Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris

Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris

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Room & Suite (89)
Nkwali dining area
Dining (23)

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5.0
#11 of 24 lodges in South Luangwa National Park
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
Nkwali is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river overlooking the National Park where leopards roam along the bank and can often be spotted from camp. Situated on Robin Pope Safaris’ private land outside the park there is a private game viewing area behind camp as well as exclusive access into the park either by boat or across the pontoon. The six chalets offer a rustic luxury opening up to magnificent views of the river as well as open air en-suite bathrooms. The chalets are spacious and during the day are fully open to wonderful river views, in the evenings the Constantia grill doors are pulled together to close the open room fronts. Set upstream from Nkwali under a thick canopy of trees you will find Robin's House. With great views of the river and across into the park this two bedroom house is the perfect retreat for families or friends wanting privacy and a safari experience specifically tailored to their needs.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Pool
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Free airport transportation
Airport transportation
Laundry service
Breakfast available
Room features
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
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.
3.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
River View
Luxury

Location

Robin's private land, South Luangwa National Park Zambia
151Reviews1Q+A25Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Judy L wrote a review Jul 2021
Los Altos Hills, CA2,265 contributions159 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nkwali was a beautiful camp by the river. We were the only guests and were graciously hosted and expertly guided by Kiki. The guiding in Zambia was the best we have ever experienced and Kiki immediately showed off his expertise. On the 2nd day, we saw a leopard with a kill in a tree, and another leopard during the night drive where he expertly positioned the vehicle multiple times for the best vantage point.

Not only was Kiki a great guide, but he was also a very humorous and interesting conversationalist. Over dinner he told us about the matrilineal tradition of his people, the Kunda, and some funny stories of his girls growing up with their cousins. We exchanged travel stories – us with other trips in Africa, and he with trips to the US. The first place he visited in the US was Minneapolis in February! Believe it or not, he also spent time in Menlo Park California, which happens to be where I grew up. What a small world!

During our stay we saw many elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, hyenas, and as a first for us, lone Cookson wildebeest. One morning, we noticed an enormous amount of buffalo poo, and after searching for some time, found a big herd.

