Originally opened in the 1950s, this little gem of a bushcamp in the Nsefu Sector of the South Luangwa is the oldest in the park. In fact, it was actually the first photographic safari camp in Zambia and feels wonderfully rustic and historically charming. Back in the 50s, the Nsefu region had already revealed its extraordinary qualities and phenomenal concentrations of game and today, it’s even better. Expect wild dog springing across the salt-encrusted plains, hyena sniffing around every corner and no other vehicles in sight. Who could resist?
At the lodge
From its elevated position on a meander of the Luangwa, the chitenge has brilliant views of the rippling river and if you’re lucky, the elephants that sometimes wade across. Antique books, beautiful photographs of old and simple furnishings are understatedly elegant and perfectly in keeping with the rustic charm. Also on offer is a small hide that looks out over a pretty water-hole—a lovely place to while away an afternoon, eye to eye with the wildlife.
Due to their status as protected monuments, the 6 brick and thatch rondavels have changed little since the 50s unlike the interiors, which have benefited from lots of TLC. Expect pale linens, whitewashed floors and state of the art air cons in the bedroom and open-air bathrooms at the back with plenty of hot water. Outside each hut is a raised seating area with safari chairs overlooking the river, just calling out for a G&T and a good book…
Walking safaris are a staple at Nsefu and can be done in the mornings and evenings under the expert and watchful eyes of a guide and armed ranger. It’s also possible to walk to sister camp, Tena Tena, for a taste of the real old-school safaris. The game drives are excellent and always very rewarding and in the green season, a boat trip down the swollen Luangwa shows off the park in its lusciously green glory.