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Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali
Nkwali

Reviews of Nkwali

Wildlife sightings and reviews

203 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, 31 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

97% success

Buffalo

83% success

Spotted Hyena

79% success

Wildebeest

23% success

Roan antelope

8% success

Sable antelope

4% success

Aardvark

4% success

Eland

4% success

Pangolin

0% success

Showing 41-50 of 203
Duration
Arrival date
Mrs & Mr G
Washington

"Nkwali"

5 nights Arrived 27 Feb 2018
"Rooms: Open to the elements and wildlife/bugs at all times. Hippo deterrent pulled across the front of the room at night but still open at night at the top. No screens. There are no areas to place clothing in order to unpack except for 2 shelves on each side of the room. There are 4 hangers with 2 being used for robes. Bathroom has a huge shower with 2 shower heads and plenty of hot water. Monkeys and others can get in via wall surrounding shower area. There is remodeling taking place to the bathrooms in each room. The room was adequate but very poor as one had to live out of their suitcase due to lack of a wardrobe. Didn't appreciate baboon spider in the room!

We were able to use our CPAPs but we were surprised that the plugs were British 3 prong plugs. Everything we had read was that Zambia used South African plugs. We were able to use a converter plug provided by host Michael. It might be important to let folks know about the British style plugs! We never found any distilled water.

Service: Very attentive at meals, during activities and in general. Not happy with the way the last day in camp went (see below). We were very surprised to be met at the Lusaka airport by a Robin Pope Safari representative who made sure we were all checked in for the continuing flight to Mfue. What a nice surprise for us.

Food: Breakfast was in the bar area and cooked over an open fire. Good variety of food to include eggs cooked to order, porridge, cereal and fruit. Lunch was in dining area and was a buffet of local dishes to include hot food and salads. Dinner was in the same dining area with dinner being served individually with out asking if one wanted specific items and portions as it was doled out in the kitchen and placed in front of each guest. Dinner was very much a meat and potatoes fare as if catering European meals.

Activities: We went on one of two roads for our drives the five days we were there. Viewing was from a single road through the national park. We did leave camp to drive to the main gate of the park as there were lions seen with a kill. The guides we had, Johnny and Jobi, were very good and very patient. They were very good at spotting animals in the bush like chameleons! We saw Genet almost every day. They were also very good at identifying birds! The night drives revealed very little and should have been cancelled.

Issues we encountered:
1)one afternoon while out on a game drive the clouds were building in front of us. My husband (a pilot) kept telling our guides, that we were in for a storm and time to put ponchos on and seek shelter. They did not listen; we got our own ponchos on and the skies opened up with thunder, lightening, wind and driving rain. Pat was soaked to her skin in spite of a poncho. She said the rain pelting her arms and face hurt so much so that we wondered if there was ice in the rain. The guide, Johhny, was driving and picked up speed. At one point the back end of the car was slipping in the mud and there were visions in Pat's head of dying in a flipped over car in Zambia! We ended up at Chichele Presidential Lodge. Others from our camp were already there as their car had no lid on it (their request) yet they were not soaked to the bone as they beat the storm by one minute to the lodge . We ended up having sundowners in the lodge. This was not a good game drive!

2) We had very heavy rains which we know are normal for the time of year we visited. It was very interesting to watch the river rise and to watch the current change to extremely swift with large trees floating by. The camp used an aluminum boat with 13 seats and one 60 hp engine. As the river became higher and swifter the crossings over to the park were becoming dangerous, especially the return from the afternoon/ night drives. It meant returning back across the river in the dark. The last evening we were there was the worst crossing. There were 11 adults in the boat, including the driver and a staff member (Micheal) holding a torch (flashlight) to see what was in the water. The engine was laboring as we were overloaded (was told we were okay as there are 13 seats in the boat!) and the current was trying to push the boat sideways down river. We thought if the engine quit the boat would end up down stream or worse capsized.

