Reviews of Mwamba Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Mwamba Bushcamp review
Mwamba was everything we had hoped for.Infact,it supplied all the ingedients that had been promised on the tin!
This unique experience started with a walk from the sister camp.We experienced elephant,buffalo,zebra and wilderbeest all at close quarters.The highlight being great photo opportunities of an eagle owl.
The camp was in a superb setting and you felt totally immersed in the bush.Elephant walk through here and often spend the night munching around the hut.One even invited himself to dinner,but was calmly and expertly dealt with by Patrick.We never had a dull moment during our stay.We walked each morning,encountering leopard and all the antics that go on when hyena steal its kill.A special sighting was watching a porcupine in broad daylight.
Every afternoon,we sat in the waterhole hide which was perfect for really trying to understand the behaviour of a variety of animals that regularly arrived .The morning we left ,a lion pride was just settling itself in a thicket near the water,s edge.
The nignt before we had listened to one of the males roaring for an hour;it certainly caused the heart to miss a beat.The excitement continued as an elephant decided to feed on the tree above our hut.
The highlight of our stay here had to be the camp out,sleeping under the stars with just a mosquito net betweenus and the bush.Surrounded by camp fires and a scout and Patrick close by we felt perfectly safe as lion settled down by the shore of the lagoon and hyenas scoured in clse proximity.We will definitely do this again when we return to Mwamba.We just hope that Zimba will be there to serve another superb breakfast after a long hike through the Baobab forest.
This camp was everthing we had come for.
Mwamba Bushcamp review
Guide and guard excellent
The water hole has excellent viewing
Even the elephant bumping my room in the middle of night didn't dampen my enthusiasm!!!!
Mwamba Bushcamp review
Mwamba camp was our favorite camp in Zambia!
Our guide Patrick was top notch and we were blessed to see a pride of lions attack and kill a buffalo from start to finish. Although it was hard to watch nature in action, the experience was amazing. We loved the remote location of the camp!
Mwamba Bushcamp Review
For a small Bushcamp, Mwamba proved to be an excellent accommodation and experience.
It was a pleasure to meet Brent Harris, the manager for Shenton Safaris
Fantastic game viewing
We spent four nights at Mwamba, following on from three at Kaingo.The two camps are very different from one another as Mwamba, with only three rooms, sits in the middle of the bush for the ultimate feeling of remoteness. It's marketed as a bushcamp but the level of accommodation and facilities make it more than that. Considering that this camp has to be rebuilt from scratch each year is testament to the commitment of Derek Shenton and his team.
The rooms have skylights which make it feel like you are sleeping under the stars and large outside bathrooms with bucket showers. The hot water supply has to be carried to the room on request but the process works well, you just need to plan ahead. The food was good, a bit more basic than at Kaingo but again this is a bushcamp, albeit a lot more luxurious than we had anticipated.
Our guide for the four days we stayed was Kennedy, who proved to be a fund of knowledge. The highlight of the stay had to be a group of some dozen hyenas fighting over the body of a young male lion which they had apparently killed during the night. What made this encounter the more amazing was the fact that the the dead lion's brothers and sisters were still in the vicinty and made repeated attempts to chase away the hyenas. To everyone's surprise, especially Kennedy's, one of the male lions even took to eating the remains of his brother, something that Kennedy had never witnessed before, nor had Derek Shenton when the story was relayed to him. Nature at its most cruel yet fascinating.
Overall a fantastic time spend at the Shenton's two camps, each camp complimenting the other perfectly for a true African bush experience.