Mapazi Camp: Our full report
Mapazi Camp is a new walking only camp located in the far north of Zambia's South Luangwa National Park - ...... one of the most renowned areas in Africa for walking safaris. All activities at Mapazi are privately guided by Deb Tittle, a renowned safari guide with over 20 years guiding experience in the South Luangwa.
Mapazi Camp opened in mid 2018, and we were lucky to visit in October 2018. Mapazi is one of the northern-most camps in the South Luangwa, in an undisturbed section of the park, with few roads, that's ideal for walking safaris.
Mapazi itself is a small, simple camp with only three walk-in tents - though the camp takes a maximum of four guests at any one time, unless a group books the camp for their exclusive use. Although the overall feeling of the camp is very rustic, with few of the luxurious trappings and lacking the silver cutlery of Africa's most luxurious properties, it has a decent level of comfort with solid twin or double beds, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, and a refrigerated bar alongside the lounge in the communal area. Comfortable hammocks and chairs are spaced out around the camp, and there's plenty to see from the camp itself, we had a few curious bushbuck wandering through, and plenty of birdlife in the area.
Though the setting, overlooking the river, and the remote location are an obvious draw, Deb Tittle's guiding is the real highlight of the camp. Deb has been guiding in the South Luangwa since the '90s, and is incredibly experienced at interpreting the nuances of the bush. This knowledge, combined with an incredibly friendly and approachable personality, means Deb can deliver some incredibly memorable safari experiences. On our last visit, following footprints and spoor, we tracked a leopard through the bush, finally to hear a crunching sound and see the leopard with a fresh kill in a tree, just a few hundred metres away.
We loved the location of Mapazi, and Deb delivers a top class safari experience. We're always delighted to see new owner run camps opening in Africa, and with top guiding and an incredible walking area we fully expect Deb's 'back-to-basics' Mapazi Camp to be a popular addition to the offerings in the South Luangwa.
Country manager: Zambia
- South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
- Ideal length of stay
- We’d recommend a stay of at least three nights at Mapazi, in order to be able to fully experience the walking available in this northern. Section of the park. Mapazi combines well in a multi-day walking trip with other walking-only camps in the area – chat to us for more details.
- A stay at Mapazi Camp will require you to fly to Mfuwe Airport to from Lusaka, before continuing through the park on a game drive until you reach Mapazi. From Lusaka the entire transfer time should take 4-5 hours.
Do note that it is not possible to transfer directly to Mapazi from the late afternoon flight transfers into Mfuwe Airport.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- On our last visit we had some delicious meals at Mapazi. The camp is able to cater for a range of dietary requests, with advance notice.
A simple breakfast is served early with toast and cereal on offer, along with tea and fresh coffee, before you set off for the morning walk.
Lunch is usually a light and simple option, perfect for the midday heat. We enjoyed a cheese board with grapes and olives, crackers and freshly baked rolls, along with a leek and potato frittata, a selection of chutneys and sauces and a green salad, with a refreshing fruit salad to finish up the meal.
Dinner is served out under the stars, though the table can be brought in under the main stretch tent. We were served jacket potatoes, with home-made chili con carne, guacamole and sour cream. Vanilla ice cream with fresh passionfruit ended the meal.
- Attitude towards children
- Children older than 15 are welcome at Mapazi.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Mapazi has a minimum age limit of 15 years. Children ages 12–15 can be considered if the camp is booked for exclusive use, but do note that the minimum age for walking safaris is 12.
- Special activities & services
- Generally recommended for children
- This is a remote area, with the potential of wild animals in camp. We feel that Mapazi is best suited to for children over 16.
- Any children in camp need to be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.
- Power supply notes
- Mapazi runs on solar power, though there is a back-up generator on site.
- There is a satellite phone at Mapazi for emergency communications, and the camp is in radio contact with nearby camps.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Bathrooms have flush toilets, and plumbed hot showers and handbasin. The water is heated for each tent using eco-friendly Rocket Boilers.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- All senior staff members are first aid qualified, and there is a first aid kit in camp and in the camp vehicle. The closest doctor is in Mfuwe, a 3–4 hour drive.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- An armed scout is based in camp, and guests will be escorted to and from tents after dark by a member of staff.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are located around the camp, and an extinguisher and fire blanket are located in the kitchen. Staff are trained in their use.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is included, for all clothes, including women's underwear. Clothes are hand washed and line dried.
- A lockable chest is provided in each tent. The main office is locked and has a safe if guests wish to keep valuable there also.
- Accepted payment on location
- All meals and drinks are included, so no payments are necessary.
Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.