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Mchenja Bush Camp

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Small-scale, luxury tented camp
- Shaded plunge pool
- Up-close walking safaris
- Game drives

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Overview

Named for the nearby grove of ebony trees, Mchenja Bushcamp is an elegant tented camp with superb views of the South Luangwa National Park’s unspoilt wilderness. A two hour drive from Mfuwe airport, each of the camp’s five tented chalets overlook the huge sweeping bend in Zambia’s Luangwa River, the perfect backdrop for a relaxing stay. Mchenja is arguably Norman Carr’s most luxurious camp, and one of the best in the area. Even during peak sunlight hours, guests can enjoy welcome shade from the ebony grove, as well as the surrounding sausage trees. Guests have the choice of staying close to camp and indulging in comfort and pampering, or exploring the area further.

The camp comprises five tented chalets, spaced far enough apart to ensure privacy. Each hexagonal tent is designed to be light and airy, and floor to ceiling canvas windows with billowing cotton curtains let the breeze through on hot days. The tents also have their own private en-suite open air bathroom with hot and cold shower, plus Victorian style baths with delightful river views and a decking area featuring a small shaded plunge pool, which although not large enough for swimming, is deep enough to completely submerge in for a refreshing escape from the heat.

Peak safari season is between June and October, but the camp is also open in the last weeks of May and first weeks of November. Those who visit during October and November will experience the highest wildlife concentrations, although they will also need to come prepared for some very high temperatures. Mchenja is located in a strong game area and offers both walking safaris and 4WD safaris. It’s possible to combine Mchenja into a camp-to-camp walking trip, as it’s only a morning’s walk from its sister-camps, Kakuli and Nsolo. As with most of the South Luangwa, sightings of lions and leopards are fairly common; during the dry season guests might be lucky enough to see antelope, mongoose, or even bushbabies, and the birdlife is phenomenal.

Aside from safari activities, guests can choose to simply relax at camp and spend the day reading books from the small library in the many comfortable sofas. The bar is well stocked with soft drinks, spirits, beer and wine, and afternoon tea with cake is served after a midday siesta. The main lounge is sheltered by a sausage tree, which is designed to look like it’s falling into the dining area. Dinner is usually served when guests return from the evening game drive. Meals are normally enjoyed communally, but private dinners can be arranged for anyone who wishes to enjoy the beautiful sunset views of the river in peaceful seclusion.

For safety reasons, the camp only accepts children aged 12 and over if they’re part of a booked family group. Children are not permitted to join guided walks, but may take part in game drives, which will easily thrill them as the 'Lion Plain', where safaris take place, certainly lives up to its name. Parents should note that the camp is unfenced and is also beside a steep, and occasionally unstable, bank of the Luangwa River so children must be kept under adult supervision at all times.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.

    It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.

    Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!

    My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.

    MissingWilliam M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020

  • Hi Lisa,

    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!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan 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

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

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