This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali

Reviews of Nkwali

Wildlife sightings and reviews

202 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Nkwali and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Wildlife sightings by our travellers
Starting in Apr-2018, 30 of our travellers have recorded their wildlife sightings at Nkwali.
Lion

90% success

Leopard

90% success

Wild dog

63% success

Hippo

100% success

Elephant

97% success

Giraffe

97% success

Zebra

96% success

Buffalo

82% success

Spotted Hyena

78% success

Wildebeest

20% success

Roan antelope

8% success

Sable antelope

4% success

Eland

4% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Showing 11-20 of 202
Duration
Arrival date
Drs L & B
Scotland

"Wonderful Nkwali"

2 nights Arrived 25 May 2019
"Staff were very friendly, relaxed and professional . Kiki was a perfect host supported by new arrival Ben ( who happened to come from 10 miles up the road from us at home!)
Perri , our guide was extremely knowledgeable and approachable. He made us feel at ease and relaxed about asking questions.
Our tented accommodation was luxurious and food “ top class”." See all these reviews: 6n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

Multiple sightings

Eland

Multiple sightings

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Hippo

Multiple sightings

Lion

Multiple sightings

Roan antelope

Multiple sightings

Spotted Hyena

Multiple sightings

Wildebeest

1 sighting

Zebra

Multiple sightings

Mr & Mrs C
Cornwall

"Returning for a 6th time to Nkwali"

6 nights Arrived 9 May 2019
"Nyambi was an excellent guide and we had some very good sightings, particularly of wild dogs, leopards and lions.

Staying at Nkwali was a pleasure." See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
D & M
Munich

"Nkwali fantastic as always"

10 nights Arrived 22 Mar 2019
"We just love everything about Nkwali. The people, the location, the guiding, the food, the chalets..... This was our 4th stay in 4 years time and we always stayed a longer period at least 7 nights there, which we would highly recommend. Then you can experience all the secrets of the area. For example during the dry season it is possible to explore the game management area around the camp where we had very special sighting exclusively for us because only RPS cars are allowed to drive there.

We enjoyed this time the Emerald season when the park is green and you have the feeling to have the park for yourself. The bird life is amazing and we found other wildlife sightings like leopards, wild dogs, lions with cubs, lots of elephants etc. The game is maybe a bit more difficult to spot in comparison to the dry season but in a park like the South Luangwa there is always still more that you could wish for. The high levels of the river and the morning boot drives into the park at sunrise have been out of this world. Just stunning!

We have to say a special thank to everybody from Nkwali. The whole team made this stay again unforgettable and it was so hard to leave. The atmosphere in the camp is very warmly, relaxed, cheerful. Thank you for all the new wrinkles because of laughing so hard :-)

The passion for wild life with all the incredible knowledge that all the staff has got is amazing. Guiding is hard to top. We have been very privileged to go with Kanga on our Safaris. We learned a lot from him observing carefully the nature. Now we understand again more how this precious and fragile ecosystem with all the plants and animals is working.

We are looking very much forward to our next time even when we have to wait till 2021. " See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

2 sightings

Elephant

10 sightings

Giraffe

10 sightings

Hippo

10 sightings

Leopard

9 sightings

Lion

6 sightings

Spotted Hyena

4 sightings

Wild dog

3 sightings

Wildebeest

2 sightings

Zebra

10 sightings

Mr & Mrs B
Colorado

"Nkwali Review"

1 night Arrived 16 Feb 2019
"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. " See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

1 sighting

Hippo

Multiple sightings

Leopard

2 sightings

Lion

2 sightings

Zebra

Multiple sightings

Mrs F.
London

"Nkwali Camp"

3 nights Arrived 11 Jan 2019
"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." See all these reviews: 8n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

3 sightings

Elephant

10 sightings

Giraffe

5 sightings

Hippo

6 sightings

Leopard

2 sightings

Lion

4 sightings

Spotted Hyena

3 sightings

Wild dog

2 sightings

Zebra

10 sightings

Mr K-Prof V
Michigan

"Fantastic Experience at Nkwali"

6 nights Arrived 22 Dec 2018
"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. " See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

