- Secluded national park location
- Abundant wildlife in and around camp
- Swimming pool and billiards room
Lion Camp is an independent lodge situated in the game rich, secluded northern sector of South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia. This stylish camp offers friendly hosting, knowledgeable guiding and well-appointed, competitively priced accommodation, with facilities including a swimming pool and billiard room. A three hour drive from Mfuwe Airport, the lodge sits beside a tranquil lagoon popular with wildlife, and guests can enjoy superb game viewing from the comfort of their own veranda. Elephant, hippo, zebra, baboon, and antelope regularly visit camp, whilst the surrounding grassy plains attract large numbers of lion, leopard, buffalo, and giraffe.
The camp’s airy, thatched main building includes a lounge area with comfortable sofas and vibrant soft furnishings, along with a library, bar, billiards room, and gift shop. Guests enjoy buffet-style lunches and three course plated evening meals in the communal dining area. Outside is a lovely swimming pool with sun loungers and fantastic views of the floodplain, and a central courtyard with a fire pit, perfect for relaxing with an after dinner drink.
Activities focus on day and night game drives, and guided walks with qualified, enthusiastic guides. Regular lion sightings, including the famed ‘Hollywood’ pride featured in numerous BBC documentaries, are a highlight. The camp operates from June to October, and visitors during October should come prepared for the very high temperatures which coincide with the area’s peak wildlife density. The lodge is located well away from the national park’s main Mfuwe gate, meaning that guests rarely encounter other vehicles during game drives.
The camp accommodates up to 18 guests in nine wood and canvas chalets with thatched ceilings. Constructed on raised platforms and connected by a wooden boardwalk, each spacious chalet sleeps two in double or twin bed formation. All units have fans and electrical charging sockets, but due to the remote location, mobile phone reception and Wi-Fi are not available. The ensuite bathrooms comprise WC, washbasin, and shower. Outside is a fabulous private veranda with seating, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the wonderful views.
Children over 7 years are welcome in camp, subject to arrangement, and younger children can be accommodated if the camp is booked for exclusive group use. A discount is offered for guests under 18 years when sharing with an adult, and one extra bed can be provided in chalets on request. Note that there is a minimum age of 16 years for guided walks. The camp is unfenced and animals do regularly wander through, and while it is highly unlikely that wildlife would approach chalets or people, parents are reminded that children must be supervised at all times.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019