Journey to a bush camp and immerse yourself in the heart of South Luangwa. Placed deep into the wilderness, these discreet, exclusive camps offer true, luxurious safari escapes.
Wanting to embark on a walking safari in South Luangwa? The following accommodation options are deep in the bush and thanks to their location are fantastic for walking safaris.
A walking safari is perhaps the most magical way to experience the beauty of an African National Park. Become fully absorbed by the scenery as nothing stands between you and the wilderness.
There is something truly special about Nkonzi Camp. Set deep inside the South Luangwa, it offers a classic bush camp stay at a fraction of the cost of the high-end camps. Nkonzi is all about simple luxuries; walk-in safari tents, crisp white linens and eco-friendly bush bathrooms with flush toilets and bucket showers. Stargazing here is breathtaking and so is the wildlife! Gavin Opie, long term Zambia resident and expert safari guide, leads all safari activities and hosts guests. Nkonzi offers affordable yet high-class safaris that focus on exceptional wildlife and genuine wilderness experiences without the 5 star price tag.
Island Bush Camp offers untouched wilderness and walking safaris in the heart of South Luangwa. This authentic Zambia bush camp is set under the cool shade of mahogany trees on the banks of the Luangwa River. With views that stretch from the Chendeni hills in the Eastern corners of the Luangwa Valley to the Muchinga escarpment in the West, you are presented with the complete natural boundary of this remote and achingly beautiful wilderness. Every day is presented with new experiences and never the same.
Three Rivers Camp is exquisitely intimate with only 5 spacious tents, elegantly decorated with natural materials and earthy hues. They have large gauzed windows embracing extensive views of the Luangwa River and the nearby lagoon. Each tent has its own wooden deck with comfy chairs to enjoy the surrounding vistas.
The dining lounge is discreetly set on the banks of the river, with a welcoming bar and relaxing chairs. Observe the many hippos and crocodiles basking on the beaches ahead, and keep your camera at hand to capture the swift African Skimmer or colorful bee-eater. After dinner enjoy the fireplace while looking up at the millions of stars, or listen to lions roaring in the distance.
The six chalets are spacious and during the day are fully open to wonderful river views. In the evenings the Constantia grill doors are pulled together to close the open room fronts. The en-suite bathrooms are spacious with double sinks and showers from which you can enjoy the enormous African skies.
Set back from the river on a lagoon are the dining room and swimming pool from which guests are often treated to elephants and other game coming down to drink during the day unperturbed by our presence.
It’s hard not to be seduced by the charm of Bilimungwe. The traditions of the African bushcamp meet elegance and style to create a stunning camp that feels like it has grown organically out of the surrounding landscape. Set beneath a huge mahogany tree, the heart of Bilimungwe is the cool, shady lounge area that looks out over one of the camp’s three waterholes. Settle down in a cosy armchair with a sundowner and relax as you watch an enviable display of spectacular birds and animals that clearly feel as comfortable hereas you do. With the open waters of the Luangwa River also on your doorstep and a nearby plain where leopard prowl, it’s clear that this is a nature-lover’s paradise, and with Manda Chisanga – Bilimungwe’s award-winning resident guide – to lead you, you could not be in better hands.
Perfect for small private groups, this isolated, classic tented safari camp delivers an authentic African safari experience.
Zungulila is a charming camp that embodies the essence of old Africa and bygone era, with breathtaking views onto the Kapamba river and an expansive plain where natural springs attract huge herds of game. Up to eight guests can enjoy the serenity of Zungulila in four spacious tents. Built under thatch roofs, each shaded tent has its own private bamboo veranda with immense views over an impressive variety of wildlife. With stylish interiors, en-suite bathrooms, hot-and-cold running water, outdoor showers and sunken plunge-pool you can enjoy the creatures and your creature comforts in this classic tented bush camp.
There’s something undeniably special about Kuyenda. Set beneath shady trees by the Manzi River, it may be the simplest of the Buchcamp Company’s camps but Kuyenda embodies the authentic charm of old Africa with its cluster of traditional thatched grass huts and back-to-nature feel. As for the wildlife, you hardly need to look for it as it will come to you. Settle down in the lounge and look out over the rippling grasses of the neighbouring plain where the drama of the African wilderness is played out each day. Kuyenda’s intimate atmosphere is only enhanced by the extraordinary couple who regularly run the camp – the ever-hospitable Babette Alfieri and Phil Berry, one of Zambia’s most experienced naturalists. No one knows Kuyenda like they do, and no-one will make you feel more welcome.
In a remote corner of the South Luangwa National Park lies Kapamba, a camp that combines the isolation and superb game-viewing opportunities of a true bush camp with a touch of… dare we say it… luxury.
Set on the banks of the shallow, spring-fed eponymous river, Kapamba is surrounded by some of the park’s richest wildlife. Watching an elephant take a dip in the river can be quite an experience when you’re lounging in your own private plunge pool. The central bar and dining room are positioned under a huddle of Matumi and sausage trees, with a wide deck that stretches out with views of the Kapamba River. And if that’s still not close enough for you, why not enjoy your G&T from the middle of the river itself, your feet dipped in the cool, crystal shallows.
