Around mid-day on August 18 we said our goodbyes at Kalamu Lagoon Camp and flew 20 minutes to Mfuwe, where we were met by a Robin Pope Safaris representative, for the less than 2 hour drive to Nsefu Camp. Nsefu is the oldest photographic safari camp in the entire South Luangwa National Park, having been established in 1951. The camp is still just like it has always been, on the same superb site with the same buildings (now slightly bigger with bathrooms added in the back). It lies on a huge bend in the Luangwa River, actually quite close (down-river) to Kaingo Camp, which is just on the opposite side of the Luangwa River. Nsefu has a striking location with 8 very comfortable rondavels (round bungalows) all with views of the river. Kathleen and I enjoyed a light lunch at the bar, with camp manager Vanessa. There was plenty to see in the way of wildlife, with baboons all over the place, as well as impala, and later on also three large buffalo quite close by at the camp waterhole which is lit at night. My only criticism would be that the rooms are noticeably close to each other, so there is not a whole lot of privacy. I suppose at the time when the camp was first built this was not much of an issue and of course it would be daft to tamper with something as well-established as Nsefu.
A sign with lots of instructions, at the entrance to the S. Luangwa National Park
Not much later, we drove past this small herd of elephant and got a bit of a 'look' from the matriarch
Who summarily proceeded to charge the vehicle, without any warning. Not a mock charge either
I caught up on my trip report, we unpacked and then departed on an afternoon game drive. At first it was a bit quiet but we saw some good birds, and of course when you’re stopped looking at birds, you also tend to see other things. As a result we enjoyed some very good sightings of bushbuck and kudu. Just before sunset we had a front row seat with perfect lighting, of a pair of mating lions. I did manage to underexpose the photographs, which was a real pity as an opportunity like this might not ever come around again. Nonetheless, the pics turned out not too bad. After dark, we saw several more lions, so all in all it was a most very productive outing. The area clearly has lots of game, as we had expected.
The next morning, after an early breakfast, we did a short road transfer (in lieu of a game drive) to Tena Tena Camp, for a site inspection. En route, we saw several more lions, including one very conspicuous on an anthill. Tena Tena is a lovely little camp, with a very ‘classic' safari feel. We looked at one of the large hybrid tents which had a very good view over a waterhole (or at least a marshy area), where there just happened to be a mother and calf elephant pair feeding. Naturally, we took some photographs. This is definitely a camp that would be worth including in a S. Luangwa itinerary. It has more privacy than Nsefu.
A closer view of the two elephants feeding
The patio of one of the rooms at Tena Tena
Lounge area at Tena Tena
The view from the front of the camp; this is an oxbow lagoon - the Luangwa River is just beyond it
At the time we were there, one of the camp employees was setting up in the dining tent
A game scout on hand just in case the hippos cause a disturbance
En route to Nkwali we saw quite a lot of game including this puku
And several zebras including this rather feisty one
On the entrance path towards Nkwali, we came across a fairly large group of elephants
The front entrance to this intriguing castle-like edifice
Part of the living room & lounge area at Luangwa House
Interior of the main bedroom at Luangwa House
The massive copper bathtub in the main bedroom
A different bedroom at Luangwa House
And yet another one
Kathleen on the deck in front of Luangwa House
The pool at Luangwa House
This little fellow was hidden in the folds of a robe