MCHENJA CAMP - SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
Mchenja is the local name for ebony and this luxurious and intimate camp is tucked into a shady ebony grove beside the Luangwa River in the heart of South Luangwa National Park.
Its five rooms (including a two-bedroom, two-bathroom family suite) are pure, natural elegance with grass walls, soft cushions and light-as-air curtains. Each has a feather-top bed, large picture windows and open air en-suite bathroom with a bath looking out onto the river.
Built around a bent ebony trunk, the main lounge has the feel of a spacious treehouse. At breakfast listen to a chorus of birdsong and laughing hippos. Between safari activities relax in the refreshing pool overlooking the river.
Pull yourself away from camp to track big cats through the bush and night drives offer the opportunity to see nocturnal wildlife. During September to November Mchenja is one of the best camps to see the carmine bee-eaters.
Mchenja is located just north of the confluence of the Luangwa and Luwi Rivers in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Access is by flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe and it is a 2.5 hour game drive to camp.
The camp has just 4 tented rooms with beds swathed in mosquito nets overlooking the Luangwa River and there is a soaking tub overlooking the river. All the rooms are ensuite with outdoor shower, sinks and toilets enclosed with rustic grass matting and open to the elements. The tents have deckchairs on the outside facing the river ideal to watch bird and wildlife inbetween safari activities.
Additionally, there is one family tent with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
In the main lodge there is a dining area, a comfy lounge, a bar and a campfire by the river and a swimming pool overlooking the river.
ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE
The peak season is September, October and November when it is increasingly very hot – most of the wildlife congregates around the river and dwindling water sources - this is a great time to see predators and life is hard for many as they await the rains in early November.
Once the rains arrive in November the Luangwa River is flowing at its highest levels and this secret season is perfect for exploring on foot and by boat. With many migrant species flocking to the river this is an excellent time for birdwatching. September to November is the best time of year to see the iconic carmine bee-eaters nesting in the dry riverbanks.
From October to April is one of the best times to see wild dogs – although these can be seen at any time of the year. The populations of wild dogs have increased vastly over the last 10 years and on a recent visit we enjoyed watching a number of families hunt and play on the pans.
The coolest months of the year are from the end of May to August which is winter in the southern hemisphere and a perfect temperature for walking safaris. It can get quite cold at night and layers are recommended – by around 9am you are peeling off the layers!
Day and night game drives – discover wildlife with your guide in a morning or evening game drives. Just before dark enjoy a sundowner and then your guide will drive you back to camp in the evening to give you the chance of seeing the areas nocturnal wildlife.
Walking Safaris – discover the smaller wildlife, learn about tracking and wildlife tracks and the medicinal uses of trees and shrubs whilst walking thought the bush with your guide and an armed ranger.
Wildlife Hides – spend some time in one of the hides to get closer to the wildlife and get some fantastic photos!
Sleepout under the Stars - this extraordinary experience allows you to reconnect with nature and each other in a simple and fun way. Just like the early explorers you fall asleep under a canopy of a million twinkling stars listening to the sounds of the night-time bush. A cosy bedroll, bush loo and culinary team ensure that this experience is as comfortable as it is memorable.
MCHENJA IS CLOSED FROM THE 8TH NOVEMBER THROUGH TO THE 19TH MAY EVERY YEAR
THE CAMP WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDRENAGED 8 YEARS AND OLDER. DO NOTE THAT ONLY CHILDREN AGED 12 YEARS AND OLDER CAN PARTICIPATE IN WALKING SAFARIS