Reviews of Mwamba Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
After a river crossing by canoe we were met by Vickson for the drive in. On arrival we were enthusiastically greeted by Izzy, who helped us settle in. Our first activity was a visit to the water hole hide, just beside our hut/chalet. In this particularly dry year there was plenty of game - elephants drinking and bathing, impala, and the shy kudu, as well as all the birds, and the ever-present baboons. That same day the afternoon game drive brought us face to face with buffalo, giraffe, zebra and lots of birds.
Animal encounters were more than just those viewed from a vehicle or hide. One night we were kept awake by the deep breathing of the elephant, which chose to doze right outside our chalet. In fact we didn't get our usual bucket of hot water for the shower that morning, as the elephant was still in the way! And we will never forget the bushbuck that almost joined us for lunch on our veranda one day.
The guides and scouts/spotters at Mwamba deserve special mention. Meyam and Vickson are just so knowledgeable, and impart that expertise with such good humour, always making it seem fresh to them every time even though they must have seen many of the sights and activities day after day.
Animals and birds loved the Mwamba Hide
We had great game viewing at Mwamba both on walking and vehicle safaris. Our guide from Kaingo came with us and continued to excel. A highlight was the hide in the Mwamba camp. Great birds every morning and and an amazing afternoon when 300 buffalo arrived just before a heard of elephants. Pushing, shoving ,trumpeting till the elephants won, the hippo slept though it while the fish eagle just continued catching fish. We also saw very young Hyena and lion cubs on drives
The location of the tents were great and we loved the en suite facilities. the rooms were good but ours got hot in the middle of the day. We loved a shared lunch watching the animals especially the elephant visitors to camp.
The food like Kaingo was great and just came coming. Its a good job we were doing a daily working safari. Dinners around the the table at night were always enjoyable The camp was very friendly and well run.
If possible better than Kaingo
At Mwamba you feel even more than at Kaingo that you're truly in the bush. It has to do with the unique way the huts are constructed and their open air showers. The huts may be basic but they are certainly comfortable and there is plenty of hot water.
I really appreciated the hide built above the water hole. I saw plenty of wildlife from the hide as well as birds including the very beautiful Lillian's lovebirds. I also have to say it was a great pleasure to visit the Carmine Bee eater's hide,
The manager Marlene is a wonderful person who couldn't be kinder or more helpful. Furthermore she loves the bush and is well liked and respected by all of her staff.
I loved walking at Mwamba. We usually walked for three and a half hours each morning which includes my initial walk from Kaingo to Mwamba. I discovered that sometimes you see more wildlife walking than from the vehicle. My guides Andy and Patrick are without a doubt some of the best and most experienced in South Luangwa National Park or anywhere in Africa for that matter.
It is also true of my guide Meyam at Kaingo Camp. I have to say that Patrick is one of the funniest people that I've ever met; I was constantly cracking up.
The night drives were also superb. I finally saw a serval which has long been on my list of dream animals. I also saw two honey badgers, more leopards and a pride of lions tearing apart a zebra. I will definitely return to South Luangwa National Park.
Bushcamp luxury at Mwamba
Mwamba is a very special place, and this year's improvements - new decorations in the rooms and excellent food (on par with Kaingo) - make it feel much more luxurious than the tag "bushcamp" suggests.
As at Kaingo, excellent game viewing and guiding.
Great safari at Mwamba
The Bushcamp was in a fantastic location - we walked there from Kaingo, and as we approached Mwamba it was amazing to think we would be staying there. As with Kaingo, the food and hospitality were brilliant. It was especially good to keep the same guide (Yorum) for the two camps. Not only was he brilliant, but it meant that he knew what we had already seen and had already been told about.
The drives were great. Highlights were seeing lions with their young cubs. The camp felt a 'real' bush experience - especially the night we were all woken by the hyenas howling just outside our door! Cannot fault the camp at all.
Great guiding/cats galore-- staff on leave ?
Grading the aspects of location/rooms of Mwamba is somewhat misleading. It is a bushcamp to the riverside Kaingo. It has everything a bushcamp needs.
The one real downgrade was the food. Although we believe still cooking over wood--- an achievement in itself-- we wondered whether the absence of camp hostess Lorraine and the head cook at Mwamba, at the same time as the Shentons from Kaingo had an effect. This in spite of heroic efforts by Izzy and particularly Evonne to cover. It is impossible for 2 to cover the work of 4 hostesses without minor cracks showing in a usually flawless environment.
As it happened for us it was more than made up by the way the guiding allocation turned out. Another family wanted primarily to drive and were allocated an excellent driver/guide from Kaingo.
