Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp

Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp

After 20 years, our first wild dog...
Traveller (87)
Reed and Thatch Chalets with beautiful sky lights
Room & Suite (28)
Main Chitenge with Bar, Lounge and Dining Area
Dining (13)

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About

5.0
#19 of 24 lodges in South Luangwa National Park
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Kaingo and Mwamba are the proud creation of the Shentons, a family of wildlife conservationists spanning three generations. As one of the few remaining owner-run operations, Derek Shenton and his wife Jules, have developed the camps and our exclusive network of wildlife hides to truly immerse our guests in nature. Meaning ‘heaven’ in our local language, Mwamba is the quintessential African bushcamp. Our intimate camp features just 4 rustic rooms, authentically recreated each year using woven reed, thatch and other natural materials. The rooms are perched overlooking the meandering Mwamba River with comfortable, shaded verandas from which to enjoy the abundant birdlife and feeling of total serenity. Gauzed skylights offer views of the stars enjoyed from the luxury of your deep, king size bed. Solar power provides each room with lighting and cooling fans for the summer months. The ensuite, outdoor bathrooms elevate the bush experience further with carved stone basins and steaming hot bucket showers allowing you to feel even more immersed in and connected with nature. Delicious meals and stories of the day’s encounters are shared around the glowing campfire with our central bar and dining area snugly located under the shade of soaring ebony trees. When not out exploring the bush, guests can enjoy the camps famous 'Last waterhole hide'. A short walk from the camp, this productive hide is truly a wildlife enthusiasts dream spot.
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Property amenities
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Free airport transportation
Airport transportation
Laundry service
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HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.5 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Mid-range
Hidden Gem

Location

South Luangwa National Park 00000 Zambia
93Reviews1Q+A21Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Wreichhardt wrote a review Oct 2023
Annapolis, Maryland
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our second trip to Africa and my husband and i think it was better than the first. We began our trip at Mwamba. During the first game drive, after an hour, i was a bit concerned that we hadn't seen any animals. But then, all of a sudden seemingly, we saw so much!! and that continued for our four night stay. our guide was Chappy and we were in good hands. He made sure we saw leopards daily, lots of lions and elephants (with lots of young) and all sorts in the antelope family. Back at camp, we enjoyed the small intimate atmosphere. Emma is the manager and she is totally hands on, making sure everything is perfect. Mwamba is privately owned and we liked that, in fact, the owner was at camp for a few days, he lives in Harare, he too is hands on. All meals were outside, by a camp fire or by the bar area, often with animals in view. the food was healthy and very very tasty. Drums announced meal time and we finally found out that Davis was the great drummer! made me dance, and John joined in our fun! Henry is a dear. We felt like family. We would love to return!
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Date of stay: September 2023
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: we stayed in the Sausage Tree chalet and think it had the best view!
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 13 Oct 2023
Dear Sharron, thanks so much for your feedback - we're delighted you enjoyed your recent stay with us at Mwamba Bush Camp. The intimate feel to the camp is something we work very hard on retaining, we want to ensure all our guests leave with incredible memories and feeling part of the Shenton family. We'd be thrilled to welcome you back again (over 60% of our guests return!) and hope to hear from you soon.
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Nick W wrote a review Oct 2022
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Wonderful trip. The highlights we're obviously the animals,but closely followed by the welcome the camp staff gave us, the camp itself and the food. The camp is a bush camp but very well organised,with comfortable accommodation and excellent food. The guides are all very knowledgeable and we saw everything we had hoped. The waterhole hide is a big advantage as lots of wildlife congregate there each day. I would recommend the experience,I have been to Africa a lot,but this was my wife's first trip and it was her favourite camp .South Luangwa is great, Shentons know what they're doing and it shows. We also stayed at Kiango which I will review separately.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 06 Oct 2022
Many thanks for your review Nick, we're thrilled you enjoyed your stay with us at Mwamba Bush Camp. The Last Waterhole Hide is favourite amoung guests and is one of the many reasons people return to us year after year. What an incredible treat for your wife, this having been her first time on safari in Africa - you could not have chosen a better spot or time of year to travel! We do hope to see you both return to South Luangwa again soon.
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Penny P wrote a review Sept 2022
San Rafael, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed at Mwamba for three days after spending time at Shenton's sister camp, Kaingo. The chalets were just lovely, very comfortable and the outdoor bathroom was rather unique. A waterhole hide is located adjacent to the camp which has a stream of wildlife visitors. There was even an elephant that showed up one afternoon to peer into my window before she very slowly wandered off stripping branches from the trees along the path. At Mwamba, Maddie, John and Reuben were so friendly and I so appreciate all that they did to make me welcome. Robert was my guide and he took such delight in sharing some absolutely wonderful wildlife sights. He was easy to talk to and knowledgeable about all that we saw. Sundowners close to lions will never be forgotten. Lots of photographs taken that will constantly remind me of my lovely visit to South Luangwa. Wifi was available in the camp which was helpful to me.
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Date of stay: August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 15 Sept 2022
Thank you so much for taking the time to share you review - it means so much to us when guest's provide feedback on their stay and their experiences. We're delighted you enjoyed your stay and that you've returned home with memories to last a lifetime. Do feel free to share any photos or favourite moments with us.
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HannaB wrote a review Sept 2022
Toulouse, France
2.0 of 5 bubbles
My partner and I travel a lot all over the world, and have made many trips to Africa over the past 40 years. We chose to try Zambia based on its much-hyped reputation for walking safaris.
We always enjoy being in Africa and this time was no different. But, given the high cost of the trip, Zambian landscapes, game viewing, accommodations and service do not compare favorably with other destinations like Botswana, Namibia, North and South Tanzania. The walking safaris were unremarkable and were better in South Tanzania at far less cost.