There were very few people in this part of the park. We were the only guests at Nkwali. At the first leopard sighting there were 2 other vehicles, but I think we saw only one other vehicle the rest of the time. Kiki joked that everyone gets more excited seeing people than animals.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Nkwali. Our room was beautiful and comfortable, with a view of the river and hippo chorus serenading us every night. Food was fresh and delicious. The camp has a very convenient boat that can cross the river into the park without having to drive to the main gate bridge. South Luangwa park in June was stunningly beautiful – lush and green with plenty of wetlands, beautiful birds and butterflies, and teeming with wildlife. What a great start to the trip!
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Date of stay: June 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: The last room is twice as big with a huge sitting area and more private
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 Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 27 Sept 2021
Dear Judy I am delighted to hear that you had such a great time during your stay at Nkwali. It really is a special place, idyllic location and the wildlife really is something. How lucky you were to have such great sightings! I will also pass your kind words on to the team at Nkwali - they will be very happy to know that you appreciated their hospitality and service as they do indeed pride themselves on it. Kiki is a gem and we are so fortunate to have him on the team for more than a decade now! He will be thrilled to know that you enjoyed his stories. Wow it is a small world indeed to know that he visited the same area you grew up in - what are the odds!!?? Thank you for taking the time to post a review about your stay and we really do hope to see you again soon. Take care and stay well Steph & the RPS Team
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Happy Traveler wrote a review Sept 2021
Wenatchee, Washington11 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nkwali Camp is a lovely lodge sitting on the banks of the Luangwa River. Each room is an open-air chalet that includes a nice bathroom with a large walk-in shower open to the sky. The king size beds are very comfortable. The staff was wonderful, truly seeing to all our needs, and the food was amazing. A morning and evening game drive in South Luangwa National Park each day was included. Our guide, Nambe, was very knowledgeable about all the animals and birds making each trip very enjoyable. A special thank you to the Manager, Kiki, who has put together a great group of people who made our stay memorable.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 27 Sept 2021
Dear Happy Traveler We are so pleased to hear that you were happy with your stay at Nkwali Camp and thank yo so much for taking the time to post this lovely review! Kkiki, Nyambe and the rest of the team will also be thrilled to know you appreciated their service and hospitality so i will be sure to pass your kind words onto them! We hope to see you again in our part of the world but until then, take care and keep well! Best Wishes Steph & the RPS Team
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Rebecca O wrote a review Jan 2020
Bangkok, Thailand10 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A huge thank you to the whole team at Nkwali camp for a truly magnificent Christmas experience.
From our arrival as a large group of 11, including 4 kids the team were welcoming and accommodating. Kiki the host ensured everything ran smoothly, but there was no rush or pressure.
Our guides Perry and Pias were professional, knowledgeable and entertaining. We saw so much on Christmas Day that we simply couldn't believe our luck.
The food was excellent, especially on Christmas Day when we were spolit with roast turkey and trimmings.
The rooms were spacious and elegant and everyone was comfortable.
Thank you for making this a really magical Christmas.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip 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.
CarolineHoddell wrote a review Feb 2023
34 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Arriving in the dark meant we weren't quite sure what the camp was like but what a location! In the morning (very early!) we got to see the Luangwa was in full flood and racing past the deck and then a very short boat trip across into the park and into paradise.
The room was splendid with a lovely verandah overlooking the river and every amenity thought of, including a hair dryer which was a first for me, whilst in the bush. Spacious double shower, and double basins always welcome in the bathroom. Huge bed with a lovely mosquito net, good bedside lighting and everything thought of.
Our safari guide was Kiki and he is Nkwali's ultimate secret weapon. So knowledgeable, thoughtful and humorous; he made this a safari with a difference, in spite of it being rainy season and having some quite heavy rains. I've lived in Zambia for 25 years and been on many safaris but this was seamless and even when there was the odd unforseen glitch, it was all handled very professionally and without drama.
The camp staff are all delightful and friendly but not intrusive.
Food was fabulous and my pescatarian request was perfectly catered for. My only criticism is it is too delicious and tempting and I left at least a couple of kg heavier...
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Date of stay: February 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: All the rooms overlook the river so it's up to you to chose to be closer to the bar/sundeck...
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 Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 28 Feb 2023
Dear Caroline Many thanks for your wonderful review about your recent stay at Nkwali Camp! I am so glad you had such a great time. Kiki will be thrilled to hear you enjoyed your time at the camp and also extremely flattered by your kind words. I will be sure to passon this lovely feedback to him and the rest of the team. Thank you for taking the time to post this detailed review of your stay. Your feedback is invaluable to us. I do hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Nkwali Camp soon! Take care Steph & the RPS Team
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Adam P wrote a review Dec 2023
London, United Kingdom104 contributions72 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Loved Nkwali, the camp is great, breakfast right on the river before and as the sun rises. I stayed in October and we had Carmine Bee-Eaters hawking over the deck each morning. The cottages are beautiful, spacious and open out onto the river, so peaceful! With the wildlife tamely wandering right outside your rooms. We had quite an emotional return from my first morning game drive, with a herd of elephants cooling off and eating the plants in the pool (not swimming pool), immediately outside dining room. These enormous creatures, so close, gently going about their business. Even the large adult that left the pool and walked directly through the camp and checked out the reception/bar area.

Even with the scorching temperatures, the game viewing was great, lots and lots of elephants, good predators (Lion, Leopard, Hyena) and for some of my fellow travellers, Wild Dogs on my last evening!

The camp has a little bit of a transit feel to it, as it is regularly the first or last lodge for people going to or coming back from other RPS lodges but this doesn’t detract in any way. With the communal dining, you get to meet and enjoy sharing in everyone’s experiences.

