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“Just awesome”

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Luwi Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Just awesome”
Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

We just spent 2 nights with the team at the Luwi Bush Camp and I can't wait to go back! Lawrence and Frank and the team were wonderful, the surrounding scenery, camp layout and food was amazing, what an experience.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Luwi was the first of the 4 Norman Carr bush camps we visited and we loved all of them. They all provide enough 'luxuries' to make your stay comfortable whilst never losing sight of what makes staying in a bush camp so special. We flew into Mfuwe and were met by Brian, Luwi's manager and guide. It is worth considering a flight that arrives in the late afternoon so that your transfer through the Park to Luwi - about 2 hours - takes the form of an evening game drive. The camp is in one of the most remote areas of the Park, situated in a grove of mature red mahogany and matumi trees, overlooking a plain that is bounded by the Luwi river. Accommodation consists of 4 thatched rooms with open air, en-suite facilities. Shampoo, shower gel, body lotion, insect repellent and 'killer' spray are provided. The large comfortable beds have mosquito nets. Laundry was turned round on a daily basis. There is a solar powered facility for charging batteries adjacent to the bar. The bar area is welcoming and is situated under a small thatch. Meals are taken beneath the trees with the constant backdrop of the plain and all the animals that frequent it. The food was consistently delicious. The Norman Carr formula: breakfast before the morning activity, a substantial buffet brunch around 11am, afternoon tea (with cake!) before you head out for the evening activity followed by dinner on your return, works extremely well. Not to mention the memorable sun-downers! The staff at Luwi were lovely and went out of their way to make us feel special at all times.

Because this is such a remote part of the Park, there are few roads and the emphasis is on walking. This affords time to really absorb the atmosphere of the bush and learn about the flora as well as the fauna. South Luangwa rightly deserves its reputation for high-density game and wonderful birds. The advantage of staying at Luwi is that you don't have to share it with anyone else! We loved our time with Brian and Chanda, the camp's Z.W.A. scout, and were encouraged by N.C.'s close working relationship with the Zambian Wildlife Authority who are trying hard to combat poaching. We walked the 10kms to Nsolo, the second N.C. bush camp on our itinerary. whilst our bags were taken on ahead. During the walk we encountered 3 lionesses lying up under cover on a bank of the river. Returning that evening in a vehicle, we spent an hour watching them hunt impala - a treat which would have eluded us if we hadn't spotted them whilst walking.

We loved Luwi and would recommend it to anyone wanting a really authentic bush camp experience in a beautiful, remote location.

Room Tip: We were allocated room No. 1 which was the most private of the four rooms. It has a charming terrac...
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Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Grogsblossom
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2013

Ten years ago my husband and I stayed at Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli and Kapane on a holiday to celebrate my 50th birthday. We had a wonderful time, soaking up the atmosphere of walking in the wild; being IN the picture, rather than looking at it.

We returned this year to celebrate another decade, coming back to our favourite, Luwi camp, then Nsolo and Mchenja. All the camps are superb in their own ways, though I can't comment on the brand new luxury Chinzombo. The whole Norman Carr operation is very efficient, while retaining the ethos of simplicity and authenticity. You feel welcomed into a world of friends who are just as enthusiastic at seeing the animals as you are, while they look out for your comfort and safety.

The guides are incredibly knowledgeable, while the Park Rangers ability to spot animals at a huge distance give you a feeling of trust and security. The great thing about Luwi is that you are far out in the bush, not hearing any man-made noise, but with the heightened senses of a constant expectancy, then the adrenaline rush of seeing some beautiful animal or bird. The walking is easy as it is a flat river valley and you often follow sandy 'hippo highways'.
When you return to camp or reach the next one, there is a lovely welcome and cold drink and then time for a hot shower in the open air bathroom before brunch. Of course, this being the bush, you share the bathroom with ants and there is a wait for the water to flow hot, but it all adds to the atmosphere.

In the late afternoon you can walk again or take a drive in an open vehicle which is able to approach the lions, hyaenas and leopard much more closely (while they look right through you) and stop for a sundowner on the river bank. One of the most often heard phrases was 'do you want a double?'. Only once was there another vehicle, by a pride of lions at a kill, and this was during our stay at Mchenja. Nearer to the Luangwa river there are more camps and also self drivers who are allowed in the Park from 6am to 6pm.

After a night drive, viewing by spotlight, it is back to camp for conversation and a dinner under the stars. Then an early night as breakfast is at or before dawn in order to be walking while the animals are active. The beds are all wide and so comfortable we fell asleep even while listening to the elephant munching the tree outside. A word of warning about the food; it is so good that it is easy to overdo the eating. Every time you stop moving tempting food is placed in front of you, with lovely cake at afternoon tea (including my gorgeous chocolate birthday cake at Nsolo).

My only regret about this safari? We should have made it longer. It IS expensive, but well worth saving up for.

