Reviews of Mchenja Bushcamp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
63 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mchenja Bushcamp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Mchenja Bushcamp review"
1- The people - Emmanuel (manager), Nation (ranger), Jon (our guide) and all the staff. During an amazing dinner, Emmanuel shared is knowledge about Zambian culture with us, told us about the multiple origins of the Zambian people, their languages and dialects (73), their habits and traditions, and about the impact of the Western culture on these traditions.
2- The food - always delicious! On the second night at the camp the Chef cooked for us one of the most traditional dishes of Zambian gastronomy - Nshima. Unforgettable experience.
3- The Bushcamp itself - location, accommodations, service, facilities.
4- The activities and the wildlife - impressive number of leopard and hyena sightings, thanks to Jon.
An aspect to improve: the lack of communications, including the internet, although it is great to keep you focused in your job (walk and drive safaris) can be a serious limitation if you are in need to hear from your family very far away..." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
"A long-awaited return to Mchenja"
Whilst there we had several close encounters with the local wildlife: lions in the camp by the swimming pool on our last day (they munched through the cleaning pipe and scattered it around the area); a small herd of elephants when we arrived for a surprise sundowner which had to be diverted by our capable guides and scouts; two elephants in the camp on the day we arrived, one of which was enjoying the taste of a chalet's doormat and knocked our bathroom's light fitting away. The elephants both kept us in the sitenje for 20 minutes or so after lunch. Life wasn't dull and it was huge fun." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Amazing location at Mchenja Bushcamp"
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. John, the Camp Manager was an excellent guide and Nation was a super scout to spend time with. They had a super sense of humour.Alice was a great deputy camp manager/host.
The food was amazing and plentiful.
The chalets are well designed, loved the outdoor bathroom and super views of the river. You feel secluded form other guests which is lovely.
The wildlife experience was excellent with plenty of great sightings of most species and birds.The camp species tick let booklet was an excellent idea.
They provided a special anniversary dining experience which was very special and thoughtful.
It would be lovely to have spot light in the chalet to shine across the river at night." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Mchenja Bushcamp review"
The food was not as plentiful as Tena Tena - more of a nouveau cuisine style of cooking which while fine was not necessarily to everyones taste. The wines could use an expansion and there was limited choice - no pinotage was disappointing.
Guides John was amazing and we saw amazing scenes including a leopard trying to bring down an impala, leopard eating an antelope in a tree, jackals and vultures fighting over what remained of a buffalo while the lions slinked away having eaten most of it. Not to mention a pride of 14 lions." See all these reviews: 6n in Zambia; 3n in Zimbabwe
"Mchenja Bushcamp review"
Food definitely a step up from Chongwe, especially lunch.
Walking also a step up with really good guide Friday and scout Peter.
Leopards everywhere including day and night and walking right through camp.
Great elephant but we only saw scattered zebra and buffalo, no herds.
Lot and lots of lions: 19 of the pride of 22 killed a buffalo just outside camp.
Camp manager Emanuel really good - looked after me when I had a fever, treated my daughter's mangled toe, dealt with a bees nest above our room in the dark in about 30 minutes flat!
Game densities seemed markedly higher than in Lower Zambezi.
Only issue is whether the stomach bugs we had were just bad luck or a food hygiene issue." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Mchenja Bushcamp review"
Our guide John was knowledgeable, great sense of humour and a delight to be with.
The only point we have to raise is the lack of animal and bird check lists. This is particularly relevant as you have asked us to detail sightings. But the staff were very helpful and accommodating in every other aspect." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Amazing experience "
It has an energy very hard to describe in language, however this is as close as I can get..........
It felt like such a rich natural environment while being so homely and open. There was such understated luxury with authentic service, great great people with lovely food in a magical setting.
We felt were part of the animal kingdom which of course we are. So often I guess these days we get lost in cities, concrete and towns..... this place helped us to remember we are animals and part of the natural ecosystem that is planet earth!
Friday is an outstanding guide he has such great knowledge loves what he does and is so respectful of his environment. He taught us so much and was able to get us closer to real Zambia than we had expected.
His tenacity was powerful too and never gave up for our search to see game.... we saw such rare sightings particularly Leopard.
We will absolutely go back to Mchenja and would love to go on walking safari between the Norman Carr camps." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Popcorn, champagne - and a sausage (!)"
