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Red-110
Lusaka, Zambia

Nic croc's; Nasty monkeys

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 03 Sept 2021
Croc Valley is aptly named, as we have never seen so many and so large crocs, all in one place. Don't worry, the river bank is very high and the crocs don't come and try to visit.
There is power in each campsite and a few lights which worked all the time. There is also a small central kitchen, with freezers, fridges and stoves, if you need to use them, but it is about 200 m from the camps.
The campsites are quite small and very near the bar. Thankfully there were few customers, but it is likely to be quite loud if there are lots of guests, or backpackers.

The showers were OK, but often turn to a dribble if more than one person uses them.
The other issue was the monkeys, which are quite prolific and you cant leave anything out in the campsite, otherwise it will be eaten or just chewed up.

Overall the place was OK, but a bit run down. COVID has probably affected their income stream, but there are nicer campsite around at similar prices.
Date of stay: May 2021
Room Tip: Buy firewood from traders on bicyles directly, otherwise prices are very high both from the camp...
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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    30 - 35 of 360 reviews
    Reviewed 10 April 2021

    If you are looking for great food, bar, staff, and safari experience, then Croc Valley is the place for you. With different types of accommodations, this will give you choices on how you want to live on your stay. The safari's experiences are great and I highly recommend doing a combo of night and morning safaris. A guide to use there is Banard as I have used him three times and he is a very experienced guide and has great knowledge. Herbert the manager will help you in any way you can and is extremely friendly. Do not hesitate to stay here if you come to South Luangwa

    Room tip: River Front Tents
    Date of stay: April 2021
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank DanielYenshaw
    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.
    Reviewed 26 February 2021

    Croc valley was a nice place to stay for our budget. We had it mostly to ourselves due to the season and covid 19.

    However, 1800 kwacha was taken from my private room. There was a safe in the room which I did not use however I have never used safes during my year in Zambia and not experienced this before in any accommodation. The staff we were slow and unhelpful when this was flagged on our last day. We had a flight to catch and the manager made us wait in reception for 2.5 hours without any information, which resulted in us rushing to the airport and not visiting the local shops as planned. The manager was quite defensive and put the entire blame on me and even managed to make me feel guilty for being stolen from in his premise. He instructed me the only way to help the situation was to raise a police report. To do this you had to be in the area and due to the delay waiting for him there was no time to do so. He said he would be in touch via email to assist this and he never was.

    His tone and lack of a good will gesture for even 10% off the bar tab for the time wasted and the theft was really disappointing and I would not recommend staying there, despite the pleasant experience beforehand.

    Date of stay: January 2021
    Trip type: Travelled with friends
    Thank Hays121
    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.
    Charl Beukes, Owner at Croc Valley Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2021

    Amazing that we are blamed for someone's stupidity and give a 1 score when everywhere even on the Mirror in rooms are signs LOCK UP YOUR VALUABLES Even on briefings Guests are asked to lock up valuables and that we have a safe upstairs that we can lock things up if necessary When I spoke to her and asked why it was not locked up she said I never lock up anything. There reason we have spent a lot of money to fit safes is to protect the clients belongings. I was asked what can I do about it and I said the only thing is to inform the police. I was then asked what would happen to the ladies cleaning the rooms and I said they would be interrogated, which they were not happy with so I asked them what do you expect me to do and I was told discount the bar bill . I replied I am sorry but this was not our fault you did not follow our instructions. We concluded that they would write a report send it to us and I would try must best to report this to the Police not knowing if they would accept a hand written report. No report came

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    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 15 December 2020 via mobile

    I spent 2 great nights at this camp! Great spot in the jungle of South Luangwa National Park! Very good quality of food and very well prepared.. the stuff was helpful...
    If I ever return to Mfuwe I will definitely stay at croc valley camp again.

    Date of stay: December 2020
    Trip type: Travelled solo
    Thank leonidasxidaras
    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.
    Charl Beukes, Owner at Croc Valley Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2021

    Thank you very much for the kind remarks especially during these hard times. We hope we can welcome you back soon !!

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 12 December 2020

    After 10 years of visiting Southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa and Namibia) we decided to explore South Luangwa NP because it is known as the best park for leopard sightings. We wanted to take our time, to know park better, to feel its spirit and booked 10 nights in September 2020.

    The camp is rather big and busy. It has self-catering chalets, air-conditioned tents, rooms and camping place with a river view. We decided for that busy camp because we wanted to get more information about the park which we supposed to get from guests but due to the Covid-19 pandemic there were almost no guests in the camp.

    We booked the self-catering chalet a year in advance via booking.com without paying any deposit. The price was more than reasonable and in a case of cancelation we wouldn’t loose any money. Booking.com didn’t charge us at all and we paid cash on place. You can book it also on web-site of Croc-Valley Camp.

    The camp looks perhaps old and tired, but it is a kind of property that will survive (hopefully) Covid- pandemic. It has something for every kind of guest except some who need luxury. You can book air-conditioned (very nice) tent on the all-inclusive basis or accommodation on a self-catering basis and buy activities as you wish.

    I loved our self-catering chalet! It was build on a wooden platform and had everything we needed. In the kitchen we had: electrical stove, toaster, microwave, filter-coffee machine, boiler for tea water, fridge with the freezer and safe. And everything was working!! Except the safe. There were, of course, plates, pots, pans and cutlery. Outside was a Barbecue - place.

    A huge ventilator was standing in the room and there was also a celling fan. We put together two of three available beds, and the stuff made a king-bed of it without us even asking. I must note here that housekeeping ladies were just fantastic! Every day our dishes were washed, bed made, floor and sanitary were cleaned. The bed was really very comfortable! Perhaps better than mine at home.

    The shower was separated from WC and washbasin with a wall but water was seeping through it to the WC area. But who cares? As I said the chalet was not luxury and was old and for a price we paid it didn’t bother me at all. It was not much water going through. I just cannot put something at the wall without getting wet by extensive showering of two people. The shower worked excellently and that was a main point! Didn’t you have an experience with expensive lodges where you paid $800ppn and shower didn’t work properly? I had experience where we didn’t have ANY water for two days! Sometime ago we stopped to book expensive lodges because they often didn’t deliver what one could have expected for the price and at the end the basic functionality is more important than a pretended luxury.

    Yes, the accommodation was tired, but I really fell in love with it! It was like an old friend I know for ages. After 10 nights at Croc Valley, we were staying in Nsefu sector for three nights and had two nights after that without any bookings. We came back to Croc Valley for those two spare-nights! It was like coming home!

    The only missing was chairs. There was a high bar-table which separated kitchen from the room and actually we were happy to stand there and work on our computers because we were sitting all the day anyway! Additionally we took our chairs from the (fully equipped) car to sit when taking meals.

    Sometimes we prepared our food ourselves and other days we visited camp’s restaurant. That is also what we like a lot: to eat when we want, to decide ourselves. I had a feeling that restaurant was always open. At least we got meal every time we visited it. In the evening after a game drive they always asked us if we want to eat something. What a care!! But we don’t eat so late. (And don’t need to pay for dinner like we do in lodges with all-inclusive…)

    The food in a restaurant was prepared good but not outstanding. We ate steaks or burgers with greek-salad. After a few days we ate all feta-cheese, but the stuff was very creative and substituted it with mozzarella. I don’t think that it is a logistic problem. Note, that we were during Covid-19 there. We were the only international guests in the camp. Sometimes there were some resident-guests. There was no need for them to make a big food shopping.

    The biggest attraction of the camp is its swimming pool. It is big, clean and good maintained. It is so big that you can really have a good swimming hour in it! In the evening it is lighted so, you can again have a sport-hour. Opposite the pool is a Gym and the equipment was working there.

    We organised a few days of game drives and booked always a morning, and an evening game drives the same day. Our guide was Simon. We explicitly asked for him because I read about him in Trip Advisor. His last drive was in February 2020 (we were in September 2020). Simon was just incredible! It again shows that quality of a guide doesn’t depend on a lodge category. I noticed rather other tendency: cheaper camps have often better guides. Why? The answer is simple. At the beginning the guides working in remote lodges and stay there for months. After some years they have it enough, want to be closer to the family and look for the camps closer to villages. And those camps are like Croc Valley, they are situated outside the park, between the village and the gate. Those guides often already have a long-year carrier and are excellent in spotting animals. So was Simon. He was the first who spotted lions, leopards... And called a guide from Bush Company to come. There were no many game-drive vehicles at the beginning of September: a car from Thornicroft Lodge, from Chinzombo and a few cars with local people from the neighbouring villages. Project Luangwa and Carnivore Project was organising game drives for locals to show the value of wildlife. I found it excellent! Later Bush Company (Mfuwe lodge) was driving with a few vehicles, Mopani Lodge and Marula Lodge.

    The breakfast and snacks on game drives were always very good, but we preferred to use a good light for photography and often skipped breaks. We were always alone in the car. There were other guests at the end of our stay, a family, and they got their own car as well.
    The morning game-drives started at 6:00 (05:55) and ended at about 10:15. The evening game-drives started at 16:00 (once we arranged at 15:30) and ended at about 20:00-20:15. The gate is 5-7mins from the camp.

    The camp is situated between Luangwa river and small lake and our chalets was often visited by elephants, giraffes, hippos, pukus and resident bushbucks. Baboons and monkeys were always there waiting to break into the chalet and steal the food. Once I heard an alarm-call and went out of the chalet to see what happened. A stuff-member was rushing by with a stick in the hand. „A lion is here,“ he explained.
    Despite a village vicinity and a lot of noise, there are also leopards and hyenas who are visiting camps. We met them on the Luangwa bridge. They were crossing to the village.
    „Oh..! Lions and leopards are people-friends!“ said Simon once.
    I will be back to Croc Valley.

    Date of stay: September 2020
      • Value
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    Thank Elena H
    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.
    Charl Beukes, Owner at Croc Valley Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2021

    Thank you very much for an excellent review !! We are trying hard during these trying time to keep the camp maintained but with little income the emphasis has been to keep all our staff employees and thus feeding their families fed.
    Once again thanks again and welcome HOME when you come again!!

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 20 July 2020

    My boyfriend and I just spent the weekend at Croc Valley, and we were very pleased with our stay. When we arrived we were greeted with a warm welcome by staff, and showed to our accommodation - River Tent #1. The all inclusive package is definitely the way to go - lodging, game drives, and food. All of the meals were delicious!

    I have visited South Luangwa National Park many times over the last few years. Our game driver, Bernard, was very impressive. He was knowledgeable about the animals and the park, and willing to answer any question we had. He asked before we started if there were specific animals we wanted to see, and did his best to make sure we saw them.

    The atmosphere at the lodge is definitely one of fun and relaxation. Everyone is friendly, there is a great pool and many seating areas along the river to relax and site see.

    I highly recommend to anyone traveling in the area looking for somewhere to stay.

    Date of stay: July 2020
      • Sleep Quality
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    1  Thank beccas5802
    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.
    Charl Beukes, Owner at Croc Valley Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2021

    Thank you very much for the great review !!

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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