Reviews of Nkwali
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
See previous review [Ed: see below]Read more about the whole safari
South Luangwa in the emerald season! What could be finer?!
Nkwali is a very well run and comfortable camp. We have nothing but praise for everyone there who helped make our stay extremely pleasant and comfortable, especially the excellent and charming hostess, Christabelle. We were also very impressed with the quality of the guiding of Jacob in particular - and he was also a whole barrel of fun to be with.
February is, of course, 'off season' (and very few camps are open, as a result). But it is a truly fabulous time to visit South Luangwa, lush, green and with bags of bird and mammal activity. For fans of the latter, we had two good leopard sightings and both lions and painted dogs were seen by others while we were there; elephants and buffalo were around in abundance.
Together with its sister camp, Nkwali, strongly recommended.
Great walking from Nkwali
Kiki and Chilumbe were very welcoming and the game drives and walking exhilarating - it was quite something to be within about 50 yards or 11 (yes eleven) giraffes.
To see leopards and lions almost daily was quite a privilege for us' especially the lion up in the tree! The bird watching for us 2 enthusiastic amateurs was stupendous. The accommodation (Room6) was sumptuous and the food incredible, they even provided a candle lit private dinner for us on our last night - magical.
A superb location with masses of wildlife and excellent guide. Our guide (Obi) was with us on all our game drives - a wonderful person as well as being an excellent guide.
The pool was a nice bonus.
Nkwali is a well established camp in a great location and lovely views - which would be even better when the Luangwa river is nearer capacity. It is a friendly and welcoming camp especially for the elephants that visited the small lagoon on most days.
The guiding here is very good and our special thanks to Emmanuel and Jacob for giving us great sightings and photo opportunities. We were lucky enough to see several leopards as well as lions on each day of our stay. They were both very knowledgeable on birdlife which was a bonus to us.. However the highlight of our stay was a visit to a small lagoon where we saw lions, giraffe drinking, saddle-billed and marabou storks catching fish as well as three pelicans patrolling the decreasing water.
The only downside of the camp unfortunately was the frequent lack of water in our chalet. This culminated in one night when my wife was poorly and there was no water in the toilet cistern or anywhere else. The staff tried to rectify the situation but at midday the following day we had to use someone else's chalet to have a shower - unfortunately no one was on duty to help us.
A plus point was that there were never more than four guests to a vehicle which meant we were never over crowded. This is a good camp where we would have allocated higher marks if the water problem had not existed.
Top marks for management at Nkwali
This was our first taste of Robin Pope Safaris, which we discovered to be a very well managed operation. Although we arrived too late for lunch, due to pilot problems between Lusaka and Mfuwe, sandwiches and fruit had been saved for us. Daudi, the camp manager, gave us an informative welcome briefing, and quickly established our interests and aspirations. His attention to detail throughout our stay was impressive, as was the response of his team.
The accommodation was comfortable and traditional safari camp style, as cool as could be hoped for at the hottest time of year, and mosquito free (nets, insect repellent and knockdown sprays were provided). The location, close to the river bank, did ensure game viewing from the room, as well as a fairly noisy first night with a herd of elephant feeding off the trees by our room, and hippos having a disagreement outside!
The food was delicious and well presented, the bar well-stocked too, and we liked the system of drinks being included in the upfront price.
The camp is just outside the park, which meant taking a flat bottomed river boat from camp to leave/rejoin the vehicles in the middle of the day between game drives. Probably due to low water levels, being late in the dry season, our boat regularly stuck on the sand/mud, much to the amusement of the hippos and hungry looks of the crocodiles! Some dredging of the channel, or sticking to vehicle crossings, may be appropriate.
The vehicles were well-maintained open-top Toyota Land Cruisers - comfortable for passengers, and sturdy enough for all situations.
The game viewing was excellent - an abundance of elephant , buffalo and hippos, good leopard and lion observation, plenty of the smaller mammals and birds. Our guide, Emanuel, knew where to aim for, and spoke knowledgably about what we saw, plus retained a lively sense of humour.
A small irritant - the green branded Robin Pope Safaris water bottles which we were presented with were absolute rubbish - the neck valves leaked, causing soaking cameras and clothing, much to the amusement of those sporting water bottles from rivals, such as Lion Camp. Pull up your socks, RPS!
Robin Pope Safaris : Nkwali Camp
Very enjoyable and comfortable first experience of Robin Pope Safaris. Standard of the guides (in our case Emmanuel) excellent. South Luangwa National Park cannot be bettered.
Very good for walking safaris.
Too short a stay to tell very much
I was only there for a night, so can't really say a whole lot.
What I did experience was very good - excellent dinner, well run, friendly, efficient staff, and a very comfortable room.
Very enjoyable time at Thai camp and all the staff made us very welcome
Nothing was too much trouble
It was the busiest of they camps we went to for seeing other cars
Short safari stay on transit to distant camp
Made very welcome at the camp and throughout our short stay .
Very comfortable accommodation well appointed, however came back after game drive to find many baboons 'using' our room for many activities . Was not a problem as all our belongings fastened away as advised, but needs to be monitored.
Excellent game drives with Fred.
Loved the drums for wake up and meals.
Ideal when arriving early evening as not too far from airport.