Little Vundu

Little Vundu: Our full report

Rooms
5 Safari Tents
Traveller's rating
Good (80%) From 1 review
Open
April to November

A small camp based on the banks of the Zambezi River, Little Vundu is an intimate semi-permanent camp often privately reserved for families or small groups.

Located a few kilometres upstream from its sister property Vundu Camp, Little Vundu offers a more rustic safari experience, but with the same strong emphasis on superb guiding overseen by owner and head guide Nick Murray, and a priority on delivering a top safari experience over creature comforts.

As a semi-permanent camp, Little Vundu is only present in the park between May and November, with the seasonal nature of the camp well reflected in the simple nature of its construction. The five Meru-style green canvas tents are each nestled under ebony and acacia tress along the river bank, and are large enough to comfortably accommodate two people. They are each simply furnished with twin beds, electric fans, and a small canvas storage area for luggage and clothes. Each room has an open-air en-suite bathroom with flush toilets and bucket showers.

The main area of the lodge, connected to the rooms by dirt paths through the bush, matches the rustic, traditional style of the rooms. It consists mainly of an open-air dining area with meals served under the open sky. The whole design of the camp is focussed around the feeling of being properly located in the middle of the bush, with nightcaps served around the campfire rather than a luxurious lounge area.

Activities at Little Vundu include game drives, walking safaris and canoeing. You will normally talk with your guide the evening before to choose which activities you would like to do the next day, although one of the key aspects of a stay at Little Vundu is the flexibility of activities. You may set off in the morning on a drive, but this certainly won't stop you hopping out of the vehicle with your guide and continuing on foot if this is the best way to get a close sighting of wild dogs!

Under the ownership of Nick Murray, one of the best guides Zimbabwe has to offer, the guiding at Little Vundu is kept to an incredibly high standard, which particularly shines through in the walking safaris. The guides are often shared between Vundu and Little Vundu, so the quality of the guiding at each is very much equal.

Our view

Little Vundu offers one of the simplest safari experiences in Mana Pools, and aside from fans in the rooms and en-suite bathrooms it offers little in the way of luxuries. What it does offer though is some of the best guiding you can find in Zimbabwe, offering an incredibly varied safari experience in a truly stunning national park.

Geographics

Location: Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Ideal length of stay: We recommend a 3–4 night stay at Little Vundu. The camp offers a wide range of activities, and most travellers could happily spend 2–3 days just walking here.

Directions: Accessing Mana Pools isn't always easy, and it's always worth checking with us for the latest on this. However, there are three obvious ways to get to this remote camp:

  • A scheduled flight into Mana Pools from Victoria Falls or Matusadona;
  • A charter flight into Mana Pools from Harare, followed by an hours drive to camp;
  • A road transfer from Lusaka via Chirundu, taking up to about six hours.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Nick and Desiree Murray

Infrastructure

Power supply: Generator

Power supply notes: A small diesel generator is on during the day and charges an inverter in the chalets, giving guests light throughout the night. There are also UK-style plug sockets in each of the chalets for charging electronics.

Communications: All game-viewing vehicles have two-way radios. There is no cellphone reception.

TV & radio: None

Water supply: Other

Water supply notes: Water is pumped from the Zambezi River and filtered multiple times for washing and showers. Bathrooms are fully plumbed, with flushing toilets and hot and cold running water.

Health & safety

Medical care: All guides have first-aid qualifications, and there is a doctor on stand-by in Harare.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: All guests are escorted to their chalets after dark.

Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher by the bar.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: There are no safes in the chalets. All valuables should be handed to the manager or guide who will store them safely in the office.

Accepted payment on location: No credit cards or travellers’ cheques are accepted at Vundu Camp, but cash payments may be made in US dollars, South African rand or GB pounds.

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