In the case of Shenton Safaris and their Mwamba camp, the staff was gracious and helpful but we were very disappointed by the behavior of management. The day after our arrival a single large group, apparently repeat customers, arrived to fill the small camp. In response to this group’s demands, Shenton management changed the camp rules and excluded us from the communal lunch. We were instructed each day to eat alone at our chalet and so became second class guests at $2K+ per day!
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Date of stay: August 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 19 Sept 2022
We have had extensive communications with this guest regarding their stay and so this reply is not to our guest, but rather as a “right of reply”. We do suggest that potential guests read the many glowing reviews of Mwamba Bush Camp and it's current management that are available on public forums. This party stayed at Mwamba Bush Camp for three nights, arriving late on the first night. Day 1 – guests arrived in the evening and were the only party in camp. They dined at the chitenge (alfresco dining room under the stars) Day 2 – these guests were they only group in camp at brunch and dined at the chitenge. In the evening, they enjoyed dinner communally at the chitenge with a group who had arrived earlier in the day. Day 3 - in the morning, the guests were offered, and accepted, a special, private dining experience for brunch at their chalet. This party had pre-booked our Numbu star bed sleep-out experience, which includes private dinner. The Numbu star bed is approximately a 15-20 minutes drive from camp and is always a private experience. Day 4 – depart, this party journeyed across to our sister camp Kaingo Camp, where they dined communally with guests and professed in their feedback to have thoroughly enjoyed the management there. Mwamba Bush Camp is an eco-operation run in the middle of the Zambian bush. We are powered by a solar farm, which is wonderfully low impact. The limitation of this power solution is it cannot cope with high voltage equipment with heating elements, such as hair dryers and hair straighteners. As such, guests are briefed on this upon arrival. Midway through day 2 when the solar farm had tripped for the second time (a very rare occurrence), our manager journeyed room by room to enquire whether anyone might be unintentionally using a high voltage device. These guests replied that they were not. At afternoon tea they mentioned to our manager there had been some damage in the room and requested it be rectified. At the room our Mwamba manager found a smoldering, charred bedside table, burnt paper which had caught fire and, in the bin, a burnt-out water heating device the guests had brought with them. Mwamba Bush Camp is built from reed and thatch and the winds in August are always high. This created a very precarious situation. In the year following the devastation COVID has wrought upon our industry, particularly in Africa where it was left to operations to look after their staff and ensure they and their families were fed, the potential loss of the entire camp to a fire had rendered our manager quite emotional. She did not handle the first interaction about the fire with our guests as well as she might have. A situation she recognised and upscaled to the Shenton's immediately. They counselled her to apologise immediately after dinner and to spoil this party as much as possible with special experiences during the remainder of their stay with her. In private communications with these guests, the Shenton's have also apologised for the initial communication around the fire the use of their water immersion device caused. They have also apologised for their perception they had been segregated from the group for the brunch when the manager tried to set up a special experience for them. We find it so hard to fathom this conciliatory gesture of a private brunch was conceived of as segregation and can only imagine that these guests were still feeling defensive about the fire their use of this device had caused at their room. However, we do once again apologise that this was their perception. We would never have one guest’s experience guided by the needs or demands of another guest – whether the guest is a group or a party of repeat guests. Each and every guest who comes to us becomes a valued member of our Shenton Safaris family and 70% of our guests return to us.
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Patti G wrote a review Jan 2023
Clovis, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We have been back from our trip about 3 months now. I wanted to take time to reflect on our adventure. Overall trip was EPIC thanks in part to the week we spent at the Shenton Safari Camps. I am still going through photos and videos. We started at the Mwamba Camp. The 1st safari set expectations high with all the animals we saw. We knew it was the start of something special.



