Mapazi, a newly opened camp in the far North Eastern section of South Luangwa National Park, bordering the banks of the Luangwa River, is a simple bush camp that has an authentic safari feel to it. No frills, back to basics and comfortable. This is a lovely walking ONLY camp for one to explore this part of the national park by foot. Debs Tittle, a veteran guide, in the South Luangwa National park, owns and runs this camp with a passion and enthusiasm for the bush that is second to none.
Mapazi comprises 3 walk-in (Meru style) tents each with views of the river
1st of July to the 19th of October
3-4 nights with a night on either end at another lodge say Kaingu, Lion camp, Chikunto, as flights leaving early or getting in midday mean a very long transfer having you arrive too late or leave too early.
With only three tents the total number of guests is the ideal number for groups on a walking safari. This allows the camp to stay nice and intimate allowing for a great personalized trip. Tents are basic and airy with lovely comfortable beds and a chest to store your personal items, the bathrooms are adjacent to the safari tents, so a quick dash out for a hot shower is possible at all times. The camp runs on solar power and has running water to keep the footprint minimal and maintain an authentic rustic bush camp vibe. Additionally, power is kept to common areas. Meals are light, filling and flavourful.
Wildlife in the area isn’t as habituated to people as it is in the Mfuwe area so it can be a bit skittish, but you get the odd animal (like the resident bushbuck) that haven’t seen people and therefore do not know to fear them which is really unique. This location is also great for game not found anywhere else such as wildebeest, and hartebeest to name a few. With Mapazi being the only lodge in this area you have exclusive walking safaris without bumping into other walkers or vehicles making this a great authentic wilderness walking experience.
Debs manages this camp with Jayne and they have single handily managed to build this camp from scratch and run it like a well-oiled machine. As soon as we arrived Debs made us feel at home; greeting us like we were long lost, friends. She prepped us for the walk ahead that afternoon and all of us were dreading it a little, being our first time and in an area where animals aren’t used to people or vehicles our anxiety was quite understandable but she put us all at ease very quickly. Walking with Deb is amazing, she walks at an easy pace making it comfortable for all in the group and makes sure she has everyone’s attention when she speaks.
Debs is extremely knowledgeable, she explained bird calls, animal behaviours and the importance of particular trees and plants. She also taught us how to track and approach animals, so as not to scare them. We felt perfectly safe at all times with Debs and the scout and much to my surprise, walking safaris are my new favourite.
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