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“Survives because it's location breaks the journey along the Great East Road?” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bridge Camp

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Bridge Camp
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Survives because it's location breaks the journey along the Great East Road?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

We needed to break the drive from South Luangwa NP to the Lower Zambezi NP, and thought Bridge Camp was in the right place to do that. It was in the right place to break the journey. Other than that, there is nothing positive to say about it.

It's overpriced for a cramped, untidy camp site, with poorly maintained facilities. With one other independent couple camping, and just a small overland truck and it's tents, the site felt crowded.

The ablution blocks in particular are poorly maintained. Both of the toilets in the block we used had broken door locks which had been replaced with rocks to try and hold the doors closed. There was plenty of hot water from the smokey donkey boiler, but the shower areas felt unclean.

The whole place felt unloved and I think that's the problem. Admittedly it was a holiday in Zambia that day, but it's owners were half cut when we arrived at about 4 pm, and "fully cut" and arguing with one another when we went to the bar for a drink around 7pm. We sought a quiet corner, but they crashed our quiet drink, looking for someone to talk at, with the male owner making loud inappropriate comments about female guests, and his wife telling my wife she hates Zambia, and they are trying to sell the Camp. I hope they do, and that whoever buys it applies lashings of TLC...

Room Tip: Book somewhere else! We had lovely stays elsewhere...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Warwickshire
Level Contributor
75 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013

We were en route to South Luangwa and had driven 11 hours from Lower Zambezi, so you can imagine we were looking forward to arriving at our camp and getting set up. We'd been told not to expect anything too grand and that it was purely a stopover on the Great East Road - but it was way below anything or anywhere we've stayed before.
We've stayed at various campsites in Namibia and Australia, so are pretty realistic when it comes to our expectations - but this place was simply unclean and over-priced. We contemplated staying in one of the chalets, but decided it was safer to be in our tent as we knew the sheets were clean!
The chap who was running the bar was nice enough and so were his team, but we were very surprised at the cost of the drinks - at least double everywhere else and it wasn't any more remote.
The worst element were the shower blocks - it was definitely 'keep your flip-flops on' and we were really apprehensive about putting anything down anywhere. The showers were also not in a good state of repair - taps not secure - although to be fair there was plenty of hot water
Needless to say we were up at dawn and away as soon as possible. We bumped into people at campsites further on in our journey who had similar experiences and it was apparent this camp has a terrible reputation locally. All we wanted was some clear showers - shouldn't be too much to ask - plenty of other places manage it!
We'd recommend if you're driving from Lusaka to South Luangwa you go further up the road - there are quite a few places about an hour and half/2 hrs further on which looked much better. Chimwemwe Lodge near Petauke, for example and I believe it offers camping, although you'd need to check. Hope this helps!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WarwickshirelittleL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these South Luangwa National Park hotels

Hitchin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2013 via mobile

There is only one chalet worthy of the name - and it costs 700 kwacha per night for 2, the rest look terrible.
The campsite is right next to a dusty road used all night long by noisy construction traffic with dust being blown everywhere. There is no power, the ablutions are on the limit of cleanliness and the overall site is very cramped leading to overcrowding especially when a tour bus arrives to camp.
The bar & restaurant area is lovely with views down the river, however check the price of everything before ordering - for example a beer will set you back 25 kwacha (8 to 12 being the norm).

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank yenrab666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

We stayed one night in transit from Lusaka to the South Luangwa N.P., since our plane arrived late and we had no time to make the whole way in the remaining day time. Bridge Camp offers both, a very rustic camp site and stone chalets. We took one of these. Very rustic too, cold at night, too many open windows, walls made of pure rough stone, almost no furniture, poor bed clothing. Hot water generated by burning wood at nearby stove, worked well. The whole site was empty (in spite of being ultra-high season!), we were the only guests. All in all, an uncomfortable place where to stay (we froze while in bed!), but very conveniently located on a hill with excellent views over the Luangwa river into Mozambique. We had a short walk on the river side the next morning and a nice breakfast with all the terrace, small swimming-pool and nice views for ourselves.

Overpriced for the comfort that they offer, they are still the best option in the little Luangwa town and make a good stopover at a picturesque location, if you need to stop in the area in order to cut the long trip from Lusaka to South Luangwa or Lilongwe.

They also offer some hiking activities in a nearby gorge. The landscape is picturesque African bush with baobabs here and there. The owners, cool and distant, seem to be not very happy there.

Room Tip: At the time we were there, they were constructing some new A-type chalets. Looked more cozy, less op...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HenryM-Stanley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013 via mobile

There are few options for overnight accommodation on the Great East Road. This campsite has a fantastic view, of a bend in the Luangwa river. The chalets are chic and comfortable and the food surprisingly good. But it is pricey!! Perhaps because there is no competition. Worse though was overhearing the owners berate their staff very aggressively: very unpleasant to be around.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ajc1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2013

We were travelling from Livingston to Lake Malawi and stopped here for the night. The rooms are basic, but has everything you need and they are clean. Nice team, the owners are hands on and the husband is pleasant. The pork chops were out of this world and we had a great stay on the way up so we stayed here again on the way down.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marius M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
150 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2013

We arrived to a very bitter owner who voiced she for the most part did not like Americans, did not like her staff, and did not like much in general. Her staff seemed miserable, though the way they are treated I can't blame them. Their uniforms looks like they had been worn for weeks, the owner should have taken care o this. This is a very poor country and giving them some self respect improves their performance. Food was okay. Over priced.....What a shame as th location is lovely.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TexasGirl78253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bridge Camp

Property: Bridge Camp
Address: Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #41 of 42 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Bridge Camp Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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