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“Most beautiful camp in Zambia”
Review of Nkwali Camp

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Nkwali Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 November 2012

My husband and I just returned from 4 nights at the breathtakingly beautiful Nkwali Camp and I highly recommend this camp, and the overall experience - it was spectacular.

We travel often in Africa and have stayed at numerous camps, but there is something incredibly magical about Nkwali. The Camp is so restful and comfortable and the staff there are so friendly and accommodating. We met Daudi, Nyambe, Jeff, Amos, Jonathan, Thomas and our hysterically funny guide, Fred. He made each game drive a treat and we laughed our heads off at his antics and his sense of humour.

The camp is beautifully appointed and has wonderful open spaces, with a gorgeous swimming pool. Whilst we lay there a herd of elephants came down to the lagoon to drink in front of us and this was just one of the very special sightings we had whilst staying there.

The food is incredible and I love that they time their lunches early (11h30), so you have plenty siesta or resting time before the game drives at 16h00.

I really loved our stay and was very sad to leave. We had the most amazing experience there, with memories to treasure forever.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lynnie07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 - 71 of 109 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2012

Loved this place. Great setting on the river -- really loud with hippos and bugs and baboons but that's what you go there for, right? Staff was top notch and safari guides were excellent. Food was really really good -- especially the baked goods. Really enjoyed the experience. Must report that we did have a burglar during our visit. Supposedly "never happens". This was handled very professionally but still made us look at the open air cabanas a bit differently after it happened. Even so, was a wonderful experience and I would recommend this place. Just sleep with your valuables INSIDE your mosquito net. Also of note, there are night watchmen who guard the grounds...no doubt working harder now after our incident.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Vieve3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2012

We stayed in Robins House which is amazing and very very smart. We ate in the camp with everyone as we wanted to slum it.....only joking with some americans we met at Nsefu before

This part of the park is busier than Nsefui but you will see all the main animals , we even saw one leopard dead after the alpha male killed it. We also say a huge antelope it had dragged up a tree.

The camp is great, the service is wonderful and I particularly enjoyed the guide Obi who did a wonderful job who was very well informed on the political history of the region

Well do RPS a great place......but can I say I preferred the solitude of Nsefu

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank barcaranger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2012

What a wonderful experience. The accomodations were excellent, the food beyond that. The staff however are what makes this visit so memorable. Everyone took such care that we were satisfied with our experience. An elephant adds so much to one's dining experience. Terrific place. Steve and Charlee Gumbiner

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SteveLogtown_CAUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2012

We stayed here for a couple of nights before doing a walking safari and it was a delight. At night the elephants wonder around eating the fruit that have fallen off the trees while hippos come in to graze on the grass. Kiki the Camp Manager was our guide and could not have been more helpful and even met us when we on the way into the camp and took us off for sundowner...

They wake you at 5:30 (with drums) for a game drive....

They did excellent food and it was a great scene setter for the walking safaris up in the north of the park.

Room Tip: There are only a few and all have great views so I would not worry. Beds are great but there plenty...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank johnsuggestions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

Nkwali is often the first stop on a Robin Pope Safari as it’s an easy and interesting drive from Mfuwe International Airport. The only drawback to the camp is that it isn’t actually within the National Park which adds probably an hour to the length of game drives and, for some bizarre reason, animals seem to know when the NP begins and ends. Apart from this minor oxpeckering observation, Nkwali is a wonderful place to spend a day or two, a sort of paradigm for an upscale safari lodge which eschews all the rather vulgar luxuries that many Kenyan and South African camps go in for. It’s smart, rustic and simple, all you need in the bush, really.

The setting is lovely - on a wide sweep of the Luangwa river that glitters all day long and is honking, snorting and splashingful of hippos and crocodiles. All sorts of life can be seen on the far shore while the camp itself teems with exotic birds and opportunistic monkeys. At night, elephant and hippo can wander around looking for the bar so you are tightly zipped up in your room.

You get lots of space here but nowhere to put anything. Storage space is minimal though I guess people bring minimal stuff with them on trips like this - most of our luggage was camera equipment and binoculars. The rooms looks beautiful with their soaring thatched roofs, cool white and wood plus bold splashes of fabric color. The ablutionary zone is spectacular - wash basins, shower and lavatory in separate sections with good water pressure and hot, hot, hot water. Electricity is 24 hours. Bear in mind that all parts of your living space are open-air which means, in June, it can get ABSOLUTELY FREEZING at night, so be prepared. At the same time, we didn’t notice any annoying flying things and didn’t hear a single mosquito. In fact, we didn’t hear mozzies anywhere across the three RPS camps we stayed at.

There is a pretty covered dining area near the small swimming pool and a BBQ area near the bar. Food was plentiful and well-executed considering the remoteness of the place, though the slice of toast and/or thin porridge for breakfast was a bit of a shock. Minor quibbles aside, we loved this place - the location, the style and the wonderful staff made for a great start to our trip.

Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Pausanias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

A very warm and special place for us. Not only because the absolute stunning chalets, most beautiful views over the park, the good food and the wonderful guides with passion for nature and good sense of humour; but also for facilitating the most perfect wedding proposal. There is no better place for a wedding proposal than during a walking safari, followed by a very romantic champagne sundowner at the river bank...

Since Robin Pope is known for its high standard and exclusive camps and high level of guides, we had high expectations of this camp. And after our stay we can only fully agree with all they claim to be; it is (one of) the best safari camp in Africa we have had.

Kiki, Emily, Kanga, Jacob, Trudy and the entire Nkwali camp staff; We cannot thank you enough for everything, we will not forget you as we will certainly come back to Nkwali Camp! Thanks for a wonderful stay in Nkwali!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kim538
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nkwali Camp

Address: Robin's private land, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 43 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Hotel Class:3 star — Nkwali Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Many places claim to be "among the remaining wilderness areas" or "one of the last wildlife sanctuaries"; South Luangwa National Park lives up to both and more. The Luangwa Valley is vast, remote and home to both people and a truly impressive variety of game. The South Luangwa Park is 9050 sq. kilometer; with the river, its tributaries and the riverine strips being the focus of the wildlife viewing. There are diverse habitats, from huge ox bow lagoons of varying stages of maturity, woodlands, ebony groves, grassland and thickets, that host a great variety of wildlife. The birdlife is also excellent with over 450 species to be seen. Nkwali is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river overlooking the National Park where leopards roam along the bank and can often be spotted from camp. Situated on Robin Pope Safaris’ private land outside the park there is a private game viewing area behind camp as well as exclusive access into the park either by boat or across the pontoon. The six chalets with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs offer a rustic luxury opening up to magnificent views of the river as well as open air en-suite bathrooms. Nkwali offers understated elegance, seclusion and superb service. Nkwali is dominated by an enormous ebony tree around which the bar is moulded. It is this tree which, when Robin and Jo Pope found it cemented the location of the camp. From the bar deck cantilevered over the river a cool drink can be enjoyed whilst watching the sun set over the Luangwa. 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. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Nkwali Camp Hotel South Luangwa National Park
Nkwali Camp Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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