Nkwali

Reviews of Nkwali

Excellent(96%) From 189 travellers
Excellent
154
Good
32
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 189 of our travellers who have visited Nkwali, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs B from Colorado
Arrived on: 16-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Nkwali Review

We had not planned on staying at Nkwali, but after being flooded out of Luangwa River Camp, we had an unexpected visit here. Robin Pope safari handled our transition and we felt well looked after. After having the other two camps completely to ourselves, being in a fully booked Nkwali Camp was a disappointment, and it was a shock to the system to be around so many people after such a wonderfully quiet week.

We loved the rooms at Nkwali, which are very open to the outdoors and beautifully appointed. Several other guests had visitors to their rooms including monkeys, bats, and lizards, but this is all part of the fun! The bathrooms are stunning, and ours had a tree growing through it. The pool area is very nice, overlooking Humphrey the hippo's territory.

Our guide at Nkwali was every bit as knowledgable as the other Robin Pope guides, and we enjoyed his expertise. Our host, Sorrel, was extremely personable and we thoroughly enjoyed our conversations. Like the other Robin Pope lodges, the food was delicious. The only thing that took away from our experience slightly was that the camp was so crowded that they did not have enough boats to bring us to our game drive vehicles at the same time, and on both excursions we were left behind to wait while the other groups got to go out earlier.

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Mrs F. from London
Arrived on: 11-Jan-2019 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

Nkwali Camp

This camp is so well situated for the South Luwanga NP as it is a short boat ride across the river. Despite it being the rainy season we saw an extraordinary amount of wildlife. My guide John was excellent most of my safaris were just the two of us. The evenings coming back in the dark were wonderful as we saw a leopard and three genets. I did not expect to see painted dogs nor as many lions.

The resident hippo, Humphrey, was out of the lagoon in the day and we saw a mother and baby hippo running along the riverbank in broad daylight too. A troope of baboons had a party in my room and left a bit of a mess but no harm done. I had been warned they might come in if I had food, which I didn't have but they came in anyway. There were footprints of hippo right outside my room too. Having the fourth wall of the chalet missing was a bit disconcerting!

Everyone was very attentive and helpful particularly because I was alone for half my stay. The meals were very good, always over generous and frequent! Again spacious room and everything provided. The public areas were interestingly designed and it is lovely being so close to the river.

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Mr K-Prof V from Michigan
Arrived on: 22-Dec-2018 Stayed for: 6 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic Experience at Nkwali

We spent 6 nights at Nkwali and would go back in a heartbeat.

The camp itself is located on the banks of the Luangwa River and is open to the local wildlife - including a resident Hippo that wanders the grounds at night. Because the camp is small enough to offer more intimate African experiences than the larger lodges it was the perfect place for us, who go to Africa to enjoy the wildlife, birds, and local people.

We started each day with a breakfast cooked over a campfire, then a game drive with a stop for tea in the park, lunch and a siesta back in camp, and an afternoon game drive with time for a "Sundowner" before a night drive back to camp. The game viewing in South Luangwa is among the best in Africa and the Nkwali guides are expert at their jobs. Since we are birders, we appreciated the fact that our guide was an expert in local birds as well.

Highlights included leopard sightings almost every day, lion, giraffe, elephant, zebra, lots of antelope, and over 100 species of birds.

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Mr E. from Zurich
Arrived on: 24-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Poor
Poor
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Adventurous trip by boat to the camp

Positive:
- fantastic animal sightings
- we loved the openness of the chalet
- Fred was an excellent driver and planner (avoided the heavy storm)
- Pretty location and deck with a great view

Negative:
- basic cleanliness could be better
- No apparent management: no personal welcoming card, no envelopes for the tipps, breakfast was always at the same place, no survey at the end, it did not seem to be a Robin Pope Camp
- The hosts uniform was not in a good state and often he wore his personal shirt

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Carol M from Illinois
Arrived on: 18-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Meet Wildlife Galore at Nkwali

Certainly a sojourn at Nkwali is a lesson in luxury. The chalets are spacious, well-equipped and beautifully situated along the Luangwa River, and they boast huge patios which are open to the outside but can be closed off at night and/or during inclement weather. All of the furniture and fixtures are of excellent quality, and there's plenty of storage space. I particularly liked having a desk and comfortable chair at which to write in my journal and on which to use my laptop for editing photos at the end of each day.

Breakfast was abundant, and lunch overlooking the lagoon (where Humphrey the Hippo resides) was always delicious and great fun. Dinners were diverse and excellent as well.