But the highlight, what sets Nkwali/RPS apart from other safari’s I’ve taken in Africa were the people. The standard and knowledge of the guides! Without question, our guide Kanga at RPS was the most knowledgeable guide and the best teacher I’ve had the pleasure of being guided by. Along with Kiki, the lodge manager (and guide), everyone took such care and attention in ensuring you have the best experience. As I mentioned, some of my fellow travellers had located a pack of wild dogs late on my last evening drive. Kiki offered me the opportunity to go out earlier the next morning, ahead of my onward flight to my next lodge and for a driver to meet us in the park and take me onto Mfuwe. It didn’t matter to me that we weren’t able to reconnect with the dogs, we caught up with a lion pride and had jousting antelope, the flexibility offered by Kiki and the team meant the world to me.

I will, return to Zambia and have no hesitation in enjoying RPS lodges again and recommending.
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Bring whatever works for you for insect bites, you will get bitten (but not crazy itchy).
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 Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 11 Jan 2024
Dear Adam Thank you so much for taking the time to share your incredible experience at Nkwali. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed the camp, the picturesque breakfasts by the river, and the unique wildlife encounters that made your stay memorable. I'm glad that despite the scorching temperatures, you enjoyed the game viewing activities and are also pleased that you liked the communal dining. Your heartfelt acknowledgment of our team, particularly your guide Kanga and lodge manager Kiki, is greatly appreciated. We take pride in the knowledge and care our staff provides, ensuring each guest has the best possible experience. I will be sure to pass on your kind words to them. We look forward to welcoming you back to Zambia and our RPS lodges in the future. Your willingness to return and recommend our lodges means a lot to us. Until then, take care and stay well! Steph & the RPS Team
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Izla B wrote a review May 2023
3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
As we entered the Nkwali camp we were greeted by a giant elephant at the poolside drinking water! Sitting there and watching it was a memory for life for me, my 8 year old son and mother! And that and beyond more is what Nkwali camp gives! We had 2-night stay and loved every bit of it! Located by the river it provides a tranquil experience as well a good spot to see wildlife without even moving out from the bed or the pool! The staff is so friendly and professional, the food was superb (we are vegan/vegetarian) and the game drives so much fun! This is a perfect place for a luxury safari and tons of adventure with family and friends! We would love to visit again!
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Date of stay: March 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
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 Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 20 May 2023
Dear Izla Many thanks for taking the time to post a review about your stay at Nkwali Camp! I'm delighted to hear that you and your family had a wonderful time and i will be sure to pass on your lovely feedback to the rest of the team. We look forward to having you back soon! Until then take care and stay well! Best Wishes Steph & the RPS Team
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karen123502 wrote a review Sept 2023
Greensburg, Pennsylvania28 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
African safari’s are extraordinary experiences but staying at Nkwali camp made it more so. I loved that we were able to hear the hippos at night and even enjoyed the baboons running in front of my hut.
The setting is unbelievable with a lagoon where elephants and birds eat and drink on one side of the camp, and the Luangwa River with bathing hippos on the other.
The staff, accommodations and food were all excellent. Their safari guides were knowledgeable and were excited to show you the animals in the bush. While we didn’t stay at any traditional lodges while in Africa, We believe we would greatly preferred this experience over staying in a lodge with solid walls all around us.
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Date of stay: August 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 26 Sept 2023
Dear Karen I am delighted to hear you loved everything about Nkwali Camp, from the accommodation to the location. I'll be sure to pass on your lovely feedback to the rest of the team who will be delighted to know you enjoyed your time with them. Many thanks for taking the time to post a review about your stay. We appreciate it and look forward to having you back at Nkwali one day soon. All the best Steph & the RPS Team
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Mandeville1322 wrote a review Feb 2023
Cambridge, United Kingdom209 contributions87 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our 3rd visit here over the past 10 years and whilst we normally stayed at all 3 Robin Pope Camps along the valley we focused on just the one camp this time and we couldn't have had a better experience. Being greeted by Kiki was like coming home and his infectious laugh and amazing hosting was again a great way to ease back into the Zambian "vibe". Our guide this time was Chilumba and from the initial conversation at Mafuwe airport and the drive back we knew we were onto a winner. Being the only guests in the camp for the whole 5 nights was also a added benefit as we kept our same guide and team for the whole stay and with John and Mwerlua in support we certainly had the "A" Team to hand. The lodging as before was great with superb views and In-house Monkeys with the dining area and bar area a great place to hang-out. However we seemed to have little time to rest as being the wet season we thought we would have to work hard to see the animals, but the skill of Chilumba even with few cars in the whole park meant we had 2 lifetime best sightings of a Lion Pride and 8 cubs along with a leopard Mother and son on a kill both over 3 of the days and along with @150 birds made this our best stay yet at the camp and in our view makes the valley the best Safari experience in Africa.
