Reviews of Luangwa Safari House
Wildlife sightings and reviews
14 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Luangwa Safari House and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Wet, but wonderful at Luangwa Safari House"
All I would like to do here is to complete the online wildlife research form on behalf of my parents and the group as a whole, and, otherwise, to add my huge thanks to the whole team, not least our two eminent guides, John and Nyambe, for amazing service from start to finish." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia
"Carnivore Week at Luangwa Safari House"
There were bats roosting in the bathroom and I enjoyed their comings and goings and the knowledge that they were keeping the mosquitoes down in number. There was a good feeling of being relaxed and at home in the house and the staff were always on hand to deal with my needs before I knew I had them.
The rains began in earnest towards the end of the week so less time was spent outside round the pool but the house is so open and airy that there was never a sense of being shut in by the weather.
RPS - Carnivore Week with the Zambian Carnivore Project
Amongst the alpha predators
It was a privilege to be able to see the work of ZCP for the second time. The use of satellite tracking collars was new since my last visit and it was interesting what a difference it made to being able to pinpoint the animals.
The presentation on Day 1 was professional and informative and the ZCP team, especially Thandi, were very generous with their time. I worried, though, that there was too much of their valuable time spent coming with us to make sure we got to see the lions and dogs. I had expected that they would go about their usual work and would let us come along and observe. But so saying it was a very special experience being able to listen to them talk about their work and their intimate knowledge of the packs and prides in South Luangwa and Zambia's other parks.
Jonah our guide treated us to some very accomplished off-road driving to locate the lions and dogs and was managed the inevitable punctures and getting stuck in the mud competence and good humour. Altogether an exciting and educational week." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Beautiful Luangwa House"
Nothing was too much trouble.
We cannot praise everything about our stay too highly." See all these reviews: 15n in Zambia
"Luangwa Safari House review"
The game drives were outstanding with so much wildlife to see and our guide was extremely knowledgeable but with such a great character it made each drive a real pleasure.
The walking safari should be a must for all visitors - especially being able to hear the sounds without the vehicle and spotting a Leopard in a tree!!" See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Fabulous house amid teeming wildlife"
As to the wildlife - who could have asked for more? To get so close, and to feel so much a part of goings on, was sometimes to the point of surreal, and incredibly special. This includes the location of Luangwa Safari House itself. How fabulous to have a watering hole within yards of the seating area and viewing platform/lunch area, and a hide from which to watch the elephants/warthogs/stork about their business. And, on early arising, to be able to ask the team 'what is that noise?' and get the answer (ground hornbills). The 'knock knock' was delightfully subtle, and the breakfast perfectly handled for those like me who are not morning people. Top porridge. I thought Claire did a super job shepherding us all. She was consistently thoughtful and attentive and it was lovely to have some open conversations with a young person just starting out to hear what she had learned and to share experiences.
A great pleasure also in the contrasting styles of our guides, Jacob and Obi, each of whose knowledge have a particular depth, but from a different vantage. Being somewhat English and reticent myself, Obi gave me the confidence to ask quiet questions whilst Jacob's energy, enthusiasm and intimate understanding of the Luangwa ecosystem enabled sights that we never would otherwise have seen, with a particular sensitivity to capturing the best vantage for the photographers among us. Completely fabulous - I do hope he imparts at least some of his knowledge to the next generation.
I should add that the option of a walking safari was very welcome over the four days. It could have been quite frustrating being confined to the house area and vehicles over a number of days, watching the wildlife roam free in a way that we, for obvious reasons, could not. The flexibility over driving/walking and regarding night safaris was most welcome.
Delighted that both Jacob and Obi were able to join us for the special, slightly breezy, bush curry to talk a little further. Although the birthday guest was indisposed we all greatly appreciated the event and the trouble that had been taken. And what amazing food! Hats off, of course, to chef Simon who really really knows what to do with beef and who presented some of the best food I have tasted in a long time (the lunchtime salads, and bush curries, were spectacular)
Room for improvement? Like heck! But if the lily needed gilding, it would be nice to have a one-pager (apologies if I missed it) about the main house and how it was built as this was a great conversation piece among our party. We were particularly fascinated by the front door and how on earth it was made to fit. The over all design of the house is of itself a talking-point, with every possible comfort and the most enormous beds I have ever seen.
