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at Track And Trail River Camp

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Guests1 room, 2 adults, 0 children
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We stayed here for a week in a beautiful room, overlooking the Luangwa river. With the sound of the hippos in the background it...
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... If it's your first time to Africa or you only have room or money for one wildlife itinerary then this really is a...
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... of wild animals from the tent door. The luxury en-suite tent was very cozy and perfect for relaxing. The facilities...
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A S wrote a review Oct 2023
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+1
We stayed here for a week in a beautiful room, overlooking the Luangwa river. With the sound of the hippos in the background it was wonderful to sleep. The meals were also beautiful every time, not only to look at but also the taste was delicious.
We went out for 7 days with Peter twice a day, early in the morning and in the afternoon. He gave us the opportunity to learn to use our camera and spot beautiful animals with the right Light. So we were able to take some nice picture.
Our thanks go to,
Chi Chi and Peter and of course all the staff for a great stay
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Date of stay: September 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Peter Geraerdts, Owner at Track And Trail River Camp
Responded 25 Oct 2023
Dear Rene & Anke, Hartelijk dank voor jullie feedback betreft de lodge en safaris. Ik ben blij dat jullie genoten hebben. Hopelijk tot een volgende keer. Gr P
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Kampala_Hoop wrote a review Oct 2013
London, United Kingdom53 contributions50 helpful votes
A bit of background first, I came here as a very budget backpacker firstly on a single trip to Zambia in 2007 and then again as part of a round the world tour in 2010 so I might have different expectations and needs than other travelers.

The first trip we made use of their camping ground which directly overlooks the Luangwa River and chose a shady tree for our two tents. This here would either be a five star experience for some or a one star for others, as the tents were almost constantly surrounded by Elephants all night which ate the leaves from the trees. This was a wildlife experience that money cannot buy in most lodges and to have 15-30 elephants trunking the tents, carefully pacing over the guideropes and dropping twigs on the tent fro their mouths was stunning/terrifying in equal measure. We also had hippos, giraffes and countless ungulates within touching distance.

When I returned in 2010 they have moved the camping area to the rear of the site and created elevated wooden platforms for the tents. This is slightly less adventurous and you lose the river view, but you are still visited by elephants daily and it takes little away and you also get power outlets so watching movies in the middle of the night surrounded by animals is pretty special.

For $6 a night, this has to be the bargain of the century.

The rest of the camp is lovely, well beyond what the cost of the camping should have offered. The pool gave great views of the hippo-filled river, with regular stand offs between lions, elephants, hippos and crocodiles, all within easy earshot and eyesight. The shower rooms are rustic but perfectly fine for a campsite in Africa, not to be complained about at all, there wasnt much in the way of hot water but it wasnt often needed or wanted.

The bar area looks back out on the river and the same comments as per the pool area can go for here, except you will have a beer in your hand. The food is probably among the best i have had in Africa, its world class. It wasnt the cheapest place to eat, but when you consider that the villas on the site are not budget accommodations, then its to be expected, and when i say it wasnt cheap, an amazing meal was about $7.

Game drives from the lodge were a highlight. You didnt really need them seeing as how much game you saw from the camp, but for $35 you got about 6 hours in South Luangwa National Park, which is just 20 minutes away across the river. The game here is stunning and there are so few other vehicles that you really get that feeling of a wilderness safari. South Luangwa isnt a flat plains park like the Mara, its more like clumpy woodland and dry riverbeds which isnt the most picturesque but the wildlife makes up for it and the fact that you can drive off road means you can get seriously close to the wildlife. We saw plenty of lions, elephants, leopards, hyenas, zebra and giraffe, pretty much everything we wanted to see there and all from a few feet and the guides (who may be shared between the lodges here, im not sure) were excellent and you were usually on your own in the car, certainly it was exclusive to track and trail clients.

The position of the camp means that you will need to request a pick up. The first time we went we were picked up from the airport, but as i was on more of a budget the second time, i took a taxi from Chipata, some 6 hours away, which finally broke down in Mfuwe, around half an hour's walk from the campsite so we made the decision to walk it and it is a VERY dangerous walk (we were told off twice when we repeated it to go to Mfuwe for some meat to cook on the included BBQs) as you pass a creek where elephants and hippos are often spooked and will charge across to get to the water. This is no fault of the camp, but if you are coming by minibus or your taxi breaks down in Mfuwe, you might want to have the mobile number of the camp to come and pick you up.

Service is great, Kirsten who runs the camp was very helpful, one night i was sick and she put me in one of the chalets for free and it really felt like a family by the end of it. Like I said, i've been back already and i think in total i must have stayed for about 12-14 nights overall.

On the whole, i think for a backpacker on a budget, this is the best option I have been to or seen for the African safari experience. If it's your first time to Africa or you only have room or money for one wildlife itinerary then this really is a great place to stay and the park is one of the best I have been to in over 8 African countries.
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Date of stay: November 2012Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: I was in a tent, but the rooms are very nice.
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Lasse L wrote a review Jul 2013
Sweden278 contributions124 helpful votes
We stayed here on a tour organized by Kiboko Safaris, Lilongwe. The camp area was clean, easy to navigate and had a great view on the river with great observation of wild animals from the tent door. The luxury en-suite tent was very cozy and perfect for relaxing. The facilities were clean and the main room in the tent had a classical safari interior. During our visit it was low season so the camp area was pretty empty and during the night an elephant stood outside our door while other nights we heard hippos and monkeys passing by outside the tent - what an experience! :)

The visit was pleasant and the bar was also well stocked, though pricey due to remote location. We can warmly recommend this camp and South Luangwa in general.
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Date of stay: November 2012Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Christopher C wrote a review Nov 2014
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa2 contributions2 helpful votes
We camped at Track and Trail for 4 nights in mid October. It was my first time at the camp and also in South Luangwa. What an incredible place. We were visited by ellies and hippo in the camp pretty much on a nightly basis. The two story thatched camping hides were a great and unique touch. The riverside rimflow pool was beautiful and it was nice to be able to use a gym. The bar and lounge area are pretty without being too flashy, and the views across the river are great. It's quick and easy to get into the park, which for its part provides the best game viewing of anywhere I have ever been. Staff are friendly and helpful and there are plenty of activities, most notably the photographic safaris with the lodge's owner Peter. This is a great experience for any budding photographers and Peter really knows his stuff, and the customized photographic Land Cruiser is a special touch. Overall, an unforgettable experience and a wonderful place to enjoy all that South Luangwa has to offer, without paying through the roof for a more luxurious option. From what I could see, chalets and suites also looked very nice, as did the food being served up in the restaurant, I will definitely be back!
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Date of stay: October 2014Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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PreciousM474 wrote a review Apr 2013
Lusaka110 contributions24 helpful votes
+1
Great place to visit. Very close to the game park and the lodge is very natural. Most of the chalets and tents have full river view. The elephants, buffalo and hippos came to the lodge though it was the emerald season - the hippos literally 'grazed' outside our room!!! Of course we had someone to keep us all safe at all times.
Amazing experience, and Track and Trail really sets the tone that allows you to get close to nature and appreciate the wildlife- saw the Big 5!
The staff were friendly and the other guests were nice too. Will go back again, hopefully soon. Great room rates and there are really nice chalets that great for us wildlife virgins!
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Date of stay: March 2013Trip type: Travelled with friends
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