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Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp

Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp


12°59’30.0"S 31°34’39.3"E

Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp: Our full report

Robin Pope Safaris offers the only real mobile-camping option in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park.

Staying in their simple, but comfortable, mobile camps gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wilderness, connect with nature and discover the essence of this exceptional park entirely on foot, without resorting to a vehicle.

At the heart of a unique walking safari operated by Robin Pope Safaris (RPS), these mobile camps are set up in the remote far north of the South Luangwa, in an area of varied terrain close to the languid Mupamadzi River.

Each camp is “pitched” by an experienced team from RPS only when travellers are staying, and taken down immediately after they leave, making their environmental footprint exceptionally small. Yet their three walk-in tents are far from basic: proper, comfortable twin beds are draped in attractive throws; rush mats cover the sand floors; folding chairs and tables ensure that you have somewhere to sit and read, with a drink at hand.

Step outside and you’ll find a bush shower under the shade of a tree, with hot water on request; even the long-drop toilet is transformed by a regal-looking throne. The long-drop toilet and bucket shower are communal, but always clean and with a system that works well!

Meals are all taken in the open air, perhaps in the cool shade of a tree or – after dark – under the stars. There are no fences, so you can expect to hear and even see animals in camp, especially at night, when a national park scout will remain on watch throughout.

The camps themselves form part of an intimate seven-day set-departure itinerary , with a maximum of six people, led throughout by one highly trained and exceptionally knowledgeable guide. Each itinerary starts and ends at one of RPS’ permanent camps on the Luangwa River, with the central five days focused on the mobile camps.

Key to the appeal of these mobile camps is their wilderness setting, some 4–5 hours’ drive from RPS’ permanent camps within the park, well away from game-drive vehicles and in an area where the wildlife is not used to the presence of humans.

Walking in this environment – the raison d’être of the camps – can be truly thrilling for the adventurous-minded traveller. During the day, you'll walk with experienced guides, armed spotters and a “tea-bearer” – a member of the camp's staff who acts as another experienced pair of eyes, whilst carrying vital supplies of tea, coffee, cold drinks and delicious cakes for refreshment stops along the way. On the days when you change camps, the rest of the staff move on ahead to set up the camp for your arrival, transporting your luggage so that you are carrying just your camera and binoculars.

Typically you’ll follow the Mupamadzi River, sometimes fording its shallow waters – a delicious way to cool off as the temperature rises. Distances vary from 3km to 10km, but each walk will be at a leisurely pace, stopping frequently to watch and listen. Lunch is usually in camp before the second walk of the day, when the sun is losing its heat, then you’ll return to camp to freshen up in time to mull over the day’s adventures during dinner around the campfire.

Staying at these mobile camps during a walking safari highlights the African bush at its best: a live, sharp, spine-tingling experience that's hard to beat and very addictive. Be careful though: watching game from a vehicle may never be the same again!

Walking Safaris

Walking in the bush is totally different to game viewing from a vehicle – and it's not for everyone. If you want to “tick off” big-game animals, photograph them from close quarters and swiftly go from one large herd of game to the other, then walking is not for you.

You cannot approach animals as closely, or as easily, on foot as you can in a vehicle – but we guarantee you will learn more. You may start off a little sleepy from your early start, but you'll soon be on high alert. There are no noises except you and the wildlife, so everything you hear must be an animal, a bird, or an insect. With time, patience and a good guide, you can learn to interpret the sounds and secrets of the bush. You'll smell the presence of elephants, perhaps follow the honey-guide bird, and learn about animals from their spoor.

A morning's walk could be anything from 3km to 10km, and more like a nature ramble than a strenuous hike. Your guide might lead you to follow fresh tracks, or to sit under a tree to watch elephants bathing – deciding with the group at the time what looks most promising. With such small groups, these walks are always flexible; there are seldom pre-arranged routes or fixed plans.

If you find the prospect of walking in the bush a little daunting, that's a good sign. A healthy respect for wildlife is vital. Animals can be unpredictable and, occasionally, dangerous. However, the expert level of guiding on all these trips should reassure you. The Luangwa Valley has become the centre for walking safaris because of its stringent tests for guides, and the park rules that dictate that an armed game scout and a guide must accompany every group. It's one of the safest places to walk in Africa.

If you like the idea of fly-camping, but want a much shorter experience of this kind of trip, then consider slotting a night or two at an RPS Bushcamp into your itinerary.


