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Michael M
Diablo CA

Outstanding bush camp in prime game area

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 Aug 2023via mobile
This is 26th trip to Africa. I am not sure how we missed this amazing camp.

The wildlife around the camp is prolific. Elephants, buffalo, hippo, etc all day and night.

There were two leopard kills IN CAMP over our 5 nights. The first occurred just after we were dropped back at our tents following an excellent meal.

Next thing all the guests in the finest sleeping clothes are jumping in a vehicle to see the leopard take the kill up into a tree.

We saw
The dogs chases and kill 2 kudu and then chase and kill a bush buck 2 days later.

We saw 6 unique leopards over the course of 12 leopard sightings.

5 aardvark- it is actually “a thing” at this camp over the 5 evenings following a full moon. I thought they were pulling my leg until we saw 5 aardvark

2 porcupine

The food is really amazing. Like restaurant good.

Madeline manages the camp with grace and experience beyond her years.

To sum it up

We left a sighting of lion and leopard in close proximity to look for aardvark. On the way to the aardvark we were slowed down by a porcupine sighting.

Highly Highly Recommended

Mike Maloon
Date of stay: August 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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      All reviews zambezi river game drives lost count other guests great game porridge wild dogs night game wonderful hosts a special place safari trip delicious food day bed african bush laundry service fish early morning
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      11 - 16 of 289 reviews
      Reviewed 13 November 2022

      Everything about this place is beyond perfect. Wonderful hosts. Wonderful camp. Simply stunning wildlife on the doorstep. The wild dog hunt and ensuing chase will live long in the memory. Superb guiding from Samora was the icing on the cake. Pity Mark (the host) thought South Africa had a chance in the T20 Cricket World Cup!!

      Date of stay: October 2022
        • Sleep Quality
        • Rooms
        • Service
      Thank Dajari63
      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 10 October 2022

      We have been visiting east and south africa twice a year for the past 12 years.
      visiting many places that we thought at the time of our visit that nothing could be more beautiful and more connected to nature. But it can. Old Mondoro camp is the proof. This place is exceptional not only because of nature and the landscape that surrounds it. The people who manage the camp - Mark and Madeline - are exceptional. As well as the staff who looked after us 24 hours a day.
      We've seen a lot over the years, but the experiences of those few days in Old Mondoro with Mark as our guide were incredible. Feasting of Painted Dogs on freshly caught buffalo, leopards, lions and elephants in all "positions"....
      An unforgettable place on the banks of the Zambezi River and we have definitely decided to come back here in 2024, just like we told Mark and Madeline.
      We thank you.

      Date of stay: August 2022
        • Sleep Quality
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      Thank martinminarik
      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 5 October 2022

      My husband and I just returned from our second visit to this camp. Our first was in 2018 and as evidenced by the presence of four other couples, who were all on their 2nd or more visit to this camp, our return was a shared theme. Our guide, Samora is reason enough to visit this camp but there are so many reasons. First, Samora is an uncanny spotter of animals and events including 5 individual experiences watching the large pack of Painted Dogs (28 adults and 16 puppies) chase and dispatch 6 meals in 4 days. Not something we intentionally went to see but some of the most intense game viewing we have had in 3 trips to various countries in Africa. Samora was key to making our whole experience exceptional. We saw leopards, honey badgers and so many elephants, we lost count. Lions and buffalo are present as well. The wildlife around this camp is plentiful and varied. The camp is run by Mark and Madeline who do an exceptional job, as does all the staff. The vibe is low key but very comfortable and pleasant. We will return for sure.

      Room tip: Chalet 2 is our favorite but all are great.
      Date of stay: September 2022
        • Location
        • Rooms
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      2  Thank Gorillagg
      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 18 September 2022

      Only 5 tents that are right on the river. This was an experience that will always be a special memory! Lovely tents on the river with an outdoor shower! A simple way to enjoy camp is to be surrounded by elephants in the open dining area and your tent! Food was delicious and prepared with attention to one's specific requests. One of the many unique aspects to a safari is to share time with an international community. The adventure of game drives in a region that is not overcrowded adds to the uniqueness. We were lucky enough to see the wild dogs on a hunt. Another birthday celebration that was special! We are hopeful to return to this camp and to Zambia!

      Date of stay: September 2022
      Thank BONNIE M
      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 2 September 2022

      Camp is spread out with 5 large tents spaced well apart - 3 overlooking the river water channel and 2 facing the Zambezi River. A large open air thatched communal and central lounge, bar and dining area is situated along the river bank with stunning 360 degree views of the whole camp and river.

