Reviews of Nyamatusi Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
7 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Nyamatusi Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Nyamatusi Camp review"
Rooms very spread out requiring vehicle transport by guide to and from the main dining/reception area.
Lower level of the main area could be more user friendly re dining. All staff delightful." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
"Nyamatusi Camp review"
Food is served on communal tables for most of the time, which we really enjoyed as other guests in the lodge were good fun and like minded. The camp will facilitate private tables if you prefer.
We took advantage of the chance to go on a canoe trip as well as several walking safaris and the vehicle safaris. Again, for us the walking safaris were the real highlight and the head guide Michael was excellent. Some of the other guides appeared less confident and to still be learning.
The scenery in Mana Pools is stunning and we had beautiful sundowners each night by the river. We were perhaps a little unlucky with our larger wildlife sightings in Mana Pools overall. There are animals everywhere, particularly elephants, hippo, baboon and various antelope but we did struggle to find the big cats and painted dogs.
We managed to approach a lioness quite closely on foot which was incredible and saw some male lions at a distance but went several long drives without seeing the cats. We did not find the painted dogs and heard from the guides and conservationists that the population of dogs is struggling in the park.
Overall we had a brilliant time at Nyamatusi Camp and loved the scenery in Mana Pools - for us it is a great option for a relaxed and comfortable safari." See all these reviews: 7n in Zimbabwe
"Nyamatusi Camp review"
The camp is on the edge of the Zambezi so no shortage of hippos and elephants in the camp itself, ( you do need to be constantly on alert about this and keep in touch with the staff)
Had great guiding with Micheal who is more than happy to get everyone out on foot in the bush, had some very close encounters with elephants which will stay with us all forever!
Loved the canoeing experience, it had been a baking hot day so,it was wonderful to be on the river. The canoe guides made us feel very safe.
Sadly missed the leopard and no recent sightings of the painted dogs, good reason to go back though.
Met some lovely other guests, as with all African Bush Camps we were encouraged to eat as a group and that suited all of us.
Lovely, sincere and motivated staff.
Great food and drink, and I really enjoyed the cool of the wine cellar and choosing a special wine for our last night." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
"Nyamatusi Camp review"
Our room was right next to the Zambezi river overlooking the Hippos bathing in the river with the backdrop of the most wonderful mountain range in Zambia. Elephants frequently grazed by our room, whilst the Hippos would trundle past our veranda during the evening whilst travelling to graze. I am not sure you could get much closer to nature, whilst feeling secure in the height of air conditioned luxury.
I would rate this camp outstanding in every aspect.
Our Guide Michael was amazing and took us on foot a few times in the bush, the sheer thrill of facing off Bull Elephants whilst feeling secure under his guidance was another highlight of the trip." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
"Nyamatusi Camp review"
We were also surprised to find so many vehicles especially self drivers - we counted over 30 on one game drive. This turned out to be a problem when something interesting was found as every truck in the area turned up within minutes.
The camp was not the best organised - the trip from the airstrip to the lodge with 6 guests, the pilot, the driver and luggage for everybody in one vehicle was ridiculous.
Silly and annoying things persisted during our stay - the loo that needed 3 flushes to work, cheese platters at dinner with no crackers and no knife - the pipeline work all around the camp which made it look like a construction site.
Our guide Chris tried really hard to find animals for us but even he could not find what is not there.
The crowning glory was the trip home where we had to leave camp before 7 to fit in with Safari Logistics schedule and then spent over 6 hours waiting around at Harare airport" See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
"Nyamatusi Camp [11-2019]"
Facilities: Completely new and extremely luxurious. The rooms are superb with every convenience available, some of these conveniences are very welcome (small personal plunge pool at every tent, very spacious, fridge with cold water or other beverages). Some others might lead to a hot debate among safari goes whether this is overdone and really necessary for a bush camp (wine cellar, small air condition not for the whole room but only over bed at night time). Great and thoughtful decoration, very stylish. As tents are placed in a vast area with quite distance from each other, you are supposed to not walk around but call the guide by radio to pick you up by car when going to another tent or the main area. This is a bit complicated but understable as the chance of actually meeting both lions and leopards within the vast camp area is quite high (we saw lions just outside the camp and a leopard within the camp at night).
Service: Due to our personal experiences, I am sorry to delibaretely rate this category with „poor“. First of all, the service of the general staff was friendly, but fell short of the attention of detail shown in comparable camps. Just to name examples, waiters forgot orders, did not know what was served during dinner when asked or the desert served was different from the one on the menu card. These are just examples demonstrating that the workflows behind the scenes were not handled as smoothly as we had experienced in two other camps of African Bush camps immediately before. As the camp was opened 6 months earlier, we are optimistic that with a bit of time and experience of the staff, things will go more smoothly and this was overall no severe problem.
A serious drawback, however, was the camp manager (Russell). Specifically, our journey fell in the time of a South African Airways (SAA) strike with a number of cancelled SA flights and we and other guests were uncertain about the flight status of our flights back (Harare to Johannesburg with SAA, from there on connection flight with other companies). Due to a lack of cell phone connection or WIFI at the camp, guests were unable to access information themselves. Despite our repeated request, Russell did not contact SAA to check for our flight status and we were put off with vague or untrue statements (“everything will be fine” or “just go to the airport and find out”). Our explicit request to contact Expert Africa to seek for help/information was also bluntly ignored. In the end, we ended up in the main office with an unstable internet connection ourselves booking additional new Harare to Johannesburg flights with another flight company just in case. In the end, when arriving in Harare, this was the right decision, as our SA flight was indeed cancelled and we could take our alternative connection, therefore reaching our connection flight in Johannesburg. Another couple travelling in parallel, trusting Russells statements, did not book alternative flights and got stranded in Harare missing their connection flight in Joburg. Overall, I would like to share the feeling that the whole situation was managed poorly and not in a professional manner.
Experience: We combined Zambezi Expeditions and Nyamatusi during our trip in Mana Pools, which proofed an excellent decision. Nyamatusi is the very eastern last camp having been built in the camp and both landscape and animals did not feel redundant but very different, so that our game drive experiences in Zambezi Expeditions and Nyamatusi were quite distinct. Nyamatusi is translated as „lions land“ which is completely due as this is an area oft he park with a high big cat concentration (which we experienced as well). Furthermore, the landscape changes from the very open plain views observed in the more western camps to lots of reed bets with high grasses and shrubs. Specific sightings: Hyaneas at a fresh dead elephant, repeated leopard sightings, python, as well as excellent birding (including rare gems on my bucket list such as crested guineafowl and double-banded sandgrouse). Most noteably, one morning after breakfast, instead of starting our usual game drive, we started walking and approached a lion pack with a fresh buffalo kill still eating just a few hundred meters from our camp.
Overall: A very luxurious (for some looking for classical bush feeling: too luxurious) camp, located in a great corner of Mana Pools with high chances for big cat experiences. Service did not live up to its full potential, but will hopefully improve over time (possibly under a different camp management)" See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
"A very new, large camp for the luxury market"
Holiday styles & special interests in Zimbabwe
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Zimbabwe.
Other lodges in Mana Pools National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.