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
"Mchenja Bushcamp review"
"Review of Mchenja Bushcamp"
"It was a splendid tour you had arranged for us in South Luangwa.
In all five lodges Kapani, Kakuli, Nsolo, Mchenja and Luwi. Anne Marie, Lora, Natasha, Warren, the guides Abraham, Lawrence, Shaddy, Sam, Jimmy and John plus the rest of the teams gave us a wonderful time. They were all incredibly hospitable and immediately made us feel wellcome.
The game experiences were unforgettable.The guides who were all excellent did their best to show the nature and the game in varied actions. Especially John, who was called out to take us from Nsolo to Mcenja, half way walk, two days at Mchenja and the walk from Nsolo to Luwi. He was a brilliant guide, who seemed to be fond of walking like we are, while some of the guides had a preference for driving."
"Mchenja -comfortable, elegant and great game"
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." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"5* luxury in the bush"
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" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
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.
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Mchenja was luxury in a tent"
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." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
Holiday styles & special interests in Zambia
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zambia.
Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
One of the best camps in Zambia, Tafika is naturally built, combining excellent service and food with top guiding skills for a superb wildlife experience.
On the banks of the Luangwa River, with its own access to the national park, the intimate Nkwali is open year round.
Small and owner-run, the riverside Kaingo occupies a a quiet but excellent game area, with a series of wildlife hides and a focus on photography.
One of the Luangwa's oldest camps, Nsefu is a great safari camp in a remote, beautiful and game-rich location with top-rate guiding.
Small, remote and owner-run, Mwamba offers first-class walking, 4WD safari drives and superb hides, with excellent guides and a real bush feel.
One of the Luangwa's best camps, in a beautiful, remote bush location, Tena Tena is very small, exceedingly well-run and has top-rate guiding.
Chikoko Tree Camp
Chikoko Tree Camp is an excellent small, rustic bushcamp that concentrates on walking safaris, and is run by a top-quality operation.
Big Lagoon Camp
Big Lagoon Camp is a great little rustic bushcamp built to high standards that focuses on excellent walking safaris, with the emphasis on top wildlife guides.
Kapani Lodge is now the main office base for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations.
A relatively big safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
Luangwa River Camp
Luangwa River Lodge is a small and consciously stylish lodge in the Mfuwe area, overlooking the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park beyond – an area renowned for great game.
Beside the Luangwa River, Kakuli is a comfortable tented bushcamp offering 4WD safaris and walking safaris – the best of which are camp-to-camp walks linking Kakuli with its nearby sister camps.
Nsolo is a small, comfortable bushcamp overlooking one or two pools in the usually dry Luwi riverbed. It concentrates on walking safaris in an interesting and diverse area, led by a knowledgeable guide.
Kafunta River Lodge
Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Luangwa National Park.
In a remote part of the South Luangwa National Park, Luwi is a rustic bushcamp whose emphasis is on walking safaris with great guiding and a chance of seeing some rarely seen and elusive antelope.
Robin Pope bush-camp
RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Lion Camp is an established and comfortable camp with a swimming pool, located near to the game-rich Lion Plain in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park.
Robin Pope mobile
RPS mobile safari camps are at the heart of their set-itinerary walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, which start and finish at a permanent camp.
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.
Puku Ridge is a luxurious designer camp set in a stunning location, high on a hill overlooking a floodplain within South Luangwa. Explore from here on 4WD safaris and walks.
In a game-rich area close to the South Luangwa’s main Mfuwe Gate, Mfuwe Lodge is relatively large by park standards, but it’s stylish, modern and family friendly.
Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.
Luangwa Safari House
Luangwa Safari House is a vast and very smart four-bedroom house specifically designed for families and small groups, and offering an exclusive and flexible safari experience.
Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.
A smart bushcamp with four very spacious chalets, Bilimungwe offers interesting walking safaris in pretty riverine woodland, as well as day and night safari drives.
Chindeni Bushcamp is a very modern and minimalist camp, which is a far cry from your traditional bushcamp and unlike most of the other camps in South Luangwa.
Three Rivers Camp
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge sits at the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.
Kawaza Village – beside the South Luangwa National Park, offers guests the rare opportunity to appreciate local village life. Visit for a few hours or stay overnight.
With your own expert guide, private vehicle, chef and valet, the two-bedroom Robin's House offers an exclusive, flexible safari experience – and is open year round.
Island Bush Camp
Island Bushcamp is a good-value, rustic, walking-only camp, in arguably one of the most remote parts of the South Luangwa, well away from all other camps.
The Mwamba-Camp Out allows you to have an incredibly adventurous night in the bush, sleeping under mosquito nets with activities led by some of the best guides in Zambia.
A comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, in an area with a range of habitats to explore on foot and by 4WD.
Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.
Currently undergoing renovations, Chichele Presidential Lodge stands high within the park, with superb views, and is due to reopen in late 2022.
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout
For an adventurous night in South Luangwa National Park, come and sleep out in the bush, around a campfire, with an experienced guide and game scout.
Opened in June 2021, Shawa Luangwa Camp is a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.
Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.
Chikunto Safari Lodge is a more traditional property in the South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.