…in Zambia from a well-traveled friend with terrific taste. Let’s go!
My friend went to The Bushcamp Company this past May and loved its walking and driving safaris. Here’s why, in her words:
- The flora and fauna are spectacular and varied: dense jungle, dry sandy areas, lagoons and rivers, flat plains, and hills.
2. It’s as yet “undiscovered.” Of course, westerners have been living and touring in and around South Luangwa for decades, but heavy tourism has not yet come to the area. We essentially had the park to ourselves.
3. The Bushcamp Company itself –
- Yes, the lodge and the camps are lovely, interesting, and in spectacular settings,
…but the people are really what make the difference. All are locals, black and white.
- The owners couldn’t be friendlier and more down-to-earth. A percentage of each guest’s lodging is donated to the South Luangwa Conservancy.
- The majority of the guides are local, native Zambians. They are incredible. Deeply knowledgeable and passionate about the wildlife and the natural world. Also, couldn’t be nicer.
4. The wildlife!
- There’s so much of it (60 mammal species and 400 bird species), and it’s all so amazing…There is more wildlife per square foot than you’ll see elsewhere in Africa. Elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons, impala, lilac-crested rollers, black mambas – all co-exist and often within the same scene.
- And you can get quite close to some of them.
Twice a year, when the mangos are in season, the same herd of elephants—for some reason—marches through the lobby of the Bushcamp Company’s lodge. Click on this link to see the amazing and endearing video of their parade.
- Twice daily: very early in the morning, then tea, then back to the lodge for lunch and a siesta, then tea again, then back out for a late evening – with sundowners by the river – and a night drive.
- The night drives are so dramatic. That’s when the leopards come out to hunt, and searching for a leopard in an open Land Rover Defender in the pitch black is very exciting!
- The Bushcamp Company offers walking safaris, too, which we took advantage of.
- The food is excellent, and there is enough variety to suit all tastes, including every kind of “ism.” There is no shortage of gin and tonics, for those so inclined.
- The lodge is beautiful, with hippos in a lagoon right outside one’s cottage!
- The other bush camps are each unique, with their own special character.
- One we stayed at (Chichendi) was set by a large, spectacular wetland or lagoon, and every variety of wildlife was seen throughout the day. Sunrise and sunset were gorgeous.
- The other camp we stayed at (Kapamba) was on a shallow river, and a huge tribe of baboons played and ran through the water in the morning as we ate our breakfast.
When to Go: My friend went in May and said, “The air was so clear and fresh and the temps were delightful.”
Literary Traveling Companions: Scribbling the Cat, by Alexandra Fuller; Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, by Alexandra Fuller; and of course, Out of Africa, by Isek Dinesen