At Mchenja, the chalets are perched on high on the riverbank and are open-fronted during the day with pull-down canvas fronts at night. As well as an open-air en-suite, the chalets also have a free-standing bath so you can commune with the bathing hippos, albeit at a safe distance. Somehow I managed to completely miss the swimming pool in the main camp area (so I'll have to go back); too busy admiring the scary hippo skull by the sofas!
We were advised by our guide on one of our evening game drives that he'd 'forgotten' his sundowner box. We did our best not to be traumatised and agreed that we should find the other jeep and hope they'd share with us (whilst secretly worrying they'd scoff the lot and we'd be scavenging crumbs). When we met up with the other jeep, we were surprised by Emmanuel and others from the camp who'd set out a full table, white cloth billowing in the breeze, who treated us to champagne and popcorn to celebrate my 'big' birthday, whilst the hippos sang (OK, grunted) and the sun went down. Just lovely! And having seen how well organised everyone is, we should have known not to believe the story about the forgotten sundowner box.
At Mchenja, I also have to give Emmanuel a special mention for assisting with a small practical joke I asked him to play on a guest who I'd met previously in the week, who was arriving in camp as I left. I promised to leave her a sign that I'd been in camp and Emmanuel - showing enormous trust! - sneaked a sausage from the tree into her bed with the expected hot water bottle as my 'sign'. Emmanuel, we met again on the way to the airport and I can promise she did enjoy the surprise! Thank you for indulging us in our silliness " See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Fantastic safari camp"
Lovely rooms with plenty of functionality and a smashing view to the river.We often had night time visits to our garden which really added to the atmosphere and excitement. Staff at Mchenja were excellent being friendly and helpful, as well as very efficient.
Food at Mchenja was always something to look forward to with inventive ways to cook and present a very varied menu. Cannot fault this aspect one bit.
Guides and scouts were readily available to easily cover the small number of guests, and amazed with their keen eyesight and enthusiasm and knowledge. We saw everything we wanted and expected to see, and possibly more." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Magical Mchenja !"
It does have the good fortune to be in a very lovely position on the river, so there is always something to watch ( usually hippos) while in camp. But one day on a game drive , we did follow four sub adult male lions and found they took a trail right up to our tent . So you might get lions to watch too.
We have lovely photos of them right by our tent and also by the pool ( great pool BTW) which was beside it.
They also gave the lady who was filling the Rhodesian boiler with wood at that time , a bit of a scare.
So they're not kidding when they say you have to request an escort when walking between tents and also get someone to check the pool is clear before you use it. The pool was a lovely treat after a hot, dusty game drive and had sun loungers around it too.
In Expert Africa's website , it shows the pool as being in the main building by the bar. But due to one too many guests walking straight into it ( accidentally) - they have filled it in and built a fab pool by the river . I also heard that the tree in the main area is going to be removed next year ( I forget why - but some good reason)
I was very ill when I arrived at Mchenja, and the manager - Henrietta, was very caring and suggested I only use bottled water instead of filtered water until I was better.
She also gave me a simple home remedy that certainly made me feel a lot better.
I think the personality of the manager at a camp makes a huge difference and Henrietta was always around, always cheerful, always super friendly . It gave Mchenja a lovely atmosphere.
We were very lucky and were assigned a family tent with two separate bedrooms - one with a spare bed , the other with a bath. Both bedrooms had outside bathrooms that were just gorgeous. I spent a few starlight nights sitting out there and it was just magical
Beds very comfy - no probs with monkeys in bathroom( but we did get cute tiny frogs there at night) a flask of water in room, personal water bottles provided for game drives. . ( you get to keep one when you leave )
Breakfast at 6 - coffee, cereal, fruit, yogurt, French toast or pancakes, toast
Chef cooks eggs over open fire beside the river , so you feel like you're camping although you're not really .
Leave 6:30 - back 10:30
Lunch v gd , tea 3:30- out at 4
Back at 7:30 ( night drive for part of it)
Dinner at 8
Our guides were Brian, Adam , John ( slightly built one) - as there are 2 Johns
We were passed from pillar to post a bit with guides but all were very good especially John. ( He had just moved there from Puku Ridge interestingly)
One day we had a guide called Adam in morning - he said he knew where to show us lions in the pm - so we'd leave early to see them - but we never saw him again ! He was sent to another camp !
Our next guide John was sent to do an airport run a day after taking us out.So then we were handed back to Brian - very nice.
For some reason his vehicle was the only one with a roof on it .
We had great game sightings - lion, leopard, kudu, hippo , elephants, giraffe and also the usual suspects.
Overall, Mchenja was our favourite place to stay by a cats whisker." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
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