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Guide to Zambia’s Bush Camps
Bush camps are uniquely Zambian having been pioneered in the Luangwa Valley. They go hand-in-hand with walking safaris which will often move from camp to camp. Often seasonal due to their remote location there are a range of options available. Here we give our run down on why a stay in one is a must on any visit to Zambia. Bush camps have become as integral to the Zambian safari experience as walking safaris, and the two combine perfectly for a really adventurous trip. They range in style dramatically from a fly camp erected each night for the most dedicated enthusiasts, to seasonal rustic shelters to luxurious chalets that it is hard to believe can be created in such remote locations. Highlights of a stay in them include:
1. As the name suggests, you have the best chance of connecting with the bush…
The first bush camps were low on comfort, high on experience. You could expect to have just a sheet of canvas between you and the wilds of Zambia (if you were lucky!). Although bush camps have continually evolved over the years with some now offering a plethora of luxurious touches, they aim is always to give you the best experience out in the thick of the bush.
You may not have the best night’s sleep with a wild soundtrack, but you will rarely encounter another soul when out on safari and can expect wonderful night skies thanks to low levels of light pollution.
2. You don’t have to ‘rough it’ if you don’t want to…
Specialist operators such as the Bushcamp Company have some of the most spectacular locations in the South Luangwa on the banks of the Luangwa and Kapamba Rivers with luxury touches without compromising on the bush experience.
3. You can expect a remote and exclusive stay…
One of the best things about staying at a bush camp is that they are more often than not situated in remote areas where you will be rewarded by an exclusive safari experience which you will often have all to yourselves – camps will often sleep a maximum of eight guests and sometimes as few as six. For those after a true wilderness experience, the aptly-named Remote Africa Safaris operates two bush camps – Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp, both of which accommodate no more than six people – for walking safaris in the far east of the South Luangwa in an area that has no roads – you are unlikely to see anyone other than your fellow guests. For those after an even more wild experience combine these with a stay at their camp in the North Luangwa – Mwaleshi – which is in an area with great game viewing, especially for lions.
4. They’re a great option for photographers…
Staying at bush camps can be a good choice for photographers keen to capture some candid shots of wildlife. The low impact that the bush camps have on their surroundings often means that game will come closer than at established lodges making for some wonderful, natural shots. Shenton Safaris’ Mwamba Camp has a hide overlooking a waterhole which is a magnet for game, particularly during the dry season.
5. They are often the green option…
The most remote and rustic bush camps will often not have power, and for many this is a great appeal of staying at them. Increasingly bush camps that do use electricity are solar-powered, whilst Norman Carr have taken it one step further by becoming the first carbon neutral operator in the South Luangwa, so for a guilt-free stay you could do worse than Luwi Bush Camp.
Check out our favourite itineraries which include bush camps:
Walk on the wild side - combining some of the South Luangwa’s most luxurious and atmospheric bush camps you can expect excellent guiding, wonderful wildlife and beautiful settings to boot.
Rivers and rainbows - for those after the best of both worlds when it comes to luxury and bush experience, this itinerary stays at two of the South Luangwa’s best camps which are both completely carbon neutral and makes the most of the Emerald Season’s amazing game viewing and low prices!
Zambia and Malawi adventure - enjoy a remote bush camp stay which gets you back to basics with open reed chalets overlooking the Luangwa River before a luxurious beach break on Lake Malawi.
Do you want to get off-the-beaten-track or visit some of Zambia’s most renowned places?
Call us on 020 3141 2810 or email us to get the ball rolling with a tailor-made itinerary.