This left us with the camps chief guide+scout for 4days which for us with complete walking/driving freedom was ideal with outstanding game viewing. Our thanks to Evonne/Izzy for sorting the last morning's guide allocation and to Manem/Gabriel/Peter for being brilliant guides.
Mwamba Bushcamp review
A truly wild experience, total silence apart from the birds & animals. Amazing food produced from a bush kitchen. We even had
A picnic lunch down by a lagoon watching all the comings & goings of the bush.
Our guide was very knowledgable about all aspects of our surroundings and we had the same guide for our 4 nights at kaingo
And 3 at Mwamba which was nice. Rooms great but bucket shower water did run out before we had finished because we often only had 1 bucket of water delivered instead of 2 so had a bracing cold rince.
Leopards galore at Mwamba
We spent two nights at Mwamba. They really should rename this place Leopard camp. We saw at least one leopard on every single game drive from Mwamba. On one night drive we had six separate leopard sightings. Our guide (Patrick) was excellent. He made a point of showing us some of the smaller animals (eg a chameleon) and birds as well as the big cats. We really appreciated this and it certainly makes the game drives much more interesting. Night drives here were excellent with several honey badger sightings.
The hide at Mwamba is brilliant (much better than any other hide we were in during our trip). It is right by a waterhole and it is the only water for quite a considerable distance so attracts a huge variety of animal and bird life during the dry season. We saw 3 lions, impala, bushbuck, fish eagles, sparrowhawk, lovebirds, lilac breasted rollers, plus many other species of birds.
The rooms here are fairly basic and the insect life is extremely prolific. If you can't deal with bugs then choose somewhere else to stay. We were there in October at the end of the dry season and the rooms got incredibly hot - we didn't get a lot of sleep as it was just too warm. If you are staying here during the hottest part of the year then bring a sarong with you that you can wet and sleep under - they were provided in some of the other camps and it makes such a difference. The food was simple but perfectly edible (note that if you stay at the sister camp, Kaingo, you get the same dishes there).
Mwamba is a fantastic camp, small and homely, where almost everything is outdoor: the bathroom, the bar, the dining room... It really blends in with the bush, without depriving guests of their comfort - we found the chalets rather spacious and well designed, the service was very attentive and the food was amazing for the location (fantastic eggs benedict one morning, how does the chef manage this, I wonder!)
Our stay was made even better by our hospitable and caring host Brent, who is also an excellent and very intuitive guide. Together with our armed scout Gideon, they managed to spot teeny-weeny creatures such as chameleons and lizards in the black of night..! We had some great sightings and were lucky to spot a leopard every night of our stay.
Having previously stayed at Kaingo, Mwamba's sister camp, we walked the short distance between the two camps rather than transfer by jeep. Highly recommended. We were rewarded with the sighting, amongst others, of a honey badger (rarely seen during daytime) who was so intent on digging the ground that we were able to come extremely close and take some great shots.
Intimate, immersive experience at Mwamba
We arrived on foot after a leisurely and picturesque walk from Kaingo Camp. Our bags went separately by jeep. This was a lovely way to arrive with warm welcome from John and Henry. Izzy from Kaingo was there to introduce us to Brent our amazing guide and camp manager.
The camp really is tiny – 3 rondavels, rebuilt each year from reed and thatch. Each one is a reasonable distance from the other. The communal areas are all in the open air at the “front” of the camp. Lunch is taken on your terrace which in our case overlooked a dry river bed where there was plenty to see and watch.
Quite how the staff manage to produce such good food from the kitchen is a feat in itself. We found the food to be slightly better than that at Kaingo – difficult to say why. Laundry washed and returned each day. We felt very well looked after at Mwamba
The rondavels had solar lights, no sockets. This means no generator noise which helped the feeling of being immersed in nature. Brent took care of charging our camera batteries.
We had such great sightings and amazing experiences on these 4 days with Brent/Patrick at the wheel and Gideon in the jump seat. We had good company and good conversation around the dinner table and a surprise opportunity to catch up with Noelle from Kaingo one night. We also had some exciting times in the camp itself as an elephant invited himself to join us at dinner one night.
The “last waterhole” hide was productive most days but it was hot and so we were grateful for the coolbox of drinks down there. Given it’s such a small camp and that the hide is just “next door”, we appreciated the flexibility of being able to go straight after breakfast so we could come back before it got too hot. As well as getting the animals coming down to drink, there were some resident baboons and a myriad of birds who also came to drink. The smaller animals also attracted lions...
At Mwamba we found ourselves being very conscious of all aspects of the natural world and our place in it – it’s hard to describe but there is something very special about Mwamba and it makes a great combo with Kaingo.