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Date of stay: January 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
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 Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 15 Feb 2023
Dear Mandeville1322 What a pleasure to have you back and thank you for your continued visits! We are so grateful that you keep coming back!! Kiki, Chilumba and the rest of the team will be over the moon to read your feedback which i will be passing on. Glad you got to see so much... the emerald season really is underrated isn't it! Thank you for taking the time to write this lovely review of your stay and we hope to see you back again soon! Take care Steph & the RPS Team
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Jane P wrote a review Feb 2020
Southampton, United Kingdom43 contributions33 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our seventh visit and it didn't disappoint. We spent two nights here at the start of a two week trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe. Our guide (Pius) was great, with great sightings of mammals and birds. The team looked after us well and the food was fantastic!
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Date of stay: September 2019
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
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 Steph N, Marketing at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 09 Jun 2020
Dear Jane Thank again for another lovely review! We are so pleased you that you keep coming back and really do appreciate the continued support from you both! I will be sure to let Pius and the team know how happy you were. Take Care Steph &the RPS Team
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Lola008 wrote a review Jan 2023
Pulborough, United Kingdom491 contributions162 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I am a solo traveler & stayed at Nkwali for 4 nights in October. Staff exceptional & looked after me very well . I am a vegetarian & the food was excellent a different menu every day. My lodge was lovely right by the river with a wonder view. Deer & baboons would just wander past. Big bed, safe in room & charging facilities, plenty of space. Bathroom with all facilities , plenty of hot if needed. All the staff were wonderful friendly could not do enough to help you enjoy your stay. Of course the game viewing spectacular. Guides all informative & fun. Will definitely return.
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Date of stay: October 2022Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Need to be nimble for the steps down to the boat
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 Steph Naidoo Fernandes, Other at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
Responded 15 Feb 2023
Dear Lola Many thanks for taking the time to write this lovely review! We really appreciate this and know other potential travellers will find it invaluable. Glad you enjoyed the food and the activities! I will be sure to pass on your kind words to the Nkwali Team who will be thrilled to hear that you had a good time. We are very much looking forward to your return Lola. Until then take care and stay well! Steph & the RPS Team
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morris830 asked a question Jun 2017
Derbyshire, United Kingdom143 contributions59 helpful votes
Can you get laundry done?
Answer from Steph N
Blantyre, Malawi129 contributions4 helpful votes
Hello Morris830. Yes laundry is done at Nkwali. If you put your laundry to the wash in the morning you should get it back that evening....depending on the load as well as weather conditions.
Adam P wrote a tip Dec 2023
London, United Kingdom104 contributions72 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring whatever works for you for insect bites, you will get bitten (but not crazy itchy)."
Read full review
WILLIAM J wrote a tip Jul 2023
Arkadelphia, Arkansas190 contributions75 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"A limited number of tents makes access to the commons area very easy."
Read full review
CarolineHoddell wrote a tip Feb 2023
34 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All the rooms overlook the river so it's up to you to chose to be closer to the bar/sundeck area or not."
Read full review
Lola008 wrote a tip Jan 2023
Pulborough, United Kingdom491 contributions162 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Need to be nimble for the steps down to the boat"
Read full review
Judy L wrote a tip Jul 2021
Los Altos Hills, CA2,265 contributions159 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The last room is twice as big with a huge sitting area and more private"
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the South Luangwa National Park area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
nkwali camp hotel south luangwa national park
LOCATION
ZambiaSouth Luangwa National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
7
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NKWALI CAMP - ROBIN POPE SAFARIS - Lodge Reviews (South Luangwa National Park, Zambia)

Frequently Asked Questions about Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris
What are some of the property amenities at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a pool, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris have airport transportation?
Yes, Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Nkwali Camp - Robin Pope Safaris have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.
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