- Authentic, traditional camp
- Exceptional guiding and tracking
- Diverse terrain and abundant wildlife
- High volume of return guests
Kuyenda Bushcamp is a simple, classic safari camp situated on the banks of the arid Manzi riverbed in the secluded southern area of South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia. Renowned for its top-class hosting, expert guiding, and superb walking safaris, Kuyenda offers a select and highly personalised service to just eight guests. With accommodation consisting of four charming, rustic chalets, the camp will appeal to travellers seeking a tranquil and authentic ‘back to nature’ bush camp experience. Open during the game-intensive June to November dry season, visitors to Kuyenda should come prepared for extremely high temperatures from October onwards, at a time when wildlife density is at its peak. Lion, elephant, leopard, zebra, impala, buffalo, and giraffe are regular sightings, with occasional glimpses of wild dog.
Shaded beneath a mahogany grove, the camp’s open-sided, thatched main area is elegant and comfortable, comprising lounge and dining areas, a small but fully stocked bar, and a selection of reading material. Outside, a pleasant campfire overlooks a grassy plain. Mealtimes are relaxed, communal affairs featuring buffet style breakfasts and lunches, with a delicious three course evening meal usually served beneath the stars.
Activities include day and night game drives, not to mention the magnificent guided walks for which the South Luangwa National Park is known. The area’s varied terrain and abundant wildlife, combined with the impressive tracking skills of the camp’s guides, make for extremely informative and popular walking safaris. At Kuyenda’s helm is renowned guide and wildlife expert, Phil Berry, who has lived in South Luangwa for over 30 years. His warmth and expertise generate a high volume of return guests, and visitors wishing to meet Phil are advised to check at the time of booking whether he will be in camp.
The accommodation consists of just four traditional thatch and grass chalets or ‘rondavels’. Each is simply furnished and sleeps two guests in one king size or two twin beds with mosquito nets. An ensuite open-air bathroom has twin hand basins, WC, and shower, with hot water available on request. Outside is a seating area with superb views of the wildlife. The camp runs on solar power and limited battery charging is available. The lack of mobile phone reception and Wi-Fi only adds to the charm of this remote and delightful retreat.
Children aged 12 years and older are welcome in camp. Younger guests may be accommodated when the camp is booked for exclusive group use, subject to hiring a private vehicle and guide for your stay. There is a minimum age of 12 years for participation in walking safaris. The camp does not have a designated family unit or child activity programme, and may be more suited to older children or to adventurous families seeking an ‘up close’ wilderness experience. The camp is unfenced and wild animals, including elephant and buffalo, regularly roam through. Although it is unlikely that wildlife would approach people or chalets, parents are reminded to supervise children 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