Our view

Staying in RPS mobile safari camps as part of a walking safari is a brilliant way to experience the wilderness of the South Luangwa. Purely walking safaris don't suit everyone, so if luxury and four walls are a priority, it might be worth looking at some of our permanent tented camps in the national park. However, if you are looking for adventure in remote, untouched areas of the park, sleeping out under the stars, with no vehicles in sight, we would highly recommend this option.

Amanda Bond

Amanda Bond

Country manager: Zambia

Geographics

Location
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Ideal length of stay
Note that these trips run on set-date departures lasting either seven or nine nights.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Dining style
Group Meals
Dining locations
Outdoor Dining
Drinks included
Soft drinks, house wine and local spirits are included in the rates, but fine wines, champagne and imported spirits and liqueurs will be charged as extras.

Special interests

Solo Travel
Staying at an RPS mobile safari camp, as part of a walking safari, is a very social experience. With busy days, groups or no more than six like-minded travellers and no single-person supplements, these trips are perfect for solo travellers.
See ideas for Solo Travel in Zambia
Birdwatching
South Luangwa’s birding is varied and the guides on these mobile safaris are often "best in class", so you can expect them to be very knowledgeable about the birds, the plants, the animals, and almost everything else in the ecosystem.
See ideas for Birdwatching in Zambia
Walking safaris
Photographic walking safaris were pioneered in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley – where Robin Pope’s operation is la crème de la crème. It’s a trip for purists, who can expect great guiding and like-minded company from other enthusiasts of bush walking.
See ideas for Walking safaris in Zambia
Wildlife safaris
Immersed in nature, this temporary mobile walking camp offers the ultimate in a truly remote safari – a time to connect with the bush and the wildlife in one of Africa’s top safari areas, by simply walking around with an expert guide and naturalist.
See ideas for Wildlife safaris in Zambia
Walking
The main activity and key focus of this mobile camp is walking safaris. More an extended nature ramble than a route march or a gruelling hike, they'll stop to marvel at creatures great and small in the context of their natural environment.
See ideas for Walking in Zambia

Children

Attitude towards children
The minimum age would be 18 years old - and most participants will be in their 50s and 60s.
Generally recommended for children
No

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Robin Pope mobile

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Buffalo

100% success

Eland

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Lion

100% success

Roan antelope

100% success

Wildebeest

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Hippo

75% success

Spotted Hyena

75% success

Leopard

67% success

Giraffe

60% success

Wild dog

50% success

Sable antelope

33% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Communications

Communications
Camp staff and your guide can contact RPS head office when necessary.
TV & radio
None
Water supply
Transported in

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
All walks are accompanied by an armed scout, and a national-park scout is on duty throughout the night.
Fire safety

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Fly-camping

    Fly-camping

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
Not Possible

Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Tafika

Tafika

One of the best camps in Zambia, Tafika is naturally built, combining excellent service and food with top guiding skills for a superb wildlife experience.


98% (318 reviews)
Nkwali

Nkwali

On the banks of the Luangwa River, with its own access to the national park, the intimate Nkwali is open year round.


96% (239 reviews)
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

Small and owner-run, the riverside Kaingo occupies a a quiet but excellent game area, with a series of wildlife hides and a focus on photography.


97% (213 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% (192 reviews)
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

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


95% (154 reviews)
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

Small, remote and owner-run, Mwamba offers first-class walking, 4WD safari drives and superb hides, with excellent guides and a real bush feel.


99% (152 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.


98% (119 reviews)
Big Lagoon Camp

Big Lagoon Camp

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


98% (93 reviews)
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge is now the main office base for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations.


95% (78 reviews)
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

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


98% (74 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% (74 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.


99% (69 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% (65 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% (54 reviews)
Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge

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


96% (45 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% (29 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.


95% (26 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.


96% (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.


95% (20 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.


94% (18 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.


99% (16 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)
Three Rivers Camp

Three Rivers Camp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge sits at the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.


95% (13 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% (13 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)
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)
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.


97% (12 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.


95% (11 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)
Chamilandu Bushcamp

Chamilandu Bushcamp

A comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, in an area with a range of habitats to explore on foot and by 4WD.


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.


92% (5 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)
Shawa Luangwa Camp

Shawa Luangwa

Opened in June 2021, Shawa Luangwa Camp is a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.


93% (3 reviews)
Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Lodge

Currently undergoing renovations, Chichele Presidential Lodge stands high within the park, with superb views, and is due to reopen in late 2022.


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)
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 more traditional property in the South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.


No reviews yet

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