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All reviews luangwa river national park beautiful place hidden gem wild animals special feeling camp hippos safari zambia bank nature tourists bush balance fact lodge
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Reviewed 4 September 2019

Luambe Camp is the only camp located in the Luambe National Park in Zambia. It is approximately a 3.5-hour road transfer from Mfuwe airport. The drive is a bit tedious, but it is all worth it when you arrive at this brilliant camp on the banks of the Luangwa River.

Shortly after entering the park we were blessed with a Wild Dog spotting. This was to be a great indication of the experience we were about to receive. It must be noted however that game spotting can be tough as the animals are extremely shy after years of the park not being in use as a tourist destination.

As if Wild Dogs on arrival was not enough I was truly awe-struck by the Lumabe Camp itself. All the tents have amazing views of the Luangwa River, which is packed with hippos. Even the bathroom view makes brushing your teeth a special experience. All 4 tents have hot water 24 hours a day, which is a rare luxury and was well appreciated.

The camp offers a laundry service and charging facilities during daylight hours. There is no WiFi service, but this is not uncommon in Zambia and is a blessing as you get to disconnect and immerse yourself and the soul-soothing serenity of Luambe.

GAME DRIVES
Game drives are split into morning and afternoon sessions, which is pretty standard for safaris. On most mornings we had a stunning surprise breakfast at spots set up for us in very special locations.

We were extremely lucky in our sightings with our first full day yielding a leopard kill, lion kill, elephants and various antelope and bird species. The next days drives yielded no cat or dog spottings, but elephants are abundant. We received many a mock charge which provided some great photos. Hopefully, the elephants learn to be more comfortable around game drive vehicles over time.

Every afternoon drive ends with spectacular sundowners that provide the unforgettable African sunsets that highlight our safaris.

FOOD
In true Zambian style, the food was excellent with an impressive array of dishes that were beautifully prepared. All beverages were included in our package so after a large three-course meal every evening we lifted our glasses of wine and retired to our tent to listen to the hippo sounds till we fell asleep.

Before departing for the afternoon game drive you receive a delicious tea. The tea includes some wonderful sweet treats that tide you over before returning to camp.

This is now one of our top-rated camps and we would love to return after they have a few more seasons under their belts to see if the game becomes less shy over time.

Date of stay: August 2019
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank MGBtravels369
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 September 2019

Luambe is a very remote place. You will not meet other People on drives and walks. Not as many animals as in South Luangwa, but we had some very good Leopard sightings. Many Hippos. Excellent Food. And you really contribute to conservation. 4 h drive from Mfuw. Try to get a flight for one way at least.

Date of stay: August 2019
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Afrika200
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 31 August 2019

A wonderful place which is very unique. We were already 11 times in Africa and spend a night at the Luambe Camp on our way from the Southern Luangwa Park to the North. While the others parks are crowded you can enjoy this paradise in a very small group. The guides are real experts and the owner- Dr. Michael Riffel - has even a PhD in Zoology and his passion is to preserve this paradise.

Date of stay: August 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank MKM-CM-Charly
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 30 July 2019

Luambe is wild and remote Africa. Being the only camp in Luambe NP, this alone is very unique and special. The camp itself is basic but clean and comfortable with tasty home made food. This is not your pretentious overpriced camp with decoration around the food, it is all about friendly and helpful staff, good guiding, tasty home cooked food in what feels like a private concession as there are no other camps there. Wildlife is still slow but we did see an abundance of different bush babies which was cool, the most dense hippos population I have ever seen in Africa, a Hyena and and a male lion. Additionally birding was good, the scenery is breathtaking and we did see a diverse range of antelope. I am very excited for their new bush camp as this is in an incredible location. This place will only get better and better with exciting conservation plans in place.

Date of stay: July 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank MalawiMike2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 July 2019

This was our final camp after a wonderful time. we flew in on a small Cessna onto a recently made airstrip. Immediately we were surrounded by children who were fascinated by us and the plane as they have only just started to fly there. The children had come from everywhere!

It is hard to describe Luambe camp as it is nothing like any other place. It sits on the banks of the Luangwa river (a tributary of the Zambezi) with hundreds of hippos, all keen to chat to you!! It has four tents and a staff of 12. No electricity (apart from one socket in your room) so obviously no wifi. At first I wondered what i had done booking it but oh, what a fantastic place. It had a camp on it years ago which became deserted. The animals took over and sadly poaching started. The new camp was built and this is it’s third season. The animals are still very people shy but getting better. There isn’t an abundance of animals ( I think Noah’s ark landed there!). The food was delicious and it all is cooked on a stone oven using firewood and a metal plate put in front to seal it. Cakes, biscuits, veg, meat everything is cooked there. The rooms are spacious overlooking the river with bathrooms with showers. The rooms are lit by solar lights which are a little too dim really. We did discuss this with Ernest the manager and they are looking into it. The main space was very dark once the sun went down and again that is being looked into. The camp fire was lovely and it is a very pleasant place to sit. If Derrick or John are not at the bar then you can help yourself!

Ernest took Fran and I out for our game drives and I can honestly say I have never had such a knowledgable guide. He knew all the trees, flowers and animals and imparted the most amazing amount of information. The wildlife is very unusual. There aren’t vast numbers (apart from hippos). the animals are very gradually learning to accept the vehicles but are still quite nervous and one sees them in a truly natural state. There are wonderful birds too.

It is truly a special place and like no other. Br prepared for an experience of a lifetime. Not luxurious in the usual sense of the word but the magic that is there is in the river, the people and the animals, the scenery and is an experience never to be forgotten. Thank you to all.

Room tip: all stunning
Date of stay: June 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank 578faithc
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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