Reviews of Nsefu
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Good team, shame about the mossies at Nsefu
This was our second RPS camp, and quite different in some aspects, in particular the rooms. The rondavels are very attractive to look at, and comfortably furnished, and pleasant in the daytime, albeit on the hot side.
At night time they were like pizza ovens infested by mosquitos, and we have never slept so badly on safari trips as here. We and other guests were bitten from head to toe, inspite of nets, insect repellent and the misnomered "Doom" knock out spray. The recently installed "Evening Breeze" airconditioning units made minimal difference, and were not worth a reputed $4,000 per unit. Traditional fans plus mosquito coils might have helped.
We heard from other sources that this is one of the oldest camps in South Luangwa, possibly having "listed" status, and that the waste water soakaways are too close to the accomodation, providing ideal breeding conditions for mosquitos. RPS really needs to bring in zip up tents here, with mosquito nets and fans to replace the rondavels.
This was the only negative aspect of our stay here, but left a lasting deep impression - sleep deprivation does not lead to an enjoyable visit.
The game viewing was excellent - all of the hoped for sightings, plus a fascinating night trail of a leopard invading the baboons "bunkhouse" to the sound of aggravated roaring! The hide attached to the camp provided excellent close views of leopard, warthog families and battling male impala.
Chris, our guide, had the knack of finding interesting situations - on a night drive picking up 6 lions organsing an ambush in a gulley for unsuspecting puku, and on a trip to the salt pans 2 hyenas taking a bath in the sulphur springs. His good humour with tired, mosquito bitten customers, was commendable. Braston, the knowledgable camp manager, led us on 2 fascinating walking safaris, dodging elephant families, and following a leopard and her cub at close quarters.
The food was of high standard, and imaginative - in particular the "Mongolian" meal - self-selected raw veggies, chicken, pork and beef, plus sauces/spices all mixed up and cooked in a skillet over a mopane wood fire by the chef, and eaten out in the open. Hannah, the hostess, treated us to a visit to the camp kitchens - basic, but spotlessly clean. She also created a wonderfully refreshing mid-morning pick me up - lemonade, ginger beer and angostura bitters, with loads of ice.
Robin Pope Safaris : Nsefu Camp
Very enjoyable and comfortable accommodation in rondavels close to the river. Standard of the guides excellent.
South Luangwa National Park cannot be bettered. Very good for walking safaris.
Once again a superb stay. Braston and the team did everything to make our stay memorable. Food and game drives were excellent.
However we felt that standards had dropped slightly in the last two years,Specifically:
Bathrooms and particularly basins were not as clean as they could be whilst bedrooms were immaculate.
On a number of occasions there were more than 4 guests per game viewing vehicle. This was put down to illness,shortage of staff etc. RPS has always prided themselves in keeping the numbers in vehicles to a minimum but we think this time they were stretching it a bit.
When suitcases come out of the transfer vehicles they are covered in dust. Surely they could be wrapped in covers to prevent this.
It is hoped that these are seen as positive criticism. Nsefu still is our favourite camp and has very high standards.
This was our first camp in South Luangwa. Although it was the oldest camp we thought it was delightful, our guide Thomas was lovely and obviously loved guiding and was so knowledgable.
It was a great start to our safari holiday.
We were very happy with the intimate set up of the camp and its wonderful position overlooking the river.The manager and the staff made us feel extremely welcome.We had a superb guide(Thomas) whose enthusiasm showed through repeatedly.The walking guide ( cannot remember name ) was also excellent - very knowledgeable and clearly thoroughly enjoys his job.Read more about the whole safari
Nsefu has a fantastic location on the bank of the Luangwa. I stayed for 4 night in late August, and there were always numerous hippos and crocodiles visible. The riverbank is a travel route for many animals, and it was common to see elephant, baboon, vervet monkeys, puku, impala, waterbuck, giraffe, from camp.
The camp also chooses to irrigate a lagoon adjacent to camp, which clearly helps to bring a great many animals to the camp vicinity during the dryer season. (I'm not sure how I felt about this -- great to view the animals, but the human-created waterhole was just slightly off-putting. It probably would have been fine if the water pipe had been hidden and I'd never known about the irrigation.)
I only participated in a few games drives, but I was impressed with the guiding. Chilumba, Brasston, and Thomas are all excellent guides. The hostess, Hannah, is young and has very limited experience. When the camp manager (Brasston) was on his days-off, Hannah seemed to have a bit more on her plate than she was accustomed to.
The rondavels at Nsefu definitely exceeded my expectations. 7x24 electric power was available in the rondavel through solar power (and because it was sunny throughout the day), and they've also got a cooling system for the bed area which was welcome on the hot nights. Food was ok. Overall, a very, very good camp.
Great friendly camp..Welcome addition of air conditioning .Again all staff relaxed and friendly. Our guide Thomas and Famton were brilliant and fun to be with. What was particularly memorable was that Hannah and her team organised a surprise sun downer by the river, they had gone earlier in the afternoon to set up the area....this made our stay there extra special.
The addition of a hide made for close viewings and you would never know what then came through camp. Minor fault was that the water seemed ( appeared ) tainted by rust so staining skin .
Excellent safari at Nsefu
We very much enjoyed our stay in the historic, beautifully modernised rondavels at this camp. Outstanding views over the river and excellent location for enjoying the wide variety of animals that visit the camp or cross the river nearby. First-class guiding from Chilumba who was happy to share his extensive knowledge with us, whether walking or driving.
Excellent sighting of game, including leopards, lions (and lots of cubs), large herds of buffalo, elephants, giraffes, zebra, etc - everything we hoped for. Good bird watching too.
Final return to Nsefu
This visit was our last visit to Nsefu (our 5th). Need we say more.
The guiding was as always first class with Thomas being very knowledgeable and helpful and giving us every opportunity to do things not done before such as Sunset at the Baobab forest, Sunrise on the Salt Plains with cooked breakfast by his capable hands and a successful trip to find the elusve Eland.
En route from Nkwali to Nsefu camp for our three night stay we saw a profusion of birds including a flock of Lilians's lovebird and some knob-billed(comb) ducks in flight. Also large groups of zebra, elephant and giraffe and three lionesses with a cub. On arrival we were greeted, at the reception area, by an elephant with a small infant which then moved towards our rondavel making us wait nearly an hour before being able to enter-- what a welcome!
Nsefu is a stunning location with the meandering river below and a small lagoon beside the bar area where one can see a regular parade of animals,small and large, at close quarters. The rondavels are snug but well appointed and the standard of food and service was excellent.
Our guide Thomas was attentive, informative and very personable. At our request we visited the salt springs, a marshy, savannah-like terrain served by a mineral spring which is home to masses of birds, particularly saddle-billed storks (over100),crowned cranes,francolin,ibis and circling vultures.Nearby a herd of over 500 buffalo completed the perfect scene.
One day at sunset we watched a leopard stalk and kill an impala only to be deprived of its prey by a marauding hyena. Our high expectations of Nsefu were more than fulfilled.