This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp
Shawa Luangwa Camp

Shawa Luangwa Camp: Our full report

Opened in June 2021, Shawa Luangwa Camp is a small, eco-camp perched on the banks of Zambia's Luangwa River ...

... near to the wildlife-rich Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park. In a spot handpicked by head guide, Jacob Shawa, the camp has a strong focus on both guiding and sustainability. This commitment to reducing its environmental footprint is evident in the camp’s impressive solar farm, powering the camp and its all-electric fleet of custom game-drive LandCruisers.

Shawa Camp itself is original in architectural design, the main area is entirely open, with an exposed steel superstructure & a magnificent Natal mahogany shading its al-fresco dining area. Soaring ceilings, khaki metalwork & linear river-view decks give the place a relaxed, modern vibe somewhere between a New York loft & a boat club. It’s edgy but familiar & has its sights set firmly on the water ahead & the wildlife in the park beyond.

Shawa Luangwa has 5 canvas suites (two of which are interconnected by a 5m private walkway for families) are tucked deep into the riverine forest. Accessed up a flight of timber stairs, the distinctive, teepee-like en-suite tents are a first in safari camp design. Inspired by chimneys & built to funnel the hot air away on steamy days, they are both fun & functional. High ceilings, tent sides that open horizontally to create shade & offer lovely panoramic views of tree canopy & open timber decks, lend an immersive, treehouse feel to the experience. There’s a small toilet cubicle inside each tent, a sunken bath & a wonderful, hidden power shower on the deck (in fact, it’s perhaps the best bush shower in the Luangwa!). Deep mattresses, fine linen, a good breeze & sounds of the bush will lull you to sleep, & in the morning there’s a lovely deck to listen to the birds, watch the gentle, grey tree frogs & scan for lions & hippos on the riverbank opposite.

The entire camp runs on solar energy – with an impressive solar farm on-site – and Green Safaris are committed to environmentally responsible travel. As such, they were the first company to pioneer electric vehicles & boats in their Kafue camps, and they now operate an all-electric fleet at Shawa. The experience is magic – silent journeys in the wilderness allowing you to hear the guide at all times, to slow or stop to observe & photograph birds & animals without any disruption, & to listen to the sounds of the bush as you travel. After decades of game driving all over Africa, we were utterly captivated by ‘silent safari’ – it’s a game changer. Game drives are available day & night, as well as walking safaris with experienced guides and, seasonally, boating safaris.

The team at Shawa can arrange visits to community development projects run by Project Luangwa and are happy to invite wildlife researchers from Conservation South Luangwa to talk about the conservation initiatives taking place in the national park.

A stay at Shawa Camp combines well with either another camp further south in the Mfuwe sector of the South Luangwa, or with one or both of its sister camps in the Kafue National Park, Ila Safari Lodge and Chisa Busanga Camp, or with a trip to Lower Zambezi National Park.


Depending on specific needs, Shawa Luangwa may be suitable for disabled travellers. The main building has ramp access and guests can be accommodated in the front passenger seat of game drive vehicle. Staff are happy to assist any guest in accessing the vehicles. One tent is located close to the main building and has ramp access and the shower and toilet has sufficient space to work with a wheelchair, with shower chairs also available. It’s always worth discussing requirements in detail with us to establish if the camp is suitable.


Our view

The combination of the camp's prime location, original architecture, genuine focus on sustainability and good guiding, make this a super option in a wonderful area of the park for wildlife viewing. It’s the magic of their ‘silent safari’ electric vehicles that really turn Shawa Luangwa Camp into something extra special, and make a stay here such an incredible experience.

Megan Green

Megan Green

Zambia expert

Geographics

Location
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Ideal length of stay
We usually suggest a minimum stay at Shawa of three to four nights.
Directions
It’s an hour’s flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe International Airport, followed by a one hour road transfer to Shawa Camp, of which the last 30 minutes is in the lovely scenery of the Lupanda GMA.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
Meals at Shawa Luangwa Camp are generally served open-air terrace overlooking the Luangwa River. International cuisine from a daily set menu is served with all dietary requirements catered for with advance notice.

Dining is by individual seating, though guests are welcome to invite their guide or management to join them, and this frequently occurs. They are also welcomed to dine with other guests if they wish.
Dining style
Individual Tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
There are various dining locations and private dining is available on your tent deck.
Drinks included
Included, excluding premium brand drinks.

Children

Attitude towards children
Children of all ages are warmly welcomed, though it’s better suited to older children thanks to the height of the raised tent decks, open sides to the main area, and access to activities. For families, room valets are happy to babysit (though be aware that these are not qualifies childcare professionals) and there’s a nice pool for cooling dips in the middle of the day.
Property’s age restrictions
All ages can stay but families with children under 6 will need a private vehicle to do game drives, and as per park regulations, you must be over 12 years old to take part in walking safaris.
Special activities & services
Babysitting is available at Shawa Luangwa.
Two tents are connected by a private walkway to accommodate a family of 4 with older children.
Generally recommended for children
Shawa lodge has a funky, modern design, as well as a nice pool area and a firm focus on using modern technology to environmental sustainability, all of which will appeal likely to older children.
Notes
Beware of steep drops from open railings and beside water. Children must be supervised at all times.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Shawa Luangwa

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Shawa Luangwa 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

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Leopard

100% success

Lion

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Wild dog

33% success

Aardvark

0% success

Eland

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Roan antelope

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

Wildebeest

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
An impressive on-site solar field and battery bank powers the camp and vehicles.
Communications
WiFi is available and all Zambian phone networks receive signal here.
TV & radio
There is no radio or television at Shawa Camp.
Water supply notes
All toilets are modern, flush mechanism and Shawa Luangwa Camp has some of Zambia’s most powerful bush showers!

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
There is basic on-site first aid. A doctor can be called from Mfuwe, at a cost, if necessary.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
There is 24 hour security patrols around camp and guests will be escorted to and from their rooms to guard against unexpected wildlife encounters as the camp is unfenced.
Fire safety
Yes – fire extinguishers in all rooms and main area.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Laundry is complimentary for all-inclusive packages. Washing is air dried so takes at least 24 hours.
Accepted payment on location
Visa and Mastercard are accepted in camp.

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% (238 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% (191 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% (73 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% (68 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.


94% (25 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp

Robin Pope mobile

RPS mobile safari camps are at the heart of their set-itinerary walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, which start and finish at a permanent camp.


98% (24 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)
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

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa