- Remote, eco-friendly bush camp
- Optional sleep-outs under the stars
- Exhilarating up-close walking safaris
- Norman Carr Safaris Portfolio
Occupying a remote position on the banks of the seasonal Luwi riverbed in the heart of South Luangwa National Park, Luwi Bush Camp offers an extremely authentic and intimate safari experience. With no other camps for miles around, Luwi’s firm focus on walking safaris allows guests to become fully immersed in the wilderness, and reveals rare species and smaller details often missed during vehicle safaris in busier areas of the park. This eco-friendly camp is constructed anew each season out of local materials; though despite its rustic nature, it retains the exceptional standards of service, food, and comfort for which Norman Carr Safaris are known. Open from May to October, including a brief 'secret season', the camp is accessed via 3 hour road transfer from Mfuwe airport.
Nestled within a shady grove of mahogany trees near a hippo and croc-filled lagoon, the camp looks out across the floodplains to the riverbed. The main area is styled as a traditional 'chitenje'; open-sided, with a thatched roof and sand floor. This area contains a bar and small library, and there are various other communal seating areas dotted around the site amongst the trees. Comfortable chairs surround a campfire overlooking the floodplain, and dinner is usually enjoyed by candlelight under the stars; sometimes on the riverbed itself.
Four reed and thatch chalets are constructed each season to blend in completely with their surroundings. Although basic and with little ornamentation, the chalets remain comfortable, with double or twin beds draped in mosquito netting, and local, hand-made furniture. The spacious open-air ensuite bathrooms have running water and flush toilets, and the camp runs on solar power, with lamps in the rooms for getting about after dark. The honeymoon chalet is a little larger than the other three, with a front wall that opens out onto a private patio area where meals can be arranged upon request.
Activities centre on immersive walking safaris, during which the superb guiding typical of the Norman Carr portfolio really comes to light. Species rarely seen in other areas of the park, such as the elusive Roan antelope and eland, are observed up close, along with lions, leopards, and other wildlife attracted to the lagoons during the dry season. There’s a hide tucked away near camp, providing the exciting opportunity to observe animals unnoticed, and walking safaris often conclude here. A stay at Luwi’s sister camp, Nsolo, can also be arranged, with guests walking from one camp to the other. Walking safaris are complimented by some game drives; and being so remote, there is little chance of encountering other vehicles. In the summer, guests can enjoy a sleep-out in the riverbed at additional cost. Encircled by bonfires, this is a superb opportunity to star gaze under the brilliant night sky.
In accordance with National Park regulations, Luwi welcomes children of 12 years and over. With no pool or designated child activities, a stay would better suit more mature children with a keen interest in nature. For those travelling with younger children, Norman Carr sister camps Kapani Lodge, or the luxurious Chinzombo, offer children's programmes, pools, and family accommodation. Since the camp is unfenced, parents are reminded to keep children under supervision 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