Reviews of Tena Tena
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Luxury Camping at Tena Tena.
Unlike any previous camping experience! The tents, their privacy, their beautiful outlook over the Luangwa river and open air en suite bathroom facilities were jaw-droppingly stunning! One of our 18 year old son's highlights was being ensconced on the loo, whilst a hippo ambles past almost within touching distance, but thankfully the other side of the albeit low wall!
This camp was magical. The bar, dining area and breakfast area on the riverbank were stunningly beautiful, but the critical factor that enabled us to enjoy this camp and its location so much was the staff; attentive, caring, professional and great fun. Special mention for Jessica, our host, who was superb on every level and whose company we enjoyed immensely.
Ultimately its all about the wildlife though and we are indebted to the patience, skill, knowledge and great humour of Nyambe, our guide for 3 days. The game drive and walking safari experiences were humbling, enthralling, extraordinary and basically beyond my range of superlatives.
So many incredible moments, but champagne on ice on the riverbank, watching baby hippos perfecting synchronised swimming moves, as the sun set, was special.
Tena Tena review
Tena Tena a Robin Pope camp has been recently moved to a new location. The camp is new and clean with a wonderful staff.
Large prides of lions are easily seen. The highlight of the camp was watching a group of five lions eating a cape buffalo. I would highly recommend Robin Pope camps with a well run staff.
Spectacular Night Drives at Tena Tena
This is a new camp that replaced the original in 2012. Consequently everything is new and many of the photographs on the Internet are of the old camp and are not representative of the new one. We felt that the camp suffers somewhat from being too far away from the water compared with several of the other camps we visited. Viewing life on the water from the camp was therefore impractable.
Again like its sister camp Nsefu, we saw two leopards every day and an array of other animals but the lions evaded us.
The outstanding part of the game drives was at night when a wide range of nocturnal animals could be seen.
This was a pleasant stay worth doing in conjunction with its sister camp Nsefu.
Not your average tent camp
Tena Tena was the third stop on our trip to South Luangwa, and the staff, the food and the location were just as excellent as they had been at Nsefu and Nkwali. Tena Tena felt more private than the other two camps. The tents are spaced very generously along the river bank with great views of the Luangwa, and the trees between the tents made us feel like we had this place just to ourselves.
The camp is within walking distance to Nsefu, and we took the opportunity to transfer while going on our first walking safari. After several days of game drives the walk was a new experience that allowed us to see South Luangwa in a very different way. Seeing and learning about the "Small Five" and the "Green Five" during a walk was just as exciting as watching the "Big Five" on our game drives.
The highlight of our stay at Tena Tena was a trip to the Kawaza Village. Meeting students at the school and visiting the local clinic gave us a deep appreciation for the incredible work that is being done here with often very limited resources. And if you ever visit Kawaza make sure to stay for lunch and try the local staple Nshima with chicken and vegetables. It is delicious!
Wonderful Tena Tena
First class staff and game viewing. Really happy camp and knowledgable guiding. Wonderful walking.Read more about the whole safari
A smooth transfer from Nkwali and across the river got us here for lunch. The camp was beautifully sited on the banks of the river so that guests could watch lions and elephants on the other side whilst munching toast in the morning. Huge tents were complemented by designer bathrooms. We had tent 5 which was on the other side of the communal areas from the others so felt very private and remote. However we understand tent 6 is under construction close by.
We enjoyed wonderful drives with Bertram including a fabulous day which started with rescuing the transfer vehicle from the hole left by the demolition of the dining room at the old Tena site. We then spent most of the morning following and watching a lion hunting buffalo; he caught a calf but was chased off by the herd. He didn’t give up though and continued to stalk the herd for several hours. Our day concluded with several leopard sitings including three tiny cubs with their mother and a very relaxed civet who let us watch her for about 20 minutes. This even got us on RPS’s It’s Monday newsletter- issue on 19th August – the Power of Paws!
Jess was a great hostess and even let us raid the camp recipe book for meals we’d enjoyed. The food was excellent and enjoyed in different locations around camp.
Great Safari at Tena Tena
Tena Tena was very different from Nkwali in the compactness of it, and I loved the remoteness of the Lodge.
The staff and guides were without fault, and sharing our meals with the guides was entertaining and informative, we had a lot of fun together. Special mention of Julius, our excellent guide.
Luxury tented accommodation
Tena Tena was a nice change to Nkwali. The tents are amazing. One negative aspect would be the distance some of the tents are from the main reception / bar area. But lovely remote area and you really feel like you are away from it all. Food was amazing.
Staff again was so helpful.
Tena Tena review
The camp being brand new, it was a joy coming there. Here we felt really being in the bush, though in a luxurious way. The food was excellent. With a small pool to cool down in during the day, it would be perfect.
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.
Tena Tena review
We were expecting tena tena to be the jewel in the crown and whilst we did have a fantastic time we were disappointed in so much as it could have been 10 out of 10 which is a little frustrating.
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.
Expert Africa comments
Robin Pope Safaris and the team at Tena Tena Camp admitted that these guests could have been allocated their own vehicle during their stay there as there were enough vehicles available. But then, after the first afternoon, there was a lack of communication between the guide and the managers which meant the request wasnt carried out. The camp team tell us that they have learnt from this experience and will ensure that a similar situation will not occur again.
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.