Mwamba Bush Camp

Set on the banks of the Mwamba River, a tributary of the Luangwa, the camp, sited under huge evergreen ebony trees, enjoys shady views of perennial water-holes, both of which have hides perched over them for fantastic photographic opportunities or simply quiet times viewing the animals.

Mwamba Bush Camp takes only 8 guests in 4 reed and thatch chalets, uniquely designed with two soaring skylights (protected by mosquito gauze) set into the roof allowing you to experience sleeping under the stars.

The nights at Mwamba Bush Camp are filled with wildlife action. Bats and owls (Pearl spotted and Scops in particular) set up the background sounds together with whirring cicadas. Puku and Impala alarm calls are often followed by the grunt of a leopard or whoop of a hyena as they pass through camp. Elephants are never far away and are especially fond of the tamarind and ebony fruit within the camp. There are two resident hippo in the waterholes that graze on the river bank at night, completing the picture.

The game around Mwamba is excellent; large herds of buffalo, zebra, eland and in particular Cookson’s wildebeest (one of the last herds in the SLNP are found on the plains and in the Mopane/Crocodile bark woodlands close to camp). They are followed by the “Mwamba” lion pride.

Reed and Thatch Chalet
Chalets at Mwamba Bush Camp are made of reed and thatch with large skylights in the roof to enjoy looking up at the stars at night.

The en-suite bathroom is open-air and includes a sink, a bucket shower and a flushing toilet.

Each chalet has its own private patio, overlooking the Mwamba riverbed.

Game Drives
Game-viewing from one of our custom built, open 4WD vehicles is a real pleasure. Comfortable, high seats allow superb all-round vision and easy photography. The vehicles have been modified to assist photographers with camera rests, shelves and bean bags.

Our qualified and experienced guides will take you to game-rich areas deep within the park which are not commonly visited by other vehicles.

Our game viewing loops are maintained and modified by ourselves with our own tractor and grader, so we are confident that we can show you the best that this amazing area has to offer without the discomfort caused by bumpy roads.

A morning game drive leaves camp around sunrise. Game-viewing starts from camp as we are in the park and our guides are quick to react to the alarm calls of Baboons or impalas etc. They position the vehicle in just the right spot to catch the morning sun on the source of activity – perhaps a leopard or a pride of lions. We have developed an excellent network of ‘loops’ that make the most of the forests, lagoons, plains and “Wafwas” (old courses of the river).

Game drives normally last approximately three and a half hours and are offered morning and afternoon. The evening game drive departs after afternoon tea. Usually your guide will stop for a sundowner around sunset time, and the drive will continue into the night to observe the nocturnal animals.

Whilst walking safaris are a thrilling experience, the wildlife is more at ease when viewed from a vehicle providing closer encounters and spectacular photographic opportunities.

Photographic Safaris
South Luangwa National Park has to be one of the best places in the world for visitors who want an authentic African photo safari. Shenton Safaris’ two camps are located in the most game rich area of the South Luangwa, it is also the area with the fewest other camps in the vicinity.

Special attention is paid to your photographic experience by providing all guests with bean bags, dust covers for their camera gear and of course there are our world renown photographic hides.

The game rich area combined with our expert guides, specially trained in lighting and photographic positioning, and the photographic hides means spectacular photos are guaranteed.

Shenton Safaris has always been the operation of choice for professional photographers and filmmakers. Many of the documentaries you’ll see today on National Geographic Channel have been filmed in our area and using our hides.

Walking Safaris
South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is famous for it’s guided walking safaris, the activity was initiated in the late 60s by national parks and wildlife service.

A Zambia walking safari offers a unique way to experience the bush and observe the African wildlife. Setting out from camp, a group of no more than 6 guests are escorted by a professional walking guide and an armed ZAWA scout.

This system of two people leading the walk has proved to be very safe over the years and in my opinion as a guide makes it possible to make sure our guests get the most out of the experience whilst maintaining the highest possible levels of safety.

A typical walking safari from Kaingo camp or Mwamba Bush Camp has a duration of approximately 3 hours. There are a number of beautiful walks around both of our camps that highlight the specialties of the area. From Kaingo, these include walking through our several hundred year-old, 3km long ebony forest; various waterholes and inland lagoons and along tributaries from the main Luangwa river. From Mwamba walks take place in the Mwamba river, the Crocodile river and beautiful Mopane woodland which is dotted with inland waterholes. There are also a number of large plains surrounding Mwamba which are host to a multitude of game such as Eland, Kudu, huge herds of buffalo and the rare Cookson’s Wildebeest. The area behind Mwamba is one of the last strongholds of this rare and indigenous wildebeest.

Camp-Outs in the Bush

As a special activity we also offer over-night “camp-outs” (sleeping open under a net, close to the camp-fire) on request. These trips allow visitors (a maximum of 4) to get a sense of the absolute wildness of the South Luangwa National Park as there are no other camps or trails for miles around.

One of our experienced guides, along with the scout, will lead you deep within the park on a day walking safari away from any tracks or human development. The area north of Mwamba is totally remote and underdeveloped. It is excellent walking country – the heart of the valley. The group will camp out under the stars that night close to a secluded waterhole.

There is a certain thrill not easy to describe here in words, about sleeping under a mosquito net open to the stars close to a large campfire – listening to the distant call of a hyena or lion, or the grunt of a leopard as it marks its territory nearby. The cool dry nights from June to September are ideal for camp-outs and we are very fortunate to have special permission from National Parks to offer this highly unusual experience.

Numbu Sleep Out
Due to the popularity of the “ellie hide” sleep out at Kaingo we have added a similar set up for our guests based at Mwamba, The Numbu platform is set in a vast open savannah plain, about 15 minutes from Mwamba Bush Camp.

Two options are available:
•  After Dinner: The guide will bring guests to the platform after regular dinner at Mwamba, and will collect them in the morning at a pre-arranged time.

•  Before Sunset: The guide will bring the guests to the platform in time for sundowners and will prepare a simple braai for them around the fire place. He will pick them up in the morning at a pre-arranged time.

The sleeping platform is beautifully set with a queen size bed, warm duvet, large mosquito net, washing basin, lanterns and radio. A bush toilet (long drop) is available on the ground, under the platform.

The guide and an armed scout will spend the night in a nearby boma and will be equipped with a radio, in case of a change of heart.

Photographic Hides
Photographic hides are just one of the elements that make our two bush camps so special. These hides are used regularly by National Geographic, BBC and Discovery channel for numerous photographic shoots and the making of wildlife documentaries.

However, these hides are not just for photographers and film makers. They are for anyone who loves wildlife. They provide an up-close-and-personal view into the lives of the animals, enabling you to watch them undisturbed in their natural environment. That said, we are well equipped to take care of our photographers and we provide specialist bean bags, dust covers and charging facilities.

These unique photographic hides of Derek’s own design are a special feature of Shenton Safaris. These hides are guaranteed to get you close enough to the wildlife to take a whole host of stunning photos – in complete safety. We offer the following photographic hides:

Hippo hide
Elephant hide
Carmine bee-eater hide
Mwamba’s last waterhole hide
and sometimes, additional mobile hides

For more information about Mwamba Bush Camp click HERE.

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