Room Tip: With only 4 chalets, it is irrelevent
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Audrey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Luwi was a real highlight of our trip in Zambia - it's a wonderful camp in an amazing setting. Being so remote, and not seeing any other tourists on the driving and walking safaris from Luwi, is just incredible.

The camp is beautifully designed, with a nice level of luxury without being over the top. All the staff at the camp were great, the food delicious (we particularly loved the salad buffet lunches), and the whole atmosphere so serene. Having dinner in the evenings with your host and guide, and then sitting by the campfire listening to the hippos, elephants and lions, was magical.

Brian, the camp manager and main guide there, is worth a particular mention. He's such a lovely man, and going on safari walks and drives with him was fascinating. Unlike elsewhere in the South Luangwa, where there are lots of other vehicles and so it's easier to know where the cats are, at Luwi seeing a cat involves a huge amount of skill on the part of the guide. Having heard lions calling during the night, Brian managed to track us to a lioness, where we had the incredible experience of sitting watching her without another sole in sight.

I highly recommend Luwi for a wonderful safari experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Freya K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Luwi is a gorgeous camp, right out in the bush, very authentic and a fabulous place to be.
If you want a proper bush experience but with comfort and great hospitality this is an excellent choice. The food is very good, I am vegetarian and the chef and kitchen staff went out out of their way to make sure I had plenty of choice and things I would like and I ate very well.
The wildlife viewing was very good and the guiding fantastic. We had Lawrence as our guide and Amon as our spotter/ZAWA officer. Both were lovely people, kind, great company, trustworthy and excellent at their jobs. Absolutely amazing what they could spot at night!! We did quite a few walks with them and always felt very safe and in good hands and had relatively close encounters with some large animals like buffalo and elephant with no worries.
The hostess Lainie is just lovely, very kind, considerate and great company.
I have nothing but praise for this camp.
We did go at the beginning of the season and it is worth noting that the wildlife is a bit more skittish at the beginning of the season and so are not as close as they might be towards the end of the season (the camp is closed 6 months of the year). In sme ways this is better though as unfortunately there are still some problems with poaching in the area, especially during the season when the camp is closed. A real shame and sad to think the animals get hunted/poached after getting used to humans and vehicles..... ZAWA is working hard to help this though and their officers do a great job under difficult curcumstances and so do the safari operators by supporting ZAWA's efforts and supporting the local communities which should help in the long run.
We also visited Nsolo which was also a great camp and which I will also review.
In short - a wonderful camp and great place to visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Onelifeliveit2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingscote, South Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2013

When we arrived at Luwi you can't help but feel that you are all alone out in the bush. There's the plain out in front of camp where the elephants wander and there's always puku and impala grazing. The hippo hide nearby which is just wonderful to sit in and quietly watch all the animals drinking and the crocs and hippos in the water.
The rooms are absolutely stunning with huge, comfortable beds, mosquito nets and an ensuite and we also had elephants and lion right outside our rooms at one stage!! (There's nothing like laying in bed and listening to all the night sounds - absolutely magical!!)
The food was great and the service by all staff was exceptional.
We really loved it here

Room Tip: They are all good!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Like the reviewers before me, I'll be reviewing Nsolo, Kakuli and Kapani. Three girlfriends and I did a 7 day/6 night trip with the Norman Carr team, walking from Luwi to Nsolo to Kakuli to Kapani. We started at Luwi after long trips in from KL and London and could not have prepared ourselves for the quiet, easy landing at Mfuwe; the wonderful pickup from our first guide Brian; and the incredibly welcome staff at Luwi. Our host at Luwi, Lainie was gracious, pleasant, but not obtrusive at all - in fact, she was the perfect welcome to our first walking safari. But it was Brian and Chenda who made our trip at Luwi unforgettable. On our first walk out, we came on lion tracks - and of course, Brian made light of it while making us all comfortable with the fact that This Wasn't Our Mother's Safari. We were in it - and not only were we going to learn about everything we saw, but when we saw lions (on our second morning for the second time, with a fresh kill in front of them) we were going to take it all in and (yes) go after them when they ran away.

That's the short version of what happened - the long version is that we had amazing accomadations (every convenience you could want - hot water? towels? cool wet towels to wipe your face after the night drive? amazing sundowners? incredible food? fast laundry? ALL OF IT!) And all of it in the peace, quiet, and comfort of a place that made you feel taken care of, but at the same time, completely a part of the land around you. I understand why they like to start people at Luwi - it is the best of all worlds - far away but so comfortable with great people that it feels like home. We are already planning our return trip. Thank you to everyone for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank g8trgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luwi Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris

Property: Luwi Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris
Address: Luwi River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 46 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Luwi Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Here you can witness the second biggest wildebeest migration on earth, discover various species of rare and endangered birds, follow cheetah hunts in the plains or watch clans of up to 50 hyenas at their den. Renowned for its sweeping vistas and abundant wildlife, the camp (designed by same architects as Chinzombo), comprises six luxury villas and is the only permanent camp in the Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Luwi Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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