Nkwali

Nkwali is one of those bushcamps you keep coming back to. Set downriver from the main entrance, much like Luangwa River Camp, you can access the park by boat across the river. This camp is a hippo haven! From the numerous hippo highways that make their way up the bank through pathways by the room to the resident hippo, Humphrey, who lives in the waterhole next to the pool.

Why we love Nkwali!

From the friendliest and attentive staff to the delicious food, this camp is heavenly. The Hosts and Guides made the whole experience memorable. The bed was a favourite spot too, like sleeping on a cloud, if I wasn’t excited about those 5:30 am breakfasts (bush breakfasts are the best) I would have happily enjoyed daily lie-ins.

– Last visited by Jen Hagger, Sales & Marketing – February 2019 –

Exeptional member of staff: Kiki, Manager: Kiki is the manager here at Nkwali, he is such a friendly and kind man with a great sense of humour and a fantastic laugh. Super attentive, so much so that he remembered details of my brother-in-law’s university major from when he met him once 4 years prior!

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

Rooms

5 bush chalets and one honeymoon chalet

Rooms starting from

From $460 (pppn)

Great for

Hippo enthusiasts and those who want good walking safaris

Children welcome

Minimum age 7. (Discounts available)

Open

All year: January – December

Ideal length of stay

2-3 nights combine with one of the bush camps further into the valley

Fans

Yes

Wi-fi

No WiFi

Lodge Key Features

Guides

Nkwali is run by Kiki, who has been with Robin Pope for many years. This manager is one of the valleys best guides and most loved managers. Whether he is out in the cars spotting the valley’s famous animals or round the dinner table telling stories of days gone past; there isn’t a question about South Luangwa Kiki can’t answer! With tales of many years of guiding he is an excellent dinner host and can help you dissect and identify everything you saw throughout the day.

Hippos

Nkwali has a resident male hippo, Humphrey, who resides in the small waterhole next to the pool. You can wallow in the pool as Herbert wallows in his, both cooling off during the heat of the day enjoying the cool water! If that wasn’t enough to entice a hippo enthusiast there are numerous ‘hippo highways’ from the river up the banks and around the rooms. There’s no need for a gardener, these bush lawnmowers come up each night to trim the grass and fill their bellies! When in your chalet you can peek out of your curtains and watch these gentle giants as they make their way to their midnight feast.

Surprises

This is a hard one to put on the website as we don’t want to give away all their secrets but Nkwali is the kings of the surprise! From meals in very unusual and special locations to making moments just a little more special with a bottle of something bubbly. If you have an occasion you are celebrating whilst away these guys know how to go the extra mile to make it that bit more special.

Client Reviews

  • Great start to our safari

    Excellent game sightings.
    Four people per vehicle. No middle seats, not cramped.
    Our guide Fred, got us into great private viewing positions for sightings.
    Wonderful hospitality. Kiki, best laugh in Africa.
    Infinity edge pool overlooking a small lagoon with birds, Humphrey, resident hippo, though only briefly above water, a favourite of mine. Excellent food.
    Loved the adventurous trips across the river, whether by deep river driving or the boat.

    Annette22P
  • Amazing lodge

    I stayed here for two nights as part of a ten night safari in South Luangwa.
    The whole experience was amazing from the great location, the Lodge and the game drives.
    What really stood out was the pride the staff took in their work and their urge to make your stay as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.
    The highlight of the stay here was finding the pride of lions on a giraffe kill.
    The number of repeat guests I meet is obvious testament to the quality of the Robin Pope safari experience.

    Stephen H
  • Beautiful lodge

    This lodge has gorgeous rooms. Individual rondawels, beautifully appointed, could have spent longer. Super comfortable beds and linen. Food is good, staff are lovely and friendly.

    Fi_B111
  • Brilliant safari experience

    We stayed at 3 Robin Pope camps in the South Luangwa national park in August 2018. We chose Robin Pope based on their track record and expertise in the area over many years. We started at Tena Tena, moving on to Nsefu and finally Nkwali.

    Nkwali was a bit different from the other two camps we stayed at, in that it’s just on the boundary of the national park and requires a short trip across the river via a pontoon (which is in itself an interesting experience). We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Nkwali – each camp has its own unique feel. Even after quite a few game drives, we continued to be amazed by the variety and flora and fauna in the area.

    The staff were great. Guides were very knowledgeable and friendly, and we always felt very safe.

    Womble99

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