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Zambia Safari

Nsefu Camp

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

View of Bedroom at Nsefu Camp
Return to South Luangwa Camps & Lodges                     Image © Robin Pope Safaris

View images of Nsefu Camp: Nsefu Images

NSEFU CAMP RATES: Nsefu Camp Rates

Founded by the legendary Norman Carr in the 1950's, Nsefu was the first safari camp in Zambia, and has a very special ambience. Nsefu Camp is situated on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River, 12 miles north of Tena Tena Camp, far in the north of the Park's undeveloped Nsefu Sector.

At the end of the seventies the camp was abandoned. Robin Pope reopened Nsefu Camp in 1982 and this is where he really started earning his reputation. Robin managed Nsefu for 5 years, during which time he used the Tena Tena site as a fly camp. In 1986 he left Nsefu and moved to Tena Tena full time. Robin and Jo Pope reopened the camp in July 1999, in keeping with the original style, and so operate the only 2 camps in the Nsefu Sector of the park.

Nsefu Camp offers charm and total comfort in remoteness and seclusion. The perennial Luangwa River is the very life-blood of the Park and, together with its many oxbow lagoons, it ensures a permanent supply of water to support high concentrations of wildlife.

Nsefu is a lovely camp with a nostalgic ambience and a wonderful location. As at all Robin Pope camps, the atmosphere is intimate, the camp staff friendly and professional, and the service highly personalized.

The camp is open from June through October.

Accommodation            For images of Nsefu Camp, click Nsefu Images
Only 12 guests are accommodated in six beautifully restored rondavels from the 1950's. All are whitewashed with thatched roofs, open-air bathrooms, and decorated with understated elegance. Each of the original rondavels has been extended, with a spacious bathroom added.

Each rondavel has its own wooden veranda with comfortable directors chairs. Crisp cotton sheets, thick cotton towels and linen bathrobes, along with the characteristic English toiletries, are a luxurious touch. Every bed in camp has its own private view of the Luangwa River.

Lighting is supplied by generator and solar lamps.

Dining & Facilities
The view of the Luangwa River from Nsefu Camp is superb and includes a terraced area where game grazes during the day. The thatched bar and communal lounge area is tucked in beside a huge extinct termite mound and overlooks a waterhole that is very productive for game - for those fortunate enough, leopard at night are a special reward.

In keeping with authentic feel of early safari days, the camp has original 1920's hand basins, a working gramophone player, and heavy hotel-silver cutlery is used, with dinners served by candlelight. Breakfast is served at dawn on the grass terrace in front of camp.

The camp also includes laundry services.

Apart from being well removed from the busier Mfuwe sector of the park, one of the great highlights of the Nsefu sector is the abundance of 'Luangwa Wafwas' (literally 'dead Luangwas'). These are dried out oxbow lakes that have been replaced by lush grasslands, and attract game in large numbers. This sector of the park is famous for its concentrations of plains game (which in turn attract predators), especially huge herds of buffalo that move around in the area.

Activities at Nsefu take advantage of the great game-viewing in the area, and include game-drives in specially adapted open safari vehicles (both day and night-drives), and guided walks. Visitors to the South Luangwa Valley have the possibility of seeing over 400 species of birds, and 100 species of mammal, including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, and hippo. Two of the more interesting species of game - Thornicroft's Giraffe and Cookson's Wildebeest - are endemic the Luangwa Valley.

South Luangwa game walks, considered by many to be the best in Southern Africa, are led by a qualified guide and accompanied by an armed game scout, offer an even more intimate bush experience.

Walking Safaris
Robin Pope Mobile Walking Safari
The Robin Pope Mobile Walking Safaris have become famous for their adventure and "true Africa" experience. The mobile walking safaris venture to the remote area of the Mupamadzi River in the north of the South Luangwa National Park. This safari runs ten nights and includes a four or five day walking portion which explores diverse habitats - hills, woodland and vast grassy plains as well as the river. Walking safaris encourage guests to use all their senses while in the bush - from hearing to smell, as well as sight. The anticipation of what is around the corner keeps your focus keen.

The game is less concentrated and unused to man's presence, so approaching the animals is that much more rewarding. The fully staffed mobile camp has everything you'll need, including walk-in tents, mattressed camp beds, a shared long-drop loo and a hot bucket shower. The safari includes 2 nights at Nkwali, 5 nights walking in the mobile tented camp, and 3 nights at Tena Tena. These walking safaris run from mid June through the end of September.

North Luangwa Walking Trail
Th ten-day North Luangwa Walking safari starts at Nkwali Camp for three nights. Guests will then transfer to Tena Tena for three nights, and the safari will end with four nights at Kutandala.

The transfer to Kutandala Camp in the North Luangwa is by light aeroplane. The North Luangwa National Park is very remote and wild - a place for real bush lovers to visit. Made of reed, grass and poles, and taking only six guests, the camp is intimate and natural. As well as the walking safaris there is the chance for an all day drive to the confluence of Mwaleshi and Luangwa rivers.

Excursions can also be made to the Chipopoma Falls where there are clear water pools for a dip. The safari accommodates only 6 guests and runs on set dates from June - October.

Other Walking Trails
The Nsefu Walking Trail runs for 7 nights - 2 Nkwali, 3 Walking Camps, and 2 Nsefu.
The Lundu Walking Mobile Safari runs for 9 nights - 2 Nkwali, 4 Mobile Camp, and 3 Nsefu.

The South Luangwa is an area of superb gameviewing. On game drives and walks, guests explore the bush at many levels. From the termites crossing the road, to a bee-eater catching a butterfly, to the family of elephants drinking at a lagoon, everything is part of the experience. Nsefu's safari vehicles are open and this provides for excellent game viewing and photography. Nsefu also offers night drives which allow you to see different species and observe their behaviour.

The game is always in the vicinity of the camp. With three distinct habitats, the river, the adjoining lagoons, and the plains where there is a wide diversity of game. Amongst the species, waterbuck, zebra, warthog and greater kudu are common place. The wandering herds of elephant are amongst some of the largest left in Africa. Buffalo continuously move in search of fresh pastures and water. In their wake come the predators, the lion and hyena. Leopard hunt the smaller game under cover of darkness.

Elephants often cross the Luangwa River, seen from the bar, or come to the waterhole near the thatched dining room. The area around Nsefu Camp is also famous for leopard and giraffe sightings.

Special features of the South Luangwa National Park:
• Thornicroft's Giraffe
• 14 different antelope species
• Plenty of leopards
• 47 migrating bird species from Europe and Russia
• Birds of prey (i.e. Steppe Eagles and Buzzards)

Top           Return to South Luangwa Camps & Lodges           Return to Map of Zambia

For History and General information about Zambia, click More Zambia
For further information about the National Parks of Zambia, click Zam Parks

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