Pat addressed our concerns about the lack of safety measures that were in place with hosts Michael and Kiki. She brought up the subject first with Kiki by stating there should be a "kicker" engine on the boat should the main engine fail. He was very sarcastic with his comments by asking if all boats in America have 2 engines. We explained that we are boat people and yes, boats which ply waters with tides and currents do indeed have 2 engines. He then said "this only happens two or three times a year". He stated that the boat was not overloaded as there were 13 seats. We informed him load is based on weight not seats. He also said there were paddles on the boat. which we were surprised about as no one mentioned it previously. He said there were two paddles, one for the driver and one for another staff member. We said there was no way that boat would be able to be paddled in those waters. He said the paddles would be used for steering! He also said they only encountered this kind of situation a couple times a year. We mentioned it only takes one capsizing to have a disastrous ending for guests and for Robin Pope Safaris.
And then there is the issue of life vests. There was one on each chair that were in pretty sad condition. While all the guests wore life vests the staff did not. They did not fit well enough to buckle and some of the buckles were missing.
This boat transportation is a disaster looking to happen. Someone needs to pay attention and review the issues with crossing the S. Luangwa River.

3) Our last day at camp did not end very well. We were booked on a flight at 1740 that afternoon. After breakfast, Michael, came to us and said we needed to vacate our lodge as they needed it for a couple coming in who were sick and might need a doctor. Michael jokingly said perhaps one of the British couples, who were leaving on the same flight, might want to share their lodge with us. At which point the British couple were apoplectic about having to share their lodge with an American couple! We quickly packed our bags and were out of our room by 10a. We saw the couple who was supposedly sick arrive in the camp. When they arrived they were at the bar having a beverage, went to our/their lodge and returned later to go on a safari drive. Guess they were not very sick! We sat in the main camp area, by the bar, with our baggage until our van transportation left the camp at 1600.

As you can imagine this camp was an experience we would rather forget. The camp had 7 British individuals who basically turned their backs on us at meal time. One of them got stuck with riding with us in our vehicle on a game drive. She later told Scott that we weren't so bad after all. Really? The individuals were seasoned safari folk with some having been to the Robin Pope Safari camps 7-9 times. They even mentioned Claire at Expert Africa's London office who did their bookings.

Sadly we would not recommend this lodge to anyone based on our experiences." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 6n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Service:
Good
Activities:
Terrible
Rooms:
Poor
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Average
Prof & Mrs C
Derbys

"Nkwali review"

16 nights Arrived 17 Jan 2018
"As always we were very well looked after. Nothing is ever too much trouble.

The guides are still very well trained and ever willing to discuss the days programme." See all these reviews: 16n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

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

"Lovely Nkwali"

8 nights Arrived 5 Nov 2017
"This is our 3rd visit to Nkwali in 2 years. We love this camp! The location, the kind how the camp is managed with so much love and enthusiasm which you can feel as a guest all the time. The hole staff is cordial, attentive, superb. The atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful. For us one of the reasons we fell in love. The guiding was outstanding. Full of passion, with so much respect for the nature, the unbelievable knowledge about animals, plants... as we stayed 9 night we had the chance to learn a lot of the interaction between animals and the ecosystem of the South Luangwa in general.
The game management area where Nkwali is located offers very good opportunities for wildlife sightings and you will not find many other cars because its Robin Popes property. In the National Park where you get via Pontoon or by boat is is maybe a bit more busy than the areas deep in the park like Nsefu. But it is still possible to avoid too many cars if you tell your guide that you don't like it. We had also leopards , wild dogs etc. just for ourselves but than you have to skip some of the leopards (which are plenty) or the lions. All in all we recommend Nkwali a lot and are looking forward to return as soon as possible." See all these reviews: 20n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mrs K
Florida

"Wonderful!"

3 nights Arrived 30 Oct 2017
"The camp was intimate and casual, but all our needs were beautifully met. The bungalows are very comfortable, and open to the river which is really nice. (Within hours of arriving, a hippo strolled by - within feet of our porch - on his way to the river!) The open shower is fun.

