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Peter S
Northallerton, United Kingdom

The best wildlife safari experience anywhere!

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 26 Jan 2024
I’ve been going on safaris since 2003 to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Rwanda, and have spent more than two years of my life in total visiting these six countries – and the absolute best experiences that I have are always at Nkonzi Camp. Where do I start – the legendary wildlife guide Gavin Opie, the remote and ‘real’ location of Nkonzi Camp, the unique wildlife viewing experiences that Gavin always provides, the amazing staff at the camp, the superb food, …. where do I stop?
Anyone who is fortunate enough to share time with Gavin Opie in South Luangwa, Zambia, cannot fail to be impressed with his endless knowledge, his passion for the wildlife, his deep understanding of all issues related to wildlife and conservation, and his wonderful sense of humour. He has created a unique camp in a remote area of South Luangwa, and provides a luxury experience with his four double tents, lounge area, dining area and bar, without taking anything away from how ‘real’ you feel when you are out there. All his staff are amazing – and his Camp Manager Bev makes sure that every visitor feels safe, special and valued.
The images I have posted show the camp and experiences other than the wildlife sightings – I prefer to keep my wildlife images to myself - the images I am able to take on Gavin’s game drives are certainly worth treasuring!
It’s hard to pick out anything that stands out above the rest, everything is so wonderful, but the all-day game drives – literally out into the middle of nowhere – are an experience not to be missed. Don’t miss out on the guided bush walks – what an experience these are. Enjoy breakfast round the fire on the banks of the river, enjoy the wonderful meals served up out in the fresh air, enjoy the torchlight barbecue in the middle of the dry river bed, enjoy the authentic location, enjoy the luxury tents and the open air shower, enjoy the amazing wildlife experiences, and enjoy sharing time with the best wildlife guide I have ever met – by a mile.
Date of stay: August 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Gavin Opie, Owner at Nkonzi Camp - Gavin Opie Safaris, responded to this review
Responded 31 Jan 2024
Dear Peter and Diane,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this amazing review. Nkonzi certainly is a very special place. We do love our secluded little corner of South Luangwa. It really does make me feel proud that the experience you are describing is exactly what we always wanted to deliver at Nkonzi. It is wonderful to know that we are able to share our love and passion for the Luangwa with our guests.

As ever, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you again later this year!

Gavin
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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      Reviews (73)
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      2 - 7 of 73 reviews
      Reviewed 28 November 2023

      Nkonzi Safari Camp, located in the South Luangwa National Park, is a testament to the legendary walking safari guide Gavin Opie's passion for the wild. This neat little camp, owned by Gavin himself, exudes authenticity and charm. Bev, the gracious host, ensures a warm and accommodating atmosphere, while Jacob, the wonderful barman, attends to every need with a friendly touch.

      The camp, a true gem in the bush, embraces the essence of a no-frills, authentic safari experience. The spacious safari tents, each equipped with outdoor bathrooms, offer a perfect blend of comfort and immersion in nature. Nkonzi Safari Camp, under Gavin's guidance, provides a genuine and unforgettable taste of the untamed beauty of South Luangwa.

      Date of stay: October 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled on business
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      2  Thank tapiwakW185YF
      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 30 October 2023

      Similar to a few other reviewers we recently stayed at Nkoni Camp having booked with Naturetrex.

      We’ve been lucky enough over the years to have enjoyed a number of safaris, the one thing we have always found is, the more you get off the beaten track, the better the experience, and Nkoni Camp is certainly that.

      It is though a very long journey from the UK, involving 3 flights and a road trip, so the travel time for us was around 30 hours.

      But was It worth it – 100%!!

      That said, if you are seeking the luxury lodge experience you often see on
      travel programs this is probably not for you.

      For us though, we loved it!!

      The tents are great, with plenty of room, and well stocked with excellent insect repellent - a real must. The outside shower experience was fab, especially as it needs to be manually filled and was so, whenever we asked, the food was top notch and any request happily accommodated, for instance I don’t eat cheese. Oh and if you fancy a beer or wine with your evening meal, the prices are unbelievably good @ $2 a pop.

      Our fellow camp mates were a pleasure to spend time with, but above all of that, Bev and her team are truly fabulous!!

