Reviews of Vundu Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
41 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Vundu Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
My guide, Alistair, was great fun to be around and either by luck or design he did provide a good sighting of African Wild Dog, always a privilege! We also walked in on a sleeping lion, a situation he handled beautifully. My canoeing outing on the river was excellent!" See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
"Quite different safari"
If you expect a cat around every corner and animals close to touch, it isn´t the right place for you (there is no off-road driving) - also if you need internet connection, mobile connection, silver plates and a choice of 8 different wines, you are better kept in Sabi Sand or Masai Mara. But that doesn´t mean, you have to go without excellent meals, fine drinks and an outstanding service.
So, if you know, what are your expectations are, you can reckon on marvellous days in an awesome landscape.
Good to know: for the walking safaris and the canoe tours on the Zambezi you shouldn´t be excessively frightened." See all these reviews: 6n in Zimbabwe
"Fantastic Canoe Safari and Pack of Wild Dogs"
There are literally thousands of hippos in the river, and one also sees elephants, buffalo, bushbuck, and a tremendous variety of birds including little bee eaters, goliath herons, and many others.
I don't consider the canoe safari dangerous because you are accompanied by some of the best and most experienced guides in Africa. They all carry both a pistol because it is more effective at short range as well as a rifle. I had a fellow canoeist who had an incredible ability to dodge hippos, and scare them off by hitting the canoe with his paddle. His name is Mark, and my guide's name is Alistair. However, I wouldn't recommend going on this canoe safari for those who are faint at heart.
In the three days that I was at Vundu Camp I was most unlucky because the game viewing hadn't been as good when I had come here two years ago nor as in the same league of Goliath camp. I did however see an elephant tear down a leadwood tree with his trunk which was quite a site to see. After six days of no luck, I was finally rewarded by seeing no less than 15 wild dogs returning from a kill. It was just as I was leaving Mana Pools. When my guide said look there's wild dogs over there I thought he was joking. It really made my stay at Vundu Camp worthwhile.
It was nice having Nick Murray, his wife Desiree, and their two children were staying at the camp. My guide Alistair was a true gentleman and it was fascinating to talk to him about his experiences as a pilot, guide and soldier.
The rooms are somewhat austere but comfortable. I love the open air showers.
My only serious complaint about Vundu Camp is that while I was there 4 out 5 of their vehicles experienced breakdowns. However, I'm sure that Nick will get the problem resolved.
The food was good, although not quite up the standards of my last stay. It was also less plentiful." See all these reviews: 10n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Botswana; 6n in Zambia; 2n in South Africa
"A wonderful river location"
In camp we were made to feel very welcome by Nick and Natalie.
As for the animals, we were delighted to see nyala for the first time ever; but the most memorable has to be the (male - his mate followed a couple of nights later) pennant-winged nightjar flying into the lounge area one evening - fabulous." See all these reviews: 8n in Zimbabwe; 3n in Zambia
"Elephants for lunch at Little Vundu"
At lunchtimes in camp elephants would walk through right alongside the dining table. One bull in particular would walk up almost to within touching distance.
We were lucky to see the area's Wild Dog pack not far from camp. The puppies were chasing a warthog which was very exciting to watch. We saw the Wild Dogs on two other occasions, the last being on foot and during which we were able to watch at close hand the darting and re-collaring of one of the dogs by the Painted Dog Conservation team." See all these reviews: 4n in Zimbabwe
"Great time at Vundu"
Nick Murray is up there with the best of the guides we have had on several safaris. He took care to find out about our interests and experience, and then to repeat activities we'd enjoyed or find new ones we'd asked for. We couldn't believe how close we could get to lions and elephants on foot and yet feel completely safe.
We found Vundu to be a very friendly and sociable camp and this added to our overall enjoyment of our stay. We spent our time in camp with guides, guests and staff-everyone just mixed together.
Best afternoon cakes of the trip!
Negatives about Vundu-having to leave!" See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
"Vundu Camp review"
We love to walk in the bush, and this was the best walk ever. About an hour in, on our way to a wild dog den, we had to do some very quick lateral shuffling to get out of an ele's path, Nick then found the den, we sat down and watched the pack return, the puppies come out and be fed, the vultures come in to join the feasting, just incredible! We had stay as long as we dared, as the light was beginning to fade and we had about 4 km to traverse to get back to the vehicle. It was on the return that we were saw the dust cloud of the buffalo, were mock-charged by a lone female maybe looking for her calf, and heard the hyena very close by.
At this Nick said it was getting dark, we could maybe go on rather than investigate, although we all knew this is what we all wanted to do so, after an nanosecond of consultation we headed into the the thick bush to see what we could see. Nick stopped dead about 30 meters in, turned and said "lion, large male", we turned left and kept moving toward the heart of the activity (maybe another 20-30 meters), stopped and could hear and see a pack of wild dogs on the flank, the buffalo herd was moving off ahead of us, the hyena and lion to our right (or behind). At this point it was agreed that we had used up enough the daylight and needed to move off. 20 minutes later (we must have really been moving along) we were back at the vehicle and on our way to camp.
At no point did we feel in any danger. Nick's astute understanding of the situation and conditions and our ability and willingness to follow ever instruction and stay close together (we are very fit, have walked in the bush through all types of terrain and habitat and hopefully our vulnerabilities and limitations) made this feel we had done something very special, but not an experience for everyone.
Go and spend three days or more at Vundu if you like to walk and canoe. It's the best!" See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Malawi; 1n in Zambia
"Vundu Camp review"
As a camp, Vundu is functional rather than comfortable and it feels tired and in need of some TLC. Some "sprucing up" would make Vundu feel more cared for, without losing the real bush camp feel.
The layout of the camp along the river left no space for any "sitting out" area in front the of the tents and little to see in camp, although the antics of the vervet monkeys around the dining area were always entertaiing." See all these reviews: 10n in Zimbabwe
"Vundu Camp review"
A very different safari experience with the guides also doing the hosting in camp, this enabled us to find out more about how the country is doing.
Also managed to get to Mana Pools just before it started getting really hot!" See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
"Vundu Camp review"
There was a pan in front of the accommodation & we often saw elephants, warthogs & buffalo there. We had lovely food including home made cakes for afternoon tea. We ate together with the other guests & guides in the evening & met some interesting people.
You were right about the Zimbabwe-trained guides - we had an amazing guide called Andy who was great fun but also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the animals he showed us. He tracked a lion on day one & we felt so safe with him that we went for a canoe trip on the second day which we had vowed not to do for fear of hippo attack.
He knew the area very well so was able to take us to the hotspots for animal viewing & we had a nice mixture of driving in the jeep & walking. It was quite cold in the early mornings in August but the jeep was equipped with blankets so we were kept warm. Our 2 girls age 10 & 12 really enjoyed it. The camp was a few feet from the Zambezi river which was beautiful." See all these reviews: 7n in Zimbabwe
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