      Tents are comfortable - nice linen, overhead mosquito net, hanging space, shelving, small desk and chair inside, outdoor decking with day bed, seating and table, ceiling fan, safe box, cold water jug, water drinking glasses, bedside and overhead lighting. Toilet and vanity basin located inside the tent, shower and bath located outside the tent with privacy screen (hot water 24hrs, solar power) toiletries provided (body wash, shampoo, conditioner), clothes washing powder, makeup and large mirror, luggage rack, coat stand, laundry service. Tap water is not safe to drink. No hairdryers or straighteners allowed (solar power). No tea/coffee making facilities in tent. Turn down service in the evening. A bush baby is provided in beds at night during colder weather (hot water bottle). We found the mattresses quite hard.

      Unable to leave your tent and walk to the communal area sunset to sunrise. Just arrange a pickup time for dinner and a wake up call for breakfast. Radios (walkie talkies) are in each room if you need to contact staff at any time. Plenty of game roam the camp during the day and night.

      Good quality and delicious food with a varied menu - adequate serves (not too large). Breakfast served around the camp fire (6.00am) options included toast, cereal, yoghurt, boiled eggs, porridge, freshly baked muffins, coffee, tea, fruit juice. Lunch (11.30-12.30) is served buffet style. Options included meat dishes, fish or vegetable patties, chicken pieces with a selection of salads, or sides and fresh bread - buffet style. Dinner (8pm) is served at a large communal dining table (sometimes inside communal area, other times nearby the fire - wear long pants & mosquito repellant). Options included steak, fish, pork with sides of rice, healthy fries, potato, salads and vegetables. Starter would be soup or similar. Dessert - ice cream, pudding or similar with tea and coffee served after dinner. Afternoon tea was served at 3.30pm with both savory and sweets options (cakes, pastries). You will not go hungry.

      Meals are the same for all guests for lunch and dinner. The camp can cater for dietary differences - GF, allergies, vegetarian etc with advance notice. Guests dine communally unless you request otherwise.

      After dinner you can sit by the fire, watch the stars, listen to the noises from the river, the forest, chat to other guests and enjoy a night cap. Our hosts Mark and Madelein were amazing, as were all the camp staff. Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) were easily ordered, always offered and refilled. Although you (and hosts, guides and camp staff) are tired from waking early and active during the day, this aspect of “relaxing” after dinner appealed to us.

      The landscape was really interesting here - the light in the forest changed so differently (and difficulty) throughout the day, the haze, the color changes - makes for some great photography. The game - elephant, lion, baboon, impala, kudo, waterbuck, hippo, warthog, water buffalo, crocodile, jackal, porcupine, plenty of bird life, not many leopards during our stay but the wild dogs were amazing (Mark was our guide on ‘dog day’ - next level)

      Activities included early morning (6.30-10.30am) game drives, afternoon (4.00pm) to sunset / night game drives (return by 7.30pm), walking safaris, canoeing, boat cruise along the Zambezi River. Fishing is offered for an additional fee $30USD p/p (permit, rods and lures). You might share a game vehicle with other guests depending on capacity (jeeps with blankets, morning bush baby, no shade canopy).

      Tipping is optional at this camp. If tipping, they request that you tip your guide directly and a tip box is located in the main tent for the general camp staff. Take small envelopes to write the name, a note for your guide / the camp and place tip inside. We tipped in kwacha. This was our 4th camp stay during our trip to Zambia. Guides typically receive a larger tip however it’s really the ‘whole’ camp that provides the experience (vehicle & boat maintenance, cleaning, laundry, meal and seating preparation, hosts coordinating and managing). We felt our allocated guide was disinterested and had been doing “this” for too many years. Mark - our host had the passion and drive, morning after morning and also stayed up late for meals and night caps with guests. When tipping - consider a one off tip to represent a “whole camp” experience instead of separating the tip.

      The lodge is located 30mins by jeep from Jeki Airstrip (clean toilets onsite). Flight 35mins (Skytrails, Proflight) from Lusaka domestic terminal (also known as local terminal) or 5-6hrs drive from Lusaka. The lodge is located inside the Lower Zambezi National Park. Recommend minimum of 4 night stay.

      Room tip: Request Tent along water channel and not on Zambezi.
      Date of stay: July 2022
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