From sublime to ridiculous, the clothes laundry service was excellent but, allowing for local considerations regarding ladies' underwear, it was a bit tricky to find somewhere to hang my smalls to dry after handwashing - my travel clothes line wasn't quite long enough to tether between the available points, so in the end I just got creative …
The only other observation comes from a subsequent visit where the night safari used yellow filters for the spotlights. This was (apparently) to protect the vision of the big cats and avoid disturbing the prey mammals. I have no idea whether there is any science behind this, and none of the other night drivers we saw in Luangwa Park seemed to use them, so it may or may not be something to consider for the future.
A fabulous stay at a cleverly thought-out, brilliantly located and immensely comfortable and welcoming venue. A truly magical and memorable holiday. My thanks and appreciation to all." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Exceptional Luangwa Safari House"
From our bedrooms we were treated to visiting elephants, buffalo, impala, puku, hippopotamus, giraffe, mongoose, warthogs, baboons and monkeys. On our drives and walks with our excellent guide Jacob, we came across all of these plus multiple leopards, a lion pride and many other animals. And we lost count of the birds.
And as Jacob kept telling us, the landscapes were highights in themselves.
We also spent half a day visiting a village supported by the local tourist industry - an eye opener to the life of the locals." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia; 3n in Botswana
"Luangwa Safari House--Fantastic"
Jacob, the guide and manager really knows his job. He made us welcome and planned our stay well. We had a great visit to the local village and school which really made an impression on us all. The animals were great and they staff went out of their way to make our Easter special -- they even staged an egg hunt for the kids.
Thanks!" See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 3n in Botswana
"Luangwa Safari House review"
"Great family safari"
Not only must praise be given to Jacob and Tina for their kindness and attention to us all but also to all the backroom staff whose efforts to make our stay so enjoyable were second to none. Many thanks goes to all at the House.
On a general note the meet and greet service arranged by Robin Pope Safaris at Lusaka Airport was very welcome and efficient." See all these reviews: 23n in Zambia
"Luangwa Safari House review"
The décor, bedrooms, service, food, location - everything is amazing. Tina, our hostess, ensured everything ran absolutely smoothly without a hint of rush. Simon cooked us some wonderful meals, and Kanga the guide was so knowledgeable and managed to track a mother leopard with a cub for us to see and enjoy on one of the evening safaris. He really was in tune with the sights and sounds of the safari park. Peter and Emanuel were also so friendly and efficient.
We went to visit Peter's village which is part of the South Luangwa Community Project and it was a pleasure to meet all the local people and visit the school. Robin & Joe Pope have put so much back into the local community with the aid of the other lodges in the area.
A long deck runs out past the small swimming pool to a swamp area where for several hours one afternoon we watched 20+ elephants mud bathing - great viewing. Giraffe also come close by and there is a great telescope set up for private viewing.
What more could you ask. We would love to return one day for a longer visit. It was far too short a stay/." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia
Holiday styles & special interests in Zambia
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zambia.
Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
One of the best camps in Zambia, Tafika is naturally built, combining excellent service and food with top guiding skills for a superb wildlife experience.
On the banks of the Luangwa River, with its own access to the national park, the intimate Nkwali is open year round.
Small and owner-run, the riverside Kaingo occupies a a quiet but excellent game area, with a series of wildlife hides and a focus on photography.
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.
One of the Luangwa's best camps, in a beautiful, remote bush location, Tena Tena is very small, exceedingly well-run and has 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.
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.
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.
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.
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.
Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.
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.
Three Rivers Camp
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge sits at the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, in an area with a range of habitats to explore on foot and by 4WD.
Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.
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.
Currently undergoing renovations, Chichele Presidential Lodge stands high within the park, with superb views, and is due to reopen in late 2022.
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.