In an enviable location on the edge of a lagoon where hippo chortle and elephant wallow, stands Chindeni – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tented camps in the South Luangwa.
There’s something about sleeping under canvas that ignites a sense of adventure in everyone. At Chindeni you can combine that thrill with style and comfort in one of its four opulent tents. Gaze out from your private veranda onto the lagoon which attracts birds and animals from miles around. Or settle back with a gin-and-tonic in the central lounge and dining area – a glorious expanse of varnished decking arranged on several levels around the surrounding ebony trees, boasting, of course, the same spectacular view of the serene lagoon and its inhabitants.
There’s nothing quite like waking up at Chamilandu.
Early morning views don’t get much better than the rippling waters of the Luangwa River, the gentle rise of the Chindeni Hills and a vast African sky – especially when you’re lying in a four poster bed in a handsome stilted tree-house. You don’t even need to leave your bed to see the wildlife – from your unique vantage point, you can watch as animals roam across the landscape, or swing through the trees above your head.
There are just three stilted chalets at this exclusive camp, set on the riverbank beneath a soaring ebony grove. Enjoy a sundowner from the comfort of the thatched bar and dining area, as you watch the wildlife do the same at the river.
Exceptional game viewing and understated elegance make Chamilandu a place to remember
Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector, Tena Tena is nestled under a magnificent thick grove of mahogany trees. On a double tiered river bank, each room enjoys its own private view onto the river.
Tena Tena when translated means ‘temporary home’ and this is the feeling they have tried to emulate throughout the camp but with a twist of luxury and comfort.
This beautiful camp has four traditional walk-in safari tents each with en-suite bathrooms made with natural materials. The bar and dining chitenje (lounge) is constructed of reed and thatch forming the centre point of camp. The entire camp is on an elevated stretch of river bank overlooking a wide grazing lawn which follows the Luangwa River until it meets the confluence of the Luwi River.
A lovely thatched chitenje acts as the centre of camp. It is on a wooden deck overlooking the grazing lawn that leads down to the two rivers and is a perfect spot in which to relax and watch the wildlife meander. If you would like to incorporate Kakuli into your trip, view our Premium Beach and Bush Adventure.
Set on the banks of the Mwamba River, Mwamba takes only 6 guests in 3 reed and thatch chalets, uniquely designed with two soaring skylights (protected by mosquito gauze) set into the roof allowing you to experience sleeping under the stars.
The game around Mwamba is excellent; large herds of buffalo, zebra, eland and in particular Cookson’s wildebeest (one of the last herds in the SLNP are found on the plains and in the Mopane/Crocodile bark woodlands close to camp). They are followed by the “Mwamba” lion pride.
Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector on a magnificent meander on the Luangwa River across which elephants often cross lies the historic camp Nsefu. Nsefu is one steeped in history and was built in 1951 and barring some upgrades the camp and rooms are still in the same place in the original style. The Nsefu sector was first pronounced a game reserve in 1966 some five years before the South Luangwa was even declared and has always been recognised as an outstanding game-viewing area. Robin Pope Safaris took over Nsefu in 1998, spent a year upgrading it and opened it the following July.
One of the more historical safari camps in Zambia, Nsolo (named after the honey guide bird), is the quintessential ‘bare-foot luxury’ camp. It was cited by Norman, his son Adrian and scout, Rice Time Tembo in 1987. Both Adrian and Norman’s daughter Pam, have managed the camp over the years, along with ‘Uncle’ Shaddy who guided at Nsolo for 12 years.
This is one of the South Luangwa’s more remote, luxury safari camps with many wonderful walking areas in the vicinity. There is also the opportunity to participate in game drives for those wishing to combine walking and driving. Various lion pride territories overlap in this area and the cats use the dry river bed as a thoroughfare and a means not only of locating their prey, which come to drink, but also of locating their rivals who must be warned to stay away.
Situated deep in the heart of the National Park, on the seasonal Luwi River, after which it is named, the area is extremely remote with no other camps or people for many miles around. Luwi was originally sited by Norman in the early 1980s. In the early days, guests shared a long drop toilet and two bucket showers! Nowadays guests sleep on the finest feathertop beds and shower under the stars in open ensuite bathrooms.
There is a large lagoon close to camp; this permanent water source attracts wildlife from far and wide making the camp area constantly busy with animals.
The Luwi area is famous for its lions and wild dogs and the thrill of tracking them on foot is an experience not to be missed. Combine walks with game drives and explorations upriver to find the elusive Roan antelope or reedbuck, eland and hartebeest. Watch the sunset over a landscape unchanged for thousands of years.
Mchenja is a luxurious, elegant and stylish tented camp overlooking a huge sweeping bend in the Luangwa. Each of the five specially designed octagonal tents has their own private en-suite open air bathroom plus Victorian style baths with river view.
The beautiful central lounge is built around one of the old fallen ebony trees and guests can cool off there in the camp’s plunge pool. Brunch is taken in the shady lounge but dinner is more often served on the river bank under the stars.
View our Wild in Style itinerary to see how Mchenja and other bush camps can fit into your trip.
Guests staying at Mchenja can choose whether they want to view their wildlife on foot or from an open game viewing vehicle.
Single supplement may apply. Please contact us for more details about local rates and packages.