If superb game viewing in one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in the world and a camp with a bucket-load of charm is what you’re looking for, then book a stay at Nkwali—pronto. One of three Robin Pope camps in the South Luangwa, Nkwali is just outside the park on a patch of Robin’s private land. As a result, activities are conducted in a rather beautiful (and very exclusive) area behind camp, as well as the main park. And with the fabulous guides and a team who are as charming as the camp itself, Nkwali is quite simply a must-visit.
At the lodge
Sprawled around a colossal ebony tree on the edge of the riverbank is the large, shady main area. Stone floors, traditional Zambian chairs and splashes of bright fabrics are fun & welcoming and the view across the river is phenomenal. Slightly further back, under the trees, are the swimming pool and dining area, although meals are often served al-fresco under the moonlit sky or on a sandbar in the middle of the river, truly taking bush dinners to the next level.
The 6 mini cottages are vast stone and thatch creations and are open-fronted to make the most of the splendid views and maximise wildlife viewing straight from the sumptuous beds. There is, however, a steel frame to pull across in the evening to prevent any wayward visitors! You can also opt for a little more privacy in Robin’s House, a 2 bedroomed, stylish house with its own exclusive chef.
Although the camp is outside the park, access is quick and easy via boat, the traditional pontoon (an adventure in itself!) or the main park gate. Each mode of transport leads to a different area and terrain so game viewing is varied and very, very good. The famous Zambian walking safaris are offered and guests can also visit the cultural village sponsored by RPS, Kawaza. In the green season, boat safaris up the Luangwa to sister camp Nsefu are brilliant fun!