Mchenja Bushcamp

Reviews of Mchenja Bushcamp

Excellent(98%) From 54 travellers
Excellent
49
Good
5
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 54 of our travellers who have visited Mchenja Bushcamp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mrs & Mrs G - West Midlands - and friends
Arrived on: 26-Sep-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mchenja -comfortable, elegant and great game

Mchenja is a beautiful camp in a superb location and had it been the only place we had stayed in Luangwa we could not have faulted it. However after staying at Kaingo it did feel more like we were paying guests, and less like staying with family.

The staff were great, always friendly and helpfull. The food was lovely & always well presented, again the vegetarian option was great. The guides were obviously very knowledgable and great at spotting game, we saw three leopard hunting whilst staying here, one in daylight, & the guides managed to get us really close. We saw 2 of the leopards make kills withing a few metres of our vehicle.

Our sole reservation concerns the fact that it appears that there is some friction between Mchenja & Kaingo. There are obviously 2 sides to every story, but we felt that it was inappropriate for the staff to discuss this issue with guests at dinner. In fairness, the issue was originally raised by other guests, not staff, but we felt that a tactful "no comment" would have been the better way of handling the situation.

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Dr K - Oxford Univ
Arrived on: 9-Sep-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

5* luxury in the bush

This was our preferred camp: we loved the walk from Nsolo, and the accommmodation was wonderful. The only thing missing was a mosquito net. We were told it wasn't really necessary, but we disagree: on two slightly humid nights we had to spray 3 times during the night, and did kill mosquitoes, plus thousands of small black flies, which covered our pillows and sheets. We really think nets should be provided, in common with the undertaking given in your notes for travellers.

We also think all of the staff should be required to have first aid training. What the (English) catering manager did in the case of a scorpion sting to a member of staff was exactly the opposite of what should have been done. There was some evidence of lack of training.

Our guide, John, was fisrt class. We feel, however, that he should not be oblidged to dine with guests every night - he was visibly exhausted, and it clearly wasn't that much fun for him.

Overall, however, we adored this place - wonderful location, beautiful accommodation, great rolltop bath, lovely atmosphere. The reason we will give the good' rather than `excellent' rating to the rooms is because of missing net.

It would be good to have more Africa-related books available

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Expert Africa comments

We have been in touch with the Mchenja team on these points, and Nick (the GM there) admitted to being the guilty party when it comes to the nets or lack of them at Mchenja! He commented that members of staff had asked for nets, and he’d though them unnecessary. However, on the strength of this report he’s re-visiting this subject, and will re-instate the nets. (The camp uses them anyhow during the emerald season – for their Rivers & Rainbows trips – they’d just taken them down for the dry season.)

With regard to first aid: access for a guest in an emergency to a qualified practitioner of basic first-aid is important in the bush. In the case of camps, run by Norman Carr Safaris, the first-aid training for a few key members of the team is rigorous. We can confirm that all the camp managers have to pass first-aid training courses, as well as all the guides – for whom it is an integral part of their guiding exams!

However, we share the camp’s view that expecting every staff member in a camp to be first-aid qualified is not only impractical, but also probably undesirable. Like many of Africa’s best safari camps, Mchenja employs many of its staff from the local community. This is ‘responsible tourism’ in practice: it’s how it should be. However, inevitably some have had little formal education. Applying any blanket requirement for recruits to pass a written first-aid qualification would exclude many who need the work most.

Mopane squirrels
Arrived on: 22-Aug-2007 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Fantastic location

Our chalet was beautiful in a perfect setting. John, who had collected us from the airport was an excellent guide.

We were disappointed that the other guests at the lodge were more inclined to drive than walk. We felt uncomfortable having to ask to do a short walk on our first afternoon. We did feel we had to 'persuade' with regard to safari walking but did have a great walk with John the following day on our own.

Got on really well with John and the 'guy with the gun'. Lucinda the deputy manager was very friendly but preferred socialising to organising. Highlights were lion cubs, hippo lullaby and relationship with guide and tracker.

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Mr H Hatfield
Arrived on: 26-Jul-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mchenja was luxury in a tent

We walked to Mchenja from Kakuli and arrived to meet the other guests just returning from their walking safari. We were given a much needed cold flannel and nice cold drink and just had time to freshen up in our very luxurious tent before lunch.

Our tent even had a bath in it and our bathroom was open to the sky and shared with many tiny frogs which was great fun we found one sitting on the handle of the toilet.

The food was wonderful and the company very friendly. The staff joined us for meals and we enjoyed chatting about our experiences and hearing about everyones day and what they had seen. Our guide Levy was very experienced and we were thrilled that whilst walking we were able to get very close to a giraffe.

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