Reviews of Nkwali
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Robin Pope has now sold his major shareholding in Robin Pope safaris and several things were not the standard we had experienced before. Peopel said that he is still a director and has a large shareholding, but once somebody else holds over 50% of the shares overall control passes to them. (Robin himself seemed to be just the same as ever.)
For instance, the steps cut into the bank down to the river were positively dangerous, perhaps because it was the end of the season, but they were a disaster waiting to happen. If they had given me a spade for an hour I could have made them safe, that was how little it needed. Since the river channel has moved we found that Nkwali had lost some of its charisma, and game watching from camp in the afternoons across the river was less good than our previous visit.
The game viewing was excellent and we saw 15 giraffes mourning another. Our guide was very patient with us and happy to show us tiny creatures and plants. - he found us tiny chameleons, for example. There were elephants in the camp during the day and at night, which was very exciting. The food was very good, very plentiful, the rooms kept well-cleaned, and the staff found nothing too much trouble. All in all, we would recommend Nkwali to anyone.
We started well with an upgrade to the Luangwa Safari House with its splendid jetty!
Game watching from the jetty was already superb, especially the elephants. Our guide, Jacob, was absolutely excellent and extremely knowledgeable - we had very good fun with him and enjoyed his "hippo" laugh too!
The location on the river was again excellent. It was not really a problem that Nkwali is outside of the NP. The transfer across the river either by boat or across the pontoon added on occasions a certain 'frisson' to the journey and we had plenty of siting of wild animals even outside of the park. Highlights include many spectacular sightings of lions, leopards and even the rare view of a civet. We appreciated very much having Prince as our guide for the whole period. We also enjoyed our walking safari with Musambo and Jackson and Lazaro - very informative, close to nature and - as highlight - the close encounter with two warthogs.
The camp staff, in particular Rails and Kiki - were superb and couldn't do enough to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. We appreciated very much their flexibility to start the afternoon drive earlier so that we could benefit longer from the lovely afternoon light. We still think fondly of the surprise sundowner on our last evening!
The hut was lovely, very spacious and with a wonderful semi-open bathroom. The food was excellent throughout our stay.
All of the staff at this lodge were great - laid back, but very professional, helpful, and friendly. Spectacular leopard sightings, and very good lion sightings, as well as all other expected wildlife. Guides were very knowledgeable and respectful for the welfare of the wildlife.
Meals were excellent.
I would love to visit this lodge again.
Great location again staff and facilities outstanding. Guides first class.
The retutn trip by light aircraft was a great experience, and when we landed at 7.40am we were welcomed by a host of people trying to get us through departure (BA were going to close the departure desk prior to our arrival, however they did keep it open knowing that we were due to arrive shortly) at great speed!!
All worked well.
Excellent rooms, great location and a wonderful host.
The downsides were a slightly larger camp and the distance from the national park (but this can be rectified by use of the camp boat)
The food at Nkwali was exceptionally good - the best we experienced on our trip.
The only downside was the length of time getting into the park each time (either main gate or raft across the river). However the Nkwali management managed to circumvent this on two occasions by getting a boat directly across to a waiting car.
Highlights: Beautiful setting, elephants visiting the camp for a wallow on our first day, great leopard interaction on the last night drive.
Nkwali Camp has an established quality
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Nkwali Camp. The staff quickly adjusted to our delayed arrival, by immediately taking us on an evening game drive with Zebron as our knowledgeable guide. He was responsible for our first sightings of kudus, lions, leopards, and many other animals.
It was a real pleasure to meet Robin and Jo Pope at this camp. There also was an informative talk about wild dogs by naturalist Matt Decker, which we found very interesting.
Our room was very spacious and comfortable, and it was such fun to view the hippos in the river from our windows.
We were especially impressed when we were treated to special refreshments by Aurelia ("Rails") on the "sundowner" stop during our final evening game drive.
It was a wonderful place. the staff are so knowledgable and great fun. the atmosphere was quite informal and that suited us. The staff who work in the camp were excellent and I think it is a testament to the way Robin and Jo Pope run Nkwali - in fact it was just super.
We went on a number of walking safaris as well as in the jeep and it was just fascinating to learn so much about the animals in this regard. who would have thought that Lion Dung would be interesting!
I would highly recommend Nkwali as a destination - we didn't want to leave!
Nkwali was fun. Very lively and social.