- High-end safari camp
- Abundant and unique wildlife
- Excellent birding
- Wilderness Safaris Portfolio
Shumba is a pristine and high-end safari camp located amidst the grassy Busanga floodplains in the northern reaches of the vast and remote Kafue National Park, western Zambia. With just six luxury tents, attentive service and many thoughtful touches, Shumba is the perfect destination for travellers seeking a genuinely remote wilderness experience without having to forgo any creature comforts. Unusually for the area, the camp is open throughout the whole of May until November, providing a delightful base from which visitors can explore their unique, untouched surroundings known for their low visitor density and strong wildlife viewing which increases in intensity as the season progresses. Home to a large number of lion prides, countless lechwe and puku, hippo, elephant, buffalo, and a myriad of bird species, the camp is reached by light aircraft from Lusaka or Livingstone, followed by a short helicopter transfer.
Far grander than its rustic sister property Busanga Bushcamp, Shumba's well-appointed and stylish main area sits on a raised wooden platform nestled amongst fig trees, and contains a bar, dining area, and comfortable lounge with small reference library. Folding glass doors invite guests to unwind and take in the views. Outside, a large deck features a fire pit in the centre of a sunken seating area lined with cushions, as well as a small but inviting pool. The traditional ‘boma’ provides an intimate setting for lantern-lit evening meals under the stars.
The camp offers just six luxury tents, connected to the main area by raised walkways. Spacious and exceedingly comfortable, each comes equipped with two adjoining, four-poster beds draped in mosquito-netting. Roll-up canvas blinds allow guests to take in the views of sweeping plains and grazing antelope, with various armchairs and sofas situated both inside and outside on the private veranda. The en-suite bathrooms contain both indoor and outdoor showers, and laundry is included. One larger family unit sleeps four.
Activities centre on day or night game drives. Note that the seasonal nature of the floodplains will affect activity availability and the wildlife present, so it’s advisable to plan the timing of any trip to suit personal preference. The only camp in the area open in May, bird enthusiasts will enjoy boat trips over the flooded plains, with the opportunity to visit a breeding colony of open-billed storks. Later in the season, greater numbers of zebra and blue wildebeest are to be seen. As much of Zambia is covered in dense bushland, Busanga’s open floodplains can offer unique wildlife sightings, including cheetah, serval, Roan antelope, and oribi. Hot air balloon rides are included on stays longer than three days, offering a stunning vantage point to take in the sunrise and stirring wildlife below, followed by a champagne breakfast.
Children over 9 years of age are welcome, and despite the absence of fencing around the camp, the raised platforms create a somewhat safer feel than the more exposed Busanga Bushcamp (where, accordingly, the minimum age is 12 years). There is also a small pool to help keep children entertained, although no specific activity programmes. As the camp is within a particularly wild nature reserve, parents should note that adult 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