Reviews of Mwamba Bushcamp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
125 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mwamba Bushcamp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Mwamba Bushcamp review"
We transferred by canoe from Nsefu, and were met by Patrick on the other side of the river. Again, we were the only guests – great for us, sad for the camp. Our first morning and afternoon drives were pretty quiet. The area around camp was very beautiful with lots of birds and we saw beautiful flocks of love birds and our one and the only carmine bee eater of the trip. However, the night drive was action packed and we saw 2 leopards (our 4th and 5th of the day), genet, civet, and a scope owl.
The camp is hosted by the executive chef and we were joined by the host from Kaingo for tea and dinner where we had wonderful conversation. The staff at the camp seemed genuinely fond of each other and the atmosphere was fun and informal. Patrick had some very funny as well as harrowing stories, including one about being surrounded by lions during a truck breakdown. We also talked about the current COVID outbreak and the impact the pandemic has had on the tourism industry. All three of our South Luangwa guides trained together and know each other. They all took up farming last year. It breaks my heart to hear that such accomplished men had to take up subsistence farming to feed their families.
Next morning started out quiet again as Patrick showed us a beautiful ebony forest nearby. The place felt like a cathedral. We spent quite a bit of time watching a big flock of yellow bill storks near a pond. Then Patrick said let’s go check out a gully where one of the neighborhood leopards likes to hang out. Before he could finish his sentence, there was the leopard, who began stalking a couple of impalas. We watched for a long time but the impalas were always just out of reach.
That afternoon / evening we saw beautiful zebras, elephants, and yet another leopard. This was the night for our special “star bed sleep-out”, and it was beyond amazing. The “star bed” is a tree house under mosquito net and the most romantic “room” I have ever seen. Catherine and Johan cooked a delicious meal for us over the camp fire which we ate under a full moon. After dinner, we were left alone to sleep under the moonlit sky with the hyenas calling all night.
Next morning Patrick came by, started a fire, and made coffee and breakfast. We set out for walking safari from the camp. We walked at every camp and this one was my favorite. We visited a series of waterholes, approached a big herd of buffaloes on foot, and saw 30+ Cookson wildebeests. These were new animals for us. They were gray and very handsome animals when compared with the regular gnus.
Soon it was time for our last game drive of South Luangwa. Even though we had seen scores of leopards, we had not seen a single lion after 7 days. I also had a running joke with all the spotters that evening drives were “porcupine time”, knowing chances of seeing one is low. I would say “porcupine”, and they would say “elephant shrew”.
On this evening, we came to a fork in the road, and Patrick said his instincts told him to go one way. Shortly after that we saw another truck, which were only the second truck we saw for the entire 3 days. They had seen lions, so we followed their direction and soon found 2 moms and 3 large-ish cubs feeding on a zebra. We got quite close, and it was a bit disturbing to be “surrounded” by lions after dark just like in Patrick’s story. We’ve been close to lions, but never so many and so close while dark. I think it’s scary because you can’t see them all. I keep imagining one creeping up on me.
Feeling happy that we finally saw some lions, we started heading home. Suddenly, Patrick shouted “Porcupine!”, and sure enough there was one on the road right in front of our truck. Our first porcupine ever! Moments later a second one ran across the road. It was beyond believe that we saw lions AND two porcupines on our very last game drive!
This was our 4th safari, and every trip has been the “best” in its own way. But no place has filled my heart like South Luangwa. The beauty of the land was stunning and animal sightings were exciting, but I think it was the guides that made our experience so special. It was a privilege to spend time with these soulful, smart and funny men. We can’t wait to go back again." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
Incidentally, we spent a night at the Mwamba Star Bed and loved it. It was pretty much a moonless night and we spent a long time just lying in bed looking up through the mosquito netting and the silhouette of the tree branches above to a spectacularly starry sky. Would do this again in a heartbeat." See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
"Three Nights at Mwamba in Early July"
A stunning sighting of herds of eland, wildebeest, and zebra together and a large breeding herd of roan antelope.
A bush camp that is taken down at the beginning of the rainy season and rebuilt in May of the following year!" See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 7n in Botswana
"Remote, wonderful Mwamba Bushcamp."
There is a good emphasis on photography: a photographers' hide overlooks a water hole on site from which I saw an elephant (I needed a wide angle to take the picture he was so close), and numerous birds and impala, and there are other hides a short drive away to visit. The open vehicles allow for unrestricted viewing and come equipped with camera pods for long lenses to rest on. The game drives and our walking safari rendered numerous sightings, with Andrew identifying sounds and tracking with expertise.
Lots of leopard, hyenas, lion (+ cubs), giraffe, Cookson's wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, mongoose, kudu and an eland. Plentiful bird sightings: fish eagles, hawks, vultures, storks, heron, ibis, snake eagles, Egyptian geese, lilac breasted rollers, blue eared starlings, love birds, ground hornbills and guinea fowl - wonderful! The night safaris allowed for late returns with sundowners supplied for the photogenic sunset stops.
My only recommendation would be to consider red filtering the night safari lights (photos easily corrected in a software programme) and I've found the animals don't seem to notice the lights as much. My thanks to our excellent hostess, Yvonne, and her attentive staff who on our penultimate night went to the trouble of preparing a romantic supper for us on a viewing platform lit up with candles and torches - a lot of work much appreciated.
Glorious experiences!" See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi; 2n in Zimbabwe
"We love Mwamba Bushcamp!"
We were also going to stay at the sister camp Kaingo so we chose to get away from the river routes and go inland while at Mwamba. This provided good sitings of Buffalo, Wildebeest and Eland and we were fortunate to follow the Mwamba-Kaingo pride over a two day period as they pursued a head of Buffalo. We had Sylvester (Sly) as our guide and benefitted from his deep understanding of the wildlife and his uncanny ability to predict its behaviour!
Shenton Safaris offer the opportunity to walk between Mwamba and Kaingo and we would recommend this option - we saw plenty of game - including the Mwambe-Kaingo pride - a different experience when on foot - and we may have walked off some off the excellent food!" See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
"Still a favourite after all these years..."
Chalets now have charging stations of their own (as well as a fan, which I didn't use) but haven't lost their rustic allure. Sly was, once again, a reliably strong guide with a nose for leopards (we saw seven different ones in three days).
Sighting highlights also included large herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as lions hunting and feasting." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Mwamba Bushcamp review"
"Mwamba Bush Camp Review"
Sylvester was a great guide, but the best experience came in replacing an early morning a drive with session in the hide.
The proximity of the animals, including the mud sprayed from an elephant having a mud bath, was unbelievable." See all these reviews: 5n in Zambia; 3n in Rwanda
"Experience Africa in a Unique Setting"
The hosts, Lindsey and Craig, were so very pleasant and helpful and provided such a delightful experience in the wilds of Zambia. The guide, Sandy, showed us some lovely terrain on safari and the wildlife was everywhere. We experience hundreds of Cape Buffalo running to the river for a drink one day.
Many elephants and impala, baboons and vervet monkeys were seen around the camp. The location seemed to be on many of the animals normal route so wildlife were frequently seen. We really enjoyed the hide as a way to view the animals and birds in close proximity without disturbing their behavior.
All of the staff were very accommodating, helpful and so polite. You just felt very welcome from the moment you arrived.
We enjoyed the story about how every year this camp is completely dismantled at the end of the safari season when it begins to rain and then rebuilt from scratch in the dry season. It was very comfortable and showering and sleeping under the stars in the privacy of our chalet was a delightful experience. The food was very good and we had no problems with eating even fresh produce." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
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