Tusk and Mane: The Lowdown

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Tusk and Mane are the newest safari operators in the Lower Zambezi, returning to Zambia’s safari roots, when camps were simple, company was fun and guests were outside the vehicle exploring the bush up close.  

What’s Tusk and Mane really like? 

Tusk and Mane is really more of an experience than a place to stay, operating out of two fly camps in the Lower Zambezi. While the camps are new, and owners Kyle and Luke are young, they have impressive experience in some of Zambia’s (and Africa’s) finest safari camps, so we’re very excited about this offering.  There are two simple fly camps, both based on islands. Chula Island looks out over the floodplains and is only accessible by boat, while Kutali is amongst the beautiful winterthorn forest.  Fun, wholesome meals are eaten under a simple stretched-canvas roof, and as you are one of no more than eight guests in five tents the experience is very personal.

Both camps have simple stand-up tents that get the essentials right. There are decent mattresses and open air ensuite bathrooms (with shower, loo, and basin) attached. Walls are toughened mozzie net, with the option to drop down canvas for extra privacy. Tents at Chula are a bit larger, with a stretch canvas roof over the top, but frankly, no-one’s really coming to Tusk and Mane in search of glitzy deluxe tents, and we adore the simplicity of Kutali’s net cubes.  If you stay just two nights you’ll probably stay in one camp, but to be honest, we’d always recommend a 4 night stay to give you time to experience both. 

What can I do at Tusk and Mane?

Activities with Tusk and Mane are back to basics in the best possible way, in the extremely capable hands of Kyle and his team of guides. We have always loved the game viewing in this part of the Lower Zambezi and both camps offer a myriad of ways to explore. The focus is on excellent walking safaris and canoeing down the Zambezi’s less explored channels. Canoe trips and walks normally take 2-4 hours, including a tea stop, so while a reasonable level fitness is always handy, you certainly don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy them.

There are game drives on the “mainland” (from Chula this means getting a boat over) and there’s a pontoon for boating and fishing. Kutali is a better camp if you wish to do night drives (it’s in a fantastic area for leopard) and Chula offers the chance to try out a hide. If you stay longer than 5 or so nights, and feel seriously adventurous, we can sometimes arrange a sleepout up in the hills- just ask us if you’re keen as it’s not always available.

Giving back at Tusk and Mane… 

In modern conservation, supporting the wildlife and the communities who live alongside it is The remote location of both Tusk and Mane camps mean that visits to the local communities are not possible, though Luke and Kyle have hopes to be able to provide more community support as the camps become more established. For now though, both camps are designed so that they can be fully removed at the end of every safari season. They are powered by solar, and large water canisters are used to avoid needing any plastic bottles.  

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