      And as for the wildlife – superb, we have never seen so many Lions, we saw them on every safari and eventually lost count.........

      So if you are looking to do a safari with a guaranteed opportunity to see Lions, probably Leopards and potentially Wild Dogs, we would highly recommend Nkonzi Camp.

      Date of stay: October 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      2  Thank Steve D
      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 28 October 2023

      Stayed here for 4 great day and nights and had the camp to ourselves which was great! This was the last camp of five we stayed in on a Zambian safari organised by Jay from Africa Travel Resource.
      (africatravelresource.com )
      He put a great safari together which culminated at Nkonzi. The camp is an authentic bush camp, simple but homely. It has all you need and nothing you don't, just as we like it. The staff are great, Jacob looks after your breakfast and bar needs and serves the meals. Dixon is the eagle eyed spotter and barman on your trips out. Francis looks after your safety, especially whilst on foot. Bev, the camp manager ensures all your needs are catered for and also joined us a few times on safari. Gavin Opie, the camp owner, was professional to the core. He was knowledgeable, respectful of the wildlife and obviously cared deeply for the natural environment his camp is situated in.
      Tents were comfortable and looked out onto the dry riverbed. We were visited by elephants on two nights, munching on the grass directly outside our tent - wonderful.
      The food was plentiful, tasty and the onion tart we had for lunch one day superb! How the chef managed to produce the food he did in the tent kitchen is beyond me!
      Wildlife viewing was good. We eventually tracked down our favourite animal - the wild dog, after a couple of days of seeing their fresh tracks. We approached on foot and looked down upon them while they relaxed in the dry river bed. After we left them and went for sundowners further down the riverbed we had a magical experience as the pack ranged down the riverbed towards us and passed directly in front of us as we took cover beside our vehicle. One dog passed within a couple of metres from us, then joined the pack and then melted away down the riverbed- magical.
      We had an excellent all day game drive exploring the greater South Luangwa area and had an excellent leopard sighting and then a fantastic lion family encounter as the sun set. It was a great way to finish our time on safari! Thank you Braston our driver guide that day along with Dixon and Francis.
      If you want an authentic, well lead, respectful wildlife safari, then look no further than this great camp. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of other high end camps - but it is much the better for it in my opinion!

      Date of stay: October 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      2  Thank Wiggy82
      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 24 October 2023 via mobile

      Nkonzi isn’t a luxury camp but it is an excellent bush camp out in the South Luangwa National Park. The camp is remote and we saw very few Safari Vehicles near the camp. The camp is clean and comfortable. The tents are quite spacious with beds which are either double or twin beds. There is lighting in the tents provided by solar panels and batteries. The staff are really first rate and are attentive to the needs of the guests. Food is interesting, certainly not African, but often based on Italian cuisine.,
      The drivers and guides are also excellent, with a good knowledge of the natural environment. They also know where the animals are to be found. For birders they have a good ear and can find and identify birds by their calls, essential in the woodlands.
      My wife and I really enjoyed the week we spent at Nkonzi Camp. I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking to experience the environment.
      From the camp we had a choice of walking or driving safaris in the early morning before it gets too hot and then a driving safari at 16:00, out until after dark.

      Date of stay: September 2023
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      2  Thank Brian L
      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 12 October 2023

      Travelled with Naturetrek. 26 hour journey from the UK, 3 flights and 2 hour transfer to thee camp.Welcomed by Bev the camp manager and Gavin the owner and safari leader.4 double luxury tents, comfortable beds, solar power, flush toilets and bucket showers.Excellent food, Each day , a light breakfast on the river bed, either a morning game drive or a bush walk.Back for coffee , chill out .light lunch, pm game drive and dinner. 2 whole day drives encompassing the other end of the park.Gavin a health of knowledge, Bev ensured all ran well in the camp with the support of the excellent team. Astrophotography from the river bed on the last night.Excellent game viewing very day.

      Excellent trip, could not be faulted, be aware this is a pop up camp with luxury tents, not a large lodge room with air con. There were tsetse flies in the park but not really a problem. Long sleeved shirts , trousers and insect repellent worked.

      Date of stay: September 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      2  Thank GoPlaces231965
      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.
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