Nkonzi Camp

Nkonzi Camp is a classic Zambian bush camp perfectly suited to safari experts. Nkonzi is owned and run by Gavin Opie, a highly experienced safari guide who has lived in Zambia for over 20 years. Together with his small and dedicated team, Gavin prioritises exceptional safari guiding. Guests will be immersed in the safari experience – unforgettable wildlife experiences are guaranteed. This isn’t just ticking animals off a checklist; Gavin offers safari guiding at its very best.

Nkonzi Camp itself is small but perfectly formed, with just four en-suite safari tents offering all the comforts you’d expect without detracting from the romance of a safari under canvas. Tented en-suites offer flush toilets, hot bucket showers, ceramic basins and guest amenities. Safari tents have twin or king beds, 100% cotton linens, warm duvets and hot water bottles in winter and cooling fans in summer. Solar lighting and charging stations are available in each tent.

The central Meru safari tent at Nkonzi Camp is the epitome of old-world safari charm. Here you will enjoy steaming cups of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning, a cold gin and tonic in the afternoon, and atmospheric candle-lit suppers under star-studded night skies. This is the perfect place to relax and share safari tales while listening to the serene sounds of the African wilderness.

Why we love Nkonzi Camp!

One of the more rustic camps within the park, this is
 for those that truly enjoy an adventurous safari. With bucket showers, etc.
 You feel as though you are a first-time explorer of the park. Gavin and his 
team deliver everything expertly and are incredible guides. This is
 definitely a camp for those who want to experience raw nature.

– Last visited by Chloe McCormack, Sales & Marketing – August 2017 –

Exceptional member of staff: Gavin, Owner/Guide: Gavin’s animal knowledege knows no boundaries, he is charming and kind, gently helping you learn every species under the sun.

Experience Rating

Experience Ratings Explained

The star ratings are based on a variety of different criteria.

Namely it is a comparative aspect against the other lodges in this country and/or area. We like to think of this rating as a mix of the accommodation (please do remember just because the rating is lower doesn’t mean it is a bad lodge more that it maybe more of a rustic nature), guiding and wildlife in the area, food, safety and general vibe.

The lower ratings tend to either be due to being a rustic lodge or being in e.g a busy area of the park. This should be used as a general guide but please do contact us for more detail or check out the reasons why we love these lodges.

Fast Facts

Location

South Luangwa National Park, Northern Region

Rooms

4 canvas en-suite safari tents

Rooms starting from

$400 (pppn)

Great for

Exceptional safari guiding and a classic bush camp experience

Children welcome

Yes, ages 12+

Open

June 1 – October 31

Ideal length of stay

4 nights make use of the long stay special

Fans

Yes

Wi-fi

No

Lodge Key Features

Intimate

At Nkonzi Camp, every moment offers an authentic safari experience. From toast cooked over the campfire in the morning to stargazing over supper and desserts baked in the ground oven, this is a hidden gem of the Zambian safari circuit. Game drives and walking safaris are a highlight of your stay with Gavin himself or one of the excellent guiding team leading each activity.

Hidden in a secluded area of the park, you are unlikely to come across any other guests, which allows you to revel in each wildlife sighting. Whether it’s the lions, leopards, elephants and giraffe that the park is famous for, or the special birdlife and rarer mammal species, the best part is that you will share these experiences with a maximum of 7 other guests!

Nkonzi is remote and unspoiled yet accessible; the South Luangwa main gate is a 45-minute drive from camp and Mfuwe Airport is approximately 1.5 hours from camp.

Safari activities

The wilderness experience at Nkonzi is incredible. Being so deep inside the national park you are surrounded by wildlife day and night. From the moment you step outside your tent, you are on safari. The camp is set in the animal rich Luwi River area which puts you in a fantastic position to set off on a walking safari beginning and ending at the camp.

Game drives can head north, east, south or west into untouched wildlife habitats. Stargazing is also amazing from Nkonzi camp, with zero light pollution and panoramic views of the Milky Way.

Top tip: to see the valley lit up at night, time your stay with a full moon.

Expert guides

Gavin Opie is more than just a renowned safari guide; he has a passion for Zambia borne of his many years living and working in this incredible country. Gavin knows the South Luangwa like the back of his hand, but he is also a wonderfully entertaining host with enthralling stories to tell. Gavin’s guiding team can introduce you to the wild animals of Luangwa, including 4 of the big 5 (rhino aren’t found in South Luangwa), while also passing on their love for the smaller species, birds, trees and plants that make the Zambian landscape so special. If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a great guide look no further than Nkonzi Camp and their wonderful guiding team.

Client Reviews

  • Amazing Adventure.

    We had an amazing adventure with Gavin and Abram on our 7 day stay at Nkonzi at the beginning of September 2018. We had daily game drives and night drives. 2 Full day drives and a walking safari. We saw 3 Leopards and lost count of how many Lions we saw. Elephants everywhere all with Baby’s- pure joy watching a baby elephant playing in the mud. Gavin and Abrams knowledge of the animals and the local eco system is inspirational. The camp team took great care of us and Jacob always had a cold Mosi waiting for us when we returned to camp. Lovely food and lots of it. We saw 30 + species of mammals and 117 species of bird including hundreds of Southern Carmine Bee eaters. The Tents were great, really comfy and huge bed.

    c0deye
  • Incredible and unforgettable experience in South Luangwa

    We could have hardly wished for a better Safari experience (our first, but we feel this will be hard to beat). Prior to our trip, my girlfriend spent a great deal of time looking for the right park. Despite reading about the fantastic sighting you can find in the most common ones (in Tanzania, Kenya etc.) we were very keen to find a less crowded park, yet see a lot of wildlife. South Luangwa seemed to tick all the boxes. Next step was to find camp which, for a reasonable price, would offer a more authentic and close to the nature environment than most of the luxurious lodges we could find (with an unnecessary level of confort). We couldn’t have found a better fit. South Luangwa is a fantastic park, with very varied landscapes and a fantastic wildlife (we saw Lions, Elephants, Leopards, Hippos, Crocodiles, Giraffes, Hyenas and more).

    Erwan L
  • Real African bush experience

    We spent 5 nights at Nkonzi Camp at the beginning of July, a wonderful experience of being immersed in the bush, yet with all the comfort of a well appointed safari tent under big mahogany trees, atmospheric open air bathroom attached, and excellent food. The camp has views over the dry riverbed to forest and expansive skies, with the ever present possibility of bird and animal sightings while not on safari. The safaries and walks each morning and evening were a special delight for the bigger and small animals, birds and the insights Gavin, and his guide Abraham, gave us to the plants and ecology of the South Luangwa.

    Michael A
  • A truly remote gem

    Our most remote safari stop proved to be a real winner! Gavin has created something very special by a dried riverbed in the National Park. Nkonzi felt like proper camping but with all the comforts including delicious food and comfortable beds, an authentic safari experience.
    Due to it’s remote location within the park we found that on safari we saw far fewer vehicles than we did in other accommodation – this made the experience feel more intimate and was nice to have sightings to ourselves rather than to share with multiple trucks full of people.
    It was just our family of 4 and another couple staying at the time so everything about the experience felt intimate and personal.

    ksdavies95

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*Office hours: Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM (GMT+1)

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