwa, overlooking the river, Nkwali is unusual in being open year round. It offers great safaris; a high standard of food, service and care; and an excellent springboard for Robin Pope's various safaris in the park.


96% (203 reviews)
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp is a small, owner-run camp in a quiet but excellent game area of the Luangwa. Photographers will particularly appreciate the camp’s series of wildlife hides.


96% (188 reviews)
Nsefu

Nsefu

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.


98% (166 reviews)
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

Tena Tena is one of the Luangwa's best camps in a beautiful location – it's very small, feels very remote and 'in the bush', is run exceedingly well and has top rate guiding.


95% (137 reviews)
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba is a small, fairly simple, owner-run bushcamp in an excellent game area. It offers first-class walking, 4WD safaris and great game hides; come for excellent guides and a real bush feel.


99% (126 reviews)
Chikoko Tree Camp

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.


99% (105 reviews)
Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp is a great little rustic bushcamp built to high standards that focuses on excellent walking safaris, with the emphasis on top wildlife guides.


98% (82 reviews)
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

Just on the south-east side of the national park, Kapani Lodge is the base camp for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations. It's also a very solid safari camp that has retained lots of character, and runs very well indeed.


95% (80 reviews)
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

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.


98% (63 reviews)
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

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.


97% (62 reviews)
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

A relatively big but very good safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.


98% (61 reviews)
Luangwa River Camp

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.


96% (60 reviews)
Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo Bushcamp

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.


97% (52 reviews)
Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Lunagwa National Park.


96% (39 reviews)
Luwi Bushcamp

Luwi Bushcamp

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.


93% (38 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp

Robin Pope bush-camp

RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia


99% (25 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

Robin Pope walking

A seven-day Robin Pope Walking Safari in South Luangwa National Park starts and finishes at a permanent camp, with five days walking between comfortable mobile camps.


98% (21 reviews)
Kapamba Bushcamp

Kapamba Bushcamp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.


94% (17 reviews)
Luangwa Safari House

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.


100% (14 reviews)
Chinzombo

Chinzombo

Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.


98% (13 reviews)
Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.


98% (13 reviews)
Bilimungwe Bushcamp

Bilimungwe Bushcamp

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.


95% (12 reviews)
Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village – beside the South Luangwa National Park, offers guests the rare opportunity to appreciate local village life. Visit for a few hours or stay overnight.


95% (11 reviews)
Robin's House

Robin's House

With your own expert guide, private vehicle, chef and valet, the two-bedroom Robin's House offers an exclusive, flexible safari experience – and is open year round.


94% (10 reviews)
Three Rivers Camp

Three Rivers Camp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge is being constructed by the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.


94% (10 reviews)
Mfuwe Lodge

Mfuwe Lodge

In a game-rich area close to the South Luangwa’s main Mfuwe Gate, Mfuwe Lodge is relatively large by park standards, but it’s stylish, modern and family friendly.


90% (10 reviews)
Island Bush Camp

Island Bush Camp

Island Bushcamp is a good-value, rustic, walking-only camp, in arguably one of the most remote parts of the South Luangwa, well away from all other camps.


100% (9 reviews)
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge is a luxurious designer camp set in a stunning location, high on a hill overlooking a floodplain within South Luangwa. Explore from here on 4WD safaris and walks.


93% (9 reviews)
Chindeni

Chindeni

Chindeni Bushcamp is a very modern and minimalist camp, which is a far cry from your traditional bushcamp and unlike most of the other camps in South Luangwa.


94% (7 reviews)
Chamilandu Bushcamp

Chamilandu Bushcamp

A very comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, with a range of habitats that can be explored on foot and by 4WD, day and night.


100% (5 reviews)
Mwamba Camp-out

Mwamba Camp-out

The Mwamba-Camp Out allows you to have an incredibly adventurous night in the bush, sleeping under mosquito nets with activities led by some of the best guides in Zambia.


90% (4 reviews)
Zungulila

Zungulila

Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.


93% (3 reviews)
Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Lodge

Chichele Presidential Lodge stands within the park on a hill with superb views. Its hotel-like, air-conditioned rooms and child-friendly attitude make it ideal for families or those who don't want to get too close to the bush outside.


100% (1 review)
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

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.


100% (1 review)
Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.


No reviews yet
Shawa Luangwa Camp

Shawa Camp

Due to open in June 2020, we’re expecting Shawa Luangwa Camp to be a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.


No reviews yet
Chikunto Safari Lodge

Chikunto

Chikunto Safari Lodge is a new property in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa