- Exceptional lion viewing
- Abundant plains wildlife
- Intimate bush camp
- Wilderness Safaris Portfolio
Busanga Bush Camp is an intimate and rustic dwelling located in the heart of the Busanga Plains, in the northern reaches of Kafue National Park, western Zambia. The vast seasonal floodplains of this enormous and untrammelled National Park afford visitors a remote and authentic safari experience in surroundings known for their low visitor density. Open seasonally for the June to October dry season, the camp's knowledgeable guides accompany guests on comprehensive game drives, showcasing a landscape which teems increasingly with wildlife as the season progresses. Buffalo, puku, lechwe, zebra, wild dog, cheetah, and intense concentrations of lion roam here, along with some unique wildlife particular to the Busanga Plains. With just four well-appointed tented chalets, warm hosting, and simple yet comfortable facilities, guests are guaranteed relaxation and tranquility at this welcoming and characterful base. The camp is reached via light aircraft from Lusaka, or from Livingstone to an airstrip in the park, followed by a road transfer.
Set amongst fig trees, Busanga is far less grand than Shumba, it's sister camp also located within the Kafue National Park. The facilities are minimal but comfortable, with an open-air central lounge area complete with wicker sofas on which to relax and enjoy the unrestricted views across the ‘dambos’. Breakfast is often served here, and the mist rolling off the plains can create spectacular sunrises. A small library, tea and coffee, and a self-service bar are available, but it must be said there is little to do between safari activities, and a stay will suit more independent guests. There is a fire-pit surrounded by directors’ chairs, and evening meals are enjoyed in the intimate lantern-lit ‘boma’.
The camp accommodates eight guests in four chalets designed in the style of traditional Meru tents. Canvas walls allow the welcome breeze in, although the fact that the accommodation is open to the elements means that guests will need to be comfortable with the occasional visiting gecko or frog! Each suite comes equipped with twin beds draped in mosquito netting, and a private veranda overlooking the breath-taking landscape. Open-air bathrooms feature hot showers and flush toilets, and laundry is included.
The Busanga Plains comprise a terrain unlike the bush lands of much of Zambia, and as such offer wildlife rarely witnessed elsewhere, including sightings of Roan antelope and blue wildebeest. Specialist birding safaris will reward ornithologists with the endemic Chaplin's barbet, as well as a plethora of other species. Day and night game drives are offered, with hot air balloon rides available from August to October. During the floods characteristic of the early dry season, mokoro (dug out canoes) and boat rides might be possible (water-levels permitting), along with the occasional walking safari when the plains have dried out a little more. Note that the high seasonality of the area can limit activities at times, particularly during early June or late October.
Children over 12 are welcome, although children from 8 to 12 years of age are permitted if the entire camp is booked out for one group. With no pool, and no specific children's activities, a stay here may be better for older children with a keen interest in nature. Although it is rare for wildlife to approach humans, the camp is unfenced and animals do wander through, so parental supervision is essential 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