The Croc Nest has been set on a deck looking onto the banks of the Luangwa River, so it has lovely river views. This huge tented structure has been split into two en-suite tented bedrooms at either end of the house, both with either one king or two twin beds, with space for a third bed inside each bedroom if required. The two bedrooms both have semi-open air bathrooms with hot showers, flush toilets and basin. The bedrooms both lead into the living room/dining area in the middle of the house, which has sofas, soft chairs and a dining table for you to eat privately at the house if you prefer. If a group or family of six wish to take the house then the extra beds can also be set up in this large living area rather than in each bedroom, depending on your preference. The living room and both bedrooms open onto an outside deck and sitting area, with views onto the Luangwa River. There is a private swimming pool built into the deck too, just for the house guests, which also looks onto the river.
Set in a private spot away from the rest of camp, the Jackalberry Tree House is a special treat indeed. The “house” is made up by three joined platforms built around three mature Mchenja trees (African Ebony or Jackalberry tree). There are two en-suite bedrooms with an open sitting/dining deck in-between them. The bedroom platforms have romantic and rustic four poster beds (one queen and one king which can be split into two twin beds), open front walls and uninterrupted views of Africa. Each bedroom has an open air bathroom platform down a short flight of steps with hot shower, flush toilets and basin. A large sofa, armchairs and throw cushions are spread out on the middle deck for relaxing during the heat of the day and watching the game which wanders past the house, oblivious to your presence. There is also a dining table and chairs should you prefer to dine at the house. A fridge and bar are provided in the treehouse as well as tea and coffee-making facilities. Giraffe, bushbuck, puku and elephant are commonly found all around the Treehouse and it is wonderful to wake to the sounds of elephant feeding below you or having a mud bath from the waterhole in front of the house.
The six regular chalet rooms are found in three separate buildings. Each chalet building has a downstairs double room with en-suite bathroom and an upstairs twin or triple room with their own private bathroom just downstairs. There are four main chalet buildings, each of which has two separately guest rooms; the downstairs room is a double room with en-suite and a verandah downstairs, the upstairs room is a twin or triple room with bathroom and verandah downstairs from the bedroom but entirely private. The only area that might be shared with other people is the small "kitchenette" between the two halves of the building where you have a fridge and kettle and tea/coffee making things. This little corridor is shared between the two rooms, but has a lockable door for each room.
At the end of camp, there is a larger family chalet which has three bedrooms in total but just two en-suite bathrooms - the two downstairs bedrooms are both en-suite - one room has a double bed and a single bed, the other has three single beds. There is also a kitchen area between the two bedrooms. There is a spiral staircase from the kitchen leading up to the "loft room", sitting area and upstairs viewing deck. The viewing deck looks out towards the Luangwa River and is a wonderful place to relax and watch the sun set... The loft room has two more single beds but has no en-suite bathroom, people sleeping here need to share the bathrooms downstairs. Outside the chalet is an open sala sitting area with sofa and chairs.
There are seven Luxury en-suite safari tents, six of which are pitched permanently on the banks of the Luangwa. These made-to-order tents have a thatched roof for extra shade, en-suite facilities (hot shower, flush toilet and basin) with a canvas half roof over the bathroom, full-sized beds with sprung mattresses and large mosquito nets. The tents have electric lights, a fan and charging points for camera batteries. There is also a room safe and tea & coffee making facilities. Six of the luxury tents including the family tent look straight out onto the river, one tent (tent 11, the honeymoon tent) has plenty of privacy and looks out onto a pretty lagoon, which attracts plenty of birdlife as well as elephant for their daily mud baths and giraffe and bushbuck when they are thirsty.
The luxury Family Tent is a little different to the others, this is a specially designed tent which has space for a double bed and two single beds, both with large mosquito nets and with a large bathroom at the back of the tent, shared between the family. The family tent is found on the river bank with lovely views of the river.
There are also three “Standard” en-suite safari tents which are much smaller and simpler than the Luxury tents, but are still walk-in tents with en-suite bathrooms with open air shower, toilet and basin. Two of these standard tents are situated on the river bank, the other looks directly onto the same lagoon as the honeymoon tent. The standard tents also have full beds, mosquito nets, charging points and electric fans. The standard tents do not have tea and coffee making facilities or safes.
Animals of South Luangwa
South Luangwa has many herbivores, three of which stand out as being endemic to the area. Thornicroft’s giraffe has different markings to the giraffes in the rest of southern Africa. Those that are familiar with the others will see the difference and immediately see why these giraffe are often described as the most beautiful! Cookson’s wildebeest and Crawshay’s zebra are also endemic subspecies of the more common blue wildebeest and plains zebra. Elephant and buffalo are numerous with both having the freedom to wander throughout the GMAs (Game Management Areas aka conservation areas) surrounding the park, and the park itself. With no fences allowed in the GMAs the camp is regularly visited by these large herbivores. Antelope, especially impala, bushbuck and puku, are also present in large numbers, thus providing plenty of on the hoof takeaway for the predators of the valley! The main predators in the Luangwa Valley are lion, leopard, spotted hyena and wild dog. Lion, hyena and leopard are commonly seen with wild dog numbers on the increase, and although traditionally they used to only be seen in the rainy season, wild dog are now seen more regularly and in larger numbers throughout the year. The South Luangwa is renowned as being the place to see leopard. Leopard hunt nocturnally, and South Luangwa is one of Africa’s few national parks to allow spot lit night drives. Through the continued insistence on ethical and respectful guiding policy, leopards here in the Luangwa have become used to vehicles and are now considerate enough to continue hunting and feeding in their presence, leading to outstanding sightings.
In between game viewing activities relax by the pool while reading your favorite book or cool down and go for a swim. Night swimming is optional depending on what large mammals might be using the pool as a watering hole. Activities from camp include game drives (day and night), and walking safaris, both conducted with professional guides. Walking safaris from the camp, and South Luangwa in general, are renowned to be the best in all of Africa!
AT A GLANCE
- 2 bedroom Crocodile Nest with its own private pool
- 2 bedroomed Jackalberry Treehouse
- 6 Chalet rooms
- 1 Family Chalet
- 6 Luxury Tents all en-suite
- 1 Luxury Honeymoon Tent en-suite
- Swimming pool
- The open plan central lodge facility incorporates reception, lounge, dining and bar areas, under a thatch roof
- Gift Shop
- Closest camp to Mfuwe main gate which provides access to the South Luangwa National Park
- Game drives (day and night)
- Guided walking safaris
- Combination drive and walking safaris available
- All Inclusive: all meals, all beverages aside from premium drinks, two game viewing activities per day and laundry
- Wi-Fi available in bar area at an additional cost
- Mains electricity