1 sighting

Elephant

10 sightings

Giraffe

10 sightings

Hippo

10 sightings

Leopard

5 sightings

Lion

4 sightings

Spotted Hyena

3 sightings

Wild dog

1 sighting

Zebra

10 sightings

Mr E.
Zurich

"Adventurous trip by boat to the camp"

4 nights Arrived 24 Nov 2018
"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

" See all these reviews: 15n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Poor
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Sightings Report

Buffalo

3 sightings

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Hippo

Multiple sightings

Leopard

Multiple sightings

Lion

Multiple sightings

Spotted Hyena

1 sighting

Wild dog

1 sighting

Zebra

1 sighting

Carol M
Illinois

"Meet Wildlife Galore at Nkwali"

4 nights Arrived 18 Nov 2018
"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." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe; 10n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr T
Johannesburg

"Great 3 night stay"

3 nights Arrived 16 Nov 2018
"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!

" See all these reviews: 4n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs W
Middlesex

"Fantastic wildlife around Nkwali"

2 nights Arrived 19 Oct 2018
"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. " See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

10 sightings

Giraffe

10 sightings

Hippo

10 sightings

Leopard

6 sightings

Lion

2 sightings

Spotted Hyena

1 sighting

Zebra

4 sightings

Showing 11-20 of 202
96%
202 reviews of Nkwali by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
165
33
4
0
0
Filter by month

Holiday styles & special interests in Zambia

From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zambia.


Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Diverse habitats, discreet hides and superb guiding.

Cultural experiences

Cultural experiences

Get an insight into Africa's cultures and history.

Family holidays

Family holidays

Hand-picked camps for an incredible family safari.

Honeymoons

Honeymoons

Romantic safaris and castaway island retreats.

Luxury

Luxury

First-class service, scenic vistas and unparalleled comfort await you during these carefully selected luxury holidays. 

Photography holidays

Photography holidays

Great holidays to suit the keen photographer.

Private villas & houses

Private villas & houses

Enjoy Africa with just your friends & family

Riding holidays

Riding holidays

Explore Africa's wilderness on horseback.

Solo Travel

Solo Travel

Trip ideas ideally suited for a solo traveller.

Walking

Walking

Explore Africa's most scenic trails on foot.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris

Explore Africa's untouched wildernesses on foot.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Wellness escapes in stunning locations

Wildlife safaris

Wildlife safaris

These trips include hard-hitting game and fascinatingly elusive species alike, as well as superb guiding and a variety of diverse ecosystems.

Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Tafika

Tafika

Tafika is one of the best camps in Zambia: naturally built, with few apparent luxuries, but actually very high quality. Service and food are excellent, but the real focus is on top guiding skills and wildlife experience.


98% (274 reviews)
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp is a small, owner-run camp in a quiet but excellent game area of the Luangwa. Photographers will particularly appreciate the camp’s series of wildlife hides.


96% (188 reviews)
Nsefu

Nsefu

One of the Luangwa's oldest camps, Nsefu is a great safari camp in a remote, beautiful and game-rich location with top-rate guiding.


98% (166 reviews)
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

Tena Tena is one of the Luangwa's best camps in a beautiful location – it's very small, feels very remote and 'in the bush', is run exceedingly well and has top rate guiding.


95% (137 reviews)
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba is a small, fairly simple, owner-run bushcamp in an excellent game area. It offers first-class walking, 4WD safaris and great game hides; come for excellent guides and a real bush feel.


99% (126 reviews)
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp is an excellent small, rustic bushcamp that concentrates on walking safaris, and is run by a top-quality operation.


99% (105 reviews)
Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp is a great little rustic bushcamp built to high standards that focuses on excellent walking safaris, with the emphasis on top wildlife guides.


98% (82 reviews)
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

Just on the south-east side of the national park, Kapani Lodge is the base camp for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations. It's also a very solid safari camp that has retained lots of character, and runs very well indeed.


95% (80 reviews)
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

Set in a shady ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa, Mchenja is a smart tented bushcamp. It combines well with Kakuli and Nsolo – its sister camps with a focus on walking safaris.


98% (63 reviews)
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

Beside the Luangwa River, Kakuli is a comfortable tented bushcamp offering 4WD safaris and walking safaris – the best of which are camp-to-camp walks linking Kakuli with its nearby sister camps.