Mwamba is a smaller, rustic bush camp compared to the sister camp (Kaingo). My friend and I enjoyed both and talked about how we liked the differences each provides which makes it very hard to pick one vs the other. We are pleased we stayed at both and would recommend.

What was very interesting, yet not surprising after staying there, is the large number of return customers. That indicates how wonderful the Shenton camps are run and how enjoyable the experiences the Shenton teams provide. Our guide, Sly, was incredible. I was s happy others had mentioned him on their reviews. We had the best time with him, and our rangers. After only a week, we felt sad to leave as it felt we were leaving family.



Highlights/suggestions:
* Always be open minded to enjoy what the day brings as each is different. 

* The last water hole hide is special and you should enjoy time there during your stay.
* The Star bed was a wonderful experience. To see the Milky Way and stargaze out in the wild was a unique experience. Private dinner with our guide and team was fun as we used an app to find and discuss the constellations.

The food at both camps was wonderful. We enjoyed spending time meeting other travelers during meal time. A shout out of THANKS to all the staff (cooks, camp staff, managers, guides, rangers, etc.) who made out time at both camps EPIC! We had so many special moments. If I am fortunate to return to Africa, I will return to Shenton and Zambia.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 11 Jan 2023
Hi Patti, thanks so much for your detailed review and recommendations to other potential visitors - we do appreciate it when past guests take the time to share their experiences. We're delighted you have some wonderful memories of your time spent with us (in addition to many photos!) and hope they are stories you will continue to tell with much fondness for many years to come. We do hope we'll have the opportunity to welcome you back again soon. Thanks again.
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Sue R wrote a review Oct 2022
Ludlow, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed for one night at Kaingo and three nights at Mwamba. In both, the accommodation was pretty and comfortable and everything worked. The atmosphere was friendly, relaxed and capable and the food and drinks, both alcohic and non-alcoholic, delicious. The walks were beautiful, with good wildlife sightings and lovely atmospheric woodland. Our guide was very knowledgable if at times a little too didactic. Warning note for travellers - if you're taking US dollars, notes predating 2013 are not accepted. Pounds sterling are fine.
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Date of stay: September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 06 Oct 2022
Dear Sue, many thanks for your review - we really appreciate it when guests take the time to share their feedback and experiences, as we continually strive to improve and ensure guests leave us with wonderful memories. We're delighted you enjoyed your time at both Mwamba Bush Camp and Kaingo Camp, and appreciate you choosing Shenton Safaris for your trip to Zambia. We hope to see you back in South Luangwa again soon!
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mrc282 wrote a review Nov 2021
Worldwide
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Probably the most outstanding feature of Mwamba Bush Camp is the Last Waterhole hide, which is best visited in the months of September/October when water source is scarce.

Over a 3 night stay, a constant stream of animals visited the waterhole. Elephants, buffalos, impalas, birds, hyenas, hippos, vultures, etc. The Kapanda pride lions also came to the hide multiple times, drank, and fed on a hippo while it was still alive. Some of these animals were together at the waterhole during the night and it is obvious that this is too close for comfort and they cant stand each other's presence. So the hyenas were wailing, elephants were trumpeting, and lions were growling. Even the guinea fowl was not spared, and one of the lions was chasing it around my tent and knocking onto the reed walls while the bird went off screaming.

The closest tent to the hide is the Sausage Tree room. Choose that if possible, and you wont regret it, although you will probably have to put up with cacophony of animal noises during the night.

