Reviews of Mchenja Bushcamp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
66 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
"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
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." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Gully of Death!"
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." See all these reviews: 21n in Zambia
"Delightful stay at Mchenja Bushcamp"
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!" See all these reviews: 17n in Zambia
"Best animal viewing of our trip!"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
"A superb end to my trip"
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." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"A beautiful location overlooking the river"
"Mchenja Bushcamp review"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
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