Reviews of Mchenja Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Magical Mchenja !
We absolutely loved 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.
Spent two nights here in the latter part of August.
Great setting on the river with all of the hippos. Very comfortable camp in all respects.
Great game drives and hikes....we saw all that we expected. The highlight was a leopard in the tree with his kill.
Wished we could have spent more than 2 nights. Highly recommend this camp.
Gully of Death!
On our way to Mchenja Julius took us to see the dead hippo which had been a source of interest for all of us over the previous few days. It had taken a while for the hyenas and vultures to get wind of the feast that awaited them and it was fascinating to observe the process. Brian, our guide at Mchenja, drove us to the Lion Plain and also to another place he called the "G O D", or "Gully of Death", where a particular leopard liked to hide, waiting for some tasty morsel to be grazing on the land beside it. John wanted to see a kill, but I wasn't so sure.
There had been a warthog caught by lions which we nearly saw and heard about later, but I'm not sure I'd've been happy to have witnessed a warthog squealing for 20 minutes. I grew particularly fond of warthogs, with their business-like ways...
At Mchenja we first met Enock, who was very welcoming, and later Vanessa took over the 'host' role, explaining that she moved about between camps as a temporary host to give the others a break. I loved the bath tub with a view, in our chalet.
Delightful stay at Mchenja Bushcamp
Gorgeous setting in an ebony forest overlooking the river. The rooms are particularly well designed & food is excellent.
The hostess Tasha was charming and guide "Uncle John" was especially entertaining.
The sightings were truly spectacular: 2 leopards came down from a tree and "posed" for us right beside the vehicle, we saw a big male lion with his baby hippo kill, elephants crossing the river right in front of the tent, excellent bird life etc etc... The morning I left, lions were sleeping IN the camp! I could have stayed longer!
Best animal viewing of our trip!
We chose to do all drives at Mchenja & had an amazing animal viewing experience! In one day, we saw 9 leopards & 11 lions - we even tracked a pride of about 5 lions on foot at one point. Once, when we set out on our afternoon drive, there was a leopard literally right outside the camp!
Mchenja overlooks a watering hole, so there were always animals around - lots of loud hippos, elephants, baboons, crocs & even a leopard. There always seemed to be elephants around camp, including one who popped by our room on several occasions & was lurking around at dinner!
Manager Amy is a sweetheart & John was the perfect guide - I seriously don't know how he could spot animals like he did & he has an awesome personality as well. Mchenja surprised us with a private champagne dinner set up outside our room. They got all the small details & touches just right.
A superb end to my trip
We walked in to Mchenja from Kakuli with lots of very close lion tracks - quite exciting...... Another excellent game drive in the evening - TWO leopards.
The next day we were lucky enough to meet a pride just setting out on the hunt - 4 lionesses and 9 cubs (!) and followed them to witness the kill from 20 metres or so in front of us. Loud snarls and crunches of bones as they all dived in. What an experience ! Food excellent again. A superb end to my trip.
A beautiful location overlooking the river
Probably my favourite camp for location - right by the river with wildlife all around.Read more about the whole safari
Mchenja Bushcamp review
Mchenja was possibly our favourite of the 3 places we stayed with NCS. It combined considerable comfort with a brilliant combination of walking and driving safaris which we did with Julius and Batwell the scout.
Ian hosted us on our first night here - and he was superb at filling us in with everything and sorting out any queries we had. Nikita was with us for the second 2 nights and she was also a delight, great company and very efficient with it. I can't tell you how much we enjoyed the big bath in the room each night - a real treat in the bush. We also liked the fact that we didn't have to have mosquito nets here which makes it much easier if you have to get up in the night!
We especially enjoyed the location with the hippos chorusing all night and the lions roaring across the river. We had a few extra visitors in the room - a wallspider (harmless), huge caterpillar, geckos and lizards which were all ok as they were no threat! The food here was again fantastic and no effort spared to sort me out as usual.
One of the highlights for us was on our last morning when we came upon the Mwamba lion pride - 17 adults and three cubs- fantastic, Julius and Batwell always knew where to find great things! 3 nights here was ideal.
Mchenja Bushcamp review
There is no doubt that the presence of water enhances any camp, and this was the case at Mchenja. The sight of the river as we approached lifted the spirits just that extra bit and added another dimension to our experience and enjoyment.
It was in this camp that we first found animals so close that they came through the camp in their daily feeding routine. I was able to just touch an elephant as it glided past our tent in the middle of the night, so the staff mean it when they say you must not walk about at night by yourself !.
Again, wonderful close-quarter meetings with many species.
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