Reviews of Nsefu
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
AS good as ever - out third visit here. Good guiding. Congratulations to Chulumeba, a new guide - good with birds. Very polite. Very hot +40 degrees. Daudi runs a good camp. Film crew were a little overpowering at evening drinks before dining, but did not mind our vehicle near theirs.
A chair in the bathroom would be a good idea.
Both Nsefu and Tena Tena were excellent and for me quieter - a bit more like the real bush.
I found all the activities well run and all the staff excellent.
Another great camp. Elephants clearly thought so too because they stayed outside our room for an hour. Fortunately we were in the bar at the time, in the company of four guides, and had to stay there until the elephants left...Read more about the whole safari
View from the room over the river was excellent with regular visitors including elephants coming down to drink.
Highlight was joining lions out on a hunt at night with good lion sightings most days.
No leopards was the only dissappointment
We walked fron Nsefu to Tena Tena which was an easy 3 1/2 hour stroll. This was interesting and made a nice change to the jeeps.
Nsefu has it all.
A really splendid location, great guiding, lovely accommodation and excellent service delivered without fanfare or fuss. Anyone who finds reason to complain should be fed to the lions! This is a top drawer camp.
Nseful - a perfect safari camp
The best of the Robin Pope camps - excellent location in the park with amazing views.
Only room for improvement is to make the shower floors less slippery and provide more screening around the toilet.
Very impressed throughout all Robin Pope camps with the quality of the guiding, the friendliness of the camp staff and the helpfulness of the hostesses (Harriet, Emma and Alice)
The most wonderful site with the perhaps best views we have had on any of our amazing African holidays!
We had a very warm welcome and saw excellent game. Our stand-in Manager Jason was brilliant and the hand over between Lucy and Alice was seemless.
Our favourite camp, Dowdy was a perfect host and his staff were exceptional. The setting of the camp was amazing and Sebastian was a fantastic guide.
A very close encounter with elephants in the camp was the highlight. Felt thoroughly comfortable in this expectionally well organised camp. Great stuff!
Nsefu had a bit of a different feel than some of the other bush camps I stayed since it was certainly a more substantial lodging with the rondavels.
The rondavels were smaller than other accommodations I had stayed in, but they were sufficient – certainly enough for me, and the bathrooms were more than adequate. Like the other camps, hot water was from on-demand water heaters and took a few minutes to heat up. I was cautioned to not use the tap water for drinking purposes, though it was fine for brushing one's teeth. There was a flush toilet, sink, and the usual amenities. A nice touch was the provision of Kikoys in the room to use on game drives or around camp. I used mine as a dust cover for my camera during the game drives, though I saw others around camp using them in more traditional roles as shawls or sun protection.
The beds were comfortable and the bedding sufficient for the temperature. There was a front porch with a couple of chairs and small table that looked out on the river. One very nice bonus was that the camp provided a selection of post cards (around 6) in the room and at the bar area, and they were happy to provide the postage and mail them free of charge. This is a very nice perk.
In addition to a covered dining area, there were a number of places to sit around camp with a view of the river, as well as, the bar/lounge area where we took afternoon tea. There was a spotting scope, comfortable furniture, books, the bar, and the charging station for any electronic devices. The generator ran for a few hours in the morning and evening which was when you could get things charged. There was a power strip with universal plugs.
Food was very good – especially the cakes for afternoon tea. Hosting was excellent. Lucy is very personable and diligent about looking after the comfort of the guests. She's also very good about anticipating the needs of the guests and trying to accommodate them as much as possible. For example, she noted my impatience with some of the guests I was sharing the game drive vehicle with as they tended to be 20-30 minutes late for every game drive. Since the camp wasn't full, Lucy was able to arrange a private game drive for me so that I didn't have to wait and had me join another vehicle on a different occasion when it looked like I was going to get another delayed start. She ran a pretty good dinner table, as well.
Guiding was excellent – there was a team of 3 guides at Nsefu, and they all seemed to work well together, and each was quite experienced and good trackers. They were quite amusing as well, as they told tales of guiding and the pranks they play on the caterers.
Game drive vehicles were the best out of the lodges I stayed at in S. Luangwa in my opinion. They use Landcruisers, but mostly in a configuration with only 2 rows of seats. This gives you quite a bit of room to maneuver on game drives. They also have the shelf instead of pockets in front of each seat, and provide bean bags.
Magic in the Bush
Our guide Braston was happy to accommodate all our requests. He was charming and thoughtful as were all the local guides and staff at the camp.
Regretabbly the hostess Lucy did not seem to have the gravitas that her position demanded. She lacked professionalism and was on occassions discourteous. We had a real issue with our visit to the African village and hopefully we will be able to discuss this with you Ellie.
(Watch out for the new marketing in the RobinPope brouchure published in August!!!)
Expert Africa comments
Robin Pope Safaris (RPS) tell us that they haven’t had any other complaints about Lucy this season. However they assured us that they would look into the matter, talk to Lucy and try to ensure that this kind of feedback is never repeated.
In regards to the village visit, the problem seems to have been a miscommunication. They asked Lucy if they should take anything to donate to Kawaza Village. She said, ‘no, just go and enjoy the experience’. However, they felt rude and guilty departing without leaving any donation or gift.
Until our conversation, they didn’t realise that when Kawaza Village takes in guests – the cost automatically includes a donation which partly goes to Kawaza, and partly to Project Luangwa. This is a far-reaching project which helps many villages, including Kawaza, and is supported by many of the Luangwa’s safari operators. (And, in addition to this, Expert Africa always refunds all of its commission on Kawaza bookings to Kawaza’s school fund at the end of the year.)
Nor were they told that RPS recommends that any donations are given to Project Luangwa – so the benefit can be spread amongst many local villages. Lucy and the RPS team have now discussed how they can make this clearer for future travellers. We’re sure that if this had been explained properly, these travellers wouldn’t have felt uncomfortable. Expert Africa, and the RPS team including Lucy, will try to do this much more clearly in future.
To read more about Project Luangwa click here.