The food was delicious, especially the flaky croissants and vegetable tarts, and served in an open air dining pavillion. A small lagoon is next to the dining pavilion, and a hippo usually hangs out there - except for the afternoon that an elephant stood in the lagoon having a drink! The monkeys joined us for breakfast.

Game drives with Kiki were amazing - elephants, lions, lionesses & cubs, giraffes, hyena, leopards, wild dogs - every day something new.

From now on, when I can't sleep I will imagine the wonderful sounds of night at the camp." See all these reviews: 3n in Zambia; 2n in Zimbabwe
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Mr E
Kenilworth

"Great place to start from."

3 nights Arrived 1 Oct 2017
"Had some fantastic sightings of animals and birds,the guiding was excellent.
All of the staff were very friendly and went about their jobs in a very professional manner.
The meals were excellent along with the beverage." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs TC
Thurlby

"Great start to our wonderful Safari holiday"

2 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2017
"This camp was the first stop on our Safari and we were greeted by Shannon, Fred and the team. We were made to feel very welcome and we found the camp staff and fellow visitors very friendly.

We had done a lot of research before choosing Expert Africa who advised us to travel to the Robin Pope camps and we were not disappointed, rather we found the experience exceeded our expectations.

We went on Safari both day and night with Fred who was very knowledgeable and we saw a great variety of wildlife. Food was great and was better than we expected and the informality of the camp suited us very much.

We would recommend commencing a safari experience at this camp." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs L
Surrey

"Great game drives at Nkwali"

3 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2017
"Our guide, Fred, and our hostess, Shannon, were so helpful and knowledgeable and the staff were great. We had some amazing game drives and took many photos. Watching the Leopard pull its prey along a dry river back to a tree will stay with us for ever. Seeing the way the vultures (50+) climbed over each other at another kill was also pretty amazing.

Hints for visitors -

- Hat and long sleeves need to be at hand for the drive from the airport at midday in an open vehicle. It was very hot.

- The pool edge is very slippery with wet feet.

- Be prepared for the very early starts in the morning" See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Mrs N
Chicago

"What a place!"

3 nights Arrived 17 Aug 2017
"The camp itself look like you just fell into a page of paradise from a magazine! The main area is built around a tree facing the river that give you a continuous view of all kinds of animals. From there, we saw Giraffes and herd of elephants crossing, hippopotamus resting and singing, monkeys and crocodiles... There is also a pool facing a pond where we saw an enormous kind of lizard, and amazing some birds fishing. The place is really nice and we really enjoyed the open cottages. The highlights were the visit one afternoon of a herd of elephants (very destructive but unbelievable to watch) , the singing of a birthday song to our daughter for her birthday by the entire staff (beautiful), a play that was performed one afternoon and of course the fantastic drives with Fred our guide. We witnessed such amazing things . His patience and understanding of animals behavior got us to witness an amazing site: a leopard calling her two babies to go to her kill. The purring of the babies was amazing. the sitting of all kind of animals everyday was such a treat.
Great place, highly recommended." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs C
Bucks

"Exceeded expectations!"

3 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2017
"I had been a bit apprehensive about Nkwali as it is outside the national park and fairly close to Mfuwe. However it was a delightful camp and the wildlife was excellent as were the guides and camp staff led by Kiki. We were very lucky to see a leopard kill on a night drive thanks to the tracking skills of Chris.


The river crossing by pontoon and boat added to the overall experience.


We stayed (randomly as not requested) in the honeymoon suite and this was spacious and delightful." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Ms S & Mr K
USA

"Finally Wild Dogs at Nkwali"

2 nights Arrived 27 May 2017
"Highlight-seeing a pack of wild dogs-thank you Kiki for your patience and making our trip so memorable!

Beautiful camp and setting. Highly recommend -it will not disappoint." See all these reviews: 6n in Malawi; 5n in Botswana; 5n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 41-50 of 203
96%
203 reviews of Nkwali by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
166
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4
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0
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