It was a memorable stay that will stay with me for a very long time.
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Date of stay: October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sherry G wrote a review Sept 2023
Los Angeles, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We literally took over the camp with our group of 9 people. Everyone was fantastic and we loved the drum to announce our next meal was ready. We never missed a meal. Our guides were amazing and deserved a medal for handling the boys truck with 5 dudes age 17-23. The perfect capstone for our safari adventures in Zambia.
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Date of stay: July 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 22 Sept 2023
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback - we're delighted you enjoyed your stay at Mwamba Bush Camp. Being the intimate camp that it is, it's perfect as exclusive-use for families and small groups travelling together. We're pleased it was a memorable stay and look forward to welcoming you back again.
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Dajari63 wrote a review Nov 2022
Bristol, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A true bush camp feel. The hide is simply incredible. Lions, elephants and a whole plethora of wildlife at the waterhole. Excellent food and hosting topped off by the perfect guiding from Patrick. Photographers dream.
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Date of stay: October 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 14 Nov 2022
Thanks so much for your review - we're thrilled you enjoyed Mwamba Bush Camp and the exclusive Last Waterhole Hide - we're so incredibly fortunate to have so much wildlife and action right on our doorstep! And as you so rightly point out, an absolute dream for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike! We're pleased Patrick enhanced your experience with his exceptional guiding and trust you returned home with lots of incredible memories. Thanks for choosing Shenton Safaris for your trip and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
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elizabethaO242CA wrote a review Sept 2019
Greenwich, Connecticut
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mwamba is run by Shenton Safaris and is the sister camp to Kaingo Camp. Small, very rustic bush camp with thatched rooms and attached/open bathroom areas. Comfortable bedding, electricity available in room but no Wifi except in main lounge area. I was not fond of the outdoor/open bathrooms, with Ellies all around camp, and the bucket showers are small and very limited (3 minutes start to finish even with turning of the water!) but it was warm weather when I visited with our group so the hot water issues were not critical (would not want to do this in cold weather!). Camp food was very good, and our guide was good/knowledgeable, but a bit quiet, not as inclined to discussion and conversation. Mwamba and Kaingo specialize in bush walks and hides, both of which were excellent experiences. We saw 2 herds of Ellies on walk and a small group of lions (from a distance). Mwamba is further inland away from the river which made it a hotter/drier/buggier (there were some tsetse flies) The Ellies and animals are all around camp, including IN camp (we had a fabulous encounter with a bull ellie in camp...fortunately our excellent private guide and camp staff knew how to handle the situation) so I would recommend this camp/location for experienced safari-goers and not first-timers. Food was very good. Camp staff was warm and friendly, although the camp manager was a bit more difficult to warm up to. Some staff from Kaingo came over to help and they are fun!
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Date of stay: September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Shenton Safaris, Sales at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
Responded 30 Dec 2021
Dear Elizabeth Thanks so much for taking the time to share your lovely review. Wonderful to hear you enjoyed some excellent activities and game viewing both on foot and from the hides. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the outdoor bathrooms. We have constant, plumbed water available and as you mention, provide hot water via 'bucket showers' which are available any time on request. Great feedback to get on the length of hot showers and something we will certainly take on board. The Ellies do keep us both busy and entertained with their ventures into the camp! Since your stay with us we have added a discreet perimeter line around the rooms to stop the nosy ones getting too close when you are using the facilities! Thanks for the great feedback about the comfortable rooms, food and the teams hospitality during your stay. It was a real pleasure to host your group and we are glad you took away fond, fun memories. Best wishes from everyone in Zambia!
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Answer from ShentonSafaris
14 contributions7 helpful votes
Hi Sharon, Mwamba Bushcamp no longer has a plunge pool. We did install one last season to see how it went and only 3 people used it in the season. Guests were rather opting to make use of our lovely photographic hide which we have right in camp. With some much up keep being a solar run camp and not being used so often we decided to do away with it this season Kind Regards The Shenton Team
Wreichhardt wrote a tip Oct 2023
Annapolis, Maryland1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"we stayed in the Sausage Tree chalet and think it had the best view!"
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PSA DAC wrote a tip Sept 2022
Adelaide, Australia1,563 contribution254 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All 4 rooms are the same"
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EvePH wrote a tip Nov 2017
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina30 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Only 4 huts, all very similar. BEAUTIFUL"
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slange2017 wrote a tip Oct 2017
Mukinbudin, Australia9 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Watch out for the elephant in sausage tree hut"
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philw wrote a tip Oct 2017
Stewkley, United Kingdom110 contributions15 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"I suspect they are all great but we were in 'Fig'"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the South Luangwa National Park area.
LOCATION
ZambiaSouth Luangwa National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
4
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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SHENTON SAFARIS MWAMBA BUSH CAMP - Lodge Reviews (South Luangwa National Park, Zambia)

Frequently Asked Questions about Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Does Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bush Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
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