97% (62 reviews)
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

A relatively big but very good safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.


98% (61 reviews)
Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Lodge is a small and consciously stylish lodge in the Mfuwe area, overlooking the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park beyond – an area renowned for great game.


96% (60 reviews)
Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo is a small, comfortable bushcamp overlooking one or two pools in the usually dry Luwi riverbed. It concentrates on walking safaris in an interesting and diverse area, led by a knowledgeable guide.


97% (52 reviews)
Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Lunagwa National Park.


96% (39 reviews)
Luwi Bushcamp

Luwi Bushcamp

In a remote part of the South Luangwa National Park, Luwi is a rustic bushcamp whose emphasis is on walking safaris with great guiding and a chance of seeing some rarely seen and elusive antelope.


93% (38 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp

Robin Pope bush-camp

RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia


99% (25 reviews)
Lion Camp

Lion Camp

Lion Camp is an established and comfortable camp with a swimming pool, located near to the game-rich Lion Plain in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park.


94% (22 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

Robin Pope walking

A seven-day Robin Pope Walking Safari in South Luangwa National Park starts and finishes at a permanent camp, with five days walking between comfortable mobile camps.


98% (21 reviews)
Kapamba Bushcamp

Kapamba Bushcamp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.


94% (17 reviews)
Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House is a vast and very smart four-bedroom house specifically designed for families and small groups, and offering an exclusive and flexible safari experience.


100% (14 reviews)
Chinzombo

Chinzombo

Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.


98% (13 reviews)
Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.


98% (13 reviews)
Bilimungwe Bushcamp

Bilimungwe Bushcamp

A smart bushcamp with four very spacious chalets, Bilimungwe offers interesting walking safaris in pretty riverine woodland, as well as day and night safari drives.


95% (12 reviews)
Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village – beside the South Luangwa National Park, offers guests the rare opportunity to appreciate local village life. Visit for a few hours or stay overnight.


95% (11 reviews)
Robin's House

Robin's House

With your own expert guide, private vehicle, chef and valet, the two-bedroom Robin's House offers an exclusive, flexible safari experience – and is open year round.


94% (10 reviews)
Mfuwe Lodge

Mfuwe Lodge

In a game-rich area close to the South Luangwa’s main Mfuwe Gate, Mfuwe Lodge is relatively large by park standards, but it’s stylish, modern and family friendly.


90% (10 reviews)
Three Rivers Camp

Three Rivers Camp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge is being constructed by the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.


94% (10 reviews)
Island Bush Camp

Island Bush Camp

Island Bushcamp is a good-value, rustic, walking-only camp, in arguably one of the most remote parts of the South Luangwa, well away from all other camps.


100% (9 reviews)
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge is a luxurious designer camp set in a stunning location, high on a hill overlooking a floodplain within South Luangwa. Explore from here on 4WD safaris and walks.


93% (9 reviews)
Chindeni

Chindeni

Chindeni Bushcamp is a very modern and minimalist camp, which is a far cry from your traditional bushcamp and unlike most of the other camps in South Luangwa.


94% (7 reviews)
Chamilandu Bushcamp

Chamilandu Bushcamp

A very comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, with a range of habitats that can be explored on foot and by 4WD, day and night.


100% (5 reviews)
Mwamba Camp-out

Mwamba Camp-out

The Mwamba-Camp Out allows you to have an incredibly adventurous night in the bush, sleeping under mosquito nets with activities led by some of the best guides in Zambia.


90% (4 reviews)
Zungulila

Zungulila

Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.


93% (3 reviews)
Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Lodge

Chichele Presidential Lodge stands within the park on a hill with superb views. Its hotel-like, air-conditioned rooms and child-friendly attitude make it ideal for families or those who don't want to get too close to the bush outside.


100% (1 review)
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

For an adventurous night in South Luangwa National Park, come and sleep out in the bush, around a campfire, with an experienced guide and game scout.


100% (1 review)
Shawa Luangwa Camp

Shawa Camp

Due to open in June 2020, we’re expecting Shawa Luangwa Camp to be a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.


No reviews yet
Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.


No reviews yet
Chikunto Safari Lodge

Chikunto

Chikunto Safari Lodge is a new property in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa