Nkonzi Camp: The Lowdown

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We were thrilled when Nkonzi Camp opened in late 2015. Zambian safaris have been increasingly creeping higher and higher in price, and while there are some excellent good value options near the Mfuwe gate, we also were searching for an option inside the South Luangwa National Park.

What’s Nkonzi like as a camp?

Nkonzi sits beside a seasonal river in the South Luangwa National Park, which is dry for most of the year, providing easy walking for animals passing by camp. In true Zambian style, tents are Nkonzi are firmly on the rustic end of the spectrum and that’s how we like ‘em. There’s a simple wooden framed bed in each one and an open-air bathroom to the rear. The shower is a bucket shower, the floors and walls are made of reeds, and loos are eco-friendly composters. This is all about total immersion in the bush, so there’s no mains electricity either- rooms are lit by solar powered lamps and there’s a charging point for limited camera charging. So you don’t miss a moment of the bush, meals are eaten outdoors.

What can I do at Nkonzi?

Nkonzi is run by its passionate owner Gavin Opie, and is the base of operations for his safari company. You can choose to spend 3, 4, or 5 days with them, and the longer you stay for, the more you’ll squeeze in. Morning and afternoon game drives in the South Luangwa are, of course, a given, and you’ll also try a night drive to spot some of the more unusual nocturnal animals. And, of course, no safari in the South Luangwa would be complete without a walking safari. If you stay for a fourth night, you’ll be able to fit in a full day drive to take you even deeper into the park, and with a fifth night the team will arrange for you to experience breakfast out in the bush and perhaps fit in a cultural visit to the local community. This all said, all human plans might fall by the wayside- Mother Nature is firmly in charge here, as she should be.

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