Reviews of Tena Tena
Wildlife sightings and reviews
146 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Tena Tena and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Tena Tena review"
After experiencing a super-dedicated guide at another camp, we were a bit disappointed with the drives. Just driving around without stories isn´t that interesting. Stopping, listening and talking about the sticks in the road is part of being in the bush, too, and this was a bit neglected by our guide. Not having that many roads in that part of the park, this could have extended our experience. They are more cautious about off-road driving than in the south of the park, which is good! We didn´t meet any other cars on our drives, and you got a wonderful feeling of being alone out there on the drives.
Lovely and helpful people working there." See all these reviews: 5n in Zambia
"Tena Tena review"
When we arrived the host was on her break so James from Robin's house was with us and we mentioned that we would be grateful if we could have a car for just the three of us if at all possible, James said with five tents and three cars it should not be a problem. We did have the first evening drive on our own, but then we were with other people the rest of the time. We seemed to be allocated two Norwegian ladies, they said they were particularly interested in lions. On the second day two French gentlemen arrived and Bertram drove them over to the Nsefu area to see the pride of lions there, at this point we felt that they were having a gold star service and we were having bronze or silver.
There was an issue with a car breaking down on the second day, so we had to get someone out to push us and then we had to leave the car running when we stopped. This meant that there was a car short on the last morning, Helen did not come on this safari but the two Norwegian girls were sat behind Steve and I and talked for most of the time which was a disappointment for us. They went back to pack just after 9 and we stayed out. One questions, if there was a car to collect them, could we have actually gone out on our own to start with. With just five tents I thought five people in one car with the amount we paid for the holiday was disappointing especially when James had told us on arrival that a vehicle to ourselves should not have been a problem. The guide was good at Nsefu but was not careful driving as we were being scratched by branches and having to duck out of the way of them.
It was noticable that there seemed to be no urgency to get people out at six oclock in the morning and on both our walking and driving safari we were waiting for some time for the other guests to go back to their rooms which resulted in us leaving camp at 6.30 or later.
Ali the waiter was very good and was very good on our spot light on the evening safari and exremely well mannered and polite." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia
Robin Pope Safaris have also apologised for not explaining the game drive routes better to these guests. They informed us that they are careful to work within rough boundaries when on game drives in this area of the park in order to avoid guests visiting both Nsefu and Tena Tena safari camps driving over the same routes. In this instance, one guide broke these rules in order to take the French guests to see lions in Nsefus game drive area. But on the safari drives that these guests were on, the guide would have been careful not to take them into areas he knew they'd already been. Whilst Robin Pope Safari's reasons behind setting these rules are valid, it would have been much better to explain the situation to the guests once everyone knew where the lions could be found, and to offer them the option of making an informed decision over which direction they'd like to take their game drive in.
"Tena Tena review"
Everyone was very friendly, right down to the night watchmen who led us to our tents each night. We were accommodated in large, new tents with a bathroom that overlooked the river which was full of hippo pods. We had three separate guides, Chylomba, Nyambi and Julius and each, in turn, added to our knowledge. A special mention here for Nyambi who led us on a walk and particularly made us aware of the interdependence of all life in the park.
Unfortunately we had a couple sharing our stay who drank too much. A big thank you must go to Claire who handled the situation very well, even giving us a private dinner one night so that we could avoid the couple (the man was particularly overbearing and loud)." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Expertly run camp at Tena Tena"
It is a very interesting area,good for walking and game driving accompanied by knowedgeale,competent guides.Wonderful sightings of Eland herds and a magnificent Carm ine bee-eater colony." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Three day safari at new Tena Tena Camp"
The highlight of our three days was witnessing five lions swimming across the Luangwa river in morning light. Our guide said they usually cross at night and he had only witnessed such a swim twice in five years.
We also saw three male and one female lion on a buffalo kill, and another group of eight lionesses close to another kill.
The lions were taking advantage of the buffalos' weakened condition this time of year. All told, we must have seen nearly twenty lions near Tena Tena." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 6n in Zimbabwe
"Tena Tena review"
We received very good service in camp and some good guiding. We saw some memorable game including 5 lions crossing the river and wild dogs.
Food was excellent and the whole ambience in the camp was welcoming yet professional." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Tena Tena first encounter with hippos"
Wonderful setting on Luangwa River: our first encounter with hippos who munched grass round our tent all night. We felt really close to nature in our tent and loved the open air "bathroom" complete with tiny fly-catching frogs! The only snag was getting up in the night to go to the toilet - unzipping the tent in the dark was a bit off-putting! Breakfast round the camp fire in the morning was magic.
Lots of game on the drives including leopard, lions, giraffe and buffalo." See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia; 9n in Botswana
"Tena Tena Camp Safari experience"
The only current issue is with the location of the camp in that, over the years, the river has taken various different courses and currently the camp is not situation close to the river so the location is nice but it could be better situated by the river. That said they are in the process of moving the map and within 2/3 month it'll be in a new and better location. The general location of the camp is in a good area of the S Luangwa for game viewing and walks and also an ideal starting point for the Robin Pope Luangwa Bush camping." See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia
"Tena Tena review"
"Chance to relax after walking Safari at Tena."
Lots of diverse and wonderful views of a multitude of different wildlife." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
Holiday styles & special interests in Zambia
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zambia.
Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
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.
On the banks of the Luangwa River, with its own access to the national park, the intimate Nkwali is open year round.
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.
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.
Small, remote and owner-run, Mwamba offers first-class walking, 4WD safari drives and superb hides, with excellent guides and a real bush feel.
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.
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.
Kapani Lodge is now the main office base for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations.
A relatively big safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kafunta River Lodge
Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Luangwa National Park.
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.
Robin Pope bush-camp
RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
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.
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.
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.
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.
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.
Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.
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.
Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.
Currently undergoing renovations, Chichele Presidential Lodge stands high within the park, with superb views, and is due to reopen in late 2022.
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.
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.
Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.
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.