All members of the Nkwali staff whom I encountered were cheerful and ever responsive to the needs of the guests. No favor seemed too large to grant, and I was very grateful for the opportunity I was given to get a message from the camp to my family, with whom I'd been out of touch for far too many days.

Best of all was the wildlife I saw, thanks to the knowledge and determination of my guide, John. He made certain another guest and I found the Wild Dogs we were after and did everything but climb the tree himself to make sure I got good pictures of a Leopard ensconced on an upper limb. The list of animals -- including an incredible number of different birds -- I met up with at Nkwali is indeed long and largely due to John's experience, patience and skill.

A note of caution: The Baboons on the property are rambunctious and overly curious. It's best to keep all personal property well concealed and protected inside zipped-up bags.

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Mr T from Johannesburg
Arrived on: 16-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Great 3 night stay

We had an incredible weekend at Nkwali. All the staff were great and did everything they could to make our stay an absolute pleasure.

The biggest and more or less only real complaint was the lack of a canopy on the game vehicle. It's not uncommon to experience temperatures in the upper 30's, in that area. It was unbearably hot and to go on a game drive, twice a day with no shade was unspeakable. We stopped to watch an Impala give birth, which was just incredible, but it meant we were sitting in the searing heat (by 8am it was really hot) for half an hour with no escape from the harsh sun. It definitely put a dampener on the game drives, because by the end, we just wanted to get out of the sun and not stop and take everything in. Equally so in the afternoon. We just wanted to stop under a shady tree.

The rooms were great, very spacious and had everything you needed. All I can say is privacy is a bit of an issue. Fisherman in front of your hut and staff walking behind while you take a shower is a bit disconcerting. And when it rained (much celebrated to cool us down) the water pools under the toilet and is unavoidable when you have to use the loo. It just needs a little drain or something, so the water can flow out.

Everyone was great in setting up our private dining. The phenomenon that a lot of lodges insist on, making you co-dine with other guests and the rangers is really something that needs to be re looked. There is plenty of opportunity to mingle with other guests and staff if you want to, but I certainly don't want to be made to sit with a bunch of strangers and make small talk at meal times. I am there to share qualify time with friends and family and I just hate when the mingling is forced.

We had great game sightings, hyena on a kill with a leopard in the tree above. Impala giving birth, lions, buffalo and loads of ellies. Humphrey the resident hippo was a highlight and entertained us no end. The daily visits of ellies splashing in the water hole by the pool was so special. I would love to return to Nkwali after the rains to experience Luangwa when the river and pans are full and everything is green.

I would definitely recommend this lodge, but at the same time would warn about the no shade game drives!

The food was good. Our breakfast in the bush was a particular highlight. The secret is to keep it simple, but do simple well and the chef managed exactly this.

The pool was such a welcome relief. Pool towels were a bit lacking. Suggestion a lilo or pool pillow would have been great!

I really loved our weekend away! Thank you!

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Mr & Mrs W from Middlesex
Arrived on: 19-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic wildlife around Nkwali

Nkwali is a very friendly lodge with excellent food and accommodation and a spectacular view from the bar and rooms.

The dining area overlooks a pool where Humphrey the hippo spends his days. Our guide was lovely and took us to see the most fantastic wildlife.

Lots of leopards to see in the surrounding area and the transfer to Nsefu lodge which was partly on the Nkwali side of the river and partly on the other side was absolutely stunning.

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Mr E from Kenilworth
Arrived on: 3-Oct-2018 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

Great place to start from.

It was nice to see and be recognised by some old faces, the camp still has all its charm with some very localised wildlife in the adjacent lagoon, the game drives are excellent with wonderful guides enable one to see Lions and cubs, leopards, Giraffe, Impala, Puku,Elephants of course crossing the river even venturing into camp, with one in the Lagoon every day,Carmine Bee -eaters as well as all the other birds we saw Cranes doing their mating dance.
Food once again excellent.

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Mr & Mrs H from Camberley
Arrived on: 14-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great guides

On the first day we shared a jeep with someone who turned out to be a Birder. This meant we spent the morning focussed on birds and in the afternoon we switched to animals. clearly there had been previous conversations because at the end of the afternoon he was not happy and complained and I made the point that we wanted to see everything. they split us up the next day but in my view given his very clear bird orientation they should never have put us together in the first place. they had available staff.

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Mrs G from Oxon
Arrived on: 28-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Nkwali review

A lovely end to the holiday - felt very luxurious afterwards we bush camp

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