The Luangwa River is one of southern Africa’s major life forces, meandering some 500 miles through Zambia before spilling into the great Zambezi River. It is a river that changes course with ease, weaving through mopane tree forests and grasslands, and leaving a trail of oxbow lakes and watering holes. The habitats it has forged teem with flora and fauna of every sort, making this wilderness—South Luangwa National Park—Zambia’s premier wildlife destination.
The Bushcamp Company has taken an innovative approach to accommodations in the park, creating a stunning main lodge as well as six intimate Bushcamps that offer six different experiences. Guests are invited to encounter the wilds of South Luangwa—and the safari experience—from a number of different angles.
The award-winning Mfuwe Lodge, located just inside the gates of the park, serves as the main base for exploring South Luangwa. The wildlife experience here is top-notch—and balanced by the comforts of 18 lovely chalets, spa, a pool, and spacious common areas where you can relax with a book or listen to a talk about wildlife. Many guests stay here or just stop for lunch before heading further into the park to one of the six secluded Bushcamps.
Accommodating no more than eight guests, each of the six Bushcamps has its own distinct character, whether built of reed and thatch at the edge of a lush watering hole or perched beneath billowing canvas on the shores of a winding river. These intimate and beautiful camps offer an unsurpassed immersion into some of the most remote and wildlife-rich landscapes in southern Africa.
This is perhaps the only hotel in the world where you may need to make way for passing elephants when checking in. During the month of November, a small herd of pachyderms nonchalantly tromps through reception on their way to a wild mango tree. The event—welcomed gleefully by guests and staff each year—might turn the tables on the traditional safari concept, but it’s indicative of the intimate wildlife experience guests can expect at Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamps.
South Luangwa National Park is known for its walking safaris, and The Bushcamp Company has made these safaris the cornerstone of their guest offerings. There is little more exhilarating and wondrous than exploring the African bush on foot, encountering its sights and sounds up close and learning about its ecology. The Bushcamp Company has honed the art; guests at the Bushcamps embark on daily morning walks accompanied by expert safari guides who know and understand South Luangwa intimately.
When you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, you’ll have the opportunity to take a complimentary private excursion to the schools that The Bushcamp Company supports. Visit classrooms and dormitories built by the lodge, learn about the successful school nutrition program, and meet with students who have been sponsored by The Bushcamp Company’s education initiatives.
Watch wildlife from your veranda at Mfuwe Lodge, a collection of 18 thatched chalets arranged around a stunning thatched pavilion.
The four raised thatched chalets of Bilimungwe are perched amid mahogany trees at the edge of several watering holes that animals frequent.
The three stilted treehouses of Chamilandu, set on the banks of the Luangwa River, have open fronts that allow for wildlife observation from your bed.
With the Chindeni Hills in the distance and an oxbow lagoon just below the expansive decks, the four vaulted canvas tents of Chindeni are a stylish retreat.
At the edge of the Kapamba River, Kapamba features four open-fronted chalets from which you can spot wildlife from your veranda or your sunken stone plunge pool.
Simple, intimate, and full of charm, the three round reed-and-thatch huts Kuyenda invite you into the Africa of old.
Zungulila offers a classic tented safari experience on a quiet bend in the Kapama River. Gaze at the stars from the riverside boma and take your drinks in shallows.
Since its founding in 1999, The Bushcamp Company has been deeply invested in protecting the South Luangwa National Park and supporting the communities around it. They have helped establish dozens of boreholes to supply clean water to nearby villages, and been involved in building schools, providing meals and school fees for students, and offering trainings and employment opportunities to school graduates. Educational campaigns encourage tree-planting and teach local students about the importance of conservation.
The lodge engages in green practices that include vermiculture, recycling, and solar energy use. They collaborate with the Zambian Carnivore Project, one of the projects supported by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, as well as the South Luangwa Conservation Society. The Bushcamp Company spearheaded the establishment of the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund, a collaborative initiative with other safari operators, and were instrumental in the purchase of a plane in 2013 for the South Luangwa Conservation Society to conduct anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring efforts in the park.
Educational Travel Community Annual Responsible Tourism Showcase, First Place Honoree, 2014
World Travel & Tourism Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, Runner-up for Worldwide Conservation Award, 2013
Best of Zambia Tourism Awards Winner, Zambia’s Best Lodge, 2009.
World Luxury Spa Awards Winner, Best Safari Spa and Best Spa Manager
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